Bobby Flay's Simple Trick To Stop Losing Food In The Grill

Picture this: It's 75 degrees and sunny, you just spent the day lounging by the pool, and you're ready to get grilling. You splurged on a whole line-up of butcher shop meats — steak tips, marinated chicken breasts, Italian sausages, you name it — and stocked up on some fresh veggies to crisp up. And just when the day seems perfect, the inevitable happens: You lose half the meal down the grates of the grill.

We've all been there before; it's a known casualty when it comes to grilling, and it's the kind of thing you learn to live with. Planning for six burgers? Make it five, because one's bound to slip through the cracks at some point or another. While some of it just comes down to practice and skill, it's just one of those cooking headaches that you learn to deal with — until now. Food Network star and seasoned barbecue host Bobby Flay may have hosted just enough cookouts in his lifetime to finally find the secret to saving your food from the dark depths of your grill's open grates, and we're shaking our heads at how obviously genius it is.

Save your knife skills for after the food is grilled

If you're feeding a larger party, it may be tempting to portion out the meat and veggies before the food hits the grill, but Flay tells Food Network that this is just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, cut your meat into larger pieces so that they can't slip through the cracks while they're heating up. You can always trim them down once they're cooked to perfection and safely make their way back to a serving platter. If it seems obvious, that's because it is, but sometimes the simplest tricks are the ones that go the furthest.

Of course, Flay's grilling guidance doesn't apply to everything that you may want to cook over an open flame. Take, for example, asparagus, aka the most delicious — and most annoying — vegetable to grill. Let's be real: Whoever designed a grill must have really hated asparagus, because it all too often plummets to a fiery end each time it hits the grates. That's why Thrillist suggests taking a cooling rack to add a bit more stability over the open grill, preventing the asparagus (and other small veggies) from falling in.

Flay didn't share his top asparagus grilling tips with Food Network, but he did share his favorite workaround for the unavoidable tiny pieces of food that can't be cooked whole. The chef recommends soaking wooden skewers to prevent any extra charring, and according to Lifehacker, this simple piece of preparation helps the sticks remain pliable and easy to work with. Then, grill smaller pieces (like diced chicken or cherry tomatoes) directly on the skewers — you'll be much less likely to lose a serving!