With Memorial Day next Monday, the un-official, official start of the summer grilling season begins. I love this time of year. It’s silly, but I definitely feel a bit more primal as I stand over my grill and listen to the sizzle of the meat as it cooks above the flame. After all, the same basic principles that our caveman ancestors used to cook saber-toothed tigers over an open fire pit still apply to us backyard grillers: make fire, put meat over fire, cook meat until done, devour with relish.
While the principles haven’t changed, the technology has and meat grilling is better for it. Below we highlight four pieces of grilling gear that will make you a master griller.
If you want to avoid lighter fluid-tasting burgers or charcoal briquette steaks, get the Weber’s On the Grill iPhone App. It’s like having a master griller standing next to you guiding you through the grilling process. This app is loaded. It has over 250 classic grilling recipes from Weber’s bestselling cookbooks, over 100 tips on grilling, and dozens of instructional videos so you can take your grilling to the next level. The best feature, though, is the grill timer. You tell the app what kind of meat you’re cooking and it will set a timer to let you know when to flip your meat or take it off the grill.
While the On the Grill App’s timer does a good job of giving you a general idea of when you should flip and take your meat off the grill, it’s not very precise. To ensure that your meat has reached a proper level of doneness, you’ll want to check the internal temperature of the meat. That’s where a good meat thermometer comes in. The handmade Thermapen is the go-to meat thermometer of professional chefs the world over. Just stick the probe into the meat and–boom!–in just three seconds you have the most accurate temperature reading on the market. Accuracy and speed come at a price, though. The Thermapen will set you back $90, but for the master grillman, it’s an investment well worth it.
While grilling is a pleasant and tasty pastime, it’s also a dangerous one. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2009 18,000 people went to the E.R for grill-related injuries. Most were hand burns. With the Pit Mitt you can avoid cooking your hands so you can focus on cooking your meat. Made with the same synthetic aramid fibers that the military uses in pilot suits, the Pit Mitt offers a flexible heat barrier that can withstand temperatures up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. It fits either righties or lefties.