3 tips to green your grill this Fourth of July

Happy almost-fourth!

Chances are, if you aren’t hosting a barbecue, someone you know is. It may just be nostalgia for all the years of great summer gatherings, but for some reason, food grilled out in the backyard with friends just tastes better, doesn’t it?

Well, we’ve got more good news as you prepare to break out the grill — grilling can be more environmentally-friendly than indoor cooking. But not always. So we’ve got a few tips for how your grill can be greenest this weekend.

  1. Cook with gas: The truth is, unless your grill is solar powered, it’s hard to grill without leaving behind any footprint at all. But believe it or not, using natural gas to power your grill may be the most energy efficient option. Charcoal grills have a nice old-time feel, but they produce soot and ash when they burn. That said, if you don’t have a natural gas grill and plan to use charcoal, finding an all-natural charcoal, without additives, will help make your barbecue greener.
  2. Close the hood: Close the hood of your grill when you cook, so that heat doesn’t escape. Besides, keeping the hood closed also helps ensure that your food gets cooked more evenly.
  3. Use a chimney starter: A chimney starter — for grilling? Yep! Here’s another tip for folks using a charcoal grill. Eliminate the need to use lighter fluid, another harmful additive, with this simple, low-tech device. You can learn how they work here.

Do you have more tips for energy efficient cooking? Tell us about them in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

P.S. Go one step further this weekend, and try cooking a low-energy meal! Ian Cumming, a contestant on the Great British Bake Off has a few recipes here.