There are so many items on the market today that “claim” you must have them for your barbecue. In reality, there are a few essential barbecue accessories that you should have for your next cookout.
• Grill grates-these form the cooking surface for your food. The rods on the grates are spaced out so the food is cooked by the flames but does not touch the ashes. They can be made of cast iron, porcelain, steel, or stainless steel. Just make sure that the grill grate has strong sturdy rods that will last for years. With grill grates, it is important that you clean and grease them so the food does not stick to the grate and the food gets even grill marks.
• Grill baskets-this is an important barbecue accessory if you want to cook food that could fall between the rods in your grill grates. The baskets come with lids to lock the food in so you can cook smaller foods easier. They have long handles so you can flip the basket over and easily lift it up. There are grilling baskets specially designed for fish, meatballs, corn, vegetables, and more.
• Grilling tongs-these are not the same as kitchen tongs because these have longer handles so you can flip food without getting too close to the grill If the tongs have a little spring in them it makes it easier to grip the food. The best grilling tongs are the stainless steel heavy-duty ones because they are durable and strong. Do not get tongs with forks at the edges because they can piece the meat. Make sure that you have at least two pairs of tongs. You need one for cooked meat and one for raw meat.
• Meat thermometer-this is another essential barbecue accessory. Some may prefer to judge if the food is done to the right temperature but using a meat thermometer will ensure that the inside of the meat is the right temperature and it is not undercooked. Undercooked food can cause several food borne illnesses, which you do not want your guests to get. For better accuracy, get a digital one.
Other barbecue accessories that you should have include spatulas or turners to turn over hamburgers, a basting brush to add flavor to the food with marinades or sauces during the last few minutes of grilling, and towels, regular or paper, to wipe your hands on, to lay your grilling tools on and more. You should also have a grill brush to clean the grates; especially if you have porcelain coated grill grates because grill scrapers will cause this coating to come off. If you like kebabs make sure that you have some skewers.