Thursday, June 21, 2012

All Things Grill: BBQ on a Frugal Budget

There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a burger that was just cooked minutes ago outdoors on a hot grill. Barbeques are one of the most fun and delicious parts of summer, and the whole family can join in. By following a few frugal tips, you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for your summer grilling.

  • Choose the right grill: Everybody has their own opinion on whether propane or charcoal grills do the job better. Charcoal grills usually cost less and give meats that distinctly barbequed flavor, but the briquettes for charcoal grills are more expensive.  On the flipside, propane grills typically do cost more, but they heat up faster and you’ll pay less for fuel. Propane grills are typically bigger in size, making storing difficult. For cost-effectiveness, it is best to choose a grill that will last and suits your needs. Talk to salespeople and search online for reviews of the grills you are considering.
  • Don’t waste fuel: According to Fatwallet.com, you can make the most of your fuel by turning the grill off when you’re done using it. This will help you avoid unnecessary burning. Also, if you use charcoal, don’t immediately discard half-burned briquettes. Reusing them for the next meal will help you get maximum usage out of your fuel.
  • Rethink your meats: Almost anything you cook on a grill is going to be good, especially with the addition of spices or barbeque sauce, so don’t buy expensive cuts of meat for grilling. Instead, opt for bone-in cuts—these are actually better for grilling because the bone helps retain flavor and prevent the meat from drying out. If you are having a party, ask your guests to bring their own meat. You’ll save money and you won’t need to account for everyone’s likes and dislikes.
  • Don’t forget the veggies: Grilling vegetables are an efficient way to make the most use of your grill, not to mention the amazing taste. Even if you do not like grilled veggies, you can still use your grill to cook them in other ways, just as you would use a stove. To steam veggies on a grill, for example, simply put them in a lidded pan with some water and stick the pan on the grill.
Barbequing is a surefire way to spice up your normal routine, and you can still do it on a budget. Make sure to be safe when you grill—always grill outside and have a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case.


* A big thanks to Frugal Dad for this post! *

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