Green Grilling Tips
While there are many ways you can green your 4th of July celebration (see a previous post for some great ideas), it really does all start with the grill. While you are already prepped with your organic meat options, fresh local produce and reusable utensils, there are other ways to make sure your grilling efforts stay earth-friendly.
Here are 5 ways to take your grilling to the next green level:
Green Your Charcoal
Gas or electric grills are the more earth-friendly options, but if you use charcoal there are still ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Avoid petroleum-based lighter fluids (opt for a charcoal chimney) and use natural charcoals and lump charcoal (avoid briquettes and self-lighting charcoal).
Trim Your Fat
In addition to being a healthier food option, trimming the fat from meat prior to grilling is also a greener option. Less fat reduces flame flare-ups and the release of harmful chemicals into the air. Read: “Green Grilling”
Marinate, Marinate, Marinate
Organic and grass-fed meat is usually leaner and may lose moisture while grilling. To combat the moisture loss, Treehugger suggests marinating your meat before grilling and continuing to baste during the grilling process or adding moisturizing ingredients such as caramelized onions. Some great marinade recipes and tips can be found from Organic Valley.
Reduce Cooking Times
According to About.com, most gas grills are ready to cook in 5 to 10 minutes while charcoal takes 15 to 20 minutes. Have your food ready when your grill is ready to avoid additional burn time. Also, put as much food on the grill as possible so you can be as efficient as possible and note placement of foods on the grill—such as moving grass-fed beef farther away from the flame so it doesn’t overcook.
Use the Grill When It’s Off
Once you’ve turned the grill off, you can use the heat to reheat desserts such as pies. Place the pie on the barbecue rack, close the lid and once you’re done with dinner, dessert will be ready. When you are completely done with your cookout, clean your grill while it is still warm—this will make it easier to remove grease and food particles. Click here for a great, green grill cleaning solution.
Talk to us: What will you be grilling this 4th of July holiday?