The Very Best Grill Basket Is Probably Already in Your Kitchen

published Jul 1, 2019
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Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn

Summer is in full swing, which means everything that looks good at the market — from asparagus to peaches — is going on the grill. Most vegetables and proteins are easy enough to slice or chop into just the right dimensions for easy grilling. A few things, though, like thin asparagus spears or delicate shrimp, end up cooking unevenly if not positioned just right, or slip through the grates entirely to meet their untimely end in the flames below.

The good news? You don’t need a fancy grill basket or grill pan to corral these things. Nope, the very best grill basket alternative is probably already in your kitchen.

Here’s Why You Should Stick a Cooling Rack on Your Grill

Cooling racks, with their thin metal weave, make a surprisingly great grill basket for small pieces of food. Set any metal (and uncoated) cooling rack directly on the grill while it preheats, and it almost instantly becomes a small grill for tiny tomatoes, cut cauliflower, and more. Recently, I purchased two extra inexpensive cooling racks just for the grill. Because they have feet, they work best when inverted (feet facing up). When I’m done grilling, I use tongs to pick up the whole rack — food and all — and transfer it to a platter or baking sheet.

The idea, inspired by Korean and Thai tabletop grills like the yakitori, isn’t really new, but every year it takes me a few grill sessions to remember that I already have a grill basket alternative in my baking cupboard.