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 ?

  • 2
    "best" is a difficult metric. Least expensive? Most flavorful? Easiest to obtain? Most impressive presentation? Easiest to manipulate on the grill? Easiest to cook to the correct temperature? Most authentic (for some particular cuisine)? Most patriotic? Most likely to offend members of PETA? What does "best" mean to you? May 22, 2012 at 3:22
  • Yuppy Californians do asparagus and zucchini; both are quick cooking for that small grill. Small onions with skin left on can be squeezed amongst your grilling hunks: black and squishy is done.
    – Pat Sommer
    May 30, 2012 at 6:08

2 Answers 2

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Handi-wipes to get the charcoal off your hands.
  4. A "chimney"-style charcoal starter, and some newspaper to use in it. "Easy-lighting" charcoal isn't.
  5. A "fireplace" lighter.
  6. Long-handled metal tongs and a long-handled, wide, heavy metal spatula.
  7. Oven mitts or thick leather gloves in case the handles aren't long enough.
  8. Spray bottle full of tap water for putting out flare-ups, clothing, and hair.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Chips & dip or salsa for while everyone is waiting hours for you to get the charcoal going.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Beer.

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?

  • 2
    Please don't drink wine from bottles with corks! Only buy screw capped wine to ensure it's quality
    – TFD
    May 23, 2012 at 6:48
  • @TFD would you like to elaborate on this comment? I find it strange (are you being sarcastic here? Normally only the cheapest wines are sold in screw top in my experience) and it picked a non-constructive flag.
    – rumtscho
    May 25, 2012 at 9:27
  • There is a common expression for wine that has gone off as being "corked", mainly because corks do leak air, and are often of low quality themselves. There is no expressions "capped". In enlightened places good wine is screw capped as the wine makers know this will ensure quality. It's surprising how many people whom have been drinking corked wine don't know it!
    – TFD
    May 25, 2012 at 22:20
  • 1
    Actually, despite it being very un-traditional and even heresy in the eyes of vintage wine collectors, screw caps are superior in terms of preventing both oxidation and off-flavors (that is, "corked"). It's been studied by wine makers and is pretty mainstream now; the association of screw caps with cheap/inferior wines is totally obsolete. Likewise, the glass bottle is technically an inferior storage method to bag-in-box, but the latter still has a stigma.
    – Aaronut
    May 27, 2012 at 0:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.