30 Days of Grilling: Day #2 –The Top 5 Essential Tools

Everyone has their own list of Top 5 Tools needed for the grill.  Some think a simple pair of tongs and a pot holder are enough.  Others have a whole box of tools, with sauce mop, silicon basting brushes, pig tail hooks and organic charcoal.  It all depends on your personal style.  These are my 5, but I am sure I could think of more!

1)  Long Sturdy Tongs

This picture shows a BBQ set my husband got from his work years ago as a holiday gift.  I’m not sure we have ever used the other two pieces, but we use the tongs every time we grill.  They are long handled, sturdy, they have a good weight to them, so your food won’t overpower them, and they clean up easily.  Never use tongs that are thin metal or plastic, since they can get very hot, or even melt, and might cause you to drop your meat(VERY BAD!).  Also, look for tongs that might have the spring release open and closure mechanism.  This is nice when you are resting them on a rack near the grill.  You won’t have to worry about them bouncing open all the time, and they take up less space.

2)  Digital Thermometer

A digital thermometer is great for grilling.  Since a grill works differently than your oven, in that it doesn’t keep an exact temperature the whole time your food is cooking, you’ll want to check it before serving.  A digital thermometer is just what you need.  Some have pre-programed settings that tell you when your different types of meat have reached safe temperatures, and others have the ability to be set to any temperature or time.  They are relativly cheap now, and come in handy for numerous things for inside and outside cooking.

3)  Disposable Pans

Disposable pans are one of my favorite kitchen helpers overall, and for grilling they are no less helpful.  These are great for marinating meats and veggies before grilling, for storing foods in, for serving, and best of all, they are recyclable!  They hold up well, and the smaller ones can be filled with wine, stock or beer and herbs or citrus and set on the grates of your grill to perfume the rest of your foods.  Use them for easy clean up of your ashes too!

4)  Silicon Basting Brush

These are the best inventions!  They are safe up to 500 degrees F so they are great for basting on the grill or under the broiler, and they wash up like a dream.  Unlike the old style bristle brushes, that were hard to get clean even washing by hand, these come clean easily in the dishwasher, and most come apart in two pieces for extra cleaning.  They hold sauces and bastes well and are perfect for baking and glazing as well as any grilling need.

5)  Cutting Board with Liquid Well

As you can see above, the cutting board has a groove around the outside.  This is for juices to have somewhere to run off.  When your grilling, the jucies are seared in, and when cut, there is usually a large amount of juice.  This can go all over the place and make your cutting board slip and make a very dangerous work station.  The grooved cutting board will help collect it.  I also would recommend a damp dishtowel under your cutting board to help prevent slipping as well.

Hope this helps get us started!  More to come tomorrow! Hope everyone is having a good holiday weekend!

Chef Sarah


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