Digital or not, an instant-read thermometer is a grilling essential, even for professionals. "Look, I can tell when a steak or pork shoulder is done... but you don't want to mess around with uncooked poultry," Raichlen said. "You definitely need a thermometer. You don't want your chicken below 165 degrees." Yes, no one wants salmonella. Even to get out of work.
An attachable light
And on the third day, God said, "Let there be light so people can drink beer and cook meat in my kingdom." While my Genesis knowledge is a little murky, your grilling situation should not be. A light is key for dusk cooking, especially when you're hunched over the grates with your back blocking the patio light. "In that case, you might need a fire extinguisher handy," Raichlen said.
"The perennial problem with cooking fish is that it sticks to the grates," Raichlen told me. To assuage this sticky situation, a cedar plank will make sure your grill stays clean, and adds a smoky cedar flavor.