The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

More Cool Tools

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With the July 4th weekend approaching, I paid a visit to Steven Raichlen’s online store. I was looking to do some kebabs and needed skewers. While there I found some more cool tools I’ll describe. If I am doing a small batch of kebabs for two people, I can use my rotisserie to do the kebabs. It does take longer via the infra-red rotisserie burner than direct grilling. But I don’t have to turn them which makes up for the extra time. But I need kebabs for 4 or more, so it was time for some skewers. I am not a fan of bamboo skewers, I wanted stainless steel. Reusable and dishwasher safe.

When I got to the online store, (whose url I will post at the end of this blog entry) I saw they were having a 10 percent off sale for the entire month of June in honor of Father’s Day. I really needed no excuse to look around more, but pretend along with me. One of the things I like about Steven Raichlen’s line of tools is they don’t appear to be an after thought where some celebrity put their name on a product line. Someone actually seems to have sat down and thought about how people use these tools and how the current versions on the market could be improved. An example of this is the Signature Rib Rack. Unlike some models I have seen it is not suited for either the smaller baby backs of the larger St Louis or spare ribs. It has rails on it so both sizes fit well. It has a raised bottom rack so the ribs sit 1/2” (1.25 cm) above the grill grate and therefor won’t stick. The biggest innovation was it had handles to help carry it in and outside. These seem like a no brainer but this was the first rack I ran across with them. It is also non-stick for easy cleaning. I will post the links for these items so you can check them out, but the odds are good that over time the links will change. The main link at the bottom should remain good for a long time.


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A non-stick surface, a raised bottom & handles set this rib rack apart. click on the link below to learn more


This time around I grabbed a couple Non-Stick Wire Grilling Grids. I plan to do more potato chips on the 4th and wanted to be able to do more at once. Unlike some models I have seen ,these had side handles for easy pick up. There was also a turned up back to help you when using a spatula to pick up and flip the items. They were also non-stick for easy clean up. The one thing I will have to see is how this surface holds up to metal grilling tools such as a spatula.


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This 12” x 16” (30 x 40 cm) grilling grid has a turned up back and two side handles


The second item I grabbed was a 4 compartment basket. It was a man frame that held 4 smaller baskets for grilling small items. The main frame uses a detachable handle so you can remove the handle and close the grill lid. What attracted me to this one was the detachable handles. I have several baskets where the handle doesn’t detach. If you try to close the lid it pushes down the handle and rocks the basket so part of it is up off the grill. Even with the lid open my grill has a raised front lip that holds the handle up in the air so once again the basket doesn’t lie flat. I think I like the non-stick aspect too. One again time will tell how it holds up to the rigors of grilling. This basket will make doing some veggies, or polenta or hand cut fries easier.


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4 hinged baskets are held in a frame which features a removable handle


Next was something I wasn’t looking for, but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it. That was the wood Chip Double Soaker set. It consists f two perforated metal baskets and a plastic bin to hold the water. I currently used a measuring cup to measure out the chips and 2 aluminum foil pans, one for soaking and one for holding the chips after they have been soaked and strained using a colander. This device has several nice touches. The baskets serve as the measuring device. The bin has handles notches in them so when you are done soaking you raise the baskets up and out of the water and rest them on the handles to drain. It reminds me of friolators in restaurants that cook french fries. This Item takes up less room on the counter and uses less water in the process, I like that you can actually soak 2 batches at once. This is good for me for long cooks. They say to soak the chips for one hour and once in my grill’s smoker drawer the chips seem to last for 45 minutes. So I usually need to have two batches going at any one time. This is the kind of clever thinking I like about this line of grill tools.

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The perforated metal basket holds the wood chips & a 90 degree turn makes the difference between a low soaking position (top) or a high drain position (bottom) in the plastic tub


Oh yes I did get the skewers. Two sets of two different sizes. Medium and large, with 5/8” and 7/8” (1.66 and 2.25 cm) blades to keep the food from spinning. Nothing particularly special here. Just well built and good value for the money. You should pay a visit to the Best of BBQ store to see what cool tool you never knew you needed. Besides grill tools there are various pre-made rubs and sauces and of course you can buy HOW TO GRILL and all the other Raichlen books there. I will probably write a blog in the future with my review of how these items performed in the field.


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5/8” wide & 7/8“ (1.66 & 2.25 cm) wide skewers

Enjoy the store and enjoy the 4th of July Holiday. You’ve got three days: Grill something good!!


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