Accessories For Grilling.
The accessories you need for your grill – TOYS!
Okay, I’ll come clean. Here’s a list of stuff you really do need, but I’ll sprinkle in some really cool stuff that will make you the god-of-the-grill. (sort of) on this and maybe another page later.
Okay…I’ll get right to it:
- THINGS YOU REALLY NEED: – (ESSENTIAL)
- A really good grilling mitt or glove: Should be long enough to reach about halfway towards your elbow, more if you have a deep grill. One of my buds has mitts that actually touch his elbow. BOY! Am I in awe! I do however like my Grilling Gloves better. I can grip things much easier with the glove. Since it’s not what one normally expects at the grill, it becomes a conversation piece. And…I simply think it just emits more “cool” than the mitt.
- A great set of spring loaded tongs: Tongs are sort of the universial grilling tool. They are better than a fork because to use a fork, you usually penetrate the items being handled and this allows great tasting juice to leak out. It also allows heat to enter the hole(s) of the items being handled and this can sometimes cause the food item to cook more rapidly at the fork wounds.
- Fork: Well, after dissing the ‘Fork’, I have to say it is still on the essential grilling accessory list. There are just times where you simply need to ‘fork’ stuff. and the ‘fork’ is the best or only tool for the job. But a good fork, needs to be a long fork. (lost arm hair really stinks!) It is suggested that a good grilling fork be at least 16 inches long with a wood handle and just two tines. (pointy things)
- Spatula: Get a good spatula that is designed for grilling. These spatulas are usually long (about 16-18 inches and usually wider than your normal kitchen spatula.)
NOTE: Do NOT Use:
- A plastic, Teflon or any nonstick type of spatula.
- A full metal spatula that can allow heat to travel up the handle to your hand. (Don’t leave the spatula or any other tool on the grill so long that it gets too hot.)
- A spatula that is too thin.
I have a few spatulas but the one I find I use the most is one that also has a little pincher on it. It sort of does the job of both the spatula and tongs. I guess I use it so much because it gives me a solid feel when gripping stuff. With the sizer handle you would need to be careful not to over pinch some softer foods.
- THINGS YOU WANT:
- Basting Brushes: Basting brushes allow you to spread marinade, butter and assorted ‘secret sauces’ onto your grilling delight. You will want two different sizes (lengths) One is used inside when preparing and the other is used on your grill while cooking to brush sauce or marinade on the food as it’s cooking.
- Skewers:Skewers come in many types and sizes. There are metal ones, bamboo ones, round ones, flat ones, short ones and long ones. Only you can be the judge as to which ones you like the best. ANd you get this knowledge only by having success and failure using them.
Here is a little info that can help you:
- Long skewers are best when cooking several items and the entire length is a single serving.
- Short skewers are best for cooking items where you need the skewer to help hold the food together or for cooking a few items together.
- Flat or triangle skewers help hold food on the skewer where gravity tends to make it slide around.
- Round skewers are best for “pinning” foods together.
- Metal skewers do not burn, but do get hot and try to cook the food from the inside as well.
- Bamboo skewers stay cooler than metal, however, they will burn in the grill. Most bamboo skewers are round and do what round skewers do, however there are some flat ones that are really cool. I like the ones with the twisted ends. Hmmm…maybe that’s saying something about me… Nah!
Metal skewers tend to get hot and actually try to cook the food from the inside out as well. Though this could be a desirable outcome, keep this in mind as you figure your grilling times and temperatures. For softer foods, such as fish, I tend to stick with bamboo skewers because they allow the food to cook as expected from the outside in.
Be sure to soak the bamboo skewers for a half hour or so, so they don’t burn or catch fire. Oops… that didn’t happen to me… Well, ah, I have to confess…
For fun, try soaking them in your marinade for additional flavoring from the inside out. I have also cured them in the smoker to allow them to impart an additional smoke flavor to foods.
Skewer Racks hold food such as chicken up off the grids and prevent the meat from sticking to the grids! (I’ve never used anything but metal skewers for this, but I guess you could.)
- Thermometers: A good food thermometer will tells you the internal temperature of your foods as you cook them. You can get the traditional metal thermometer with a long probe, or put yourself into the twenty first century with one of the new wireless thermometers. If you decide on going wireless, be sure to get one that will signal you inside when your food reaches the proper temperature.
I pretty much only use a thermometer when I’m baking. When baking, I cook the food much slower than traditional grilling. I have switched over to the wireless probe because each time you open the cover to read the temperature, you cool the interior of the grill or smoker. With the wireless unit, you are notified when the internal meat temperature hits the set level you programmed in. Truly worth the extra cost of the unit. I saw the one I got at Wally-World, but was able to save some bucks with Amazon.
- Grill Topper: A grill topper is a perforated grid, usually an iron or porcelain plate with small holes that allow you to cook more delicate foods like fish, shrimp, scallops, mushrooms and such. It is worth it’s weight in gold when grilling any soft foods on your grill. Be sure to add this to your arsenal. Not a lot of money and can really prevent headaches and burnt food. They are also available as sheets, but I tend to like the handles on mine.
- Smoker Box: The smoker box is a great grilling accessory especially for gas or electric grills. Using a smoker box allows you to impart that great smokey flavor into your food without having an actual smoker grill. Check out our smoker box review.
Some new gas grills have covers shaped like a “V” over the burners to keep the burners from getting fouled by dripping juices and to help disperse the heat. There are smoker boxes that also have a “V” to allow them to sit correctly in these type grills. Be sure and select this one if your grill has those “V” covers.
There are many accessories for your grill that can make your grilling pleasureful. One I particularly like is a magnetic LED grill light
so I can cook without having to use the porch light and the ensuing bug swarm that attracts.
When you get all set up with your great grilling accessories, you are then really ready to start cooking on your grill.