Breaking out the grill? Check out some handy items that will enhance the experience.
Sportsman’s grill from Lodge
After too many bad experiences with cheap hibachis, we’ve discovered that the sportsman’s grill from Lodge Manufacturing Company is the best bet for camping trips, for impromptu grill sessions at the beach, and for people with limited patio space. The grill’s small castiron frame is plenty sturdy, and the cast-iron grate gives food a wonderful sear. One drawback: The grate must be wiped with a coat of oil after each use to prevent rust.
Poultry roaster from Weber
While beer-can chicken—the technique of grilling a whole chicken on a half-full can of beer—has been the buzz at cookouts for the last few summers, we’ve found that this Poultry roaster from Weber works better than the can. You fill the hollow cavity in the middle of the roaster with beer and other flavorings, position the bird on top of it, cover the cavity with the slotted cap, and grill. The roaster cooks the chicken evenly with very juicy results. There’s less danger of the bird tipping with this method, and there’s no need for an extra drip pan, since the roaster incorporates one.
Flavored salts from NapaStyle
NapaStyle’s flavored salts, made with coarse crystals of gray sea salt from Brittany, are a great finishing touch for grilled foods. Bits of lemon and orange peel add brightness to the citrus rosemary blend, which stands up nicely to full-flavored cuts of beef or lamb. The robust tomato flavor in the sun-dried tomato and garlic salt livens up grilled chicken breasts or pork chops.
Charcoal Companion’s wood chips
To infuse your grilled foods with a touch of smoky flavor, try wood chips from Charcoal Companion. Apple chips add mild, sweet smokiness to chicken or pork chops. The stronger flavors from mesquite and hickory chips are great with ribs or roasts. See Make your own gas grill smoker pouch for how to use wood chips. Available at hardware stores and from Sur La Table.
Grilling & Barbecuing
In Grilling & Barbecuing, Denis Kelly winds readers along America’s barbecue trail, highlighting colorful ingredients and techniques from all corners of the country. The recipes are short, the directions clear. We loved the sticky-sweet smokiness of the Chinatown Country-Style Ribs with Hoisin- Mustard Glaze. Kelly uses sage and garlic to spice up his version of beer-can chicken, a great recipe to try with the Poultry Roaster described above. Available at bookstores and at Jessica’s Biscuit.