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‘The Internet’s Grandma’ Babs Costello Shares the 8 Genius BBQ Hacks She Swears By! (EXCLUSIVE)

Plus, the cooler hack that is sure to surprise you!

When it comes to planning outdoor get-togethers, there’s no one as clever as Barbara “Babs” Costello, host of the social media sensation Brunch with Babs. So for our latest issue Woman’s World went straight to the source — our cover girl! — to find out Babs’ BBQ tips so you can make your next backyard bash the best yet.

Babs Costello holding sandwiches
Woman’s World

Babs’ best BBQ tips revealed:

1. Banish biting bugs with your cheese grater

Metal grater with four different sides on blue background

The one “guest” you definitley don’t want crashing your bash? Mosquitoes! To create a bug-free barrier to your yard, “grab a cheese grater and use it to grate Irish Spring soap around the perimeter,” says Babs. “The bugs hate the soap’s smell, so you will stay bug-free all night!”

Related: 5 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes From Your Yard, According to Garden Pros

2. Babs’ BBQ tips: Provide must-haves with a special basket

Sunscreen and bug spray in a green bucket with a handwritten chalk sign on the front and party decorations nearby (babs bbq tips)

One of the more stressful elements of hosting a barbecue can be making sure guests have everything they need. “That’s why I like to set out a basket of essentials, so they can self-serve if they need sunscreen, bug spray, bottle openers or a phone charger,” says Babs. “Just set out anything guests typically ask for over the course of a party — they will thank you later!”

3. Keep cooked foods warm with a cooler

Keep cooked foods warm with a cooler wrapped in tin foil

From burgers to hot dogs to corn on the cob, if you’re worried about keeping your food warm, look no further than your cooler. Despite its name, its insulation works just as well to keep hot foods piping hot, promises Babs. “Just wrap a few regular old bricks in aluminum foil, then heat them as you prepare your hot food, either on the grill or in the oven,” she advises. Then add the bricks to the bottom of your cooler, lined with newspaper, brown paper bags or foil, she says, “and all your food will stay warm for hours, guaranteed!” 

Related: 16 Startlingly Brilliant Uses for Aluminum Foil

4. Babs’ BBQ tips: Ensure drinks stay cold with a loaf pan

Babs BBQ tips:Cake Baking Mold Kitchen Mold for baking cake pastry and pie Isolated on White Background
Vincent Huijgens/Getty

Try this clever strategy to keep the ice from melting before the party ends, urges Babs: “Freeze water in silicone loaf pans to create large blocks you can line along the bottom of a cooler or bucket.” They take much longer to melt and will keep your food and drinks cold all day long, she assures. “Plus they create a nice flat surface that’s easier to stack on top of.” 

5. Protect food from the elements with a shower cap

Protect food from the elements with a shower cap

Keep flies, bees and debris from landing in your food dishes with a little help from your bathroom. “Use shower caps to easily cover all those serving dishes in a flash,” says Babs. “The caps keep the food fresh until you’re ready to serve, and it’s easy to just toss or wash them when you’re ready to put leftovers away.” 

6. Babs’ BBQ tips: Make your grill nonstick with a potato

Babs BBQ tips: Make your grill nonstick with a potato on a pink background

If you find yourself running low on nonstick spray for your grill, try this surefire method from Babs: “Simply cut a potato in half and rub the flesh on the hot grill grates,” she suggests. “The starch in the potato creates a slippery surface so your precious dinner won’t stick!”

7. Prep food seamlessly with a brilliant buffet trick

Salad bar with fresh vegetables in hotel buffet
Alexander Spatari/Getty

To make serving easier on yourself, just arrange dishes in order of service, advises Babs. “Simply group salads together at the start, then your main, then sides,” she says. “Place plates at the start of the buffet line and utensils at the end — this way guests won’t have to fiddle with silverware while they’re filling their plates.”

8. Babs’ BBQ tips: Serve ice cream in seconds using cupcake liners

Babs BBQ tips: Serve ice cream in seconds using cupcake liners

An ice-cream cone is a classic barbecue treat — but there’s nothing worse than tons of kids waiting for their scoop! “I solved this by pre-scooping the ice cream, placing one scoop each in cupcake liners on a tray and storing the tray in the freezer,” says Babs. “When it’s time for ice cream, pull out the tray and pop the scoops on cones, no waiting (or melting) necessary!”  

For more BBQ hacks, click through the links below!

How to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid — BBQ Pros’ Genius Tricks Make It Easy

How to Grill Hot Dogs — Chef’s Secret Makes ‘Em Crispy + Juicy for Your Memorial Day BBQ

How To Grill BBQ Ribs To Delicious and Tender Perfection

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