Your BBQ area should not just be ‘a place where you cook outside’; it should be your very own outdoor kitchen. A sanctuary where you know you have all the tools you need to get the job done. Furthermore, it’s just plain annoying carrying everything you need out to the BBQ every time you want to cook up.
That’s why you need a BBQ cabinet and why you need to fill that cabinet with all of these essential items:
1. Tongs & Spatula
Let’s start with the obvious. Were there ever more useful BBQ tools invented than the tongs and spatula? Just about the only thing they can’t do is tell you when your steak is cooked to medium rare and get you a beer from the fridge.
Make sure you invest in good-quality, rigid, stainless steel tools that give you the control you need, but are long enough to save your forearm hairs from being burnt every time you flip your burgers.
2. Salt, Pepper & Oil
Have you ever cooked on your BBQ and not needed these three things? I didn’t think so. So keep them handy.
3. Headlamp or BBQ Light
Unless you’ve got a high-output outdoor light, you’re going to want a torch for when you need to take a close look at the action during those after-dark cook ups. A headlamp is a great way of lighting up your food while keeping your hands free. Better yet, get a specialty BBQ light that attaches to the frame of your BBQ.
4. Bottle Opener
This one is rather self-explanatory, but just in case you didn’t get it: BEER…enough said.
5. Grill Brush
After any solid grilling session, you’re going to have chunks of fat, meat and sauce stuck to your grill bars. Scrape them off with a long-handled grill brush that’s able to get in and around all of the bars. Just make sure your brush is suitable for your grill and isn’t going to damage the surface.
6. Meat Thermometer
If you really want to cook that perfect steak or chicken, you’re going to need to know what’s going on inside your hunk of meat. Cutting it open is one way, but then when you serve it up to your guests, it looks like someone’s already taken a bite out of it. A far better solution is to stick a thermometer inside and let the heat of the meat tell you if it’s done.
7. BBQ Fork
This BBQ tool may not be as essential as your tongs and spatula, but once you have one in your tool kit, you’ll be surprised at how often you use it to stab, flip and move your food. Again, buy a fork that is quality stainless steel with a long handle, and has two sharp, rigid prongs.
8. BBQ Wipes
These abrasive pads scrape, clean and oil up your BBQ all in one go; what’s not to love?
9. BBQ Knife
I know what you’re thinking: why do I need a BBQ knife when I can just grab one from the kitchen? Your question will be answered when you accidentally grill your forearm while trying to slice open your steak. A BBQ knife has a long handle and is designed with a shape that keeps your arm and fingers off the hot plate.
Want to cook shish kebabs? You’re going to need skewers. And don’t even think about using those disposable wooden ones; they burn and they make you look like a third world street vendor. A set of stainless steel skewers with hardwood handles on the other hand look great served on the dinner table.
11. Paper Towels
Same deal as the salt, pepper and oil; how often do you need paper towels when you barbecue? EVERY TIME.
12. Raw & Cooked Food Trays
Once again, this is pretty self-explanatory: one tray for the raw food and one for the cooked. It helps to use colour-coded trays or labels to make sure you don’t mix them up; no one likes their cooked steak coated in raw steak juice.
What do you think? Did we miss anything? What do you keep in your BBQ cabinet? Leave your comments below.