This simple mayonnaise-based grilling hack will change your summer cookouts

As summertime greets us with warmer weather, we thought it would be helpful to share a beloved grilling hack that every home cook should know.

When it comes to mayonnaise, there are two types of people out there: those who are fans of mayo and those who think they don’t like it. And we’re here to explain how this this simple sandwich condiment can be your secret grilling tool, no matter what you plan on throwing over the fire.

Mayonnaise preference will vary be region, but any common store-bought brand – such as Hellmann’s, Miracle Whip or Duke’s – will work just fine. There are many benefits of using mayo when grilling: It adds flavor to ingredients, creates a “non-stick” barrier for delicate foods, and helps spices and rubs adhere to prime cuts of meat.

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Since fat is flavor and mayonnaise is mostly made up of oil and egg yolks (both of which are fats), mayo translates to more flavor. So next time you toss a steak on the barbie, use a brush to baste the meat with a little bit of your favorite mayonnaise, just like you would with melted butter or an infused oil. Not only will this add richness, but it will also help to keep the meat juicy while it cooks.

Another upside to using mayo: It’s better than your non-stick pans. Think of it as non-stick insurance when grilling delicate proteins such as fish or flimsy vegetables like zucchini and eggplant. We’ve all experienced these foods sticking to grill grates and ultimately ruining our backyard barbecue, having to serve mangled remnants of our intended menu. Avoid this by simply adding a very thin layer of mayonnaise to anything you think will cling to the grill, before cooking, to assure that your dinner will release with ease.

grilled chicken istock

Not only does it add flavor and help spices adhere, but mayo helps keep meat from sticking to the grates.  (iStock)

Since it’s an emulsion, mayo also works wonderfully as an adhesive, acting as a glue to adhere flavoring agents onto charred foods. Planning on grilling some chicken thighs? Try brushing the meat down with mayonnaise before applying your favorite rub. The mayo helps the seasoning to stick to the meat, much more that than oil would. This also lowers the number of flare-ups on the grill because mayo is less viscous than oil.

So next time you’re planning on cooking a meal over the barbie, reach for the mayonnaise container in your refrigerator and add some flavor to any great grill recipe (here's 30 genious ones) you can think up. 

This article originally appeared on The Daily Meal.