As summer has finally arrived, I am planning for a picnic involving grilling. We have some parks around here, with the tiny grills on the ground. Can someone give me a list of things to bring in order to really grill some food ? Also, what are the usual meats/veggies for outdoor grilling ?
- A decent grill. Yes, really. If your park has one of those crappy little close-to-the-ground ones (instead of the great giant cast-iron ones in the national parks) you're in for an afternoon of heartbreak and frustration as you try to grill on it.
- Quality charcoal. Hardwood is more expensive, harder to light, slower to heat up but burns hotter and tastes good; briquettes are easy-lighting but don't add much to the food. Best results: half and half.
- Handi-wipes to get the charcoal off your hands.
- A "chimney"-style charcoal starter, and some newspaper to use in it. "Easy-lighting" charcoal isn't.
- A "fireplace" lighter.
- Long-handled metal tongs and a long-handled, wide, heavy metal spatula.
- Oven mitts or thick leather gloves in case the handles aren't long enough.
- Spray bottle full of tap water for putting out flare-ups, clothing, and hair.
- Meat, fish, chicken, and/or vegetables, preferably some which have been marinated in a sauce or rub for a while (several hours for meat) beforehand.
- Serving plates and eating plates and other picnicware. No, you can't put the cooked meat back on the dish the raw meat was marinating on.
- Chips & dip or salsa for while everyone is waiting hours for you to get the charcoal going.
- Bread and side-dishes to go with the barbecue, or more likely to be eaten instead while everyone waits for the meat to be done.
- Headlamp flashlight for you to use while it's getting dark because the charcoal isn't ready yet and you can't see if the food is done or not.
May I add a bit onto your list for serving that gawky vegetarian teenager that was dragged along?
Aluminum foil: wrap up some veggies or store-bought meat-analog and toss onto the slower end of grill. Not having a meal touch charred-flesh covered grill will earn you gratitude!
Soysauce: livens up any veg or starch and not necessary to read all the ingredients...
olive oil or Earth Balance or other good quality non-animal fat.
Wine bottle opener: beer is more traditional but what if I show up with a case of Brunello?