• Want to pump up a dying charcoal fire? Never use lighter fluid. Even if the coals look really gray, they could be hot on the inside. The stream of fluid CAN catch fire. It’s too dangerous. Put new briquettes in with the old, and start those using a long stick match.
• “When grilling with charcoal, keep a clean spray bottle filled with plain water handy, and use it to keep flare-ups from blackening your food. When the coals have died and you’re ready to clean up the ashes, mist the ashes first. It will keep them from making a dust cloud.” — U.L. in Georgia
• From charcoal grilling expert Kingsford, here’s a great tip to use when grilling chicken: “When applying a dry rub to chicken pieces, it’s often hard to keep the rub affixed, and it’s even more difficult to keep the chicken’s original, golden color. Try ‘painting’ chicken pieces with yellow mustard prior to applying the rub. Not only will the rub stay in place, your final product will be visually appealing — without any trace of mustard flavor.”
• When wrapping vegetables in foil packets to grill, make the seams on the sides. This way, the veggie packets can be turned over for even cooking and to avoid burning on one side. You can even label the outside of the foil in permanent marker. It won’t affect the taste of the food.
• To cover a picnic table in windy conditions, choose a fitted bed sheet. A kidfriendly alternative is to cover a table entirely with white butcher paper, taped at the seams and secured underneath with strong tape, such as duct tape. The kids can busy themselves drawing placemats and decorations for everyone in crayon while the adults do the grilling.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd.