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Make your grill nonstick in 2 minutes

If you're out of nonstick spray, use this trick to keep food from sticking.

Taylor Martin/CNET

It's warming up outside and summer is here, which means it's time to have a backyard cookout with your closest friends and family. Hot dogs and burgers are a given, but what about BBQ chicken, shrimp and salmon?

If you've ever cooked those lean meats on a grill, you know they're more prone to sticking than your more fatty meats. You can use nonstick spray, but too much can leave a sticky residue behind, and what if you're out of it anyway? A quick trip to your vegetable stash is all you need to keep your fish or chicken unstuck.

Read: How to grill smarter this summer

Now Playing: Watch this: Can a potato make your grill nonstick?
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How to make your grill nonstick

If you forgot to pick up some nonstick spray at the store, don't worry. If you want to prevent food from sticking to the grates of your grill, all you need is a potato and a fork. Here's how it's done:

  • Heat the grill to your desired temperature.
  • Slice a potato in half.
  • Skewer the end of the potato with a two-prong meat fork (a dinner fork will work just as well), leaving the inside of the potato exposed.
  • Raise the lid on the grill and rub the exposed center of the potato on the grate. Make sure to cover the entire cooking surface.

This process releases the starches in the potato, creating a barrier between the grates and the food.

If you don't have a potato on hand, it will also work with half an onion or lemon. But keep in mind that this will have a more obvious effect on the taste of the food.

More on Chowhound: The ultimate grilling guide

How to grill smarter: Consider this your guide to cooking like a pro at your next BBQ.

What kind of grill should you buy? Here's how to pick a great grill this summer.