This Onion Hack Makes Cleaning Your Grill Quick and Easy

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Nothing compares to food cooked on the grill—assuming, of course, it's not covered with charred bits left over from last summer's barbecues. Like the equipment in your indoor kitchen, your grill needs to be cleaned after each use. Neglecting this step not only affects the taste of your burgers and hot dogs, but it endangers the health of everyone at your backyard party. Fortunately, you don't need to buy artificial cleaners to get your grill barbecue-ready. For grates that are clean enough to eat off of, all you need are an onion and a grilling fork.

According to Southern Living, a halved onion is surprisingly effective at removing caked-on debris. When you're ready to clean your grill, stoke the flames high. This gives you a head start on the process by burning off some of the food matter attached to the metal. Next, pierce half an onion with the prongs of your grilling fork and scrub the cut side along the grates. As the onion heats up, it releases steam that helps break down stubborn debris clinging to the grill.

In addition to making your barbecue look clean and shiny, the onion kills invisible microbes with its natural antibacterial properties. You can't add it to your burger after using it as a Brillo pad, but you can dispose of it directly in the coals to add a sweet, smoky flavor to whatever you're grilling.

The fork-and-onion trick also eliminates the need for a wire grill brush, which can cause more harm than good. If a bristle dislodges from the brush head, it can end up in food and cause problems for whoever ingests it. Wire brushes are responsible for more than 100 reported medical incidents per year. An onion grill brush, on the other had, can only make your food taste more delicious. Here are more hacks to get your grill ready for summer.

[h/t Southern Living]