The Surprising Way Empty Egg Cartons Can Help When You're Grilling

Grilling season is the reason our summer taste buds shake off their hibernation and get ready for all the delicious dishes we throw on the warm grates to eat at backyard gatherings and celebrations. There's just something about those toasty days that makes them pair beautifully with recipes that are perfect for the grill. According to the NPD Group, looking at data from April 2020 to February 2021 shows that 14 million grills and smokers were sold in less than a year, and almost two-thirds were gas or charcoal grills. So clearly, the grilling bug has bitten a lot of people.

And luckily for grill lovers, the internet has a lot of tips, tricks, and hacks to make this cooking method and clean-up a little easier. For example, if it wasn't for the internet, we might not know that we've been cleaning our grills all wrong and should be using a ball of foil to do the job rather than a brush. We also might not have heard about Bobby Flay's simple trick to stop losing food on the grill. Well, now we are being schooled on a way to use up those cardboard egg cartons when we cook with our grill. And despite all the heat involved, it's a pretty cool tip.

Set fire to the carton

It turns out that empty egg cartons make for a great fire starter for your grill. It's also a super simple trick. Just take an empty cardboard egg carton and fill it with coals, one per egg carton slot, and then light the entire carton on fire in your grill. The blog Sew Many Ways suggests using "match light" charcoal for this hack. It also emphasizes using cardboard egg cartons rather than styrofoam. The blog didn't explain why you should steer clear of styrofoam, but according to the Missouri Poison Center, setting that substance on fire is a recipe for toxic fumes.

Per Real Simple, part of the beauty of using a cardboard egg carton is that it eliminates the need for lighter fluid and, in turn, prevents the fluid from imparting its taste to your food. As an added tip, the site suggests adding a few more coals once you start to see the embers from the egg carton. Soon you'll be able to start grilling those steaks, veggies, chicken, or whatever your heart desires. Sew Many Ways notes that these cartons full of charcoal are perfect for campouts because they can hold the charcoal as you travel. So, save those empty egg cartons. They may just come in handy during the summer.