Just like preparing food indoors, having the suitable tools for the job goes for outdoor cooking as well. One trick or gadget can make all the difference for the cook. Over the years, I have collected a set of outdoor tools that are neatly assigned to their own drawer in my kitchen. I can glance in there and find any implement I need for my summer flare-ups.
Every year someone gives me a new “can’t survive without” gadget for the grill which I add to my collection. Although grilling is my husband’s domain when we have guests, I organize the day-to-day grilling so I can experiment with new cooking methods.
Lately, I have been doing a lot of cooking on an open fire with a Tuscan style rack on top of a fire pit. This no-tech cooking method is not for the faint of heart because of the unreliable heat control, but it can yield delicious results when watched carefully. For a more dependable experience, I advise using charcoal or gas. Both have benefits and features that are fine depending mainly on how much time you have.
For must-have gadgets and essential tools, I recommend the list as a collection list. Whether you grill on a TajMa Que or a Hibachi, these tools will make the work easier and safer.
Tools You Can’t Live Without
1. Long handled stainless steel tongs
2. Heavy-duty metal spatula with a long handle
3. Silicon basting brush with a long wooden handle with removable head to wash in the dishwasher
4. Various sizes of bamboo skewers. (Before using, be sure to soak ahead of time so they do not burn while cooking.)
5. Water spray bottle for flare-ups
6. Instant-read thermometer
7. Flat metal mesh tray with small holes for grilling vegetables and fish
8. Charcoal chimney or electric starter for charcoal
9. Heavy-duty grill brush For the Grill Chef Who Wants Everything
10. Metal basket for grilling whole fish
11. Silicone mitts for handling hot foods (welding gloves also work well)
12. Rotisserie kit that turns your meat on a spit automatically
13. Double tine large fork with thermometer in the end of it
14. Flat metal skewers with wooden handles
15. Cedar planks for cooking fish
16. Rectangular cast iron press weight
17. Mini magnetic grill light
18. Pizza grilling stone
19. Grill charms (similar to wine charms)
20. Luma tongs (long handled tongs with a built-in light)
Tuscan Grilled Chicken Under A Brick
Origins of this dish are from Northern Italy.
Place the black iron skillet right on top of the grill for best results.
1 whole chicken with backbone removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bricks (double wrapped in foil)
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lemon, sliced thin Marinade
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Wash and dry chicken. Cut out backbone with poultry shears so that the chicken will lay flat.
Mix marinade in a gallon Ziploc bag and place chicken in bag to marinade for at least 2 hours. Bring out one hour before cooking to bring to room temperature.
Heat a 12-inch heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet over medium high heat on grill until blazing hot. Add the olive oil and swirl around the pan. When oil is very hot, place chicken in pan skin/breast side down.
Place the two bricks on top of the chicken. The weight of the bricks will press the chicken and result in a crispy skin. Cook for 15 minutes.
Carefully turn the chicken with thin metal spatula, and lower heat to medium and cook for 20-30 minutes. Chicken is cooked when thermometer registers 165 degrees F.
Remove chicken from pan and reserve juices. Deglaze with white wine, scraping the pan to dissolve sediment. Boil 2 minutes and add lemon slices. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Serve sauce with chicken.