These barbecue accessories can help you fire up a feast in no time. They also save labor, and add flavor and flair to all your alfresco meals.
By Rebecca Schneider
There’s nothing like food hot off the grill. The aromas, the flavors and the great outdoors all add up to memorable dining. But when your food twirls on its skewers and cooks unevenly, drops through the grate and shoots smoke in your face, or is attacked by wasps and flies the minute you dish it up, your memorable meal quickly degenerates into a miserable mess. So we scoured the shelves for some inexpensive accessories that will ensure your meals grill up perfect every time. Here’s what we found:
Circular Skewers Tired of trying to fit a straight skewer onto a circular plate? These smartly designed skewers allow you to easily place a piece of steak, chicken or fish or a side of veggies onto the center or side of a circular plate. Available at uncommongoods.com; $15.50 for a set of eight.
Himalayan Salt Plate Whether used on a grill to cook meats, fish or veggies, or as a serving platter for sushi or appetizers, this salmon-colored block works equally well for cold or hot foods. Made from mineral-rich Himalayan salt, the plate adds a natural, but not pervasive, saltiness to foods and can be reused over and over. Available at surlatable.com; $40.
Twig Skewers Made of cast iron for even heat distribution and quicker cooking, these twig-shaped skewers lend a natural feel to any barbecue. Their tiny branch nodes also keep food securely in place. Available at uncommongoods.com; $30 for a set of eight.
Cast-Iron Grill Humidifier This thin, cast-iron box imparts plenty of flavor, and mouthwateringly moist results. Just fill it with virtually any liquid, from beer to fruit juice, and the steam naturally seasons meats while keeping them tender and juicy. Available at surlatable.com; $30 for a set of two.
Infusion Pitcher This innovative pitcher infuses water, tea or other beverages with fresh fruit flavors. Just fill the removable infusion compart-ment with strawberries, lemon or lime slices, or your favorite fruit, to create distinctively refreshing drinks. Made by Prodyne, available at amazon.com; $24.99.
Granite Piastra Add Italian flavor to your barbecue by cooking on a traditional piastra. Commonly used by Italian cooks, this solid granite slab conducts heat evenly, never rusts and is a great way to cook seafood, flatbreads and pizzas on the grill. Available at surlatable.com; $49.95-$79.95, depending on size.
Mini-Burger Grill Basket Want to create diner-style sliders on the grill? This compact grill basket lets you quickly whip up eight mini-burgers at once. Simply flip and serve, no spatula needed. Available at crateandbarrel.com; $19.95.
Individual Meat Thermometers Most people love burgers and steaks, but grilling them to everyone’s individual preference can be tricky. Just stick these tiny meat thermometers into each piece and you can cook them all to perfection. Available at crateandbarrel.com; $3.50.
Perforated Grill Wok Expand your grill repertoire to seafood, vegetables and even paellas with this grill-ready wok. Perforations allow for authentic barbecued flavor without the worry of food falling into the fire. The flat base and handles make stir-frying on the grill a cinch. Comes in stainless steel, copper and nonstick. Made by Outset, available at amazon.com; $15-$29.95, depending on size, shape and material.
Food Tent Nothing ruins a barbecue more than unwanted guests—insects, that is. Keep food safe from pests and falling debris with this colorful, portable food tent, an absolute necessity for any cookout. Available at crateandbarrel.com; $3.95.
Double-Pronged Skewers These stainless-steel skewers make grilling kabobs a breeze, and their eye-catching shape and double prongs prevent food from rolling while turning. Made by Danesco, available through amazon.com; $16.58 for a set of six.
Chile Pepper Grill Rack Barbecue master Steven Raichlen created this vertical roasting rack that lets you put your own twist on jalapeño poppers. The rack holds up to 18 chile peppers upright for easy stuffing and grilling. It also comes with a pepper corer for quick prep. Available at surlatable.com; $20.