Summer is such a glorious time here in upstate New York. After what feels like the darkest days of winter warm sunshine and our grills smoking is one of the best feelings.
I grew up in the midwest. For us the nights my mom was working late or my dad decided to cook dinner it was always Brats and Bush's beans on the grill. I love getting beans at BJ's but if there isn't a coupon I use the search tool to see what store has them on sale and if there are coupons to use. This beats pulling up the sales flyer online or heaven forbid in an actual newspaper!
If you aren't using this tool daily bookmark it. Do whatever you need to do to remember to always use this when you need something on sale.
Grilling is one of my dad's favorite things. He's the one to share how he cooked a brat three different ways grilling on Instagram. After I gave birth to our first daughter in the middle of winter, he grilled out- snow and all. I expected my husband to be a griller to.
I'll share a hilarious first-time story with you.
My husband and I met when I was 19 and he was 18. We were in college loving the freedom of being away. I thought it would be fun to cook out. We didn't even have a grill. I was living with a friend at the time so we hit up Walmart and bought a tiny Weber grill. My dad would have been pretty upset if I didn't buy Weber.
My dad is also a charcoal guy. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a gas grill. My husband didn't know anything about charcoal.
Trying to impress me, of course, he used lighter fluid. He had no idea that you should let it burn off. He made us burgers. My first taste of a burger from my boyfriend. When my dad was a grilling master. Seriously everyone always came to my parent's house for his cookouts. It still rings true to this day.
I immediately said it tasted like lighter fluid. My husband said, “What? No, it doesn't. I think it's good.”
Since we were just “dating” I stayed quiet, but I ended up throwing the burger in the woods. He choked the thing down. I brought up my dad's burgers and well that was something we had to get through, as you do in the early years.
I thought I would NEVER eat a burger again. I teased him for a long time about it tasting like lighter fluid.
Oh, the joys of first dates right? Anyways my husband is better on the grill now. He too has come a long way and prefers charcoal.
We all start somewhere. If you are new to grilling or dating someone who is, let me share our top five grilling items with you.
For my frugal friends check out this deal at BJs! It isn't an online deal. Which means inventory will vary by club, but you can check online here to see if your local club has it.
Mr. Bar-B-Q 2-Pc. Kickstand Tool Set $4.98!
Mr. Bar-B-Q 6-Pc. Stainless Steel Tool Set with Case $15.98
It goes without saying a grill set is one of the best first items to get the one who will be grilling. You need the basics and these sets have a larger handle than your average kitchen spatula. Which is a good thing because those first time grillers who light up the charcoal with WAY to much lighter fluid have a pretty high flame to work with if they don't let it burn down. 🙂
Cuisinart CSBP-100 3-in-1 Stuffed Burger Press $10.12
Plus there is usually a coupon to clip under. I personally have this one and love it. If you want to make perfect patties and stuff them just right this is your press.
In the past, I have used the little $1 thin paint brushes you can find at the Dollar Tree for crafts. I also have a silicone one and both do the job just fine. The silicone brush is much easier to clean out and reuse. Whichever brush you choose this is a must for any meat you BBQ. A brush is the best way to get delicious melted butter in every bit of your meat.
Purchasing Non-Stick Skewers will last over the bamboo ones. I know you can get a whole pack for $1 at most places but you have to soak before use and they really are a one time use. I like the circles at the end of these for grabbing and rotating while you grill your kabobs.
If you haven't done a beer can chicken, add it to the menu. It's so simple and the taste is juicy and delicious. Make life way easier and purchase this first. All you need to do is grab a cheap pilsner beer, drink half of it and put it in this awesome roaster. You put your whole chicken right over the can and cook away.
You will need to have a grill lid that fits over the chicken. Or at least you need to be able to move the rack down. The lid has to stay close to get this one to cook. I have found these at Aldi in the summer for cheap too.
We go with PBR. It's a cheap summer classic.
OTHER FUN GRILLING ITEMS Not Super Budget Friendly:
I grew up without my parents ever using one of these. We have one and I feel a piece of mind when I can test my meat for guests.
Have fun grilling with Table craft bamboo steak markers at your next cookout.
Not a fan of wrapping up every piece of corn in tinfoil and hoping for the best? Grab this corn grilling basket.
charcoal companion corn grilling basket
Grilling planks will take your grilling to the next level.
I hope you have a great summer of grilling. I am so looking forward to cooking outside and enjoying the smell. I also can't wait for my dad to come to visit us this summer and put his grill master hat on and prepare the best food. For now, I will, of course, enjoy what my husband cooks.
Share in the comments below what your favorite must-have grilling tool is or your favorite thing to make on the grill?
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