By Emily Jacobs
You have the marinade just right, the drinks in pitchers, and the table set just right for guests, but are you ready to grill? No matter what you're grilling, there are a few essential tools that you need to get started. We've rounded up some of the most crucial tools to prepare you for anything.
Around grills or any kind of heat source, safety is always the most important thing. Remember that when you're grilling, it's important to not only pay attention to how the meat is cooking, but to watch children, animals, and party guests around the hot grill. What seems like an obvious danger to you may not be that obvious to someone else.
Tools also play a huge role in safety. The short tongs that you use for indoor cooking are fine for a quick sauté or grabbing crusty bread out of the oven, but they are too short for the grill. Long tongs protect your hands and arms from the heat while still rotating corn cobs perfectly.
After safety is taken care of, it's time to grill. To get the char just right, include some of these tools in your barbecue toolkit and you will be set to go!
A marinade brush is a must for you barbecue toolkit. With this tool, you can easily brush on barbecue sauce or a spicy marinade evenly to meats and vegetables. When brushing on raw meat, make sure to clean it afterwards thoroughly before touching ready-to-eat food.
Large spatulas are best for flipping meat. Make sure you have a heat-proof version so plastic doesn’t melt over the hot grill as you flip and turn.
Long tongs allow you to reach safely over the hot grill to grab corn or hot dogs without burning your arms. Keep some long barbecue tongs handy by the grill -- and you can always wear an oven mitt just in case to keep your hands extra safe.
A grill brush is essential for keeping the grill grate clean and free from food particles or residue from raw meat. Before you get grilling, brush the grill grate clean and oil it to make sure the food doesn’t stick.
If you're cooking meat, you need to make sure that it is cooked to the proper internal temperature. A meat thermometer can help you safely do this every time. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and make sure it reaches the desired temperature.
A big tri-tip or brisket can sometimes be hard to move on or off the grill. Using a grilling fork, you can easily transport the meat from grill to plate without the risk of it falling. You can also flip chops easily and quickly using a fork.
Sharp knives are essential in your toolkit. Keep these handy to slice meat, making sure to cut against the grain, for the best texture. Let meat rest for 15 minutes before slicing to let the juices settle.
Kabobs are a great summer barbecue item. They are quick to prepare and are easy to grill. For best results, invest in stainless-steel skewers instead of the wooden skewers. The stainless-steel skewers are much sturdier and won't burn. They do get hot, so just make sure to pick them up with some tongs or an oven mitt.
Whether you are cooking with wine or simply drinking it while you are barbecuing, a sleek and functional wine and bottle opening is essential. These from Savora are stylish and colorful.
A grilling mat is a cool tool to help keep food from sticking to the grill grate. This works best for delicate items like fish or thin vegetables. It still allows for the smoky flavor and grill taste without the messy cleanup or risk of foods falling apart. This one from Cookina is great!