If you start watching cooking shows, they’ll have you believe that you need a fully stocked kitchen to barbecue anything right. A few go the other direction and assume a fire plus anything you have on hand will give you the perfect meal. Reality is somewhere in the middle, but there are essentials that everyone needs if you’re going to do more than barbecue a steak once in a while. Here are five things every pitmaster needs.
You need a real grill if you want to be a grill master. A large grilling surface is ideal since it lets you cook multiple items at once or a single large fillet. Ease of operation is important whether or not you have prior experience grilling; details like an easy to clean ash catcher matter if you’re using it a lot. Ventilation is important, and it is critical in the area around the coals. If the coals are on their own rack, air can rise up underneath and ash can fall away, so they’ll burn faster and far more efficiently.
An Electric Smoker
An electric smoker has a number of advantages over other types. It is easier to use from set up to clean up. You can set it and forget about it until it is done since you don’t have to babysit it to maintain its temperature or smoke levels. Some electric smokers can handle delicate tasks like smoking salmon while others offer the ability to smoke sausage; others offer a large capacity, which is perfect for smoking a three-course meal. Sites like Electric Smoker Center have tons of reviews for electric smokers, so you can determine which ones can handle the items you want to smoke.
Long Handled Tongs
Long handled tongs let you reach items at the back of the grill or electric smoker without risking burns. Don’t worry about tongs having a locking mechanism; you can use a rubber band to keep them closed in storage if you don’t hang them up somewhere. Instead, look for durable tongs with scalloped heads that have a good grip on whatever they pick up.
A Grill Brush
You need to clean the grill once in a while, and the simplest way to accomplish this is to have a good grill brush. A good grill brush lets you clean the grill quickly between batches while ensuring that fish and vegetables don’t stick. This requires a sturdy brush that doesn’t fall apart or gunk up when it tackles caked-on pieces of barbecue sauce.
A thermometer allows you to make sure the food is done before you take it off the grill. We recommend fast-reading thermometers so that the food doesn’t overcook while you’re waiting to see if it is done. Make sure you get one with an easily cleaned meat thermometer probe so you can verify the inside of the chicken is done instead of the top layers of the bird.
All these elements will help you take your Pitmaster game to the next level. Not only will they greatly enhance the taste of your food but will make grilling that much more fun and efficient.