Barbecue Tools

by Betty Foreman

Tools To Make Grilling And Grill Clean-up A Snap

While it’s everyone’s goal to have a great grill, many people underestimate the importance of good grilling tools. Having the right tools to cook your food, and to clean up your grill can make the whole grilling experience safer, tastier, and much more fun. Here are some tools that you might want to consider to make your grilling complete.

Tongs

BBQ Tong

BBQ Tong

Whether you are a novice griller or one with years of experience you will soon discover that tongs are probably the handiest tool that anyone operating a grill can have. It is recommended that you have two tongs, and three if you are using a charcoal grill.

One sturdy pair of tongs should be long and can be used for moving that hot charcoal around to help get the heat more evenly distributed. This pair of tongs should be stored with the grill and used only for charcoal.

Then you will want a second pair of tongs to place your meat on the grill. Using tongs to do this will help prevent burnt fingers and also keeps your hands cleaner when placing marinated meats on the grill.

The third pair of tongs is for taking your cooked meat off the grill. Never use the tongs that have touched raw meat to remove cooked meat from your grill as the bacteria on the raw meat tongs will then end up on your meat and could make someone sick.

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Grilling Spatula

Along with a couple of pair of tongs a grilling spatula is a must have grill tool. You will be using your spatula to remove grilled vegetables, and slice potatoes from the grill, as well as for lifting fish and other food. Choose a spatula that is at least 4 inches wide and long enough to lift what ever you are cooking. The best grilling spatula’s are those with long shafts and are bent just above the head.

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Perforated Grill Pan

Perforated Grill Pan

Perforated Grill Pan

While not quite as necessary as the tongs and spatula a perforated grill pan can save a lot of headaches when grilling. These pans are ideal for cooking things such as chopped vegetables and shrimp because it prevents them from falling through the grates while still allowing them to have that smoky grilled taste. It also works well for fish as some fish have a tendency to break apart as they are removed from the grill. ( If you heat the grill pan before placing your food in it, this will give your food that grilled look and taste.)

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Sheet Pan

Sheet Pan

Sheet Pan

A sturdy sheet pan serves a variety of purposes for the griller. You can use it to oil and season your food before placing it on the grill, use it to pre-form the burgers so all you need to do is set them on the grill, or use it as a tray when taking food off the grill. It’s also great for after the meal is over to set all those cooking utensils on to carry them in to be washed saving you countless trips back and forth.

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Instant Read Thermometer

Instant Read Thermometer

Instant Read Thermometer

While it is extremely inexpensive an instant read thermometer is a must have for cooking meats especially those roasts and whole chicken as it tells you the internal temperature of the food which will prevent you from either under cooking or overcooking that food (You insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.)

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Basting Brush

Basting Brush

Basting Brush

If you plan on cooking anything that calls for sauces or marinates then you are going to need a basting brush. Skip those cheap basting brushes with the wooden handles and synthetic bristles as they won’t last very long if you plan on doing a lot of grilling. Choose instead the basting brushes with silicone bristles with small beads on the end. These brushes are great for grilling and as an added bonus they are machine washable.

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Skewers

BBQ Skewers

BBQ Skewers

Anyone who makes kabobs can explain to you the importance of having skewers for grilling. However, they also come in handy for making meat on a stick (which kids love) and for grilling vegetables and some fruits. You can use either bamboo skewers or metal ones.Bamboo skewers are cheap. But need to be soaked in water for about ½ hour before using. (you can soak some ahead and store them in the freezer) while metal ones are ready to go. Flat metal skewers and those that are double-pronged will keep the food from spinning when the skewer is being turned on the grill. If you have children you may want to keep both a few wooden skewers on hand along with those metal ones for making those fun foods that kids love.

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Chimney Starter

Chimney Starter

Chimney Starter

If you have a charcoal grill then chimney starter is definitely a must have. This will help you to get those coals burning much faster than charcoal fluid without all the chemicals. You are going to want one that has a 5 quart capacity. You also want a chimney starter with two handles, one that is heat proof and on the side for lifting the chimney and another one on top that is hinged for added support when dumping the hot coals onto the charcoal grate.

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Barbecue Mitts

BBQ Mitt

BBQ Mitt

Having Barbecue mitts can keep your arms and hands from suffering burns when dealing with hot charcoal or reaching the back of the grill. Make sure that you choose Grilling mitts that are durable because they will need to be washed quite often. New Silicone Barbecue mitts are a big hit as you simply just wipe them off when they get dirty. However, the insulated cloth mitts are better for picking up small objects because they give you a little bit more control.

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Grill Brush

Grill Brush

Grill Brush

For keeping those grill grates clean, the best thing is a long handled grill brush with metal bristles. A grill brush should be used both before and after grilling to help keep the grates free of stuck food and help prevent the fresh food you put on the grill from sticking. If the grill is cool, try using the grill brush then removing any excess dust from the grates using a soft cloth or a paper towel.

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Other Tools Worthy Of Consideration

The above list of tools are those that most grill users consider to be essential. These next few tools while not absolutely essential will make great additions to your grill tools and help to increase the way you grill foods and they way come out both aesthetically and flavor wise.

Timer

Digital Timer

Digital Timer

A timer while not essential is handy to have as it allows you to visit with family members and guests instead of standing over the grill. An inexpensive timer can be set to tell you when to turn your meat or when your food should be cooked or checked. A digital timer that has various settings can be set to remind you of different cooking times so you know exactly when to put each individual dish on the grill so it all gets done at the same time.

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Wireless Thermometer

Wireless Thermometer

Wireless Thermometer

Again a wireless thermometer is not essential, but can prove an asset when entertaining guests as it allows you to step away from the grill and beeps when the food reaches the right internal temperature, so you don’t have to continuously check it.

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Small Shovel

BBQ Shovel

BBQ Charcoal Shovel

Those who love charcoal grills will find having a small shovel to push those charcoal grills around quite handy. These are the same shovels that you find in hardware store or garden shop. You can also use a fireplace shovel for the same purpose.

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Rotisserie

Grill Rotisserie

Grill Rotisserie

A rotisserie is extremely handy for cooking whole chicken, small turkeys and both beef and pork roasts as you can hold the moisture in the meat you are cooking preventing these large cuts from drying out as they cook.

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Disposal Aluminum Pans

 

Disposable Aluminum Pan

Aluminum Pan

Keeping a few disposable aluminum pans on hand is always a good idea. You can use them to keep food warm on the grate or to transfer food too and from the grill, they also come in handy. You can also set them under the grate to catch drippings.

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Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet

A cast iron skillet is great for sautéing onions and other foods, or if you want to pan roast meat or vegetables. It works great for making a small pot roast on the grill. The real benefit of a cast iron skillet is once it is seasoned it will last forever.

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Resealable Plastic Bags

Reusable plastic bags are great for marinating foods because you can make sure all the food is covered with the marinate. These bags are also useful for breading meat or vegetables as well.

Rib Rack

Rib Rack

Rib Rack

A Rib rack is used to hold a rack of ribs upright so they take up less space on the grill and the grease can drip away from the meat better. It also makes it easy to apply that BBQ sauce and the meat cooks more evenly as well.

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Fish Basket

Grill Fish Basket

Grill Fish Basket

A fish basket simply helps hold fish together better and keeps it from sticking to the grill grates where it will tear apart. The perforated grill pan performs much the same function.

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Keep in mind that you don’t have to purchase all of these grilling tools at once. Take the time to look for sales on these tools and you can get every tool that you need or want for less than you might think.

 

 

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