How Half A Potato Will Stop Food From Sticking To The Grill

The potato's versatility has been proven repeatedly throughout human history, and it's continually evident in the wide variety of delicious preparations that feature this edible tuber. It turns out, however, that potatoes aren't just wonderful when baked and stuffed with tasty fillings, or mashed and drizzled with rich gravy, or french fried to accompany grilled hamburgers. They're starches are also useful to prevent food from sticking to the grill — courtesy of a trendy BBQ hack. 

Yes, that's right: The potato doesn't even have to be on your plate to make grilling out a more fun and fulfilling experience. It can also, with a minimum of preparation — you know, like cutting it in half and sticking a fork into it — replace that grill brush you used to use during cookouts. Just rub the inside of the potato on the grill and voilà! No more sticking. Honestly, is there anything that potatoes can't make better?

Prepping your potato for grill duty

Burgers and hot dogs are unlikely to get stuck to the grill during summer cookouts, but fish certainly can, and in fact does with some regularity. Enter our friend the potato. Perhaps we made the hack sound a little easier than it actually is, because there are a couple of other things you need to know.

No, it doesn't matter whether you cut the potato lengthwise or crosswise. You can quarter it, too, if you like. Each way works, and with any of these methods you basically have a built-in handle when the grill fork is added. But you need to insert the fork into the side with skin. This should be obvious, of course, but to be clear: It's the pulpy interior of a potato that has the necessary starches to give your grill grates a non-stick coating.

Most importantly, perhaps, you need to let the grill heat up before you actually apply the potato to its newfound task. For best results, rub the cooking grates carefully with potato starches just before you place other food items on the grill.

Bringing another versatile food item into play

The real genius of the hack is that if the potato starts to get chewed up or dirty from the grill, you can always cut off another slice. Of course, BBQ experts agree that although potato absolutely does work as a non-stick agent, the grill grates still need to be cleaned regularly.

Enter another versatile vegetable: the onion. What? You didn't know that onions are a fantastic tool for cleaning outdoor grills? It's a fact. Not only are onions delicious when caramelized, sautéed, roasted, grilled, pickled, or prepared in any of a dozen different ways, they will also expertly clean your grill grates. Yes, the same method used for potatoes can also be applied to onions, and as with the potato hack, make sure you heat up the grill first.

Just as the potato has starches that prevent sticking, the onion has antibacterial qualities that will help you naturally remove any overly clingy food remnants from your grill. Even better, cleaning with onions actually imparts hints of flavor that will subtly improve whatever foods you grill up next. So when grilling season arrives, don't forget to stock up on your favorite veggies. Not only do they taste great, but you'll never need a grill brush again.