To get ready for springtime, you gotta be ready for grill time with these 8 grill hacks. Often times, we are busy and we don’t think everything through. We also forget things. It’s the beginning of spring and we are a bit rusty on our grill game. We also want to be the most efficient griller ever. For those of us who like a hack or just like great tips to float in the back of our heads, Otto’s come up with a list of some of the greatest grill hacks to help you get through the summer! Here are 8 grill hacks that will help you in a pinch or just make you that much more of an efficient grill master!

1. Non-Stick Grill Hack

When you grill on a cast iron, food like veggies and burgers can stick to the grill grate. Don’t worry, though, your steak won’t stick!

You can avoid any grilling residue by taking an onion half and rubbing the onion juices over the cast iron grid before grilling. You could use fat but the application part to the grill is tricky and will melt easily. The onion makes it mess free. You also don’t want to use oil because most oils burn at a particular temperature (which is always below 1500°F) and give off a rancid taste. The onion juices will also give off a nice flavor to the grilled dish. A two-in-one, non-stick grill hack! By incorporating a non-stick aspect, you also make cleanup much easier on yourself.

slather bbq sauce grilling

2. Clean-up Grill Hack

Even with the non-stick trick, you will still want to clean up your grill. And, when you are out on an adventure somewhere, you may not have easy access to a sink, soap and cleaning tools. Don’t worry — the Otto Grill is so easy to clean because it’s practically self-cleaning. Crank up the heat to 1500°F and adjust the grill height to the highest level. This will melt off any residues pretty quickly. And, if there is any stubborn stuff left, you can use aluminum foil which is comparable to steel wool! If you are on the go, wrap your raw meat in aluminum foil for the trip. Grill it up. Then, crunch the aluminum foil into a round shape that you can grab on to and give the grill grate a scrub. Any of the left overs should be easy to get off.

*Expert Tip – If you know that you will have a particularly heavy-duty cleaning job even after giving it the non-stick treatment, save your onion that you used prior to grilling to use right after grilling while the grid is hot. The onion juices are acidic and they are helpful to lift stubborn dirt from the grill grate to make it much easier to scrub off with the aluminum.

easy clean up otto grill hacks

3. Condiment Spread

This one is particularly fun! Grab a muffin or cupcake tin and take it with you to your grill adventure, whether that’s in your backyard or out in the wild. You won’t be using it on your grill, but it is a perfect way to display condiments for burgers, dogs or anything! Use each muffin indent for one type of condiment: ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, pickles, sauerkraut, onions, tomatoes, avocado, salt, pepper, and more.

homemade chili sauce for corn with picanha

4. Efficiency Grill Hack

We all like to save time, and if it also gives a little extra fancy flare to your dish flavor, then why not? On your Otto Grill you have a drip tray for fat residues to accumulate. For efficient grilling, you can use that tray to warm and grill veggies while you grill your meat from above. It will still work like a fat drip tray, but your veggies will soak up that tasty fat and deliver the impactful flavor back to your mouth instead of being tossed away.

*Expert Tip –  If you know you will have a particularly juicy griling session with lots of steak and lots of fat, use dried mushrooms in your veggie pan. They love to soak up the dripping fat and give them such an intense and delicious flavor!

photo by @time_to_meat

5. Butter Juicy

Everything is better with butter and if you are using frozen burger patties or veggie burgers and are afraid of the drying out process, try using a slather of butter! Melt butter all over your raw patty and you will get an extra flavorful and juicy burger!

juicy burger

6. Quick & Not Dirty Fish Marinade

We know that grill sessions can sneak up on you spontaneously, and when you are out camping, you won’t always have the fanciest things readily available. For a quick and delicious fish marinade, use citrus slices! Place lemon slices or lime slices directly on the heated grill grate and warm them up a bit. Then, place the fish on top of the bed of lemon so it soaks up the juices while grilling from above! You can also place the lemons on top of the fish if you want to give it a bit of protectant from the direct heat.

*Expert Tip — Use orange slices for a particularly fun flavor! Especially for salmon steaks.

salmon grilled atop bed of citrus, lemon slices, lime

7. Camp Marinade Grill Hack

When you go camping, you won’t have everything you need. If you forget to marinade your meat before getting out to the site, you won’t have a flavorful steak to put on the grill. If you are backpacking, you will want the least amount of weight and won’t be toting whole condiments. To put together an easy on-the-go grill marinade, bring along to-go packets. You can pick these up from any fast-food place or sushi place. An easy marinade is with 4 soy sauce packets and 2 ketchup packets. Mix together and let the meat rest in it for at least 30 minutes.

8. Core Temp Hand Trick

No thermometer needed for this grill hack! If you forgot a thermometer or just don’t want to carry the extra weight, don’t worry about it! You can use your hands to feel the core temperature of the meat with this cool trick. Just follow the instructions: feel the palm of your hand and compare it to the meat – check it out!

Grilling the perfect steak: infografic degrees of doneness