5 Surprising Ways to Get Most Value Out of Your Grill

Many people associate grilling with tossing meat on an open flame. Roasting a big steak or a juicy hamburger over fire is an American tradition, after all.

But the grill is far more than just a place to cook meat. It can serve a number of purposes, especially if you have open space on the grill. After all, leaving open space on your grill is a waste of perfectly good heat.

All of these tricks have one key advantage in common: They keep you from heating up the house for extra additions to the meal. On a hot day, no one wants to warm up the kitchen, and doing so makes the heating and cooling work overtime. Save yourself that extra heat. Use your grill for more than just a meat cooker.

Here are five surprising uses for your grill that are perfect alongside your grilled entrees.

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Cook side dishes on the grill. There’s nothing better than taking some fresh vegetables, putting a pat of butter and an ice cube and perhaps a bit of seasoning in with them, putting them on a pile on a sheet of aluminum foil, wrapping it up, and tossing it on the grill right beside your grilled burgers and steaks and chicken breasts.

The closed environment inside of the foil allows the cube and the butter to melt. The water steams the vegetables while the butter gently coats them, resulting in an absolutely delicious side course. There are few things better than sliced potatoes or fresh asparagus spears cooked this way.

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Bake bread on the grill while cooking other things low and slow. Take an old bread pan, thoroughly grease the inside of it, put some bread dough in there, and toss it on the grill right beside whatever you’re cooking. A typical loaf of bread takes about 40 minutes or so on the grill, depending on the heat level — just watch it until the top is solid and golden.

Because of the relatively long cook time, you won’t want to do this next to fast-cooking items such as burgers or hot dogs, but if…

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