Grill accessories – especially grilling utensils - are almost as important as the grill itself. Sounds like quite a bold statement, doesn’t it? But it’s true! You can have the best grill with the fanciest features, but if you are unable to flip, turn and handle your food, then your meal will not likely be a success.
Now, you’re probably thinking that you have drawers full of kitchen utensils, right? Well, that may be the case, but chances are they won’t handle the job as well as a tool designed for the grill.
Ask any expert griller, and he or she will tell you that poor utensils are both frustrating and dangerous! Being unable to properly handle the grilling food can be quite frustrating, but not quite as frustrating as getting the food off the grill and dropping it onto the floor!
And regular kitchen utensils do not have long handles, which thereby poses the risk of burned hands and scorched arms. The bottom line is that well-designed barbecue tools are a smart investment if you enjoy cooking outdoors.
What to Buy?
Although many chefs have quite an impressive arsenal of tools in their barbecuing tool box, there are a few basic tools that every chef should have:
Tongs – A pair of good, sturdy tongs will facilitate the task of placing food onto the grill, removing food from the grill and turning food while on the grill. Make sure your tongs feature a long handle, and that the ends come together well and do not scissor.
Spatula - While a pair of tongs is ideal for turning larger cuts of meat or bone-in meats, a spatula works well for thinner, more delicate food, such as fish and vegetables. A spatula will allow you to easily lift and flip the food without tearing it apart. It is also idea for scraping off stuck-on foods. Use anything else and the meat will just tear, leaving a layer behind on the grill grates.
Fork – A barbecuing fork is a great tool for moving or flipping food, although you may want to avoid using it on foods which easily dry out, as the tongs in the fork will poke holes into the meat. A fork, however, is a practical tool for testing the doneness of your meat. Simply piercing the center of the meat with a fork allows you to visualize whether the liquid seeping out is pink or clear, indicating doneness.
Basting brush – The art of basting can easily turn your ho-hum barbecue into a delicious, savory meal. Basting brushes are usually sold with either fine bristles, for basting thinner liquids such as oils, or thicker bristles (usually constructed of plastic or rubber) for heavier, thicker sauces such as barbecue sauces.
Other Useful Grill Accessories
Now that the grilling is done to perfection, you’ll have to clean up. And that’s where a good grill cleaning brush comes in handy. Grill cleaning brushes feature metal bristles which dislodges all of the residue food which may be attached to all sides of the metal grill grates. Don’t use a metal grill brush on porcelain-coated grates, however, as this can damage them. Opt instead for a stiff, natural brush.
Grill covers are essential, as metal grills quickly corrode when exposed to the elements. Corroding metal accelerates rusting and shortens the grill’s life. Grill covers are generally inexpensive, yet can extend the life of your grill by many years.