I think quite a few of us were planning to use last weekend’s holiday to get some time outside, whether it was during a trip to the lake or a staycation here in Saskatoon. Mother Nature had other plans, and covered us with clouds for most of the weekend. If you’re like me though, nothing was stopping me from using the grill for the first time this year. Rain or shine, the barbecue was rocking for three straight days! During that time I gathered up a list of what I consider to be essential to making a great bbq experience. Everyone has their own setup, but they would be complete without the following items.
Now this may seem too obvious, but my experience over the weekend led me to believe that a grill inspection is necessary before anything happens. I had a leak in the propane line, which led to a mad dash to get a replacement part in time for grilling. Nothing drastic needed to happen, but living in a city that leaves our barbecues covered in snow for most of the year means making sure everything is in operational condition before getting started. Now the type of grill is completely up to you: small or big, charcoal or gas, smoker or no smoker.
I think there are three essential tools for operating a barbecue, and one “luxury” item. A scraper is vital for maintaining a clean grilling surface and a spatula and a set of tongs are best for moving food around. I’ll say a nice pastry or basting brush is a luxury for coating food on the grill only because one can get away with a more primitive way of applying sauces to your hot dogs and patties.
Yes, the sound of food cooking on a barbecue is a lovely sound, especially after a Saskatchewan winter. But to create the perfect grilling session I will say that some music is essential. While I have made a summer playlist, maybe I need to get started on a grilling playlist…
Cooler of Beverages
Nothing says grilling like a spatula in one hand and an ice cold drink or the other. To save trips inside (especially living in an apartment building), I make sure to have a cooler or bucket full of ice and drinks in it.
When I first think of barbecuing I think of hotdogs and burgers. While of course there’s a plethora of other things we can toss on the grill, for the quintessential barbecue experience we need to toss some meats on the grill. But don’t worry we still need…
Ribs, dogs, and ‘burgs are fantastic, but we need a healthy balance for our meal. That means including vegetables. To make the most out of the grilling time, you can even throw them on the barbecue. Corn and peppers are phenomenal when grilled. If the family is outside and hanging about, a tray of veggies and some dip will keep everyone satisfied until the main course is ready. And you can never go wrong with a salad, especially if you have a home garden you can pluck from!