Houston, Texas (NAPSI) - More Americans are firing up their grills for backyard cookouts-and many say the reason for grilling’s popularity is that it’s relaxing. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, Americans say backyard barbecues are more relaxing than dining out especially if you don’t let cleanup and prep work spoil the mood.

Rather than deal with the stresses of barbecue messes, here are some tips on throwing a mess-free cookout at home:

• Use disposers instead of trash cans. Chicken, ribs and burgers are among the most popular grilled foods, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. Many people may be surprised to learn that instead of tossing extra meat scraps and bones in a trash can, it’s possible to reduce large amounts of smelly trash by putting virtually any type of food—even bones—down a food waste disposer with advanced grinding capabilities, such as InSinkErator’s Evolution Excel® with three-stage grind technology.

• Serve food in decorative plastic containers instead of on platters. Dirty dishes can pile up fast, so serve food in decorative plastic containers that double up as serving plates and refrigerator storage. While guests are eating, you can also protect food from bugs and flies with the lids.

• Reduce a messy kitchen by serving side dishes that can be prepared the day before. And while most cooks know the trick of marinating meats in baggies, do this the day before as well. In addition to having more-flavorful food, you’ll have no need for any messy food prep on the day of the barbecue.

• Cut fruits and vegetables beside the sink. Vegetable peels and fruit rinds can pile up quickly in garbage cans. As you’re preparing fruits and vegetables for side dishes, cut them up beside the sink and toss them down the drain as you go along. Your disposer will thank you for this, as hard materials (like fruit pits) help scrape the inside of the grind chamber, removing any buildup.

• Make kebabs with small pieces of leftover meats and vegetables: Leftover grilled steak, chicken and veggies may be too little for a stand-alone meal, but put them onto skewers for a fun lunch or dinner the following day. This keeps you from tossing the leftovers and avoids unnecessary clutter in the fridge from extra baggies and containers.

For more information about disposers, visit www.InSinkErator.com.