Written by adam on May 11, 2007
Men in Aprons Grilling Tool Lineup
Every good grill master needs a standard set of tools to get the most out of his or her grilling experience. Just as a carpenter needs hammers, nails, and screwdrivers, a pit master needs tongs, spatulas, and brushes. You certainly do not have to have all of these items. In fact, all you really need is a grill, heat source, and meat. But I am a grilling and BBQ fanatic, so my tool stash is pretty big.
This list is not in any particular order. I believe that they all carry equal weight in necessity, except for the grill. That has to be number one.
A grill This is the quintessential item for grilling. To try to grill indoors on one of those stove top things is just not the same. Besides, indoor grilling kind of negates the entirety of the list.
Wire Brush A clean grill is a happy grill. And a happy grill doth make a happy griller (that's you). You need a stiff wire brush to scrape caked-on gunk off the grill grates. If left to cake on over time, the carbon can transfer to your food or it can cause the grate to heat unevenly. And you won't get those nice grill marks.
A large metal spatula Stainless steel is the best here, of course. Try to find one with a long handle so you don't sing the hairs on your arm trying to reach those burgers near the back of the grill.
Long-handled tongs See above for the spatula. I prefer tongs that do not taper at the end.
A small plastic spray bottle Good for putting out flame ups. Fill it up with water every month or so and keep it stored with your grill gear.
Light stick It's water proof and will last for months. There was a time where I would have shunned anyone for using a lighter or light stick on a grill. I was a matches-only kind of dude. People change, though, and I had to realize that we are backpacking in the wilderness so we can use what Wal-Mart has to offer.
Instant read thermometer A good thermometer like this will be a handy tool for you when you need to ascertain the interior temperature of very large cuts of meat like pork loin roasts and briskets. This is imperative for food safety. Also, if you are novice griller, you will want to use it to test the doneness levels of steaks.
Digital Probe Thermometer This is my new favorite gadget (aff) and one that I have decided I cannot live without when it comes to barbeque. Just set the probe in the meat and let it cook until the readout reads the proper temperature. No need to check the meat and let precious heat escape the cooking chamber. Some of the fancier models feature remote sensors and even beep at you when the temperature arrives at a predetermined level. Good stuff.
Silicone basting brush This is another tool that is new to my lineup and to the world of grilling in general. The silicone head allows for high-temperture basting. Silicone is extremely heat-resistent and will not melt under heat up to 500 degrees.
Regular brush One small problem with silicone brushes is that the material can be a little slippery, which lets the baste or sauce slide off before you can bring it to the meat. This is why you should have a regular hair or synthetic hair basting brush to bast your meats that aren't over extreme temperature heat. You can buy these in your grocery store for a couple of bucks.
Aluminum Foil Probably one of the most versatile tools on this list. Aluminum foil can be used to clean grill grates, cook corn in, keep bbq warm, braise ribs, or tent over recovered meat.
Canola Oil For lubricating the grate. Do not use spray lube. Canola oil's high smoke point allows it to be brushed on very hot grill grates without going to smoke immediately.
There are plenty of other tools and gadgets that you could have, but most of them are just luxuries for the pitmaster who has everything. If you see anything that is missing from this list, please leave a comment. I'll keep the list updated as necessary.
Responses to "Men in Aprons Grilling Tool Lineup" ...
you forgot the beer. Preferably Shiner, or maybe Dos Equis. Or Tecate. Or Heineken. Or perhaps original San Antonio Lone Star, if only someone still had a bottle. :)