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Test Kitchen Tip

Tools of the Trade For grilling success, equip yourself with the right gear. Here's a list of the basics every griller should own.

Wire grill brushes: an essential cleaning tool. Look for one with a long wooden handle and brass or steel bristles.

Tongs: your best bet is long kitchen tongs. Make sure they open wide, close tightly, and are sturdy.

Spatulas: great for turning fish or burgers. Look for one that has an offset, rigid, yet thin blade to get underneath stuck-on food without tearing.

Instant-read thermometers: the best way to check meats for doneness on the grill. Digital ones are very accurate but expensive compared to analog models.

Skewers: essential for kebabs; made of either metal or bamboo. In our opinion, metal skewers are the way to go. They can be reused endlessly, clean easily, and come in a huge variety of styles and price points, from plain to fancy.

Bamboo skewers are inexpensive, but they burn. Sure, you could soak them first, but the only way to really protect them is to actually shield them with foil.

Other stuff: pot holders, timers, basting brushes, a spray bottle of water, a roll of aluminum foil, and paper towels are all good to have on hand for grilling season.

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