They say a man is only as good as his tools. That saying is especially true when it comes to grilling. While seasoned barbecue competitors would argue that talent is a huge factor, it’s far easier to cook a beautiful steak with the right grill, plus essential tools like a meat thermometer.
It’s no secret that we love our tools here at BBQ Island. We also understand that you can’t have every single tool you might need on hand, every time. To get you started, we’ve compiled a short list of the must-have grilling tools this season.
1. The PigTail® Flipper: We’re wary of tools that claim to replace every item in the BBQers arsenal, yet this one from Jaccard stands in for a turner, tongs or a meat fork with ease. It’s basically a long metal stick with a curved hook at one end. Use the hook to lightly pierce any meat, then turn to flip it over. “The small one is good for chicken, medium size is good for steaks and chops, and the large is good for ribs and tri tip,” says Bob Smith of BBQ Island’s Arrowhead location.
2. Thermoworks Instant-Read Thermometer: If you’ve ever tried to take your steak’s temperature with an old-school analog thermometer, you know how frustrating it can be. They’re nearly impossible to read accurately. Stick it in and ten minutes later you’re still waiting for the red line to stop rising. Another of Smith’s recommendations, this digital gadget gauges your meat’s temperature in just 2-3 seconds. The company offers several versions including the handy Thermapen® Mk4, rated #1 by Cook’s Magazine.
3. Big Green Egg Grate Lifter: We love the speed at which you can cook in a kamado grill. The Big Green Egg is ready in just minutes after you start your charcoal. What we don’t love is picking up the grill plate, only to have your hands covered in grease and charcoal dust. Seriously, cooking with greasy hands is difficult – not to mention dangerous! Luckily, we sell a grate lifting tool that does the work for you, leaving your hands clean for working with your ‘cue meats. This favorite tool of Tempe manager JT Thomas is only available in BBQ Island stores (not on our website), so stop into your nearest BBQ Island location for a demo.
4. The BBQ Buttula: Sure, the name of this handy mega-spatula inspires snickering. It’s also one of the handiest tools in our barbecue aprons. BBQ Island CEO Mike West is a huge fan of The Buttula, a massive 2lb stainless steel spatula designed by team Slabba Dabba Que barbecue guru Manuel Pruneda. With a flat surface of 8x6 inches, this baby can turn anything from a 2-lb. monster burger to a full slab of ribs. You’ll have to stop into a BBQ Island store for the Buttula, but just imagine the money you’ll save vs. shipping this beast.
A good set of barbecue tools can make or break your grilling experience. Of course, the most important tool is a quality grill. Browse our extensive online selection, call 877-474-5669 or pop by your local BBQ Island store for all your meat-cooking needs.