Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grill Accessories

Everyone could get by with just a basic grill and two grill tools (tong & spatula/turner).  But who just wants to get by with basics?  Grilling is a lot more fun with the extras.

There are extras that help give you more flexibility to your grilling.  One of the most common would be skewers for grilling kebabs of some fashion.  You can use metal or wooden skewers for making these meat, vegetable or meat & vegetable kebabs.  If using wooden skewers (usually bamboo) it helps greatly to soak them in water for a short time.  This helps keep them from starting on fire turning the grilling process.  One of my favorite kebabs is made with kielbasa, fresh pineapple, green pepper and onion.
Wire Grill Basket

Because the grills have grates and small pieces of food can fall through easily, they have come up with all types of grill baskets and grill plates.  The grill baskets can range from solid metal with holes to wire screens.  Some will have lids or tops so you can flip them during the grilling process.  They can come in the shape of wok pans, whole fish, rectangles, squares and circles.  You need to look at them and figure out which one best meets your needs.  Some of you may need several.  As usual, my shopping sites are Kohl'sFood Network and QVC) and they have a wide variety of these and many more accessories for your grill.
Covered Grill Basket

You can even get pizza grilling pans and beer can chicken holders.  It just depends on how diverse you want to get in your outdoor cooking.  They have cedar planks too.  The fun thing to do is find something a little different that you really like and become an expert at it.  That way you create a grilling reputation that makes family and friends want to be at your cookouts.

In outfitting your grilling area, you should remember to have a grill thermometer and grill cleaning tools on hand.  The thermometer lets you know your grill temperature for cooking.  Remember that some foods require different temps for different reasons.  The cleaning tools will help you keep your grill ready for cooking and help it last many years.  That is one of the ways you justify the expense of that grill you want with all the bells and whistles on it.
Metal  Grill Basket

There are two other items some of you may need for your grill.  For those of you with a charcoal grill, a charcoal chimney starter is a big help.  It gets your fire going faster and helps make it more consistent.  Others may want to have a wood chip smoker.  This piece of equipment helps give your grilling more flavor.  They are simple to use and depending on the wood chips you use, can make a big difference in taste.
Portable LED Grill Lights

The last thing I'll mention today is a grill light.  During the summer with daylight savings it may not be needed.  But anytime you are cooking in low sunlight, it really helps to have a light right at the grill.  Sometimes it is hard to see if some foods are getting done because the patio light just doesn't do the job.  You might be surprised at how easy they are to use.

Tomorrow's blog is a recipe for "Grilled Portobello Mushrooms" and we just had them last weekend.  They were mighty good.

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