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Essential Tools for Great Barbecuing

If you’re a novice to the world of barbecuing, chances are that you’re gathering all the things you need to get off to a good start. You probably took some time to explore grill options, choosing either a traditional charcoal grill or a gas grill. You’ve probably even thought about all that succulent food you hope to create on your new grill. Perhaps you’ve researched marinades and rubs and are ready to tackle your first major barbecuing project.

But do you have the tools that are essential to every good barbecue meal? Grill masters note that there are a number of necessary tools that not only make for a better grilling experience but also make the job easier, resulting in a tasty barbecued meal about which your family and guests will no doubt rave! Consider purchasing all or some of these tools before you start your new barbecuing endeavor. Most are quite inexpensive.

o Meat thermometer – One of the most prevalent mistakes made by the novice griller is overcooking the meat. With an instant read thermometer and a chart that lists preferred cooking temperatures, you can accurately judge when the meat is done to your liking and avoid dry, tough results that aren’t very tasty. Some of these meat thermometers are combined with a carving fork for a two-fold tool that’s very handy.

o Spatulas – It’s a good idea to have at least two sturdy spatulas to lift large pieces of meat and turn them when needed. Spatulas are preferred to forks when turning meat because forks make holes that allow juices to escape. Choose sturdy, long, metal spatulas that are heat resistant.

o Tongs – Tongs can also be used for turning meat because they won’t make holes either. You may need to buy several different sizes as you’ll need long, sturdy ones for turning things like a large rack of ribs and small ones for poultry pieces or other similar items.

o Sauce mop – This is a great tool for brushing on sauces or marinades and is preferred over a small brush that resembles a pastry brush. Sauce mops look like household rag mops and generally have strings that are about 3 inches long, attached to a handle that is about a foot long. The mop gently spreads the sauce or marinade onto the meat during cooking.

o Carving tools – The grill master’s job is not complete when the meat is removed from the grill. It’s his/her job to carve the meat and create a nice presentation for the guests as well. So, that means it’s essential to have some good carving tools on hand. Invest in a set of quality knives – perhaps carbon steel – and be sure to keep them sharp at all times. You may also want to buy a carving fork as well – the long ones that hold the meat while you cut it.

o Grill toppers – You may want to consider buying a basket-type contraption known as a grill topper, which allows you to cook smaller pieces of meat or vegetables without risk of them falling through the grates of your grill. Sort of like a wok with holes, these toppers come in different sizes and sit directly on the grill.

o Miscellaneous items – Other tools you’ll need for barbecuing will include an apron, preferably one that can hold some of your tools if your grilling space is limited; heat resistant mitts or gloves, which might seem cumbersome but are necessary to protect your hands from hot juices, etc.; and perhaps a large cutting board, which should be big enough to handle a rack of ribs or large brisket. For the cutting board, choose a surface that is easily washed and remember to disinfect it once in a while as it will come in contact with raw meat on a regular basis.