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The 8 grilling tips you need for Labor Day weekend

Everything you need for awesome burgers, hot dogs, grilled salad and so much more.

As the summer winds down, Labor Day weekend is the last opportunity for a hosting a backyard cookout until next year.

We've got the tips to make this barbecue your best one yet. Before you grab your meat and veggies and fire up the grill, peruse these tips to have a fun and safe cookout.

Set up your space right

Preparation is the key to success with grilling (and everything in life). Make sure your meat and vegetables are ready to go, your cooking area is set up for safety and you have the right tools.

That means chopping your veggies and prepping patties, seasoning your grill so it your food doesn't stick, and grabbing a fire extinguisher to keep close to the grill.

Take these 5 steps before you fire up the grill to make your next BBQ perfect.


Always keep a fire extinguisher close by while grilling.

Josh Miller/CNET

Do you have enough propane?

If you've been grilling all summer with your gas grill, there's a chance you're low on propane.

Before you head to the store, use these four simple ways to check if you are running low or if you have enough to last through one more BBQ.

Make Google Assistant or Alexa part of your BBQ

Alexa and Google Assistant are helpful all around the house, and outside too.

If you have a Google Home ($99 at Walmart) or Alexa-enabled speaker, use it to create your shopping list and look up wine and beer pairings while planning your cookout.

Once you start grilling, you can use Alexa to set timers for your food or ask Google Assistant to play music to get the party started. Check out the 5 ways to use Alexa at your next barbecue, and 5 ways Google Assistant can help while you grill.

Turn your grill into a smoker

Maybe you're tired of burgers and want to cook some ribs this Labor Day. You don't need to run out and buy a smoker. Just turn your grill into one instead.

With just an aluminum pan and these tips, you can smoke a pork shoulder or brisket this weekend.

Now playing: Watch this: 4 unexpected tricks for a better cookout

Break out the cast-iron pan

Grab your cast-iron skillet and bring it outside to grill a better burger. Cast iron holds up perfectly on the grill and can help you make a juicier burger.

Our own Taylor Martin has 4 reason you should grill with a cast-iron pan.

Make your grill nonstick

When you go shopping for your BBQ, make sure to pick up a few potatoes. Cut them in half and rub them on hot grill grates to keep your food from sticking while it cooks.

This trick is perfect for delicate items like fish and chicken that just love to stick.

More on Chowhound: How to grill pizza


Peaches and strawberries belong on your grill.

Josh Miller/CNET

Try something new on the grill

Everyone expects hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken on the grill. But what about grilled salad or dessert?

We have 8 unexpected ways to cook with your grill, including grilling lettuce and using herbs for extra smokey flavor.

Clean up the grill

Once the cookout is over, take the time to deep-clean your grill before you put it away for the season. Our guide walks you through all of the steps to deep-clean your grill. Do it now and you will thank yourself next summer.

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