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9 tips and tricks to make your summer cookout easier

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Summer cookouts are a blast. Planning and executing a summer cookout often is not.

There are, however, some great little tips and tricks you can take advantage of to make your life a little bit easier. Rather than slaving away over a garbage can de-husking corn, or stressing out over condiment bottles and topping holders, try these. And see if your summer barbecue goes a bit smoother.

Shuck corn in seconds

Shucking cobs of corn can be time-consuming. So check out this very brief how-to video from Facebook, on how to make that part of your barbecue much easier than you thought it could be.

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Then you can cook it using this crazy cooler method, which requires nothing except pouring boiling water into a cooler full of corn, and closing the lid. And (supposedly) you get perfectly cooked corn.

Cut that meat!

Hot dogs are widely loved and often grilled. This trick may take a few more seconds, but it's worth it, as you'll get a dog that gets cooked crisply in more spots, and fits the bun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyieI2bxyIk

And for toppings for all those hot dogs, brats, burgers and more? Go with the muffin tray sorting method (seen at right), Instructables says.

But then of course you want those dogs (and any other meat you cook) to be at their absolute tastiest for your guests. To do that, put it under a foil tent for anywhere from five to 10 minutes, FirstWeFeast.com says.

That allows it to stay juicier than if you cut and serve the meat immediately. SeriousEast also subscribes to this method.

Fruits and veggies

Plenty of people like to sneak some greens in, whether it's lettuce on a burger or taco, or part of a small salad. So rather than peeling and chopping around the core of your head of lettuce, try this 3-second de-coring trick from SAVEUR (and let out some aggression while you're at it).

http://youtu.be/2ybO41ZJTnM?t=9s

Something savory and sweet is always a good idea for a hot summer day, and strawberries are a common choice. If you need a lot, and want to avoid lots of waste, try this trick with a straw to remove the stems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNrfrcvnGA4

Treats and desserts (aka the good stuff)

If you're serving ice cream cones, Lifehacker.com suggests putting one mini marshmallow at the bottom of the cone beforehand so the treat doesn't melt in the heat, becoming a sticky mess you need to clean up later.

Another anti-sticky fingers trick, this one from the Penny Pinchin' Mom: Stick a popsicle through a cupcake liner. It'll catch all the sugary drips, keeping your kids' (or your) hands clean.

More 'life hacks'

The King of Random put together a short video with multiple "life hacks" like these strung together, all of them geared toward summer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL78eVVW9_M

There are also lists from Buzzfeed (one is 40 items long, the other is 35 items), Distractify, Learnvest – and plenty of other sites.

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