A few good tools and accessories can make all the difference in grilling success. These Best Grilling Tools and Accessories are on my hit list to ensure great results every time. They are simple and some can be made simply at home.
I often am emailed for suggestions on tools I use in the kitchen and on the grill. With Memorial Day weekend and Father’s Day coming up I wanted to share some of the best grilling tools and accessories I’ve found and use regularly.
Double and Flat Skewers
I have a big grilling pet peeve: spinning shish kabobs. Have you had that experience? Creating a delicious skewer only to have it twirl around as your try to grill each side. The meat sticks to the grill, it’s impossible to evenly grill each side. One way to solve this problem is using two bamboo skewers as with these Grilled Thai Shrimp-Pineapple Skewers (and as you’ll read I don’t soak my skewers!). The other options are double skewers or these flat skewers. Once all ingredients are threaded onto the skewer they stay in place. The skewers can be easily rotated and grilled evenly.
I stopped soaking my bamboo skewers after learning of an experiment that showed soaked skewers and unsoaked skewers will burn after the same amount of time. Instead I use a grill shield which protects the ends of the bamboo skewers from burning. This Stainless Grill Shield for Skewers is great as it has notches for the skewers to rest in. Also, you can fashion a homemade version from heavy duty foil.
Charcoal Chimney Starter
Have you ever tried to start charcoal with wads of newspaper only to have the paper turn to ashes and the charcoal sits on top black and refusing to burn? Or on a breezy day not being able to keep a flame lit? Want a way to avoid smelly starter fluid? Charcoal Chimney Starters are magic for this. The charcoal is added to the top of the chimney and newspaper wadded underneath (there is a perforated division separating the inside of the chimney). Once the flames are visible out of the top the coals are ready and poured into the grill (I use a classic Weber kettle) to start grilling. Starter cubes are also handy as are grill lighters.
This long-handled ash hoe was one of my first purchases after Barbecue University. It’s a perfect tool to arrange charcoal or wood chips without risking burning thanks to the long handle.
Long Grilling Gloves
When working with a grill or smoker, having a pair of heavy duty long grilling gloves is a must. I’ve found especially if I’m making more complicated recipes like Hay Smoked Salmon Burgers where I’m putting things on and off the grill, these gloves ensure no risk of burning to hands or forearms.
A key to creating delicious grilled goods is starting with a clean, oiled grill. After heating the grill, it needs to be thoroughly brushed with a quality wire grill to remove any old food particles and to create a clean surface. Once brushed clean the grill should be oiled which I do by dousing a folded paper towel with olive oil that I again use the brush to wipe the towel on the grill grates.
Instant Read Thermometer
Checking the internal temperature of meat is the only way to be sure it has cooked to the preferred doneness and meets recommended safety standards. Internal meat temperatures will continue to rise when taken off the grill, up to 10 degrees, which can mean the difference between rare and medium, or medium to over done. Quick decisions on the grill are key to cook everything properly without over cooking and instant read thermometers are the only way to do this successfully in my opinion.