There’s not many things more enticing about the summer than the opportunity to invite some friends over and being able to throw some steaks, chicken and/or barbecue on the grill.
Whether it’s a backyard barbecue or a pool party, grilling is a summer classic! Everyone loves a good grilling opportunity. Kids love being able to play while the adults love having the chance to just kick back, relax and have a beverage with good friends.
Then as long as the cook isn’t culinary-challenged, everyone loves the food.
So this year if you want to have a grilling party at your place before the summer ends, here are the 11 things you should have…that is, if you want to have a successful backyard barbecue and an awesome time!
1. Grill – You have to start with the most essential item. The George Foreman grill that you use in the kitchen isn’t going to cut it when you have 10-20 people over at your home. Instead, you need a grill that will allow you to cook a number of items all at once. You’ll have to make the choice of what kind of grill you want to use. Propane and natural gas grills give a more consistent heat source while charcoal or wood-fire grills provide more taste.
2. Basting Brush – Before throwing your meat on the grill, you are going to want to marinate, preferably the night before, and while cooking, it’s just as important to baste. If you have your own recipe, mix up your own spices, flavorings and sauces. If not, there is nothing wrong with picking up a spice rub, marinade or barbecue sauce to use for basting. But to get all the flavor you want, you need a basting brush so you can apply juices and sauces to your meat while it is on the grill.
3. Wood/Wood Planks - Ask any barbecue champ and they will tell you just how important the fuel you use is. The smoke from certain types of wood (maple, oak, cherry) can add amazing flavor, but if you are using a different type of fuel, you can always use wood planks to cook on. They are especially great for fish (when you don’t have #6 on our list). You can also buy a plank saver that will help your planks last longer for more usages.
4. Skewers - Meat and vegetable skewers or kabobs make for a great appetizer. But you will need the stainless steel or wooden spears that hold the food. Once again, wooden spears will give more flavor, but they can often only be used once, whereas the metal will last. Skewers can also be used when grilling fruits and vegetable whole.
5. Grilling Bowl – Ever tried to cook something small on a grill or had a hamburger not stick together and lose part of it between the slats in the grill rack? If you’ve seen a perfectly good vegetable fall to its doom, then you definitely will want to have a grilling bowl. Set on top of the grill, you get the best of both worlds because you get the great grill flavor and don’t lose any food. Grilling bowls are also great for stir fry.
6. Nonstick Flexi Basket – Just as a grilling bowl will help save your vegetables, a nonstick flexi basket will save your seafood. The flexi basket conforms to whatever you put in it regardless of thickness. This allows you to put in shrimp and a plump fish and not have to worry about your shrimp sliding around when you flip the basket.
7. Thermometer – With the delightful aromas filling your nostrils, it’s hard not to want to eat as soon as you start to see some crispiness and grilling marks. However, for your safety, you need to wait until the inside of the food is cooked thoroughly. With a thermometer, you can get an accurate reading on the warmth of the middle of the food and know exactly when to pull it off the grill.
8. Barbecue Gloves – Fires flare up when you are using wood and charcoal. When you are flipping a burger or testing a food’s tenderness while it is over the heat, those flare ups can singe your hairs or, even worse, leave you with a bad burn. It’s best when working with a grill to wear gloves. Silicone gloves and the Ove’ Glove are great because they protect you and aren’t too bulky to make it hard to handle your food.
9. Tongs/Spatula – When you go to make that burger flip or to pull that piece of chicken off the grill, you don’t want to be trying to do it with a fork and knife combo or with your hands. To have a successful backyard barbecue, make sure you have the right utensils. Don’t even fire up the grill without the essential combination of a spatula and tongs. A long, two-pronged fork would also be great. The best way to make sure you have the right stuff is to spend the money and buy a grilling utensils/accessories set.
10. Grill Brush – After the party, if you want to keep your grill in good order, you are going to need to use a grill brush to clean the grill rack(s). You have to make sure you get all the juices and crusts that may have built up and then been baked onto the grill. Cleaning the grill is probably the only negative part about hosting the party, but you have to make sure it is clean and ready to go next time.
11. Grill Cover – When you are done cleaning, throw on the grill cover so that the grill doesn’t get soaked by the rain! You don’t want your grill to rust. You want it to last as long as possible.
Anything that is essential in your household? Let us know in the comments.