Summer Grilling Tools (& Mexican Corn)


Fourth of July is always about the time when it really hits me how much more often we should be cooking outside. I should be grilling pizzas with eggs and eating weekend brunch outside on a routine basis! So whether or not this list serves you for the weekend holiday (one of my favorites!),  I enlisted Aron to help me round up a list of basic barbecue essentials. These are the things we find ourselves using time and again.


Depending on your metro area, you may still have time to order your barbecue supplies from Amazon. Otherwise, most of these should be readily available at stores near you.

Tools. I’m usually a proponent of choosing your tools individually rather than as part of a set, but this is a good assortment of tools. At minimum, you need Tongs

(get an extra pair for handling raw versus cooked meat or meat versus veggies) and a spatula. Long handles are essential for grilling. Look for 12-16 inches.

A thermometer is a must for safety. The iGrill is a new favorite because you can monitor meat temperature on your phone rather than constantly lifting the lid and standing over the flame. (Bonus: Watch Aron’s mom demonstrate how it works with the one we gave them for Christmas in this food safety video!)

A tank pressure gauge. We have propane tanks rather than a gas hook-up and used to fear the tank would run out when we’d least expect it!

Basket. Our friends gave us a vegetable grill basket and it was invaluable during asparagus season. Great for tossing squash and other summer vegetables for a quick side.

Smoking Chips. I like these Applewood Smoking Chips—which can be used to get real smoked flavor even if you have a gas grill with one of these boxes.

Cedar Planks. That real wood-smoked flavor? Cedar Planks are great for grilling fish.

Light. It’s not always practical to hold a flashlight. Consider an attachable grill light.

Not pictured: A peel for those pizzas with eggs, and a good recipe for some amazing corn on the cob:

How to make Elotes:

Grill the corn naked on the grill (here’s a discussion of your three options, but placing the cob straight on the grill is our preference): shuck and place corn directly over a very hot fire and grill. Turn occasionally until you get a light char.

Remove from grill and immediately brush each ear with mayonnaise (1-2 Tbsp per ear is a good rule of thumb).

Top with crumbled cotija cheese, a pinch of salt, a pinch of smoked paprika, and a pinch of chili powder.  Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each ear and serve with lime wedges and salt (cilantro, optional).

Any favorites to add?

P.S. More 4th of July inspiration:
A simple DIY blanket for Fourth of July; a keg out of a watermelon; and How to serve beer.

Have a happy Independence Day!

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