Tips & Tricks
Elevate Your Grilling Game: Essential Tools for Every Grillmaster
Yes, you may be a self-proclaimed grillmaster, but to become a true grillmaster, you need to master the tools that make you a living grilling legend!
For the people enjoying the food, grilling is but a way of cooking, but for the person standing at the grill doing all the hard work, it is more than that. It is an art! An art that brings people together over the smoky aroma of perfectly cooked meat, vegetables, and more.
It doesn’t matter if you are an aspiring grill warrior or a seasoned pro; it all comes down to your passion for grilling, and in this piece, we will arm you with the knowledge to identify, select, and use the right tools in the right way. From tongs to thermometers, we have a long list of tools that will help you make all the difference and elevate your grilling game.
Let’s get started!
Quality Tongs and Spatulas
Let’s start with the basics: tongs and spatulas. These are the most vital tools you’ll need to move your food about on the grill. What you’ll need are some sturdy tongs that offer good grip and are comfortable to hold. The pinch must be sturdy, and they should be long enough to keep your hands away from the fire. Also, having a locking mechanism is a big plus.
As for a spatula, you ought to look for one that’s thin, with flexible edges and smoothly slides under the food items that are delicate to handle. Otherwise, they might fall apart.
Now, as for their use, tongs are for flipping and turning bigger items like steaks, sausages, and corn on the cob. Spatulas, on the other hand, are for delicate items like fish fillets or vegetables.
Basting Brush and Marinade Injector
Now, we are kicking the heat up a notch. What good is grilling without flavor? And when it comes to flavor, your two best tools are the basting brush and marinade injector.
A quality basting brush helps you evenly distribute barbecue sauce or garlic-infused butter for better absorption and a well-rounded flavor. But it is only for the outer surface.
To infuse flavor inside the item on the grill, consider using a marinade injector. It is as it sounds: an injection that allows you to add marinades, broths, or stocks directly into the core of your meats, infusing them with moisture and taste.
You can and should use a basting brush during the later end of grilling when the meat is done to your liking, as it will prevent it from getting burned. As for the marinade injector, it is recommended to inject the marinade or broth before cooking, preferably 10-15 minutes before you start, so the flavor is all infused and absorbed by the meat.
I hope none of you are unfamiliar with this little gadget, but if you are, let me introduce you to your grilling partner, that will help you achieve perfect doneness. Having an instant read digital thermometer will ensure you get to take the temperature of the inside of the meat without having to make unnecessary cuts to check if it is done. In addition, a thermometer that gives you a quick reading reduces the time your hands have to be over the heat.
It is also worth mentioning here that different kinds of meats have different internal temperatures, so it is ideal to have a guide or an idea beforehand so you can use it as a reference.
Heat-Resistant Gloves and Cleaning Tools
With grilling comes the risk of getting burned or heat rashes, so it is vital to have heat-resistant gloves in your arsenal. They will keep your hands protected from the scorching heat of the grill and give you the confidence to handle hot grates, adjust coals, and move food without the risk of burns.
With the gloves, you will also need some handy grill cleaning tools like a stainless steel bristle brush. But be sure to get one that won’t scratch your grill. There are a variety of cleaning tools, but instead of getting confused, it is ideal to opt for the simpler ones. Remember too that not all grill brushes are made equal. Stay away from brushes that could lose their bristles on the grate. Loose bristles are difficult to spot, but can cause serious injury if they're ingested.
Note: Clean your grill while it’s still warm. This will make the cleaning easier.
Beyond the Basics: Exploring Specialty Tools
That just covers the basics, if you really want to take your game to the next level, try the following:
If you love your food slowly roasted over an open flame, juices basting the meat from within, then what you need is a rotisserie spit. It enables you to achieve evenness in roasting, ensuring that your poultry, turkeys, or roasts are cooked to perfection while retaining their moisture. The rotating motion allows the juices to distribute evenly, resulting in tender, flavorful meat and a delightfully crispy exterior.
You can experiment with marinades, rubs, and even stuffing options to infuse your meats with an explosion of flavors.
Cast-iron pans and Griddles
Have you tried experimenting with a cast iron pan or griddle? These heavy-duty, heat-retaining surfaces are perfect for preparing foods that require a flat, even cooking surface – foods that might otherwise fall through the grates.
Preheating them before putting food in them will give you that desired sear on your meat and grill marks that make your mouth water just thinking about it. With a well-preheated cast-iron pan, you'll achieve caramelization and flavor development that turns ordinary dishes into extraordinary culinary feats.
Smoker boxes are more than what meets the eye. In fact, they are a culinary secret that many will not tell you about. They will add that smoky, wood-fired aroma to your meat that will take the overall flavor to the next level. Whether you're using wood chips, pellets, or chunks, the resulting smoke adds an extra layer of complexity to your dishes, enhancing their taste and visual appeal.
You can use different types of wood to discover unique flavor profiles. The possibilities, like the combination, are endless.
A barbecue grilling wok is perfect to roast some veggies or shrimp. You can add any kind of meat you like in there, as it allows the flames to kiss your ingredients, infusing them with a tantalizing smokiness while maintaining the signature crispness that stir-frying is known to deliver.
Where Should I Get My Supplies?
When it comes to finding the perfect grilling tools, it is recommended to get your supplies locally, if possible. Knowing the feel of the tools you will be using is vital to creating an immersive cooking experience. Most Ace Hardware stores have an extensive selection of grilling supplies and tools. Many local big box hardware stores also carry grilling supplies, although our recommendation would be to visit a dedicated kitchen supply store if one is available nearby.
Alternatively, if convenience is your priority, you can explore the vast selection of BBQ tools available on Amazon, where you'll find just about anything you need, but you lose the ability to touch and feel before buying.
Here at the Flying Butcher, we believe in quality, both for our meats and the tools we use to cook them. Having the right tools will allow you to take your grilling techniques to the next level, expanding your enjoyment of the meats and other foods you buy from us at The Flying Butcher.