The sun has finally arrived, you’re sitting down with a cool glass of your favourite drink and, somewhat surprisingly given the unpredictable weather the United Kingdom suffers from, there isn’t a dark cloud causing a horrible blotch on the bright blue sky. It’s the perfect setup for a barbecue, so you rush to get the barbecue out before the bad weather inevitably makes its unwelcome return. Except, you’ve lit it and you’ve forgot one key thing – barbecue accessories!
Picking the best barbecue accessories
Of course, I’m not suggesting that any of us would light a barbecue without anything to help us actually cook the food but there are things we tend to forget in our rush to make good use of the decent weather. It’s not just what you need during the cooking process though, you’ve also got to think about things you need after you’ve had your fill of sausages and the barbecue needs putting away. So here’s a handy list of six things we regard as essential barbecue accessories.
Before you even begin with the cooking part refer to our recent barbecue safety guide. Outback apron and mittWhen you’re dealing with barbecues you may unsurprisingly end up getting burnt if you’re not careful, so extra protection is required just in case. Get hold of some heavy duty gloves that also protect your lower arms, as when you reach over the grill you could accidentally touch flame or be splashed by whatever is cooking. Also, the handles on the utensils you’re using can get hot so you don’t want to end up burning your fingers when picking them up.
Don’t skimp by getting a flimsy pair of plastic tongs. For starters, plastic tongs and high cooking temperatures don’t exactly mix, and secondly you need some tongs with a decent grip on them. Make sure they’re easy enough to squeeze and fit your hand nicely, yet will retain a good grip on small or large items without damaging the food. Make sure the tongs have a good reach so you don’t have to reach your hand into the fire, although they shouldn’t be too heavy as you don’t want to add to the weight of any food you have to flip.
Apparently it’s a myth that poking holes in your meat will make all the juices flow out, but barbecue tools set try to keep it to a minimum anyway. Forks are ideal for testing the meat to see if it’s nearly done, but you can also use them for helping flip meat without it accidentally ending up on your lawn.
If your spatula won’t slip underneath that pristine steak you’ve just cooked up then you’ve got a dud, unless the steak isn’t actually as pristine as you think and you’ve managed to stick it to the grill. Find one that will slip under easily and allow you to turn the food, but it also needs to be able to get those unfortunate accidents off the grill without totally destroying the remainder of the food. Tongs, forks and spatulas can be bought in packs as well as individually.
5. Cleaning Brush
After you’ve finished with your BBQ for the day you need to give it a good scrub before putting it away. You can use warm soapy water to wash it, but you need something to get rid of those stubborn pieces of burnt food. A bbq brush with brass bristles is strong enough to easily wipe away those bits, and you can finish off with a soft sponge and some disinfectant. Don’t leave it until next time, as this post says it’s important that your barbecue remains relatively clean.
6. Cover Sheet
Once it’s all cleaned up you’ll be putting your barbecue into storage until the next time the barbecue cover sheet sun decides to poke its head out of the clouds. If you’re keeping it outside a bbq sheet is an essential, otherwise the forces of nature aren’t going to do your shiny clean barbecue any favours. I’d say that you should also use a cover even if you’re keeping it in the shed, as it’s an extra layer of protection from cold weather and damp.
Keep these in mind when buying a new barbecue or setting your current barbecue up when you haven’t used it in a while and you’ll be fine. Otherwise, picking hot sausages up with your bare hands won’t be fun in the slightest.