Have you ever been to someone's home or been to a restaurant and the meat is absolutely delicious? What are the chances that it was grilled by a professional chef? Most likely, it's been grilled by someone with a little practice and few tips. In my house, I am responsible for the grilled meats and from my experience, there are some essentials that every griller should have.
First off, you need to have the right tools. Doesn’t matter where you’re reading about grilling, whether it be a blog like Carnivore Style or a comprehensive grilling cookbook, the tools you use in grilling matter just as much as the meat you’re cooking.
Here’s a list of a few staples to get you ready to have the best barbecue of your life.
You need a sturdy pair of tongs to flip all your grilled meats. Invest in a high quality pair that can withstand high temperatures without warping. Getting one with a silicone or rubber handle prevents you from getting burned. If you plan to grill a lot, it’s worth the few extra quid as these last you literal decades with proper storage and care.
- Instant read thermometer
Keep your cooking temperature accurate! The last thing you want is going for a good medium rare and getting a well-done steak instead. Instant read thermometers are perfect for grilling since you get accurate results quickly, so you can get those juicy steaks every single time and not a second overcooked.
- Metal skewers
For all your kebab needs, metal skewers are key. While wooden skewers are cheap and more convenient (just use and toss, am I right?) Metal skewers are reusable and more durable. They’re also usually dishwasher safe. Another benefit when you’re cooking with metal skewers is that it can drive heat to the center of the food, for faster cooking time.
- Rimmed baking sheet
Not just for baking cookies, rimmed baking sheets are versatile tools where you can use them to organize your tools, hold your meat, and even do grilled one pan or sheet pan recipes with. This is a quick and handy all-rounder you can use in a handful of ways.
- Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil is essential not just for those foil packet dinners, but of course for tenting your meat and sealing all that moisture in. You can protect ingredients from each other without reducing the heat conduction while grilling because of aluminum foil.
Alternatively, you can use grill mats. If you don’t know how to use grill mats, they’re actually pretty easy to use. The good thing about these mats is you don’t have to worry about tearing your foil. They’re also reusable making it more environmentally friendly. Don’t even get us started on the fact that these babies are non-stick and dishwasher safe.
This is a total no-brainer, but every aspiring grill master needs to have a grill. While there are different types of grills from indoor to outdoor grills, to different fuel types like charcoal versus gas, the most important thing to know is your own situation.
First, find out how often you’re grilling, and where. Consider the space you have for grilling, and your budget. Charcoal grills make more smoke, but give you much more flavor than gas. Gas grills are more versatile and less overpowering to delicate foods such as fish or vegetables, but are a bit riskier because of potential gas leaks — not really ideally for towing it around a beach party, huh?
The best grill is the one that fits your budget, situation, and preference. Choose one that you can easily maintain and store.
And there you have it! Just a handy list of no-nonsense tools to have around for your next barbecue garden party. No need to splurge, just look for a few key items that make sense for right now and slowly build up your barbecue toolkit.