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4 Tips to Win Grilling Season — and One That Makes Dinner More Enjoyable for Everyone

published Jun 29, 2022
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Credit: Melissa Ryan

Grilling season is a glorious time of food, friends, and fresh air. And while the urge to quickly dust off your grill and throw on some burgers is great, a little pre-planning can make your time outside even more rewarding. So we made a short pre-grilling checklist with tips and tricks that you can use to upgrade your skills and be your own grill pro.

One thing missing from most grilling checklists? What to do if you experience heartburn after indulging in your favorite summer foods. Summer cookouts tend to include heartburn-triggering foods like fatty meats, fried foods, spicy marinades, high-fat dressings, spices, alcohol, chocolate desserts, and even ketchup and mustard. To ensure everyone can comfortably savor those perfectly charred bites, keep PEPCID Complete® on hand to relieve heartburn symptoms. It starts to work in seconds and lasts for hours so you don’t have to worry about heartburn getting in the way of your next grill day.

Enjoying food and friends is the best of both worlds, and these five tips will help you get there.

Credit: Leela Cyd

1. Start with a deep cleaning.

Before kicking off grilling season, it’s important to clean your grills well. After months of neglect, things like dust, leaves, and pollen can find their way inside your grill. Give your grill a thorough once over and inspect everything from the grill grates to the propane connection. Wipe the inside and outside of the grill and use either a baking soda and dish soap combo or oven cleaner to give the grill grates a deep clean.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

2. Prep before heading outside.

Gas grills preheat more quickly than you might think, so make things easy on yourself by taking time to chop all your veggies and ready all your proteins. Unless you’re working with a charcoal grill, which can take 30 to 40 minutes to heat up, have everything you want to grill ready to go before heading outside and firing up the grill. Store food on rimmed baking sheets and have serving trays handy so food doesn’t linger on the grill for too long.

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3. Keep fast heartburn relief on hand.

Unfortunately, some of the best grilled foods are also triggers for those who suffer from heartburn. “This uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest, neck, or throat can often keep food enthusiasts from enjoying their favorite dishes and sharing a meal with family and friends,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Samantha Nazareth.

“In the end, it is difficult to control food options at a cookout, but with PEPCID Complete® you can enjoy summer grilling because it starts to work in seconds and controls acid all day or night*.” You can take it whenever you have unexpected heartburn, so you can make the most of every al fresco meal without heartburn symptoms getting in the way.

*Based on 9-hour acid control studies during the day and 12-hour acid control studies during the night. Acid control does not imply symptom relief.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

4. Lean into store-bought conveniences.

While grilling is a lot of fun, doing it fully from scratch takes a bit of time and effort. That’s why we’re all about store-bought conveniences that make the experience much more seamless. If you’re focusing on nailing the perfect grilled steaks, keep the sides easy by picking up pasta salad from the deli case and tossing together a quick and simple green salad. And while preparing a homemade dessert is sure to wow, scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream topped with summer berries absolutely will, too.

Credit: J.R. PHOTOGRAPHY/Stocksy

5. Go beyond burgers and hot dogs.

Nothing against this classic cookout fare, but hamburgers and hot dogs are just the tip of the iceberg. To really win at grilling season, go beyond the staples. Try cooking baby back ribs for a crowd or making shrimp tacos for Taco Tuesday. Or surprise yourself (and your friends) with pizzeria-worthy grilled pizzas.

Because people can experience different heartburn triggers, having something on hand to treat heartburn means less stress for you and your guests when you’re mixing up your menu. “PEPCID Complete® can be taken whenever you have unexpected heartburn,” Dr. Nazareth says. “You don’t have to choose between hurting now or hurting later because the formula keeps heartburn under control.”