When the weather warms up, with longer days and shorter nights, it’s time to get outside and get to grilling! Picking the best grilling accessories for your backyard barbeque can help bring your backyard cooking game to the next level.
Aside from choosing the best grilling accessories to make your food taste awesome, don’t forget to consider other ways to make your guests feel welcome in your backyard.
For example, set the mood with some great lighting and music. Keep unwanted pests at bay by setting out natural pest deterrents like citronella candles and torches. Be sure to provide plenty of shade for guests during hot afternoons and maybe consider a fire pit to gather around in case the evening gets a bit chilly.
Best Grilling Accessories
You may already have the best grill for you but accessorizing allows you to take advantage of everything your grill can do. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of grilling accessories available.
Just like you need pots and pans in a kitchen, there are a few absolute must-have essentials for your backyard grill. Tongs and spatulas are a must have for any grilling situation.
Look for tongs and spatulas made from stainless steel that have comfortable handles, as these will hold up best to the intense heat that your grill can put out. Also, when it comes to any grilling tools, you want long handles to help keep you a comfortable distance away from the heat.
While backyard grills are great for grilling food over an open flame, different cooking accessories can help you be creative with how you use that heat. Some of the best grilling accessories can help you do just that!
For example, rotisserie attachments can help you evenly roast large cuts of meat without having to turn the meat yourself laboriously. A pizza stone or cast iron pan can turn your charcoal or gas grill into a pizza oven.
Cooking accessories allow you to think outside just the grill! Try using a wok over an open flame. It can help you achieve that elusive, super hot flame that is so essential for creating that wok hei flavor present in authentic stir fry dishes.
Collecting the best grilling accessories is not just about cooking tools. There are many various grilling accessories out there that help make your summer cookouts easier though they may not be directly involved with the food.
For example, for charcoal aficionados, what type of charcoal you use is just as important as how you start your fire.
How We Chose
We collected a variety of the best grilling accessories from around the web, in a variety of categories. We chose items that are both top-rated on Amazon as well as good values and easy to use.
The Best Grilling Accessories for Your Summer Cookouts
Without further ado, let’s get to cooking with the best grilling accessories out there!
Vegetable grill basket
Grillux The #1 Vegetable Grill Basket BBQ Gift Accessories for...
- Easy to use - curved handles allows for easy carrying, use as wok pan to stir fry chopped chicken, beef or pork, nothing...
- Keeps food inside - raised edges prevents food from escaping
- Heavy duty cookware - 100% stainless steel, retain heat and cooks food fast, great for camping
Veggies taste incredible when roasted on the grill. Grilled onions and peppers pair perfectly with most meats. You can even forgo meat altogether with a beautiful grilled portabello mushroom. The problem is that it’s really easy to lose veggies through your grill gates, especially when they are cut small.
The Grillux BBQ Grill Basket can help solve these issues. This stainless steel metal basket has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. With four, curved metal sides, this basket sits atop your grill plates. The heat can come through, but the veggies will not fall out.
The Grillux BBQ Grill is available at various home and garden centers as well as on Amazon.
Check your fuel
DOZYANT DZ-CPG2 Propane Tank Gauge
- Compatible with all appliances with a Qcc1/ Type1 connection and up to 40-lb. Propane tanks.
- Heavy duty 100% solid brass construction withstands weather, scratching, denting and corroding.
- Monitors fuel level without removing the tank. Gauge display accounts for ambient temperature change. Color coded dial...
Imagine this: you’re planning the perfect BBQ party. You have all your meat and sides ready, and you’re just about to get grilling. Unfortunately, you step outside only to notice that your propane tank for your gas grill is empty!
While there are methods like the hot water trick to check how much propane is in your tank, using a tank indicator like the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge lets you see how much gas you have at a glance. That is not only good for making sure you have enough propane to start the party but also enough propane to keep it going.
You can find the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge on Amazon, where it as a 4.1 out of 5-star rating, as well as at your local propane store and home and garden centers.
Beer Can Chicken Roaster
Cave Tools Beer Can Chicken Holder Roasting Pan with Vegetable Spikes...
- Chicken Gifts: These Grilling accessories help you get your chicken or turkey Fryer cavity centered on a beer tower atop...
- No Need for the Chicken Rotisserie Grill: Stand's stainless steel build distributes heat to ensure the cavity and the...
- Easy Cleaning Pans: Whether in an outdoor mountain campfire or in the kitchen, stand and racks have easy clean-up and...
Smart is knowing that beer and grilled chicken are the staples of many American backyard summer cookouts. Genius is putting the two together to make something easy and delicious from what you already have on hand.
The usual method for cooking the affectionately named Beer Butt Chicken involves upending a seasoned chicken onto a half drunk can of beer. Though classic, this method is a bit unwieldy.
The top-rated Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack gives you a sturdier surface. This stainless steel roaster includes a canister to hold your beer (or any other flavorful liquid) on a deep drip tray to catch all the delicious juices that may run off.
This roaster rack also includes vegetable spikes you can use to roast vegetables right alongside your beer can chicken. Finally, the tray is dishwasher safe.
You can find the Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack at specialty food stores as well as online at Amazon. Customers give it a 4.6 out of 5-star rating.
Original bear paws
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Southern style pulled pork is traditionally shredded using two forks to break up the meat. While we’re not ones to mess with tradition, no one said there’s anything wrong with improving on the tried and true method.
These all-nylon meat claws give you long, sharp tines to comfortably grip and shred cooked meat. You can also use the claws to provide you with a better grip on large roasts or even watermelon.
The Original Bear Paws meat shredding claws are a hit on Amazon where they receive a 4.7 out of 5-star rating from customers. You can also find them at your local specialty BBQ store and other retailers.
Clean your grill
Before you plan your first cookout of the season, one of the most important things you can do is to clean your grill.
After inspecting your grill to make sure that there are no leaks in the gas lines, you need to give it a good scrub down. Metal brushes are great for this but can leave bits of metal that can get transferred to your food.
A study released in 2016 noted that between 2002 and 2014, 1,700 Americans ingested bits of wire grill brush! Of these cases, one in four patients needed to be admitted to the hospital.
Sending your guests to the hospital is definitely NOT the way you want your grilling season to be remembered.
So what’s the alternative? Try using a stone brush like the EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner. Unlike the wire on traditional metal grill brushes, the EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner uses a pumice stone to scrape off the gunk of cookouts past.
You can find this 4.4 out of 5-star rated stone brush online at Amazon as well as other specialty BBQ stores and home and garden outlets.
Gas grills offer unparalleled convenience, with your fire ready at the push of a button. However, for some purists, there is no comparison to grilling meat over good old charcoal.
No matter what type of charcoal grill you use, you always want to start with great charcoal. Though briquettes may be a great place to start, they can be full of additives.
If you’re not ready to have mystery smoke along with your meal, try burning some hardwood lump charcoal like Kamado Jo or Fogo. Both of these charcoals received a 4.2 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. These charcoals are also available at your local specialty BBQ store.
Light it up
Of course, even the best charcoal is not going to light itself. Using lighter fluid is a quick way to get a charcoal fire going, but it is messy, dangerous, and adds unnecessary chemicals to your fire.
Instead, use a chimney starter like the Weber Chimney Starter, the number one top seller on Amazon with an impressive 4.8 out of 5-star rating. You can also find it for sale at most home and garden stores.
Chimney starters let you get a nice, even start on your charcoal, using newspaper and convection to light your coals.
Another option is to use an electric lighter like the Looftlighter. This lighter uses superheated air to start charcoal in just a minute. You can find the 4.2 out of 5-star rated Looftlighter on Amazon and at other specialty BBQ stores.
If you want a more portable option, try using ready-made fire starters like Light-A-Fire all natural starters. These pre-portioned pods contain sawdust and food-grade wax. You can even use them in conjunction with a chimney starter on your grill or use them to start a campfire or a fire in your backyard firepit.
Light-A-Fire is available on Amazon and comes in a handy plastic container. This 4.2 out of 5-star rated product makes an ideal, portable solution for picnics and other mobile cookouts.
Essentials for everyone
Every backyard cook needs a good set of tools to get their food on and off the fire. This 21-piece barbecue set from Mr. Bar-B-Q includes everything an aspiring backyard gourmand needs, in a handy carrying case.
Tools in this kit include tongs, a spatula, reusable skewers, as well as slotted spatula and corn holders. You can find this grill tool set on Amazon where it gets 4.1 out of 5-stars from customers.
Another great essential that no grill party should be without is a good set of BBQ gloves. Backyard grilling can get hot, and having the right gloves can help keep the cook safe while they are dealing with the food.
We like these Extreme Heat Grill Gloves, available on Amazon. These top-rated gloves enjoy a 4.4 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. The gloves can take the heat, protecting your hands up to 932-degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you are handling a hot chimney starter or moving pans around, the insulation on these gloves will keep you safe.
Even better, these gloves are 14-inches long, covering a good part of your arm. Rather than a mitt-style, these are glove style allowing you the full range of motion with all your fingers. The fingertips are covered with raised silicone tips for extra grip.
ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer with Dual Meat Probe, Digital...
- Hands-Free Monitor: Wireless thermometer with dual probes monitors your food or oven/grill/smoker temperatures from up...
- Hassle-Free Setup: With no synchronization required, say goodbye to the tedious setup steps; Large LCD clearly displays...
- Kitchen Timer: Food cooking smoker thermometer features count up and countdown setting that is perfect for long-time...
Practicing safe cooking methods helps ensure that your grill party isn’t remembered for all the wrong reasons. Always cook your meat to FDA doneness standards to help ensure that no one gets foodborne illnesses from your meat masterpieces.
Instant read thermometers are great for temping smaller pieces of meat like chicken breasts, steaks, and chops. If you need continuous temperature monitoring on a larger portion of meat like pork butt or a tri-tip roast, try investing in a wireless thermometer
Thermopro makes top-rated monitors and has both an instant-read (4.3 out of 5 stars) and a Bluetooth (4.5 out of 5 stars) thermometer available on Amazon.
LED Concepts BBQ Grill Lights Magnetic Base Super-Bright LED...
- GRILLING & BBQ LIGHT – Perfect for outdoor grilling and BBQ – Provides instant illumination exactly where you need...
- MULTI-FLEX NECK – 22 Inch Goose-neck that adjusts 360° to illuminate any task
- ADJUSTABLE SCREW CLAMP – Sturdy adjustable clamp that attaches to various surfaces to ensure that the weight of the...
While a night light probably isn’t the first thing you would think of when considering the best grilling accessories, it should be!
Everyone knows that the best grill parties are the ones that last well into the summer night. While it may be warm enough to stay outside, the night sky does make it pretty challenging to see the grill.
A grill-safe light like this LED BBQ Grill Light can help you keep the party fed into the wee hours of the night. It is an Amazon bestseller with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating.
Cedar grill planks
Have you ever tried plank grilling? If not, this method should be on your to try list for your next grill party.
This grilling method owes its origins to indigenous Americans, who grilled fish on wood for ease and flavor. To cook on a plank, take your food-safe plank and soak it in water. From there, you can toss it onto a hot grill and let it smoke a little. Place your seasoned fish, or vegetable, or meat, on top and let it cook!
As it cooks, the food gets infused with the smoky wood flavor. Even better, plank cooking makes for an excellent presentation and easy cleanup!
These top-rated Cedar Grill Planks get a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. You may also be able to find these planks at your local BBQ specialty store.
Get Ready for the Cookout
The best grilling accessories help the backyard chef with everything from food preparation to food safety. With the best grilling accessories at your fingertips, anyone can have a great summer grilling season.
What are your favorite grilling accessories? Do you have one that you think should have been on your list? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: Unsplash
Beans of any variety are packed full of healthy benefits and can complement everything from stews, to casseroles, to rice dishes and pasta dishes. They can even make up a substantial part of a fresh salad, but many people get put off cooking them because they don’t really know how to, or when they are cooked properly. The truth to cooking beans is that they are incredibly easy to cook and just like many foods it takes a couple of tips for you to master the art of cooking them and providing a new dish to add to your growing cookery arsenal.
Black beans in particular can be eaten on their own, and it’s not rocket science in cooking a creamy tender bowl of these fantastic beans. The biggest issue for many is that beans aren’t fast foods, they take hours to cook so if you are looking for quick meals then the 3 hour cooking time of black beans may put you off, but believe us when we say you have tasted nothing like the tender black beans we are going to show you how to cook today.
Preparing The Black Beans Ready to Cook
To get the perfect tenderness all the way through its key that you soak the beans prior to cooking them, this will give you a much better chance of having a more evenly cooked and tender bean dish. Plus, it can take some time off that 3 hour cooking time.
Right, so now we are ready to begin the cooking process so the first thing we need to do is get our equipment and ingredients together. Luckily there isn’t a lot to think about here, you just need a pound of dried black beans, some salt, a bay leaf, a couple of cloves of garlic, a chopped carrot, half a white onion, and some water to fill your saucepan.
Most of those ingredients above are simply to add to the aromatics of the liquid that surrounds the beans when it starts to evolve into a creamy dish.
Cooking to Perfection: Bringing The Black Beans to Boil
After you have soaked your beans (usually overnight) you will want to drain them, and its at this point where if you have the time you can pick out any odd looking beans, dried beans or other impurities that you don’t want to make it across to the saucepan for cooking.
Add your water to the saucepan and then shuck in all your aromatic ingredients that we mentioned above as these will help infuse the beans with delicate and captivating tastes when you come to eating them later on. All you need is a little bit of water as well so don’t go filling the entire pan, you want to cover the beans by about an inch and then set the temperature to a medium-high heat and then let them get to a boiling state.
Once you have hit boiling point reduce the heat down to a low temperature so that the beans are just simmering away. If you are looking to add the beans to soups or creamy dishes then adding a lid at this point will improve the tenderness of the black beans. If you leave the lid off the beans will be more crunchy and less tender, so you should only leave the lid off if you are looking to add the beans to salads or pasta dishes.
Leave the beans on a simmer for about an hour and then come back to just check them at that point. You want to make sure that the beans are still submerged in water so you may be required to add some more water at this point. Cover up the beans and then leave them for another hour or so.
Just before the end of the cooking process add a pinch or two of salt to add to the taste, as the black beans should now be tender.
Storing The Black Beans
Once cooked you should have a nice creamy black bean soup dish now with all those aromatics, but the best thing with black beans is that you can keep them refrigerated for 7 days, or frozen for up to 3 months so its always an idea to cook a good batch of them up if you are going to be spending hours cooking them, that way you add them to individual containers and add them to different dishes throughout the months before the need to cook any more.
Even if you aren’t fussed about the liquid, you should still keep it as it makes a great staple for sauces and soups, and because you have all that flavour and goodness packed into it, it really can add to other dishes you may cook so just pop it into a container and keep it stored in the fridge.
Beef really is the ultimate comfort food, whether it’s a perfectly slow cooked beef brisket or a set of beef ribs coated in your ideal marinade. In today’s guide we are bringing you one of the best comfort foods and showing you exactly how to cook them to perfection.
Firstly, let’s not get ahead of ourselves because cooking beef ribs isn’t easy if you don’t know what you are doing, it does take time, patience and knowing what seasonings and cooking methods work the best to bring out those beautiful and textures that we have all come to love about this meat.
The very first port-of-call for you is to head to a local butcher because this is where you are not only going to save money on your ribs but you are going to get the finest cuts of beef ribs. They will be fresh, meaty and give you the perfect head start to creating an amazing dish for yourself, your loved one or dinner guests that you may have over for the evening.
Preparing The Beef Ribs Ready to Cook
We always stress at home important preparing the meat is and we aren’t going to avoid it in this guide because this step of the process is a fundamental part of getting that end result spot on. With beef ribs you will notice that there is quite a thick membrane that runs along the back, this needs to be removed as it can spil the taste and experience of beef ribs because the membrane once cooked becomes very chewy and tough. Not pleasant at all.
Luckily o remove it, it’s simple. Just use your fingers to work the membrane loose, or take a knife and just slowly prize it away from the rest of the meat. If you are heading to a butcher to buy your meat then you can also ask the butcher to remove it for you before you come away.
Choices, Choices, Choices!
When it comes to your seasoning or marinade we all have our own preferences and specific tastes. With beef ribs you can use almost anything on top of it, and whilst most of us always head straight to barbecue sauce marinades some other seasonings and rubs are proving to become more popular in cooking this meat.
Chilli powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder and dried thyme is just one rub mix that gives your ribs a nice kick, and probably the biggest advantage is that you can eat them without getting yourself into a complete mess…which can’t be said for barbecue sauce marinades.
Cooking the Ribs
For the best results you should always oven cook your beef ribs as this will help the meat become tender, to the extent it just falls off the bone into your mouth with little effort. Also the moisture, tastes and juices will be noticeable with an oven cooked rack of ribs, so for the purpose of this we are going to be using the oven.
If you have chosen to barbecue marinade your ribs, that process is fairly simple and once you have coated your beef ribs with the sauce you will need to wrap the ribs up in some kitchen foil. We recommend using a good couple of sheets of foil so you lock in all the juices and steam which will add to the textures and tastes once cooked.
Place the ribs into a preheated oven, in a baking tin, with the meat facing down. You want the temperature to be around the 225C mark and it will take around 3 hours for a standard size rack of ribs to cook through thoroughly. Avoid checking the meat or opening the oven door as you want the heat to remain consistent and you don’t want to expel any juices or steam by unnecessarily opening the foil up.
Once the cooking time has come to an end take the ribs out, uncover them and leave them for a period of between abut 10-20 minutes so that the juices redistribute throughout the ribs, helping it become tender and moist to the bite.
Serving up Your Beef Ribs
Beef ribs can go with many other foods to make a great dish, so think about potatoes and vegetables as one choice, or perhaps you would like to make a gorgeous potato salad or fresh green salad to accompany the beef ribs for summer time treat. For the Winter periods adding some basmati rice with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top can really make for a hearty dinner time meal, or you could just cut the ribs up and then eat them on their own.
The choice is yours, but do experiment with what foods go with the beef ribs to make the most out of them.
If you have no idea what Ahi Tuna is then you may have also heard this type of Tuna steak known as Yellowfin Tuna. There is without no doubt that this type of fish boasts one of the most delicious tastes, and if you are a fan of chunky, steak-like, hearty and wholesome fish then this protein booster is going to be your go-to choice of food.
Like most fish, it’s a brain food and poses many health benefits to your heart, circulation and general complexion. It really is a meaty fish that when cooked properly can be on the most amazing taste sensations you will have ever experienced.
The best thing though; you don’t need to be a Michelin starred chef in order to pull this one off as its one of the easiest foods you are ever likely to cook. Even this dish makes beans on toast look complicated!
Getting the ingredients and Preparing Your Ahi Tuna
All you need in terms of ingredients for your Yellowfin or Ahi Tuna is some seasonings or a marinade (which we will come to soon), some peanut oil or vegetable oil, and the actual tuna steaks themselves.
Preparing the steaks should be the part where you take the longest amount of time on, this should be the section of the preparation process that really brings together the tastes at the end result so time and effort is key and essential at this point.
Firstly, have you got fresh or frozen tuna steaks at hand?
If frozen then you are best thawing it out thoroughly before you begin cooking to get the maximum results. To do this you want to leave it in the fridge until it thaws. If it’s fresh then we can crack on with the seasoning and marinade.
One of the most complimenting mixtures that you can add to an Ahi tuna steak is a spice mixture, because it’s often these spicy flavours that really complement the meaty flavours of the steak.
Creating a mix is quite easy as well; all you need it half a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano. Mix those all together with a fork or whisk and then coat your steak all over. Now, just leave the tuna for a few minutes to absorb those flavours before we introduce them to the heat.
You can also swap the spices with a more citrus rich marinade such as a Tuna Tartare which consists of cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, wasabi and lemon juice. Usually this kind of mix is best suited to oven baking methods because of the consistency of the marinade.
Getting to Grips With Cooking the Tuna
The next steps in the process of creating a perfect Ahi tuna is to make sure that the pan you are using is heated up to it’s fullest before you place the tuna in. You want the fish to cook evenly across the pan so this is an essential requirement.
Generally Ahi Tuna is served rare because the texture and taste is much better than a cooked piece of Ahi Tuna which struggles to keep in moisture. However, some people do enjoy the tuna seared, so if this is you then you can add the tuna steaks to the pan for a couple of minutes on each side to just give it that golden look on the outside.
If rare isn’t your thing there is nothing wrong with fully cooking the tuna steaks, and all you need to do is keep the tuna on the heat longer until you are satisfied with the texture and consistency.
Serving the Ahi Tuna Steaks
The wonderful thing about tuna is how you can serve it, and whether it’s rare or fully cooked you can bring together many colours and appealing sights onto a plate quite easily. If you have chosen to rub spices onto your tuna then you can cut the steak up into portions and present them in a domino effect on a plate, or you can cut them into cubes if you added no marinade, and then simply season them at the very end.
Or, if you have used a tartare sauce like we mentioned earlier on in this guide you can simply leave the steaks as a whole piece and then serve them up with a slice of lemon and some fluffy basmati rice.
Either way, tuna steaks can really develop your creative skills in the kitchen and have you thinking outside the box on experimental presentations. One thing we can safely put our money on is that your guests will love this Ahi tuna whether its rare, seared, fully cooked, part of a starter or as a full blown main meal.
So what are you waiting for? Get some fresh Ahi Tuna and wow your guests!