Do you love grilling? I discovered that I do. We purchased a grill at the beginning of summer. A really big one that was on sale. Best Decision Ever!!!!!
I could count on one hand the number of times we have cooked inside since May because grilling outside makes cooking and cleaning easy. Now that fall has officially been ushered in, I’ve started my checklist of items in our yard that will need to be covered and stored during the snowy season.
- Picnic table
- Planting Pots
- Water Fountain
- Kids Toys
All of these items are backyard symbols of summer at the Vargo house. As a northern girl, I have gone through this checklist each fall knowing that the items mentioned above will see another season if I protect them against the weather that is to come.
But I don’t want to pack up the grill. Not yet. I know I’m dragging my feet to put the “stainless silver stud” into storage but I’ve fallen in love with it.
So, I’ve decided to leave it out until the snow comes and enjoy entertaining outdoors as long as the weather will let me. I have also grown to love some cooking tools that I’ve discovered this summer. I like them so much that I have a hard time not buying duplicates. Let me explain.
I bought Emeril Lagasse’s cast iron flat plate at Home Goods in April. My initial reason was to use it when camping but as I read the directions in the package, I decided to try it on the grill. Love it!!! I want a backup just in case I ruin this one; that is how much I love this tool.
It cooks vegetables to perfection. I put every type of fresh, frozen, diced, or whole veggie on the cast iron plate and leave them to simmer while I cook meat or fish on the other side of the grill.
Prior to the cast iron dish, I would use foil to wrap the veggies in and season each packet. While I still like the foil method for individual servings and clean up, it often did not cook evenly and took more prep time to do individual packets.
I’ve also read about the benefits of cooking on cast iron dishes which made me feel like I am helping my family with long term health habits.
I resisted using cast iron for a long time because of what I heard about the process that you need to clean and season the pot after you’ve washed it properly. However, I was delighted to find out that if you are cooking with cast iron regularly or daily (in our case) that you don’t need to season it after you wash it because you are going to use it again the very next day. Just rinse it and the water and new oil beads up and runs right off. After rinsing, just quickly wipe it with a towel and olive oil or coconut oil…that’s it. It is amazing!
For anyone who has a garden or access to a farmers market, grilling fresh vegetables is very rewarding. My father-in-law and a few friends have given us the excess of their gardens which have included carrots, zucchini, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
While at Haven Conference 2015, we were given grilling clips in our swag bag. I came home and put them on the grill with the biggest veggies we had at the time.
They work great at clamping onto a longer vegetable and holding them together. They DO get very hot so you need to use a metal tong to flip them. I’m not sure if I would have purchased them prior to using them but they are fun to have and are a great conversation piece with others who love to grill.
I believe that metal tongs, metal flippers, metal spatulas and bamboo tongs are a must for grilling success. I learned this summer that I liked having a few different sizes and types while grilling.
I also like to have two different tongs during the grilling process because I don’t want to touch the raw meat with the same tongs that I use once it is cooked. Yes, I could run in and wash the tongs off but having two sets of tongs saves time especially while entertaining.
A metal flipper is a must. I used a plastic one once; they melted at the first use and didn’t last. End of story.
If you love grilling, I would love to hear some of your grilling tool must-haves. Please comment below and let me know if you would like to hear more about tools that you can use while grilling and entertaining.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and that you find the right tool for the job!