5 Grilling Essentials for Your Summer BBQ
Memorial Day kicks off the season of grilling with everything from burgers to vegetables taking a trip across a hot grill for that smoky summer flavor. To achieve the best flavors and results, we’ve rounded up the five most important tools every grill master should have for a successful summertime soiree. We’re also sharing a crowd-pleasing hamburger recipe – complete with garlic mayonnaise and grilled red potato wedges – developed by the Thermomix® recipe kitchen. Bookmark this page and gear up for your best BBQ ever.
Stock Up on Spatulas and Tongs
Whenever you’re dealing with an open flame, you want to keep your hands far away from the heat, so a good set of spatulas and tongs is priority number one. Be sure to reach for long-handed tools that let you flip and remove your meats from a distance. But different meats require different tools. Delicate fish needs to be flipped with a spatula; burgers, steaks and kabobs can be handled with tongs; and chicken and chops should be stabbed with a fork for ease of movement while also unlocking steam and juices, which means you’ll need one of each depending on what you’re grilling. Typically, you can buy these tools as a set, and if you’re looking for an all-in-one gadget, the Stingray 7-in-1 BBQ tool is the Swiss Army Knife of spatulas that incorporates all three. Whichever you choose, Grilling Expert, Steven Raichlen, recommends always opting for stainless steel accessories “to stand up to the fire, smoke, and easy cleanup.”
Baste Like a Pro
To achieve maximum flavor on chicken, steaks, and vegetables, you’ll want to invest in a good basting brush to spread marinades, butter, oil, and other sauces on your meat as it cooks on the grill. Cook’s Illustrated tested a variety of brushes, and suggests using a silicone basting brush over boar’s hair, which is “more durable and can withstand high heat.” The other benefit of silicone is an even distribution of liquids across all of the nooks and crannies of your beef and chicken without spilling out onto the grill. Like with spatulas, handle length is another important element when selecting the ideal brush. “We found that 12 inches was just about perfect,” notes Cook’s Illustrated, “any shorter and our hands got too close to the heat; any longer and we sacrificed control.” Also, best to avoid plastic handles altogether, which are at risk of melting if they come in contact with the grill.
Once you’ve got yours picked, give our Barbecue Butter a try from our BBQ Boosters Collection, which is a tasty addition to everything from chicken to corn or melted on baked potatoes to infuse it with some savory BBQ flavor from the pan drippings.
Brush Debris Away
As important as your basting brush is to evenly cook and flavor your food, a grate brush is even more critical for keeping your grill clean once you’re done using it to prevent caked on debris from forming. Many opt for wire brushes that effectively remove dried sauces and meat fats, but there are also wood brushes you can use to scrape your grill while it’s still warm so the shape of your grates forms in the wood for an even closer cleanup every time. Freelance journalist, author, and home grilling enthusiast Steven John warns that the first time you use a wooden brush to scrape away the grime and gunk build up on your grill grates, “it’s not going to be very effective [but] stick with it! Soon enough, this clever, paddle-shaped wooden tool will be the best grill scraper your grill has ever experienced, because it will adapt to fit the exact width and placement of your grill’s bars.”
Taking the Right Temp
A meat thermometer is a grill master’s best friend to ensure your meats are cooked to perfection. We recently partnered with MEATER®, the first truly wireless smart meat thermometer, for this foolproof Smart Grilling recipe collection. MEATER+ let’s you step away from the grill to prepare sides or cocktails without having to worry about overcooking your food. With easy monitoring via your smartphone, MEATER® helps you grill with precision whether you’re a novice or seasoned griller to achieve optimal results every time. And combined with the revolutionary technology of the Thermomix®, you can take your BBQ to the next level this year.
Grilling aprons are more than just a fun fashion accessory bearing catch phrases like ‘Kiss the Cook.’ They protect against heat, hot oil splashes, and keep all of your grilling tools handy for ease of access while you’re managing multiple meats. Opt for one that’s a durable, heavyweight material but can be machine washed. Max Lavoie, BBQ Guru and Co-founder of House of BBQ Experts, recommends reaching for an apron that has “at least 4 pockets to safely house multiple tools and a towel loop to wipe your hands and clean up messes on the go.” Need more inspiration? Eater rounded up these chef recommendations for the best aprons for cooking.
Now that you’re suited up and ready to grill, download this mouthwatering recipe for Burgers with Red Potatoes and Garlic Mayonnaise and add a MEATER+ and 10 foolproof grilling recipes to your summer entertaining arsenal with the Smart Grilling Culinary Collection.