For the Man in Your Life: Essential Tools for the Grill Master

best grilling tools 2015We recently got a new grill and have been loving it! Dinners have been so easy (just throw something on the grill, honey) and we’re already planning a series of backyard barbecues. While I’m a firm believer that women can do anything, when it comes to grilling I am more than happy to let my husband take the lead. He gets this confidence about him when he’s manning the grill, which I love to see. Most men I know take pride in playing the role of grill master. Maybe it’s empowering for them to take ownership over this piece of the domestic pie.
When we moved, we sold our grill and assorted accessories, so we’ve had to repurchase some of our favorite tools. We’re not big on having the latest gizmos and gadgets, but there are a few basic items everyone needs to in order to master the grill:

1. Silicone baster. For grilling newbies, it can take a few tries to before you get the hang of things. You have to learn the hot spots and how to get a good sear on a piece of meat without drying it out. Regularly basting your meat, or veggies, is an easy strategy for keeping things juicy. A silicone baster with a long angled handle is the way to go, as it’ll hold up nicely to the heat and can reach way into the back.
2. Efficient grill brush. Everyone likes to eat the food, but no one likes to clean up afterwards. I get it and am totally guilty of leaving dirties for the next day. Grilling makes cleanup a total breeze. After we cook, we crank the heat for a few minutes to burn off any remaining food or ashes. Than we let the grill cool and usually clean it with a brush right before its next use. With your grill brush, you want a brush that’s going to efficiently get the job done. No sense in wasting extra elbow grease if it’s not needed. Also, if you have a stainless steel grill, don’t purchase a stainless steel brush as it will scratch the metal. Look for a brush with vinyl bristles.
3. The perfect tongs. Good tongs should be like an extension of your hand. I use tongs in the kitchen almost everyday for various purposes and they’re essential to getting food on and off the grill with ease. I look for tongs that I can easily open and close with one hand. This particular pair is also a good length for reaching the burgers in the back row.
4. Welding gloves (no seriously). A typical grill can get up to 650 degrees, which is no joke. Protect your hands with a pair of heat-resistant gloves. The silicone ones work well, but I’m partial to welding gloves which protect your hands up to higher levels of heat.
5. Versatile grill basket. Grilled veggies are like candy. The caramelization that happens when they start to brown makes them so irresistibly good. Kabobs are a one way to get your vegetables on the grill, but it’s time-intensive to skewer each little piece of pepper one by one. A good grill basket cuts this prep time down by at least half. Our favorite grill basket has a removal handle. We detach it once the veggies are on the grill and then reattach it whenever we want to give them a toss.
6. Fancy seasoning salt. Good salt is the key to good food. Flavored salts make good grilling easy. Throw everything on, sprinkle it with salt, and bam, you’re done. Plus salts are more versatile than something like barbecue sauce. On Sundays we sometimes grill a big ole batch of chicken breasts for the week and we want flavors that will go with variety of meals.


Last night’s dessert: grilled vegetables with a drizzle of balsamic reduction on top. Yum.

There are a host of other accessories that are nice to have, especially if you’re serious about your meat, but this list covers the basic must-haves for everyday backyard barbecuing. One of my favorite optional items is a head lamp for late-night cookouts.

Now one topic I haven’t addressed is the issue of charcoal versus gas. Charcoal grills of course come with an additional set of tools specific to heating and handling the coals, which I’ve excluded from this list. While I enjoy food cooked on both, I’m personally partial to a gas grill for its ease. I like being able to quickly pop something on the grill, and with charcoal you don’t get that instant gratification. What do you think? Do you “do” charcoal or gas? They’ve actually come out with dual charcoal and gas grills, so you don’t have to choose if you don’t want to.
Also, who’s the grill master in your house?


3 responses

  1. Pingback: Grill, Baby, Grill: 7 Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend « SOUTH BY NORTHWEST

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