I think we all look for ways to make our lives a little less tedious and for ways to simplify our daily tasks. I know I do. Not having the proper accessories has cost me stained clothing, food dropped through the grill grates and without a good thermometer either over cooked or under cooked dishes. Adding a few barbecue grill accessories to your outdoor cooking toolkit will help make the task of outdoor grilling and barbecue smoking just a tad bit easier.
Where do you start with the accessories?
- Food handling accessories
- Spatula – This will be a benefit in turning or removing food from the grill.
- Barbecue tongs – These are perfect for turning meat on the grill and positioning for that perfect sear.
- Basting brush – A grilling or barbecuing artist must have this absolutely necessity accessory for painting their favorite sauce on the succulent barbecue being prepared.
- Barbecue grill cleaning brush – Use a good brush to clean the grill either before or after cooking. It is advisable to have at least two brushes, one for the cooking grates and one for the rest of the grill.
- Barbecue Mitts – Protect hands from nasty burns with good quality insulated barbecue mitts.
- Accessories for improving the grilling experience
- Chimney charcoal starter – Get rid of the lighter fluid and use one of these to start that charcoal. This results in a safe way to light the coals without any fear of leaving a chemical taste.
- Electric charcoal starter – This is another way to get your charcoal burning without having to use chemical lighter fluids. The main drawback of this is that you will need to have access to electricity for it to work.
- Adapter Hose – If you are using a propane gas barbecue grill like the Weber Q 320 that can use either the small propane bottles or the 20-pound canister, you will want to ensure you have one of these adapter hoses. This will provide you with many days of grilling or smoking without having to concern yourself with running out of fuel.
- Vegetable basket – This can surely save a few frayed nerves when it comes to fixing vegetables on the grill. With this specially constructed basket, there will be no need to worry about vegetables disappearing into the flames by falling between the bars on the cooking grates.
- Rolling cart – This is more of a convenience item if you are using a portable grill. With a rolling cart, you will have more of a permanent location for your grill that will be at a normal cooking height. You will not have to worry about clearing space off an outdoors table to hold the grill and you can position the grill in such a manner as to accommodate the wind.
- Digital meat thermometer – While many grills come with a thermometer built in to the lid, this will only give you the internal cooking temperature of the grill itself. It will not give you the internal temperature of the meat you are cooking. Consequently, without this type of thermometer, you cannot easily gauge the degree of doneness of your meat.
Absolute Must Haves
- Getting the fire going
- For gas barbecue grills and smokers – You will need a fuel source of some type. Depending upon your grill selection you will need either, the 14.1 or 16.4-ounce disposable propane bottle, a 20-pound LP canister or possibly a natural gas connection.
- For charcoal grills and smokers – You will need either a type of charcoal briquette or lump charcoal as your heat source. You can find information about the differences between charcoal briquettes and lump charcoal here.
- For pellet barbecue smokers – Naturally, these will need wood pellets specifically manufactured for these appliances. These pellets are made of compressed hardwood sawdust and contain no additives. These units also utilize an electric auger to feed the pellets to the firebox and may utilize an electric fan to circulate air for convection type cooking. As a result, you will need access to electricity.
- For meat and food smoking – You will want your choice of wood chips, compressed wood bisquettes, or compressed wood pellets in your preferred hardwood flavor.
- Protecting your investment
- Barbecue Grill Cover – Even though barbecue grills are designed to withstand being outdoors, it is still advisable to invest in a good grill cover. Not only will this protect your investment in your outdoor barbecue grill but it will also help prevent dirt and debris from accumulating. A grill cover that fits snugly will also discourage any stray critters that like to chew gas lines. As an added benefit, you can also get grill covers that feature many sports teams and add a little bit of style to your outdoor decor.