So, you’ve got the grill, but what else do you need? There’s a wealth of exemplary barbecue accessories available these days, but here are our top 5 Grilling Tools to Make Your Life Easier, which we never barbecue without:
1. Barbecue Mat
The barbecue mat is one of the new heavy-hitters in the barbecue accessory market. Now, don’t assume that barbecues are leaky messes because this product is at the top of our list. Although it’s not completely necessary, it’s definitely a preventative measure you’ll be thankful for taking. In the event that you spill grease on your nice wood or composite decking, you’ll be shouting these exact words: “I should’ve bought a Slop Sucker!” When you spill something onto it, you’ll be exclaiming, “I’m glad I bought the Slop Sucker!”
How essential is a barbecue mat really? Essential enough that you don’t even need to think about using it once it’s cozied up under your ‘que. The absorbent material does all the work for you, or just as much work as you do at the grill. And you know what they say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Whether you’re working at the forge, serving spaghetti, or barbecuing, you should always be using a good set of tongs Why? Because not doing so will lead to all kinds of problems from burnt hands, contaminated food, and messy cooking spaces. We certainly don’t endorse serving spaghetti by the fistful nor preparing your barbecued food that way either. You should be using tongs every time you touch the barbecue (or don’t touch it, since that’s what those tongs are for).
So what makes a good set of tongs? We recommend a nice long set of stainless steel beauties like our basic foot long Big Boy King Tong Bundy. Of course you can use different tongs with varying lengths, types of grips at the ends (some are silicone, some have wavy ridges, some are flat like burger flippers), different locking systems, and made of different materials. No matter what you prefer, one thing is universally true: a quality set of tongs are necessary for indoor cooking and outdoor 'cuing.
3. Stainless Steel Grill Pan
Have you ever lost a veggie to that gap between your grill grates? And as you watch it descend into the flaming pits of barbecue Hell like it's happening in slow motion. you think, "Wow, I wish there were something to stop that.” What if we told you there was?
Enter the grill pan. It’s easy to say, “You don’t think you’ll need it until you’ve got it,” but that holds exceptionally true for the grill pan. Our Brander World’s Best Everyday Grill Pan, which has two handles for easy-gripping and a non-stick surface, is a prime example of a pan you’ll be using nearly every cook. Don’t waste one-time-use baking sheets or tin foil on your barbecue, simply use a stainless steel grill pan then throw it in the dishwasher when you're done.
4. Probe ThermometerAs the wise words of many barbecue enthusiasts state: If you're lookin', you ain't cookin'. With you constantly opening the lid, you're letting all that built up heat out; and even worse, that delicious smokiness. Enter the bounty of possible probe thermometers. A high quality probe thermometer, like our Brander Barbecue Brain 3.0, will offer features such as multiple probes (up to six), Bluetooth connectivity, and a wide temperature range; all necessities for the relaxed and enjoyable barbecue experience we crave. You'll especially love these features when you go for those low and slow cooks that'll take multiple hours. All you have to do is set the probes and wait for your phone to tell you that your food is up to temperature.
5. Grill Brush
Now the grilling is done and everyone is fed and satisfied, but your barbecue experience isn't done yet. A dirty barbecue is certainly a tur-off and there’s no better way to give it some TLC than with a bristle brush. Bristles are effective at getting into every nook and cranny of the barbecue to ensure a competent cleanse, so it’ll be ready to go for next time.
If you're skeptic of bristled brushes, check out our blog, The Truth About Bristle Brushes, by clicking here.
Bonus Tool - Smoker Box
Ever wanted to inject a more of that "barbecue" flavour into your food? A smoker box, like our Brander Stainless Steel Smoker Box, is a great way to get a taste for smoking without buying a whole smoker. Load a handful of pellets or wood chips in and place it on top of your flavour bars for the perfect kiss of smoke. Is it really that easy? Yes, it is.
These are only a handful of the grilling tools we have online and in-store. Give us a call or swing by one of our five locations across Canada to check out what else we have, we have two locations in Calgary, and three in the Greater Toronto Area.