Instantly Make Your Grill Non-Stick With The Help Of A Raw Potato

Ah, summer — the season of sun-kissed days, barbecues filling the air with mouth-watering aromas, and the refreshing clink of ice in your favorite drink. It's the perfect time to gather with friends and family, fire up the grill, and indulge in all the deliciousness this time of year brings. Picture this: you've got vibrant veggies ready to sizzle and juicy peaches prepped to caramelize, but when it comes to grilling that delicate fresh cod, it sticks every time. Frustrating, right? But worry no more. This easy hack will transform your grilling experience and keep your food from sticking. The secret? A raw potato and a hot grill.


Preheat your grill to your desired temperature, cut the potato in half or quarters, skewer it for better grip, and rub the cut side (not the skin) on the grill grates. Voila! Your grill is now non-stick, and you're ready to enjoy perfectly grilled meals without the hassle.

How potatoes prevent sticking

Ever wondered why food, especially fish and meats, always seems to stick to the grill? The answer lies in the chemistry of cooking, especially with protein-rich foods.

When you place these foods on a hot grill, the heat causes chemical bonds to form between the proteins in the food and the metal of the grill. In simple terms, proteins have a natural tendency to form complexes with the metal atoms in the grill, such as iron or steel, which leads to that frustrating sticking. But that's not all! Factors like insufficient heat or saucy marinades can make the sticking even worse.


Here's where the potato hack comes into play. When you rub a potato on the grill, the starch in the potato gelatinizes, absorbing excess water. This starch spreads over the grates, creating a protective barrier that prevents sticking. This process is quite similar to how cooking oils work: once heated, they create a slick barrier that stops the food from clinging.

How to make sure this hack works every time

Maintaining a clean grill is key to making sure this potato hack works. Here are a few tricks to make this easy. After you finish with your meal, but before turning off the grill's heat, use a brush to get rid of any excess food left on the grates, McCormick senior culinary director Chef Kevan Vetter told Well + Good. "Before cooking on the grill the next time, scrape the grill grates again while the grill is cold, use a paper towel with a little vegetable oil on it and wipe the grates down to lightly oil them."


Now, with your clean grill, the next time you want to prevent sticking, pull out a raw potato and follow the same steps above. Remember, even if your potato worked well in making your grill non-stick, its job isn't over. Repurpose the potato by cutting off the part that touched the grill and discarding it. You can then use the rest of the potato as you normally would: pop it in some boiling water to make creamy mashed potatoes or bake it in the oven with some delicious garlic butter.