Jun 03, 2022 | Samuel Albert

Basic BBQ Tools And Accessories

Basic BBQ Tools And Accessories


With vacation just around the corner, it's time to bring out your BBQ grilling equipment into the backyard. The assurance of scrumptious grilled delicacies, hot and fiery, is what feeds our barbecue soul and keeps our spirit up. However, to make your barbecuing adventure a sure success, it's high time you replace your makeshift tools from the kitchen with authentic ones carefully crafted for grilling. 


To start and maintain a basic barbecue setup, you need these BBQ essentials:

PHOTO BY Jelleke Vanooteghem / UNSPLASH 

  1. Sturdy Grilling Tongs
  2. Slotted Grilling Spatula
  3. Flipping Fork.
  4. Grill Skewers.
  5. Aramid Grill Brush.
  6. Basting Brush
  7. Vegetable/Grill Basket
  8. Barbecue Grill Mat
  9. Lighter Cubes
  10. Chimney Starter
  11. Grill Thermometers
  12. Apron
  13. Heat-Resistant Gloves
  14. Pizza Stone

The grilling process involves close contact with a sizzling hot heat source. So, before anything, precaution and safety come first. Don't leave any loose ends; there is no space for mistakes. Having the right grilling gadgets and supplies around for the job helps you and your family stay safe and protected.


Stroll down with me as we narrow down on some grilling essentials for your weekend grilling expeditions.


  1. Sturdy Grilling Tongs: These are excellent for flipping, holding, and turning your food on your superheated griller adeptly. This indispensable grilling tool is available in food-grade plastic, metal, and silicone.

Food-grade plastic is a terrible option for tongs and is a big no-no. Metal tongs with silicone tips do reasonably well when used on griddles and skillets but have questionable endurance when it comes to open flames. So, it is better to avoid silicone tips for any grill that heats up above 500 degrees. So, finally, tongs with metal ends are the safest option as you don't need to worry a bit about the longevity of your newly bought BBQ tool.


What do you need to check while buying grill tongs?

Go for long-handled ones that keep you at a safe distance from the heat, offering you a firm grip, and let you be the boss of the grill.


If you grill large cuts of meat regularly, select strong and sturdy ones. It will help you maneuver heavy chunks of meat with ease, leaving no chance for the joint to slip down.


  1. Slotted Grilling Spatula: Also known as a slotted spoon, the slots let you strain down the fat and liquid from burger patties or bacon. Some of them have a unique design that equips you in many ways. They have a flip fork, a bottle opener, and a serrated/sharp edge for cutting purposes, making them a great addition to your camping tool kit.

 

PHOTO BY Vincent Keiman / UNSPLASH 

Choosing a metal spatula with an ergonomic wooden handle is wise, as wood doesn't conduct heat. And this intelligent design saves your hands from burns when you forgetfully leave the spatula on the grill grates.


Is a grilling spatula an absolute necessity? 

No, it is not. But, sure, you can go ahead and use that sturdy spatula from your kitchen. Just make sure it has a long handle.  

  

  1. Flipping Fork: Another primary BBQ tool is a grill fork. Similar in function to that of a grill spatula and grill tongs, this two-pronged implement adds value to your tool collection. They are chiefly used in flipping your food.

A barbecue fork works best with tough meats. The only drawback with using a grill fork is it can puncture the grilling meat and let the juices come out. So, be careful while handling the meat and avoid sticking the fork into the grilling meat.


  1. Grill Skewers: Bamboo and metal skewers are considered the best options for skewers. Bamboo ones are cheap and are suited for one-time use. Soaking these ahead of time (for about half an hour or so) makes them resistant to catching fire.

PHOTO BY StockSnap / PIXABAY 

Metal skewers, on the other hand, are sturdy and reusable. Get flat metal skewers. They will firmly hold and turn your food on the grill and works like a charm. No more whirling of food! Uniform cooking all around. What a masterpiece!


Which one of the skewers works best for grilling?

Bamboo and metal, both. It depends on what you are grilling and how often you grill. Bamboo works well for delicate and tender cuts of meat, veggies, and mushroom, adding an element of decoration and flavorful appeal. You get a bunch of them at a throwaway price. It's good to try these out before making a pretty big investment, especially if you are an amateur at BBQing.


Metal, however, works flawlessly well for tougher and bigger cuts of meat. In addition, they are dependable and last longer. This is a must-buy if you grill more regularly.


  1. Grill Brush: The burnt food and BBQ sauces stick to grill grates forming a charred layer. What a great bother! Cleaning it is sure intimidating for even a grillmaster, but not with this cleaning equipment at your disposal.

A grill cleaning brush is an indispensable part of anyone's grill cleaning gear. Wire grill brushes, nylon grill brushes, and bristle-free brushes are some of them, just to name a few. There are numerous hacks available to clean the grates as well.


When damaged, bristles from the wire brushes can break off from the brush head. The most frightening discovery is that these minute bristles fall off and remain in the grates till you cook your next grill meal. They ultimately find their way into your stomach and can pose serious health threats. So, think twice before using bristled wire brushes.


While hot, cleaning a grill is much easier, but nylon brushes require the grill to cool down before the cleaning chore commences. So, those stubborn grease stains are going to be way too hard to remove.


There are two bristle-free options: A coiled brush head and the aramid brush head. Unfortunately, the design of the coiled brush head doesn't allow it to clean well around the corners of the grill. On the other hand, the aramid brush head, made from a firefighter's work gear, cleans the grill grates impeccably well and is an ideal investment to make as it endures many hot cleaning drills relentlessly well.

 

Try your best to avoid the bristled brushes for your grill. Instead, use only a grill brush that lets you have peace of mind. There is no afterthought where your family's safety is concerned.


  1. Basting Brush: Silicone has found its way here too! Basting brushes are available with natural fibers and silicone variations. Though silicone ones cost a fortune, the regular one does equally well.

Also, you can find many things around in your house that can replace basting brush - try using an unused paintbrush or a new toothbrush for basting.


Basting your food with BBQ sauces or meat stock while grilling is essential to keep the meat moist and prevent them from drying up.


If you are bent on buying a new one, purchase one with a long handle - really, it is the only criteria. Don't bother to buy a $65 brush; instead, go for a cheaper one - believe me, it doesn't make any difference.


  1. Vegetable/Grill Basket: When grilling small pieces of food like veggies, seafood, and meat portions, a grilling basket is a great utensil to have around. Grilling tiny foods over the grates might cause them to fall into the fire. So, to safely roast them, choose a grill basket with a long handle that aids in tossing and flipping the food, making it a cakewalk.

Is A Grill Basket Necessary?

PHOTO BY ZACHARY STAINES / UNSPLASH 

Yes, if you grill small portions often. And no, if your focus is on grilling large cuts of meat and have never encountered food falling through the grates.


  1. Barbecue Grill Mat: Barbecue mats comfortably sit on top of your barbecue grates and are capable of taking extreme heat. Place them over the hot coals or move them away towards more indirect heat - it works well either way. No curling up or bunching up. No fuss at all!.  

Not only that, it is dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and are reusable, making it an economical choice.


Toasting hot dogs, sausages, eggs (scrambled and bull's eye), cheese, veggies, and fish has never been so easy. And yes, stacking up a burger can be an absolute breeze if you have this one around.


  1. Lighter Cubes: These ingenious fire starters are non-messy, easy to carry and handle, and are a sure way of starting your BBQ fire wherever you choose to - your backyard or campsite. It's worthy to note its audacious disclaimer of lighting up even wet wood. These cubes are made of paraffin wax; they are odorless, non-toxic, and leave no residues or aftertaste.

Depending on the amount of charcoal you need to ignite, you can use a few lighter cubes to set ablaze a splendid fire.


Wood wool is also an excellent option for lighting up grills.


Well, did you forget to bring your lighter cubes to your bunkhouse? In that case, you can use what you most likely have in hand - egg cartons, newspapers, vegetable oil, and even alcohol to start the fire.


  1. Chimney Starter: If you want to light up your grill quickly, you can absolutely depend on chimney starters. Glowing red embers are ready for you in no time.

How To Start My Chimney Starter?

PHOTO BY kliempictures / PIXABAY 

  1. Stuff your chimney starter tube base with newspapers (you can use wood wool here instead!) 
  2. Load up the tube with the desired amount of charcoal (depending on the amount of food you are going to grill). You can add some wood pieces along with it.
  3. Light the fire up with a grill lighter from the bottom.
  4. The live hot coal is ready in a few minutes.
  5. Pick up the chimney starter and pour the red hot coal into your grill.

  1. Grill Thermometers: Isn't piercing the meat with a knife or skewer enough to determine the doneness of your meat? Unfortunately, no.

When cooking grilled meat to perfection, a grill thermometer is a must-have.


Why do we need meat thermometers for grilling?

PHOTO BY ThermoPro / UNSPLASH 

The meat's core needs to reach a specific temperature for cooking to perfection; it is called internal temperature. The outside of the grilled meat cooks way faster, but the insides take time. So, it is essential to possess one of these humble-looking gadgets to check the inside temperature.


Using a grill thermometer is super easy. Just insert the pointed end into the flesh and read the temperature.


Meat thermometers come in various forms - unwired, wired, and conventional; expensive and economical.


So, go ahead and buy one of these must-haves that best fits your budget.

 

  1. Apron: BBQ is arguably a scorching place to be in, and if you have the habit of regularly grilling, you need to give some serious thought about getting this much-needed protective gear.

PHOTO BY Mikhail Nilov / PEXELS 

Aprons protect us from oil spills and help keep stains away. They come in various materials and designs. Pick the one that fits your style and taste.


Leather Aprons: These aprons are relatively heavy than aprons made of other materials. Leather has the property to deflect heat and keep you cool while working at the grill. They will last surprisingly longer and are very comfortable to wear. Cheer up! You have finally got your ultimate grilling pal.


However, they fall under the expensive category. But remember, it is a one-time purchase, and if you can afford it and think it is necessary, don't think twice. It is a sensible investment to make as it lasts really long.


Another excellent option is canvas which is an economical choice. Canvas is slightly sturdier than cotton. If you want to save some money, then you can choose this one.


 If you don't indulge in grilling often, you can get cotton and linen aprons made of breathable material. Borrow it from your kitchen if you already have one.


  1. Heat-Resistant Gloves: Hands are precious and have no replacement, and you must protect them at all costs. Your thermal-resistant gloves are angels in disguise, taking all the heat abuse with a smile and loyally safeguarding your hands. They are simply matchless!

PHOTO BY Katrina_S  / PIXABAY 

  1. Pizza Stone: A pizza stone is another pleasant addition to your grilling tool acquirements for the pizza lover in you and me!!

Place your pizza stone over indirect heat, slowly getting it accustomed to the heat. Once your stone is hot, they are renowned for retaining the heat, making crispy crusted pizzas in a jiffy.

PHOTO BY Vita Marija Murenaite / UNSPLASH 

Choose the size and the material you would like to go with, and combine the fun of pizza making along with grilling for your family and friends.

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