Burgers, corn on the cob, hot dogs, and more–done right, taste the best on the grill. While summer may be on its way out, we still have several weeks of great barbecuing weather ahead of us. For those who love to tailgate, or aren’t afraid of a little snow, grilling holds a year-round appeal.
However, any activity where you’re using energy to cook food outdoors can impact the environment. But with the right grill, responsible cleaning methods, and sustainable party supplies, you can practice grilling greener just by making a few changes to the way you barbecue. Try out these four tips to make your next cookout more environmentally friendly.
Ditch the Charcoal
Compared to charcoal, gas grills are a win from an environmental standpoint because propane burns cleaner and leaves behind less waste than their counterpart charcoal grills. Since propane grills heat food a lot more efficiently than charcoal, they consume less fuel every time you turn them on. Charcoal also generates more greenhouse gases than other types of grill. And there’s no waiting for the coals to burn down with a propane-powered grill; you simply turn it off and you are done.
Green Your Groceries
Consider purchasing local meats and produce to reduce the energy and pollution caused by transporting foods. Locally grown fruits and vegetables taste better than the packaged ones, which also means fewer chemicals in your food that were used to preserve the shelf life.
Clean Your Grill
Not only does proper care and cleaning mean a longer life for your grill, it also reduces the amount of grease and food particle build up. Dripping fat and bits of food can find their way below the grates, which can cause a flare-up and excess smoke as you cook. While it’s not necessary to scrub your grill to shiny perfection after each use, you should give it a deep clean every once in a while to make sure it runs safely and efficiently.
An easy, non-toxic way to clean your grilling surface is with an onion. (Yes, an onion!) Simply scrub a halved onion faced downwards on a heated grate to remove built up grime. You’re going to want to make sure your grill is on when doing so, as the heat activates the onion’s natural cleaning power.
Eliminate the Disposables
Ditching the disposables is one of the greenest things you can do. If you stop using paper plates, plastic cups, and disposable cutlery, you can significantly minimize the amount of waste contributing to your local landfill. Instead, switch to reusable party supplies to reduce waste.
There is no reason to miss out on America’s favorite pastime when you can reduce your carbon footprint just by making a few simple changes to your grilling routine. For more helpful barbecuing tips and tricks, check out our Grilling Tips and Techniques page!