First off you need a grill. That is an entirely other discussion. Charcoal vs. Gas. Smoker vs. Non Smoker. If a Smoker, Vertical vs. Horizontal vs. Closet Smoker. Porcelain vs. Metal. I will go into this with another post. And I would guess that the vast majority of people that are coming to this site already have a grill.
Let’s start from the beginning. In order to Grill/Smoke/BBQ, one needs a heat source. Each of these methods will require a different amount and intensity of heat but they all need heat. If you have a gas grill this is provided with the flip of a switch. For most of the rest some sort of charcoal is used. This can be in the form of standard fluid lit charcoal, match light charcoal, premium briquettes, cheap briquettes and lump charcoal. One could also simply use chunks of hard wood to grill but that gets expensive fast. What do I use? Cheapest Briquette I can find and a Chimney Starter:
Now that the paper is lit we have 20 minutes to prep the grill and the food. If the plan is to smoke some meat then some smoke wood is required. I am fond of the fruit woods – Apple and Cherry – but I have been known to use all kinds of smoke wood from Hickory, to Apricot, to Mesquite, to Oak. Right now I have Apple, Apricot and Cherry chunks:
While the charcoal is lighting let’s prep the food. I use a lot of spices in my grilling and do a variety of rubs which is a whole other thread in itself. But no matter what spices you use, Penzey’s is the way to go:
Now that the food is ready to go on the grill, one needs an implement to get it to the grill and manipulate it once on the grill. I highly recommend tongs. A grill fork is a bad idea for just about any meat. There are all manner of tongs out there. My favorites are the Good Grips Tongs seen here:
Now that the meat is on the grill, we need to make sure the temperature is what we need it to be. If we are just grilling steaks that temp is as hot as you can get it. But for smoking and BBQing that temp needs to be within a specific range. For smoking I like to keep the temp between 200 and 250 with 225 being pretty ideal. For BBQing I want to keep the temp around 275-300. My smoker has a built in thermometer but the temps in the cooking chamber can very greatly in a horizontal smoker. I like to put an extra thermometer near the heat source to know what the temp is for the meat closest to the heat. That way I can make sure that the meat in that area doesn’t get burned or overcooked. While my thermometer is not wireless like this one, I plan on getting this one after the Holidays:
Now that we have addressed some key items for the Grillin part of Grillin and Chillin, let’s discuss the later. Here are two things I need to satisfy the latter:
You may want to check back to this post periodically. As I find more grilling essentials I will add them here.