With the spring and pending summer season in full swing, it's high time you take off your grill cover, check the and fire that baby up.
Whether you're a novice or an advanced grillmaster, you're of course going to need a few high-quality tools to maximize your grilling skills this year. A grill brush, cleaner, lighter and the right spatula are just the essentials. Here's everything else you need to have your best grilling season ever.
You may be used to using a comb like this on your hair, but it doubles as a genius cooking alternative for serving kebabs. This "grill comb" combats the annoyance of reaching the middle of a skewer, either with your hand or your teeth. It makes removing your meat a cinch and ensures everything evenly cooks up to the right temperature, too.
"Get yourself a small cast-iron smoker box," says Bill Fletcher. He's the owner and chef at Fletcher's BBQ at DeKalb Market Hall -- a guy who knows a thing or two about grilling. "It's a great way to add substantial flavor to any grilled menu item and works equally well on gas and charcoal grill setups," he says.
A glove is a staple any time you're firing up the barbie. They help protect your hands and give you grip when you need it most -- around a hot fire. That's also why there's a ton of new ones available on the market each season. This year, we like these from "the Shakespeare of barbecue." They fit even the biggest hands, are 100% leather, easy to clean and -- heck -- they're even pretty stylish.
Take this bad boy anywhere you flip meat, from your deck grill, a campsite, even to your Sunday tailgate party. Its portability makes it stupid simple to accurately measure the internal temperature of your meat wherever you may be and, more importantly, did we mention it can also open a brew for you? (If you're ready to upgrade, try the Thermapen Mk4.)
"When dealing with a charcoal grill, a chimney starter is a classic and becomes a must-have for your grill after you use one. It keeps the charcoal all together tightly and helps [the briquettes] get hot evenly before you spread them around," says Laurence Edelman, Left Bank chef and co-owner.
"Use the tongs to oil the grill by soaking a rag in canola oil, then grabbing it with the tongs, shaking off all excess and wiping down the hot clean slats," says Edelman. This specific set has two pairs with silicone tips that don't melt and non-slip handles that'll keep you from dropping them into a scorching fire and, of course, can also be used for flipping steaks. They have a hanging loop and lock closed when not in use.
Easily and quickly grill your veggies and give them that smoky, slightly charred taste and perfect texture without the hassle of having to pick one piece up at a time. You can also place a piece of chicken wire mesh on top of your grill so you can easily char foods that normally might fall through, like cherry tomatoes and other smaller vegetables or pieces of meat, Cibo e Vino's Executive Chef Maro Gjurasic tells us. But this basket is definitely classier.
"I find grilling baskets incredibly useful," says Chef Marc Vidal of Boqueria. "Using a whole fish grilling basket makes grilling seafood a breeze." This tool -- which is common in northern Spain -- allows you to turn the fish easily on the grill and the sizes of these baskets can vary allowing you to easily cook fish as small branzino to as large as whole turbot.
The award-collecting pitmaster traveled across the US to taste the best barbecue around. What that means for you: You'll get every famous barbecue recipe from some of the most prestigious joints out there -- such as the Smoked Chicken Wings recipe from Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Atlanta, GA, Giant Beef Ribs from Black's BBQ in Lockhart, TX, and Brisket from Maple Block Meat Co. in Culver City, CA -- all in one place. Seriously, don't bother buying any other grilling book because this one has all you need.
There's simply nothing tastier on a hot summer night than some some grilled corn (elote style, preferably). The cuteness of these corn holders definitely outweighs their functionality, but who doesn't like fashionable new summer accessories?
See Chowhound's Ultimate guide to grilling and barbecue for more.
This story was written by Dan Koday. Originally published last summer. Updated to reflect changes and current prices.