Skewers and Kabob Holders
The easiest way to grill vegetables, shrimp, and small cuts of meat is to pierce them on skewers or kebab holders. Bamboo skewers, which can only be used once, should be sturdy and about 12 inches long. If you buy metal, look for ones made of stainless steel-it won't rust and is dishwasher safe. Double-pronged versions are better at holding food in place. Whatever you're grilling-scallops, chunks of lamb, whole mushrooms-will stay in place and be evenly cooked.
Grill Friends Double Kabob Skewers; $19.99; bbqproshop.com
Silicone Grill Mat
Grilling fish is a little tricky because it often sticks, breaks, and falls through the cooking grate. Fish baskets are one option, but fish often sticks to those as well. A silicone mat prevents sticking; you simply lay it directly on the cooking grates and then lay the food on top of it. This one has perforations, which allow the fish juices to drip down to the heat source at which point they vaporize and flavor the fish as it cooks. Silicone mats can also be used to grill vegetables.
Grill Friends Silicone Grill mat; $20.99; bbqproshop.com
A pizza peel helps you move pizza crust on and off the grill. Look for a peel with a beveled edge to slide under the pizza, a large surface (at least 13-inches in diameter) and a long (10 to 12 inches) handle to keep your hands away from the fire. If you don't want to invest in a peel, use an upside-down baking sheet instead.
Ironwood Gourmet Pizza Peel; $25; ironwoodgourmet.com
A rib rack resembles an English toast holder and keeps racks of ribs upright, allowing hot air to rotate around the entire rack during cooking. Look for one that is tall enough to reach at least halfway up the ribs, which will help keep them in place. For convenience, purchase one that is dishwasher safe.
Weber 6406 Rib Rack; $15.99; amazon.com
Vertical Chicken Roaster
A vertical chicken roaster is helpful for making beer-can chicken. The roaster has a vertical piece that holds the chicken upright over a tray of beer. The beer steams and flavors the chicken, resulting in a moist and delicious bird. Look for a roaster that is large enough to support a four- to six-pound chicken. If you want to roast vegetables as you roast the chicken, buy one with an attached roasting pan.
Weber Poultry Roaster; $34.99; amazon.com
One increasingly popular way to add flavor to delicate foods, especially fish, is to cook atop a wood plank. Many options are available at supermarkets and specialty shops. You can buy wood from a lumberyard, but make sure it's untreated, as treated wood can be toxic. Planks have to be soaked before using (so they don't catch fire); make sure the one you buy is small enough to fit in a sink, cooler, or bucket. If you entertain, a nice option is a plank that fits into its own serving platter. These can be easy to use and beautiful to present.
Cedar Grilling Planks & Holder Set; $49.95; williams-sonoma.com
Grilling in the dark is difficult, because you can't see the food or the fire. You could use a heavy-duty flashlight outside, but this will tie up one hand. A permanent light installed on the patio would be the best scenario, but the second-best option is a portable outdoor light strong enough to illuminate the whole area. Look for one that can stand up to harsh weather. The one pictured here is weighted and will steady itself in strong wind.
Wobble Patio Light PL100; $159; amazon.com
If your grill has a lid, you can add soaked wood chips and use it to "smoke" food fairly easily. However, some people opt to purchase a dedicated smoker because those are more efficient and allow you to smoke bigger cuts as well as larger quantities of meat. Smokers run the gamut from an inexpensive bullet smoker-named for its bulletlike shape-to a barbecue rig that can cost as much as a small house. They are all designed to cook food by the indirect method with charcoal and/or wood. The bullet smoker pictured here is easy to use and is large enough to smoke a whole turkey and a ham at the same time.
Weber-Stephens Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker; $299; amazon.com
Grilling expert and cooking teacher Elizabeth Karmel is the author of Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ and Pizza on the Grill: 100 Fun & Fabulous Fire-Roasted Recipes. In 2001, she founded girlsatthegrill.com. Grill Friends, her line of grilling tools and accessories, is available at bbqproshop.com.
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