SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Five Essential Tools for Outdoor Cooking | Family Economics

By Erin

outdoor cookingIt’s almost outdoor cooking season and I’m itching to heat up the grill! I love the smells of the grill; the flavor and smokiness that comes from grilling food. I also love the sight of a campfire burning high. But before you get out there, be sure you have the right tools to accomplish all your grilling dreams!

Here are the tools I use most when I’m cooking outside:

1. Grill – Whether charcoal, gas or a grate that you can put on an open campfire, you need some kind of grill to use for cooking! Grill grates can be found for as little as $10 to $20, and gas grills can range upwards of $1,500. Anyone can find just the right grill for their situation, somewhere between $10 and $1,500!

2. Metal Skewers for the Grill – Kebabs are a favorite around our house throughout the summer months. Having a sturdy set of metal skewers that will last is essential for saving money. They wash nicely in the dishwasher and can be ready for reuse in just one wash.

3. Pie Irons – Pie irons are a tool that you can use to cook grilled cheese or fruit filled pies over an open flame. Place the food you want to cook inside two cast iron cooking panels that are pressed together and then put over a fire. While they could work over a charcoal or gas grill, they really work best over an open- flame fire. Find out more about Pie Irons and how they work.

4. Outdoor Dinnerware and Silverware – If you do much camping and cooking out in the woods, then you’ll want to invest in easy-to-clean stainless steel dinnerware. If you just want to entertain often in your backyard, then a sturdy set of easy-to-clean plastic dinnerware is perfect. The less time you have to spend cleaning up, the more time you have to enjoy the comforts of your own backyard or campsite.

5.  Grill Cleaning Tools – Maintaining your grill, whether gas, charcoal or campfire, is essential to helping it survive year after year. I recommend buying a new scratchless all-purpose pad or brush at the start of every grill season, so you can keep your grill grates nice and clean. I also recommend cleaning out the basin of the grill at the start of each grill season.

What about you?  What are the essentials that can be found in your outdoor cooking space?

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