There’s no better way to kick off the summer season than to fire up the grill. Whether you’re a gas or charcoal kind of guy, having the right grilling accessories on your side is a huge part of the experience. Try flipping a steak with a standard kitchen fork and you’ll know what we mean.
So, if you’re ready to turn heads and impress your friends this grilling season, here’s our guide to the grilling accessories that every grill master needs in their barbecuing arsenal.
A Proper Spatula
Everyone thinks they can get away with managing their grill by using random utensils that are floating around the kitchen, but this is rarely the case. What you need to flip your meats is a proper spatula; preferably one with a really long handle. Metal spatulas are the safest and most effective variety for the grill, and they should be offset for best results. For fish, you won’t find a better tool.
Charcoal Companion Folding Grill Spatula $14
For a spatula, this one from Charcoal Companion is aesthetically pleasing. The grip is made with an attractive wooden handle that gives this spatula extra style points. But, it’s not all looks for this essential grilling tool. It’s best feature is that it folds, which makes it easy to store in a pull-out drawer or makes it a practical option for campers and hikers. If you’re worried about how its folding mechanism will affect it’s grilling effectiveness, it won’t–because the head of the spatula locks into place when you unfold it.
When you need a little more grip than a spatula can provide, grill tongs are the perfection solution. Many people don’t realize that all tongs are not created equal, however; some are far higher in quality than others. The tongs you choose should be heavy duty and spring-loaded, which will allow you to gently turn your food rather than stab at it. Stabbing can cause the flavor-packed juices to escape your grilling meats and nobody likes a dry steak.
OXO Goods Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs $15
This stainless steel pair of tongs from OXO will be your go-to tool for gently flipping and adjusting the positioning of whatever meats and veggies you throw on the grill. At 16 inches in length, they’ll keep your hands a good distance from the heat so you won’t have to worry about any hot juices or embers that might kick back. These tongs are made with a soft, non-slip handle that allows for easy gripping and it’s locking feature makes it easy to stow away.
Charcoal can impart an immense amount of flavor to grilled meat, but it’s also a pain to work with sometimes. One of the most common issues that arise is simply getting the briquettes to light evenly, which can have a huge effect on how your food is cooked. A chimney starter will not only help to light your charcoal in no time, but it’ll also ensure that you don’t end up with hot and cold spots once the grill gets going.
Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter $15
This chimney starter from Weber is a popular pick on Amazon with a 5-star rating accumulated from nearly 5,000 reviews. It’s made with aluminized steel and comes equipped with a thermoplastic, stay-cool handle for easy gripping. Don’t bother with lighter fluid because it isn’t necessary with this chimney starter. It’s cone bottom ensures a fast-start so you’ll be ready to grill in just 10 minutes. Chimney starters can be relatively expensive, so at just $15 this one is a steal.
If you don’t want to send your guests home with food poisoning, you should probably taking temperatures before pulling anything off the grill. Those heavily-charred chicken legs may look done, but there’s always a chance they’ll still be raw in the center no matter how much carbon they’re coated in. An instant-read thermometer will quickly dispel any concerns of undercooked meat or poultry.
ThermoWorks ThermoPop TX-3100 $29
While many say you can gauge the temperature of a steak or chicken breast by the firmness of the meat, it’s much more accurate to use an instant-read thermometer like the ThermoPop TX-3100 from ThermoWorks. It’s a digital thermometer that will give you an accurate temperature reading in just 3 to 4 seconds. It can read temperatures all the way up to a fiery 572 degrees, but if your grilled chicken reads a temperature like that, it might be a little on the dry side.
Fire-Proof Grill Gloves
A lit grill requires constant attention. If any issues come about, you need to be ready to intervene, and that means having the right type of protection on your side. Fire-proof grill gloves will allow you to combat just about anything your grill can throw at you, ensuring that you’re never at risk of burning your hands or forearms. After all, you really need those things.
Steve Raichlen Best of Barbeque Long Suede Grill Gloves $18
Host of television’s Barbeque University, and quite possibly the king of grilling, Steve Raichlen makes a pretty mean rack of ribs, but he also makes some pretty great grilling products that would be useful at your very own backyard barbeque. These grilling gloves are guaranteed to keep your hands and arms safe around the hot grill. Not only will they protect your hands, but they will also protect your forearms from the heat. These are great to use when handling cast iron, chimney starters, grates, and large items that you’re grilling. They protect your hands and limbs at temperatures up to 475 degrees, but it’s important to note that these are not fireproof, they are only resistant to heat for a period of time.
Just about every activity you can think of is more enjoyable when you’re working with the right gear. With grilling season finally here, it’s time to get your gear, apron up, and get grilling! The above tools and necessities are exactly what you’ll need in order to be the official grill master of your circle this summer.
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