What Utensils Do I Need-Pt. 2
01/29/06 - 15:41 Filed in: Gear
Continuing on with the theme of essential grill utensils, plus a few “nice to have” items.
Tongs: A good pair of tongs is essential. The keep your hands from getting burned and help you maneuver your food around the grill. I’ve acquired many tongs throughout the years, some I’ve bought and others have been gifts. You can never have too many tongs. You may be cooking several meals in a given day or different meats. Older tongs get pressed into service picking up hot charcoal baskets.
The heavy duty tongs in my arsenal are Steven Raichlen’s Ultimate locking tong;s. They are 19” (48 cm) long, have a very sturdy C-Shaped cross section and a nice wide gripping surface. I bought 2 pairs, so I can have a spare pair when one is in the dishwasher. They are pictured below:
Grill Mitts / Gloves: A good pair of gloves is essential to keeping your hands from being burned. I have two pairs: A pair of Weber Mitts and a pair of Stephen Raichlen leather gloves. The Weber mitts are the more traditional looking padded mitts and I use these for handling hot grill grates hot pans etc. The SR leather gloves are long, going up past the elbow. They are great fro dumping hot coals from your charcoal chimney into the grill. Having 5 fingers allows you to get a better grip on things, Many people go to stores that carry welding supplies or fire-fighting supplies to get gloves for grilling.
Charcoal Chimney: One of the things I feared about getting a charcoal grill was lighting the charcoal. The charcoal chimney makes this an easy task. You put the charcoal in the main chamber and wadded up newspaper underneath. You light the newspaper and it helps ignite the charcoals. Fifteen minutes later you have glowing coals.
I tried a cheap chimney, but quickly went out and bought a Weber. It was bigger, had two handles to help dumping the coals out, and was much easier to light. The Weber is pictured below. Please note the pine needles fell long after I’d used the chimney. I always sweep up the area around the chimney to avoid problems.
Lighter: Having a lighter like this makes lighting your charcoal chimney faster and easier. This item also comes in handy if the batteries for your gas grill’s igniter are dead.
Grill Brush: No pictures here, because I haven’t found the perfect one yet. You want a long handle to keep your hands away from the heat. You need a brush with bristles that are compatible with with the type of grate that came with your grill. Check your grill directions for specifics.
Rotisserie: Long before I got my latest two grills, I’d discovered the great roasts you could turn out using the rotisserie attachment for the grill. Many grills have a rotisserie attachment available from the manufacturer. There are also third parties who make one-size-fits-all rotisseries that work with many different grill models.
When I have a choice, I go with the one made for my grill. The Sears model for my gas grill has a single piece 42” (106.66 cm) long spit. There is one set of fittings that works with the grill. The setup is fast and easy.
The third party rotisseries sometimes have a multi-piece spit that you screw together. I’ve had these multi-piece spits unscrew themselves mid-cook. The 3rd party models often have various attachment brackets and fittings, some of which are for your grill and others are for other grills. I like the idea of one set of parts that just fits my grill without guessing.
When it comes time to get the rotisserie for my CharGriller smoker, I plan to by the CharGriller model. It has a heavy duty-heavy duty one-piece spit, with a counterweight, fits the grill and can use a battery. Bottom line: Look at all your choices and remember cheaper isn’t always better.
Rib Rack: This accessory is not essential but very handy to have, It allows you to fit many more ribs on the grill. The one I use is Weber, but there are many good ones out there.
Beer Can Chicken Stand: Beer can chicken is where you cook a chicken upright using a half-filled can of beer (or other beverage) as a support for the chicken. The chicken is cooked using indirect heat. There are many 3rd party alternatives to using a can. The one I use is probably the most expensive alternative. If you plan to do a large amount of these at any one time you may want to explore less expensive alternatives.
My stand is called the Weber Poultry Stand and it has a perforated dome shaped lid with fins that supports the bird. There is a trough to catch the drippings and a plug to self off the neck cavity. The entire assembly is made out of non-stick aluminum. What I like is the wide drip trough keeps the bird steady and collects the drippings. The neck plug helps seal the cavity and help the bird steam. The picture shows one stand assembled and one in pieces.
Part 3 will discuss some handy prep items for in the Kitchen.
SOME RELATED LINKS: WHAT UTENSILS DO I NEED - PART 1 Blog Entry
WHAT UTENSILS DO I NEED - PART 3 Blog Entry
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