Each time I slide open the back door to the patio, I get that surge of adrenaline. The time has come to start the grill. I say this all the time and its absolutely true; any chance I get to cookout fills me with a giddiness and excitement like no other. No matter the time of day (or night), day of the week, or month of the year, there’s no place like standing in front of my grill! See, Dorothy had it wrong in the movie cause Kansas can’t compare to cooking out – not even a little bit (not that there’s anything wrong with Kansas).
And without a doubt, I can’t even start that fire without making sure that I have all of my bbq grilling accessories handy. When that smoky aroma begins filling my backyard, I want everything to be right where it should be; strategically placed and right at my disposal. It makes for a stress free and wonderfully good time.
In an earlier post, we briefly discussed some of the things needed for cooking out. And in another, we had briefly discussed the stuff you need for hosting a cookout. Today’s topic will be similar to those. Right now we’re going to talk about those bbq grill supplies that you simply shouldn’t do without.
Before I list what you need, I wanna offer some friendly advice; starting out, you really don’t need a whole lot of stuff. Now if you’ve peeked into the grill section of a hardware or department store, then I’m sure you’ve seen some interesting things for sale. And don’t get me started on some of the other sites on the web. Looking at the merchandise online will have you thinking that you’ll need to spend a fortune just to throw a cookout! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Listen, I’ve seen everything from a grillmaster’s tool belt to a branding iron that you can personalize with your initials. Now I don’t know about you, but it would give me a little pause to eat a steak from a guy that branded his initials on it! But that’s just me. And hey, most of those products are aimed at guys like me that are into grilling pretty hardcore. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you don’t need to start at that level. A couple of things right off the bat are all you need.
BBQ Grill Supplies – The List
Besides the obvious (a grill and food!), these are the primary tools you’ll need to cook out. Just keep it simple to start. You can always buy more of what you need later.
Charcoal. I use Kingsford briquettes. Everybody’s heard of Kingsford for a reason. Their product is the best. It lights easy, its long-burning, and I know what to expect every time. You can’t go wrong starting out by sticking with the best. When you’re new at this, you don’t want to worry too much about the fire. You want it to stay lit and hot for as long as you need it right? Exactly. Stick with Kingsford starting out. You can’t go wrong.
Lighter Fluid. I’m not as particular about the lighter fluid. But it is important to get the plastic container, because I think its safer. To me, having a plastic squeeze bottle ensures that you are putting the exact amount of fluid you intended on the charcoals. Plus, leaks from the flip top cap are easier to control. Get the plastic container. That’s basically what everyone sells now anyway.
Grill Lighter. These lighters were made for starting up a charcoal grill (among other things), so its what I recommend. That, or the strike box matches. Understand that a grill lighter eliminates the need to put your hand too close to the coals when igniting them. Take your pick of the two, since you can play it safe with either.
Meat Thermometer. I don’t use them, but I would still recommend one for anyone that feels more comfortable with one. Without going on a tangent, I believe that you should develop the ability to prepare your foods by feel (and experience). So what do you do to make sure that the food is done? Use the thermometer. Its okay.
Grill Fork. I consider this an essential grill accessory for a reason that you may not expect. Don’t, I repeat don’t poke and prod your meat with this thing. Use it for arranging the lit coals in the pit. Rare is the time when you light the grill that all the coals light up properly. When that happens, use your fork to shuffle those unlit coals on top of the burning ones. This tool is perfect for that.
Grill Spatula. With its extra long neck, this tool is perfect for flipping your burgers – and when you get real good, your steaks. Its hard to perform quality outdoor cookin’ without old faithful. There isn’t much more to say other than a spatula is absolutely essential.
Grill Thongs. Resist the urge to be cheap. Get yourself a sturdy, quality pair of long thongs. This is my favorite tool for the grill, because it can truly do it all. If you had to begin cooking with a single tool to handle all of your food, make it this one. Get ’em, take care of ’em, and keep ’em clean.
Grill Brush. This tool is every bit as crucial as those quality thongs are. Although it does not directly touch the food, this hard worker protects your grill by separating the caked on meat and grime from your grates. Be mindful not to pay top dollar for one, since getting a quality mid range brush will serve you just fine. Because if you’re regularly cleaning your grill like you are supposed to, you will go through plenty of these things over time.
There you have it. With these essential BBQ grill supplies, you will be well equipped to fire up that grill any time the urge strikes you. Make sure to protect your investment and keep it clean, and years of good times are sure to follow.