There is something about summertime that just screams grilling. Maybe it’s the smell of the grill that resonates with warm weather, or how the higher temperatures seem to beckon you outside to cook all of your meals outdoors over an open flame. Whatever the reason, summer means grilling to so many cooks, and so now is the time to make sure you’re well outfitted for the season.
You’re probably already armed with your favorite kitschy apron, and your ice-cold brews and new lawn furniture are surely ready to go. You hopefully also have all of the essentials on hand as well: a grill, coals, a spatula, and your favorite cut of meat sitting in the fridge. But while these items certainly are enough to start grilling, what if we told you that only a few simple, cheap gadgets can change your entire barbecue experience?
With major grilling holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July coming up, get your shed stocked with these inexpensive accessories that will change the way you grill forever.
Get your hot dogs here! With the Cuisinart Hot Dog Roller ($19.99; bedbathandbeyond.com), you can evenly cook hot dogs over your grill’s open flame with ease and confidence. Load five dogs onto the rollers in a cinch to keep them far from both the grill’s dirty grate and open flame for char-free franks.
While ballparks now cannot hold a candle to your mad doggin’ skills, you can still look to them for inspiration for how to further knock your guests’ taste buds out of the park.
(See also: High tech kitchen products)
No matter your proficiency for elbow grease, the caked-on mess a grill can leave behind could put the best scrubber to shame. Granted, there are plenty of ways to keep your grill squeaky-clean and food-safe without a grill brush, but the Grill Daddy Pro Brush ($22.71; Amazon.com) is still a splendid gadget to own.
Cast-Iron Double Burger Griller
If your grill had feelings (and we’re not entirely convinced that such a beautiful machine doesn’t), it would feel deprived if you never made burgers on it all summer. Do your grill a favor and invest in the Cast-Iron Double Burger Griller($24; bedbathandbeyond.com) so you can enjoy evenly cooked, less fattening beef patties.
You could even forget the beef and treat yourself to a flavorful salmon burger that everyone will enjoy.(Photo by: Texas Irons)Cherry Grilling Papers
Throwing your favorite meat on the grill is not enough to get that smoky flavor you crave. Soak Cherry Grilling Papers ($13.95; texasirons.com) in wine, whiskey, or marinades and throw them on the grill with your favorite main course and each bite you take will be a memorable one. Try using already boozy dishes to get creative ideas for your next BBQ pit party.
(Photo by: BBQ Fans)Bear Paws BBQ Meat Handlers
Rough. Carnal. Macho. All of these buzz words finely describe what it feels like to cook a big piece of meat on the grill artfully. Up the ante with Bear Paws BBQ Meat Handlers ($11.95; bbqfans.com), so you can savagely grab your succulent dish and serve your guests with ease. It proves to be perfect for transporting and carving grilled goodies, like whole roasted turkeys.
(Photo by: BBQ Fans)Folding Leg or Wing Rack
Set it and forget it hardly ever applies to grilling, hence why the grill master is such an important title. It takes a strong person to resist the urge to mingle over some brews with their friends so they can concentrate on the grill. But a tool like the Folding Leg or Wing Rack ($5.50; bbqfans.com) makes it possible, as it vertically suspends wings or legs inside the grill and requires no turning. (Photo by: BBQ fans)
Fire Wire Stainless Steel Flexible Skewers
Who ever said "don’t play with your food" clearly never had the Fire Wire Stainless Steel Flexible Skewers ($9.95; bbqfans.com) for their grill. These bendable skewers can adjust to a plastic bag size for marinating time, hold way more food than the average wooden skewer, and easily drape over the grill's side to make flipping easy. Just throw these puppies on the grill and let them sizzle.
From creamed to sweetened, corn has many ways to be enjoyed, but nothing compares to throwing a husk on the grill. The Corn Griller Basket($14.95; crateandbarrel.com) allows corn to be easily flipped and blackened. It also comes with a long handle to keep fingers far from the flames.
From delicate dishes to hearty meats, your grill can handle anything with this Infusion Cooker ($23.99; charbroil.com). This multi-purpose grill-top cooker creates a moisture-locking chamber around your grill dishes, like fresh vegetables, and even comes with flavor-smoking chips to add extra zing to your grill top. It also reduces fat content by eliminating the need for oils or salts to keep your dishes flavorful.
When people think of barbecue, standard dishes come to mind, like burgers and steaks, and most don’t even dream of putting certain vegetables or fruits on the grill because of their shape or consistency. Get ready to leave your oven behind this summer with Steven Raichlen’s extremely simple Large Stainless Steel Grill Ring with Spike ($6.99; bbqguys.com). You can easily roast the unimaginable, from whole cabbages to stuffed peppers. For even more convenience, adjust the gadget to use the spike or just the grill ring to accommodate your dishes even better.