If we listened to some people, we would need a second kitchen to store all the tools and utensils required for successful grilling. We've bought most of the gadgets over time and frequently allowed them to rust away from lack of use. Now we stick with just a few essentials beyond such everyday cooking implements as hot pads or oven mitts, bamboo and metal skewers, and an instant-read meat thermometer.
First, you should have tools for moving food on the grate and removing it from the grill. For most items tongs work best, especially the heavy-duty, spring-loaded type that lift anything quickly and easily. You'll also want a big-bladed spatula - preferably the offset kind with a bent neck - for handling burgers, fish, and similar fare in danger of crumbling. As a supplement to the spatula, consider a small-mesh grill rack for small delicate items or a hinged wire grill basket that holds fragile food in place and lets you turn it by simply flipping the contraption. In each case, look for long handles to keep your fingers away from the fire.
The only other tools you really need are brushes. To oil the cooking grate before grilling - always important - we use a basting, pastry, or paintbrush dedicated solely to that purpose. Keep it separate from other kitchen brushes. To clean the grate after grilling, a critical chore if you want the right results in the future, a wire brush does the job as effectively and effortlessly as possible. Scrub well without any soap to eliminate all food residue, which will otherwise flavor your next meal.
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