How to become a guru of the grill

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

One of the things I love most about Hawaii is the near-perfect weather throughout the year. However, since moving here eight years ago, I’ve picked up on the subtle changes in the seasons and find myself craving creature comforts that vary with the climates.

Lately, everything has been all about enjoying the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. When you’re at home, what better way to enjoy the company than by cooking out and eating grilled food?

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I often hear tips about how to buy the perfect grill, but usually what gets overlooked is how to buy the right grilling accessories. If you or someone you know is looking for some handy grill extras, consider these things:

• Tools that hit the mark. Your indoor kitchen utensils are not made to withstand the high temperatures of the grill, so they won’t do. Instead, opt for accessories made for the grill. Get meat forks, basting brushes, spatulas and tongs with long, sturdy and heat-resistant handles. They should be made of heavy-duty forged stainless steel and hardwoods. These tools often come as sets, which help keep them together by allowing you to store them all in one case.

• Electric charcoal starter. Gone are the days of lighter-fluid-flavored food. Simply bury the starter in the charcoal, plug it in and wait for it to ignite. It takes just minutes and does not require matches or fluid.

• Cleaning supplies. A grill brush can help prevent flare-ups and residual taste from the previous cookout. Look for a brush with a long handle and stainless-steel bristles. Remember to inspect it regularly. If the bristles become worn or start pulling loose, it’s time to replace it entirely.

• Grill cover. A cover can protect your grill not just from the rain but also from the harsh sun. Many covers come custom-fit, so make sure you know your make and model before shopping.

• Fire extinguisher. Minimize the effects of accidental charcoal spills or flying cinders by preparing for the worst. Look for Class A and Class B extinguishers and make sure they are light enough to be handled easily and stored nearby.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.