My next few posts will be dedicated to fresh, healthy menu ideas for the backyard (or stove-top) grill.
Being the self-professed “Queen of the One-Line Recipe” I promise to deliver ideas you can whip up with ease while sipping a mojito or chasing your 2-year old.
However, before we get started, let’s make sure you have on-hand some basic grilling gadgets.
Tongs: 90% of grilling is done with tongs. Get a pair of heavy duty, stainless steel tongs with a scalloped or oval tip for easily flipping meaty steaks, sausages or veggies. If using a charcoal or smoker grill, you’ll also need a set of heavy iron tongs for moving coals and picking up hot grates.
Spatula: a large blade, bent handled spatula. You’ll need one that can get under food easily and lift it away from the grate without tearing. Silicone spatulas clean up easily and can be used on grills as well as sauté pans.
Skewers: get the long metal skewers with a flat blade design so food won’t turn on the skewer when you flip them over. You can also get bamboo skewers; they are a cheaper option but are not re-usable.
Brushes: you’ll want two different types of brushes; one for oiling the grate and another for basting and saucing your food with marinade. Look for a 15-inch angled handle brush; silicone are best for heat resistance and clean up.
Wire brush: you’ll need a wire brush for clean-up after grilling. Brass bristles are better than steel because they’re softer and won’t damage cooking grates. Look for a brush with a flat scraper at the top of the brush for cooked-on residue and a long handle makes for easier use. Cheap ones work just as good as expensive ones!
Instant-read Thermometer: the difference between a delicious meal and an evening spent driving the porcelain bus can be only a few degrees. Look for the analog-type thermometer with a large and easy-to-read face. Cook meats to safe internal temperatures. Not sure? Let the USDA help.
Mitts: get yourself some fireproof grilling mitts that allow you to pick up flaming hot metal cooking equipment without catching fire.
Get ready because tomorrow we start grillin’!