Grill Like A Pro: Tools For Better Barbeques

Summer is just around the corner, which means backyard cooking time for a lot of us. Despite the growing popularity of outdoor kitchens, replete with stoves, refrigerators, rotisseries, and other fancy weather-proof appliances, the trusty backyard barbeque grill remains the number one choice for most of us.

Whether you plan on inviting lots of folks over or just enjoy grilling for the family, you're probably already thinking of sauces and marinades you can try to spruce up your burgers, steaks, and chicken breasts. There are quite a few tools that might come in handy, too, to make cooking easier (after all, you want to get your meat just right without charring anything) and cleanup a snap. Let's take a look at what's available this year to improve the grill experience.

Grill Baskets

You've probably had yummy grilled vegetables at your favorite restaurant or maybe from a store like Whole Foods, but they can be a pain to cook at home. Unless you slice them very carefully, and turn them over even more carefully, they'll slip between the bars of the grate and it's bye-bye eggplant.

For an easier time, consider a grill basket. These baskets allow you to lay out the food up inside, close the lid, and stick your veggies on the grill. A handle makes it a lot easier to flip the food (and you can get everything at once) than the traditional spatula and tongs.

And of course you're not limited to vegetables. Everything from shish kabob skewers to steaks to fish can be cooked using a grill basket.

Grill Liners

Home Depot and other stores are now carrying special grill liners made from heavy duty aluminum. They fit just about any barbeque with parallel bars, and they eliminate the need to clean up afterwards. Cook your food, then throw the liner away. The bars underneath will remain pristine, so there's no need to spend tedious time scraping gunk off the grate. You can get more than 20 liners for 20 dollars, so it's not a bad deal at all.

Stir-Fry Pans

Stir-fry on the barbeque? That's nuts, isn't it? Well, not if you pick up a stir-fry pan specifically designed to work on your backyard grill.

Think of it as an alternative to shish kabobs, which are a pain to flip without searing your fingers and can dry out (if you use metal skewers, they cook the food from the inside out). Stir-fry pans, on the other hand, give you all the flavor of shish kabobs without the difficulties in cooking them.

These pans look a bit like square woks with lots of little round holes in the bottom (small enough to keep food from falling through). Toss in some cut up meat and vegetables, and let the flames do their work. Make sure to pick up a non-stick dishwasher-safe pan, so it will clean up easily.

Meat Thermometers

To eliminate harmful bacteria, it's important to cook meat to the right temperature (165 degrees for chicken, 145 for beef, 140 for seafood, and 160 degrees for burgers). Cooking by sight isn't the safest way to gauge temperature, which is why a meat thermometer comes in handy.

You can get ones that are specifically designed for the grill, such as fork thermometers. Simply stick the prongs into the meat, and read the temperature on the LCD display on the handle. It doesn't get any easier than that.

These are just some of the tools you can pick up to make grilling a more pleasant experience. Hopefully, I've given you some ideas to improve summer cookouts. At the very least, you should have some ideas for Father's Day gifts. Now, go out and grill!

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About The Author, Tcthorn
For more house and home ideas, check out the author's blogs on home improvement, outdoor living ideas, and home security reviews.