For those of us who live in areas of the country that have long winters, your grill may have sat idle for many months.
But as Memorial Day approaches, it is the unofficial start of summer, which translates into the beginning of grilling season. Men love to grill/Bar-b-Que/smoke all types of food. But as with any endeavor, you need the proper tools and equipment in the best working order. So before you grill this weekend, take some time to make sure everything is clean and ready to make some delicious outdoor meals.
All grills should have the following tools and equipment near your grill:
- Long handle grill tools (around 18”) – tongs, spatula, basting brush and fork. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional
- Some sort of stainless steel, wire cleaning brush
- Heat resistant silicone Bar-B-Que gloves. You may not use them a lot, but you will be glad that you have them when needed.
- A grill basket for food that would fall through the cooking grates
- A meat thermometer (easy to use with your heat resistant gloves)
- Skewers for kebobs (wood or metal, your choice)
- Propane indicator (For Gas Grills, obviously) (How to install a Propane grill fuel indicator)
For charcoal gill
- A chimney starter (You’ll never use lighter fluid again)
- Extra matches, newspaper, and charcoal
- A long handled lighter
If you have a charcoal grill, the easiest way to light charcoal, is to use a chimney starter. It’s best to have a high-capacity chimney starter, (a traditional-size charcoal kettle grill works best with about 50 briquettes). Use crumpled newspaper underneath the chimney to start the fire. Let the charcoal burn until it’s covered with white-gray ash, which indicates it’s at the perfect cooking temperature. (How to use a Charcoal Chimney Starter)
CLEAN YOUR GRILL RIGHT AFTER COOKING, WHILE THE GRILL IS STILL HOT – you may not get a completely clean grill surface, but you will be thankful next time you start to cook on the grill that it is fairly clean.
Double Duty Dishes – Keep your food safe and clean while still saving yourself from having to wash any extra dishes by reusing the same platter to hold meat before and after cooking. Just cover the dish with foil before putting the meat on it. Remove the protective layer after all the meat is on the grill and then you have a clean platter ready for the cooked food.
Marking with Toothpicks – When grilling for a crowd, you need a way to tell well-done burgers from medium-rare at a glance. Try assigning each level of doneness a particular number of toothpicks (e.g., one for medium-rare, two for medium, three for well-done) and pegging the proper marker into the patties as they come off the fire.
**Next up, some of my favorites grilling recipes and techniques.