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July was Grilling Month here at The Kitchn, and with grilling, came grilling stuff. As most of you know, I'm a minimalist when it comes to gadgets, but I do find a few toys useful when I fire up my grill. Of course, the two most important things are high, even heat, and good ingredients. But if you're ready to add a few more items to your arsenal, read on.
If you're going to have one book about grilling, I suppose the one called The Barbecue! Bible
would be the way to go. Sure, any joker could write a book, slap the enthusiastic biblical title on it and feign expertise. But in this case, the author, Steven Raichlen knows what he's doing. From basics like how to set up and maintain a grill, to nibbles like grilled breads, to exotics like pulled pork from a whole hog, Raichlen covers everything you can imagine in this volume including plenty for vegetarians.
• The Barbecue! Bible (Amazon, new & used from $10.78)
These classic heavy-duty tongs are made by the Vermont-based Edlund Company, a long-time supplier to the restaurant industry. They're sturdy, and stainless which is perfect for the grill. I don't like a lot of bells and whistles on my tongs like wood, silicone, and grippy rubber handles. Simple design, with a strong spring. Off the grill, I use my tongs for flipping a roasting chicken, pulling out peaches or tomatoes
from a boiling bath (if I don't mind a little bruising), and arranging meat while it braises, to name a few.
• 16" Stainless Steel Tongs (Cooking.com, $8.75)
If you're at all unsure about when your meat is done, an instant-read thermometer can help. This fun one made especially for grilling has an extra-large face that glows in the dark. Taylor, based in Illinois, makes most of the thermometers you'll find in restaurants and has been doing so since 1851. I like companies like that.
• Taylor Weekend Warrior Meat Thermometer (Amazon, $9.96)
Grilling Planks are a great way to barbecue, especially for tender fish and vegetables. Most often seen in cedar, a company called Fire & Flavor (I met the owners at a conference this spring) is also offering them in Alder, Maple and Oak. Each wood lends a different flavor and compliments a different range of foods from steak and pork to seafood and vegetables.
• Grilling Planks (Fire & Flavor, from $7.99)
Given what you are grilling is fresh and high-quality, and your technique is good, there's really nothing else a grilled vegetable or piece of meat needs aside from a whisper of nice salt. We've talked about this before
and I still get people asking why anyone would spend over $10 on a sack of salt when the stuff in the cardboard cylinder is under a buck. If you can afford it, it's worth springing for the good stuff. I like Fleur de Sel de Guérande, which, these days, you can get in many gourmet markets and cook's supply shops. Heck, Amazon even has it.
• Fleur de Sel de Guérande (Amazon, $9.99)
For those who don't have a barbecue and are ready to ditch The Kitchn
forever after this month of grill-focused posting, may I remind you that you can grill inside, on your stove top. The best way is with a grill pan. My favorite is the classic Lodge 20" Grill/Griddle because it can straddle two burners and you can flip over the grill and make pancakes on the smooth griddle side.
• Lodge 20"Cast-Iron Grill/Griddle (Amazon, $44.99)
Last Week's Posted Email: From The Email: Off The Grid Grilling
(Grilling plank image courtesy of Gourmet Made Simple by Gena Knox)