Proper grilling is not a spectator sport and so anyone who takes his sport seriously will want to outfit himself much the same. There are literally dozens of grilling “must haves” on display online, in department stores, at the hardware store, and even on the home shopping network. But the real essentials are those tools that keep you from dropping food into the fire and/or burning yourself. After all, that is is what grilling is, no? Food. Fire. Grills. Glory!
Here are the 10 items you really need though. The rest is visual propaganda and deserves to rot away in Christmas pre-packed “gift boxes.”
1. Charcoal One-Touch Kettle Grill – Buy It For $239.95 No harm, no foul, if you prefer to cook with gas. But the real feeling of control is when the coals are beginning to char and the fire is roaring warm life into your meat and veggies. There is that primal thrill of flame and sizzle, no to mention the taste of charcoal cooking.
2. Chimney – Buy It For $14.95 Lighter fuel should be banned. Nothing ruins the smell and taste of food faster than lighter fluid. A chimney allows you to naturally warm up your coals and get your grilling exercises started.
3. Long Handled Tongs – Buy It For $12.83 Though the fancy tongs in mall kiosks and the college alma mater emblazoned ones may seemingly call your name all you truly need is some reliable, long handled, ones that keep your phalanges hair far from the fire.
4. Spatula – Buy It For $17.37 A spatula doesn’t need to have any sort of die-cut as a true grillsman knows you don’t press a piece of meat. You are only using this to flip. It helps for it to be well balanced though as the original Weber model is.
5. Leather Grill Gloves – Buy It For $27.99 Whatever you do please don’t think your dollar store pot holders from the house kitchen will work for true “over-the-fire” grilling. You need something you can handle potentially hot coals with as well as a warmed cooking grate. It is especially helpful to have a pair of leather grill gloves that go mid-way up your arm.
6. Flex Neck Lighter – Buy It For $14.49 The flex neck lighter made by Zippo is perhaps the best for the job now as it allows you to navigate the grates and light charcoal without removing the entire grate. It is also wind-resistant and has a fuel supply window so you know in ample time when to refuel.
7. Meat Thermometer – Buy It For $9.99 It’s digital. It’s easy to read. It’s accurate. It will make amateur pit bosses jealous. Must have!
8. Grill Brush – Buy It For $6.99 No one likes food that is cooked in re-claimed grease in a restaurant so why would you want to cook on a grill that has nastiness baked on? Answer? You don’t.
9. Basting Brush – Buy It For $11.99 To add any sort of barbeque sauce, olive oil, au jus, or the like, a basting brush is the best way to do so.
10. Carving Knife Set – Buy It For $45.68 After spending potentially hours cooking a meat to perfection and doing so while keeping integral texture the last thing a grill god wants to do is destroy it with a dull knife or shred it with a fork. Treat your delicacy like the art it is.