Cooking Techniques

Simple Ways to Enjoy a Healthy Meal

Eating healthy doesn’t mean following an extreme dietary plan, or denying yourself your favorite food. Rather, it’s more about eating foods that boost energy, improve your health, and balance the hormones. Chances are you’ve read countless articles on nutrition or tried a bunch of diets without success – which is why we won’t try to sell you another magic diet.

Our mission is to promote healthy living by way of eating nutritious whole meals and minimizing junk food. We’ve found that the simplest and most effective approach to dieting is to reduce the number of processed foods we eat and instead, eat more real food.

A good, healthy diet often times involves very specific foods and nutrients that are known to be vital to our health; but still, the overall dietary plan is what matters more and what determines your health. It is absolutely important that you substitute instant, processed foods with home-made meals whenever possible – because when we eat natural food it has an amazing impact on the way we look, think and feel.

Do I need to avoid some foods?

Your body needs a balance of vitamins, proteins, carbs, fat, fiber, and minerals, to function properly. Now, some of the more extreme dietary experts may disagree, but there’s no need to eliminate entire food categories from your diet, it makes more sense to eat the healthiest foods from each category. Let’s go through the basics of healthy eating:

Debunking food categories

Carbs: These are an important source of energy and should be part of your daily nutrition. The best carbs are complex, and unrefined; such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Avoid eating white bread, starches, pastries, and sugar to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar, mood, and energy.

Fat: Some fats are healthy and some aren’t. Healthy fats (such as omega 3s) are vital to our health and play a major role in keeping our physical and mental health in check. Eating more natural fat (such as nuts, avocado) can also make it easier to lose weight.

Fiber: We need more fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts in our diet. Some of the benefits include a healthy heart, reduced risk of diabetes, and healthy skin.

Protein: Aside from animal products, you can get good amounts of high-quality protein from a variety of plants and seeds and this is important because without sufficient protein you won’t have the energy to go about your day.

How to make healthy meals

If possible, prepare your own meals. Cooking forces you to be more aware of what you put in your body, and as a result, you will consume less sugar, fat, calories, and other foods that leave you bloated and irritable.

Drink more water. This helps your body get rid of waste and toxins that cause tiredness, low energy, and headaches. You can also reduce food intake by drinking enough water.

Always read the labels. You need to be aware of what you’re purchasing and what those food labels say. Keep in mind that some manufacturers will pack huge amounts of sugar and processed fat and still label the food healthy.

Eat in moderation. Don’t stuff your body with large amounts of healthy food – this will interfere with the digestive process and leave you feeling sick. Moderate your food intake and reduce the portion sizes of “bad” food so that instead of craving them more, you eat just enough to keep the balance and follow it up with plenty of whole foods including greens and vegetables.

Plan your meals ahead. Healthy eating requires good planning. Start by stockpiling your kitchen with high-quality fruits, vegetables, cereal, meats, dairy, fish, oils, spices, whole grains, healthy snacks, and simple recipes. A good way to do that is by getting your groceries delivered by mercato.com. Pick a few recipes that you like and build your meal schedule around them.

What Really Happens when you Microwave Food?

The microwave oven is ubiquitous in most home across America. When Americans get hungry and want a quick, hot, meal, they no longer turn on the stove or oven — they pop something in a plastic container into the microwave, and in a matter of minutes they’re ready to eat a steaming bowl or plate of whatever suits their fancy. Twenty years ago the microwave seemed a miracle of modern technology. Today, it’s taken for granted like cell phones and big screen TVs.

But there’s always been a nagging question in the back of people’s minds when it comes to microwave cooking — how much, if any, of the basic nutrients are disabled when a dish is microwaved, as compared to baking, frying, or boiling? Of course, it’s always been obvious to food scientists, and then to the general public, that the best way to preserve and consume nutrient is in their raw and natural state. But who wants to eat a raw potato? Heat will always diminish the nutrient factor in any kind of food, according to nutritionists. And compared with other and more traditional methods of heating and cooking food, the damage to nutrients with microwave cooking is usually minimal.

Scientists have shown that the major nutrient influences in cooking are, first of all, the amount of time an item is actually cooked. The longer it remains heated the more vital nutrients are destroyed or disabled. Secondly, food loses a significant amount of nutrients when it is cooked with excess liquids, such as water or tomato puree — vitamins and mineral have a tendency to leach out faster and in more abundance when more liquid is used. That is why cooks are encouraged to incorporate their cooking liquids in their recipes — it helps retain minerals and vitamins that would otherwise simply be poured down the drain.

The way a microwave oven works is basically simply physics. The machine sends out waves on a micro frequency that are picked up by molecules of water in the food item; these molecules then generate a large quantity of heat as they vibrate with the micro wavelengths inside the food. The uniqueness of this style of cooking comes from the fact that cooking food in a microwave requires little or no liquid, whereas when a food item like carrots are boiled in water the water will turn slightly orange — indicating that some of the important nutrients have leaked away from the vegetable itself and are now contained in the liquid medium.

When baking and roasting food, the problem lies in the fact that the exterior of the food item is heated quickly while the interior of the item, such as a roast or a baking potato, takes longer to reach the proper temperature. This creates carbonization of the outside of the food, which is what chefs strive for in restaurants for flavor, but which actually destroys a good deal of the nutritional value of the food and has been linked to possible carcinogens.

The bottom line is that while not all the facts and figures are in about microwave cooking yet, scientists believe it to be one of the best ways to prepare food in today’s busy, time-starved world.  

Healthy Eating Trend: The Best Oils for Healthy Cooking

Your diet and lifestyle have a direct impact on the health of your heart.

When you prepare your food, it’s recommended you eat something that is rich in nutrients and healthy fats. With oil, there is a difference in the type of fat that you can get.

Before I recommend oils to use for your healthy cooking, let me explain the different types of fats that are found in oil.

Oils are liquid fats that come from the seeds or nuts of plants. The ratio and type of fats contained in each oil usually differ.

 

Saturated Fats: Also known as Solid Fat, it is usually solid around room temperature and found mostly in animal foods like meat, cheese and milk.

 

This saturated fat is found less in poultry and fish, but more so in red meat. It is also found in tropical oils like cocoa butter, coconut oil and palm oil, which are used in things like coffee creamers and whipped toppings.

 

Desserts, cookies and cakes are usually high in saturated fats and can raise your cholesterol level. Anyone embarking on a healthy diet should ensure that the saturated fat in their daily calorie intake should be less than 10%.

 

Unsaturated Fats: Unlike saturated fats (which at room temperature are in liquid form), unsaturated fats are found in the oil derived from plants or their seeds.

 

Consuming unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats can assist in improving your cholesterol levels. Two types of unsaturated fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

 

  • Polyunsaturated Fat: Found mostly in vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, safflower, corn oils and sesame. This is also the main type of fat found in seafood.

    When you consume polyunsaturated fat instead of saturated fat, you’re on the path to reducing your LDL cholesterol level.

    In polyunsaturated fats, you can find Omega-3 fatty acids (sardines, walnuts, salmons, shellfish, canola oil, mackerel) and Omega-6 fatty acids, found mostly in vegetable oils.

  • Monounsaturated Fats: Found mostly in olive, peanut oil, nuts, avocado and vegetable oils.

    Foods high in monounsaturated oil can help reduce LDL cholesterol, but when you consume more unsaturated fat without reducing your intake of saturated fat, your cholesterol levels are unlikely to go down.

 

Here are our best choice of oils for cooking your healthy meals:

 

Avocado Oil: One of the richest oils in monounsaturated fats and a great way to include vitamin E into your diet. Avocado Oil, unlike others oils that are extracted from the seed of a plant, is extracted from the flesh of ripe avocados and has the highest smoke point of any plant oil (520 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

You can opt for this if you have a little extra cash to splurge, but try storing it properly, as it’s likely to go off fairly easily if it’s not taken care of. It is highly recommended, as it produces an antioxidant that improves eye health, helps your cholesterol levels and its buttery flavor can complement sauces and salad dressings. It is good enough to be used for any cooking need.

 

Canola Oil: This great cooking oil isn’t as popular as the rest, but provides a lovely texture, an amazing neutral flavour and an impressive heat tolerance level.

 

Budget-friendly when compared to other cooking oils, this oil is obtained by crushing the seeds of a type of rapeseed plant, (the canola), which comes from the same family as broccoli and cabbage. It also has the lowest content of saturated fat present in any oil and works well when used for baking, fries and sautéing, as it has a relatively medium smoking point.

 

A well-embraced oil for making Indian and exceptionally-tasting Mexican dishes.

 

Coconut Oil: Containing over 90% of saturated fats, which makes it resistant to heat, coconut oil has very powerful benefits and is a great choice for high heat cooking. It becomes solid at room temperature and can last for months (even years) without going bad. It is surprisingly rich in Luaric acid, which is a fatty acid that is known to improve cholesterol, as well as kill pathogens and bacteria. A great source of energy and taste, coconut oil is highly recommended for healthy cooking.

 

Olive oil: Well-known for the effects it has on the heart, the monounsaturated fat it possesses makes it a great choice to fight breast cancer and heart disease. It lowers the cholesterol level in the body and is ideal for breakfast and a great improvement to the Mediterranean diet. It is fairly resistant to heat and is used widely around the world for cooking. The extra virgin olive oil is great for sautéing and light salad dressing, while the regular olive oil is widely used for frying.

 

Palm Oil: Derived from the fruit of the oil palms, palm oil contains mostly monounsaturated and saturated fats, but with trace amounts of polyunsaturated fats, making it a recommended choice for cooking. The unrefined red palm oil is rich in Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, as well as other nutrients.

 

Leading health expert, Dr Shikha Sharma, claims that since there isn’t a single oil that contains all the necessary fatty acids (in the ratio at which the body needs them), it is a healthy option to rotate or change the oils that you consume. According to him, “Your body needs different essential fatty acids. A combination of saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats will do well in keeping your body and diet healthy.”

 

In addition to their diet and lifestyle benefits, oils – especially coconut oil – have also been getting a lot of attention recently for their health benefits, including weight loss, skin regeneration and dental hygiene.

“In the field of dental health for example, you can use coconut oil as part of your dental health to help attack harmful bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath, fights gum disease, reduce plaque and prevent tooth decay and loss,” says Dr. Cecil Luong of Tigersmile Dentistry.

 

On a final note, don’t forget to take care of your cooking oils and ensure they do not turn rancid. If you cook a lot and are sure you can use up a lot of oil in a short period of time, then buy in large batches. If not, consider buying small batches, so they don’t get the chance to go bad.

 

How To Eat Healthy When Living In Dorms With No Kitchen

The life of a college student is hit with numerous roadblocks whenever thinking about healthy eating. Unfortunately, it is difficult to deal with everything that happens and the really long schedules. One of the common roadblocks is experienced by those college students that live in dorms since most of them do not have a kitchen that can be used and the money necessary for eating out is a lot.

Students that live in dorms that have no kitchen normally do one of the following things:

  • Buy meal plans
  • Eat out for every single meal
  • Only eat fast food or similar

Every single one of these options is bad as creating a great nutrition plan in such circumstances is close to impossible. You cannot think about advanced nutrition factors like moon phase role in weight loss when you want to follow a great diet and cannot cook most of the meals. Fortunately, there are different highly affordable things that you can consider, including the following ideas.

Cooking Someplace Else On Campus

The fact that there is no kitchen present in the dorm room does not mean that you do not have access to a kitchen. Ask around and see where you can cook on campus. Work out the schedule and take advantage of the kitchen by doing activities around that.

Residence Halls With Community Kitchens

A kitchen is normally present for every single hall or for a building with the purpose of sharing. In many cases these are going to be ill-stocked and will be a little dirty but you can definitely utilize them. Just check out all the options that are available so you choose the best possible kitchen.

A Sink And A Stove Is More Than Enough

You do not need a huge kitchen in order to do all the cooking you need. Buy utensils and pans to then store in the dorm room. Take these to the kitchen whenever you are interested in cooking. Alternatively, you can easily add a portable stove in your room. Just be sure the smell does not bother you and the colleague.

Take Advantage Of A Microwave Oven

It is always possible to buy food that is healthy and that can be made inside the microwave oven. Most people instantly think about mini pizzas and sandwiches when they consider microwave uses but this is definitely not the case. Much better options are including frozen chicken breast, frozen vegetable steamer bags, eggs and frozen fruits. Obviously, getting the nutrition you need from microwave options is not the best possible solution but you can easily make this work for you. Also, having a space-savvy instant pot might also work best for you.

Conclusions

At the end of the day, there are no excuses that are good enough when you want to eat healthy and you live in a dorm room without a kitchen. The options above are those that are very good but do be sure that you keep a close eye on the different possibilities that could arise. You can easily have a healthy nutrition plan as a college student.

Wine-Can Chicken: The Perfect Summer Meal

If you’re hosting a backyard party on a beautiful day in August, you want to be drinking with your friends, playing bocce ball and having a good time, not fussing over a meal that requires an elaborate preparation. Hiring reliable event staffing services in Toronto is one way to free yourself up and hang with your friends (whether it’s a lone bartender or a full on catering staff); another way is to prep a meal that is reasonably straightforward to cook and serve. Beer-can chicken is the perfect example of this meal: you simply massage the chicken with oil, rub it down with spices, plop it on a half-empty beer can and throw it on the barbecue. An alternate version of this that we’ll explore today is a slightly more sophisticated cousin: wine-can chicken.

Wine-can chicken requires a very simple substitution, adding just one super quick step to the process. You pour out the beer you were going to use in a glass (you should probably drink it, or give it to a friend) and then pour a few ounces of wine into the can instead, before affixing the chicken to it. The key principle behind beer-can chicken is that the can of beer on the grill heats up and steams the chicken as it is cooking, infusing it with flavor and keeping it moist.

There are certainly some haters on the Internet who argue that this is an ineffective and silly way to cook a chicken, but results speak for themselves, and anyone who has ever competently cooked a chicken in this method knows that the end product is frigging delicious. Your instincts in this scenario might be to use white wine to cook the chicken (since fowl is typically paired with white wines), however, richer wines such as Malbec, Zinfandel or Cab Franc complement BBQ chicken much better, balancing the smokiness.

As for the seasoning, fret not, it is incredibly simple. You’ll want to set aside a bowl and mix salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and cayenne in it and then rub this mixture all over the chicken once it’s been massaged with oil. Make sure to use lots of salt, as this helps the skin crisp up, and definitely make sure to wash your hands once you’re done handling the chicken.

An excellent accompaniment to this meal is barbecued corn. Like the chicken, it is incredibly unfussy to prepare: you place the corn on the grill in its husk and cook it for 20-30 minutes. Within its husk the corn steams naturally as well, and even if you forget about it and leave it on for a very long time, it is extremely difficult to burn, overcook it, or dry it out.

Finally, you’ll probably want some sort of vegetable as well, perhaps a refreshing summer salad to balance out the richness of the grilled food. A Greek salad with feta and olives can serve quite nicely in this scenario, but since you worked so hard on the chicken and corn, you may want to call on friends to bring the salad.

 

Hosting The Ideal Cocktail Party For Your Donors

Giving your top tier prospects a night to remember is part of what donor stewardship is all about when you work in the not-for-profit sector. Whether you’re hosting an annual spring gala to thank your supporters for contributing to your charity, or planning something smaller, more intimate, and exclusive, patrons need to be recognized – that’s how they’ll keep coming back.

You can throw a fun cocktail party for example to cultivate and revive your donor list while endearing new prospects to your mission. It isn’t an explicit ask, however it fosters your relationship, connecting potential sponsors, or returning sponsors to the cause you’re raising money for. It is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the not-for-profit world.

When your work is philanthropic, your donors are the life-blood of your organization especially since government funding only covers project-to-project costs, and cannot possibly begin to fund the operating fees associated with running a charitable initiative. Research shows however that among donors who were satisfied after attending an event, 33 percent made an unsolicited gift, and 35 percent of solicited donors who made a gift credited the event with why they made the gift. Fundraising events however do take a great amount of time, energy, and effort on the part of company staff, and can be challenging when event planning is not a development department’s forte.

Three things to keep in mind when throwing a cultivation event are the venue, the atmosphere and of course, the food. Why not hire a caterer that has the ability to gently guide you through all of these aspects? The Food Dudes for example are one company based out of the GTA who’ve exploded onto the scene in the last ten years, and have been recognized for their natural ability to impress through innovation. Their inventive cocktail menu — which you can check out at Thefooddudes.com — can be customized to suit virtually any diet, and includes the city’s most interesting options from truffle beef sliders to liquid nitrogen popcorn.

Their event staff possess expert knowledge of their products and protocol, are familiar and enthusiastic about food, and are uniquely qualified to work the events they cater. Furthermore, they always bring a passionate and professional attitude to the work.

If you’re looking to throw your cocktail event at a private residence, the company can bring tailor-made equipment to perfectly compliment any evening such as regal wood platters for passed apps, burner covers, butcher’s blocks and more. For larger events with extensive guest counts, they partner with renowned rental groups that allow them to accommodate those numbers. Finally, they also have a relationship with many event venues around the city that they work from regularly, from small coffeehouses like Balzac’s Roasters, to bigger halls like those found in Wychwood Barns.

For not-for-profits to be sustainable, they need to keep donors engaged, interested and invested (both financially and emotionally) in the work. By hiring a caterer for your event that will put your guests’ satisfaction at the forefront, you can feel confident in knowing the people who keep your doors open will feel cared for by you and continue to give.

How To Enjoy Your Favorite Pasta Dishes With Less Guilt

Pasta is one of those meals where you like to pretend it’s good for you, since it does have tomatoes in it (and they have vitamin C in them, don’t they?), but you know it really isn’t all that good for you. Pasta can be pretty fattening and packs in a lot of carbs. Although, if you’re only indulging in pasta once a week or less then you’re at least doing something right.

If you want to feel a little better about your pasta consumption you can make some of the following changes to your cooking routine. Pasta can be an entire meal in one plate and can be a great comfort food, so don’t nix it from your diet just yet.

Look Into Organic Sauces

When you’re shopping for pasta sauces you should consider buying something organic. Tomatoes are commonly one of those fruits that are hit with a lot of pesticides since they have a lot of bugs that like to eat them. By going organic you’re also helping to ensure you’re getting fewer preservatives in your food, meaning it’s a bit fresher and has more nutrients.

You could also consider making your own pasta sauce. In fact, you could also consider growing your own tomatoes. Then you know exactly what’s gotten into them and onto them.

Try Whole Wheat or Wheat Free Pasta

There are good things about wheat and there are bad things about it. Wheat flour is often bleached, which can make it not so healthy of a food item if you’re trying to cut down the chemicals you’re getting through your food. You can avoid this problem by buying whole wheat pasta.

You might also want to check out some of the other pasta grain options. With the rise of gluten-free foods, you can find pasta made from corn, rice, and even ancient grains. Test them out and see which ones you like best. There are also grain-free options.

Add More Vegetables

Consider going meatless once or twice a week if you’re normally a meat eater. There are plenty of vegetables you can substitute for meat in pasta dishes. Some of them include squash and even broccoli.

Even if you stick with meat, consider adding more vegetable and less meat (and maybe even less pasta). The more vegetables, and the more of a variety of them, the better for your health!

Try A Different Meat Option

You could also switch what meats you’re using. Beef is high in fat and is known to be a culprit in clogging arteries. Sausage is also a common ingredient in pasta dishes and is also high in fat.

Try making pasta with chicken, even breaded chicken. It will give it a different look and a different taste that you may still enjoy. You could also try crab when having pasta alfredo.

Reasons To Take A Nutrition Class

You have been reminded since childhood to eat your fruits and vegetables and probably know the basics about what constitutes a healthy and nutritious diet.  However, you may be surprised at many of the benefits taking a nutrition class as an adult has to offer.  Almost every community college or adult education center has nutrition classes that are offered in any area of the country.  Here are a few reasons to take a nutrition class that could benefit you down the road.

Being More Informed

It is important to be well informed about the foods that you consume.  More and more studies are being conducted that show many nutritional benefits from curbing your diet to add more vegetables and fruit and consuming less meat.  Many nutrition courses focus on teaching students about the drawbacks of eating a high intake of meat and sugar.  You will also become more conscious of what you and your family are eating and you may even start reading the back of food packages for all of the nutritional facts and ingredients while you are in the aisles of your local grocery store.

Promoting A Healthier Lifestyle

If you are completely lost at how to begin to build a healthy lifestyle, enrolling in a nutrition class can be a great first step at a new life.  If you are someone who has struggled with weight their entire life and looking to be educated about food for the first time, or a recovering addict who wants diet tips to stay sober and maintain a clean lifestyle, signing up for a nutrition course can be a great way to promote a new and healthier life.

Convenience

Not only do many schools offer nutrition classes at nights or on the weekends, which is convenient for those who work the typical 9 to 5 shifts, but there are also a huge amount of nutrition courses that are offered online that you can take at your convenience.  If you are worried about cost, you can even find some free online nutrition courses too.

You Can Teach Others What You Learned

The best part about taking a nutrition class is the amount of information that you will be able to pass on to the rest of your family.  The knowledge that you have will now be able to be incorporated into grocery shopping with your kids and cooking with your partner.  You will look at food in an entirely new light.

Learning about nutrition and food in a more formal setting will set you up for a healthier lifestyle and give you knowledge that you will use on a daily basis.  There are many positive reasons to take a nutrition course that will benefit you and your family for years to come.

Enjoying the BBQ Season, Whatever the Weather

When summer creeps closer, there’s one thing that gets everybody excited, and that’s BBQ’s. Whether you love barbeques because of the excuse to indulge in a whole spread of incredibly tasty foods, or simply because it’s the perfect time for a good get-together, barbeques are just great. The only downside to a barbeque however, is the need to plan, prepare and pray. Planning is essential, especially if you’re wanting a larger turnout. You need to inform your guests, decide on food and drinks and then purchase everything you need. Then there’s the preparation, getting the food ready, making the garden suitable and wearing the right clothing to keep warm but not too warm! Then you need to pray, pray and hope that the weather will hold off and the sun will shine for you, just for one evening. The weather can however be very unpredictable, with a beautiful sunny afternoon suddenly switching to an aggressive thunderstorm out of nowhere! For this reason alone, here are some tips on how you can enjoy your barbeque, whatever the weather, whether you’re indoors or out!

Once you know who you want to invite, whether you’re wanting some family time, or a friendly get-together, you can then get started on deciding exactly what you want to feed your guests with. Barbeques are amazing for the simple fact that you can choose almost any cuisine, yet tie it in perfectly with the barbequed foods of your choice. A range of hot and cold food is always good when hosting something like this, as you’re giving your guests the choice and hopefully meeting everybody’s needs. There are however some specific foods that always go down very well at a barbeque, and are often expected when attending one. Burgers, Sausages and Steaks are always a good choice. Any type of meet that can be cooked to perfection on a barbeque will go down really well, accompanied with a soft bread bun or rice. You then need to consider smaller bowls of food, such as Potato Salads, Coleslaw, Mixed Leaf Salads, Jacket Potatoes and other bits of food that people can have on the side of their plate to nibble on. Cheese and Crackers, Breadsticks, Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes are also very good choices. Keep in mind that if your able to enjoy the glorious sunshine and have your barbeque outdoors, you may not want too many hot dishes, as the weather will already be warm and the food may become too much. There’s nothing more refreshing than a fresh salad or yoghurt based dish on a warm summers afternoon!

If the weather doesn’t go as planned and you find yourself faced with a heavy downpour just hours before your guests arrive, don’t panic. For many, the main attractions of a barbeque are the beautifully barbequed food, the hours of catching up and the general social atmosphere. The sunshine is often just a bonus! So, to ensure your indoor barbeque is just as good as you planned, make sure your foods are cooked the same. For example, remember to still grill your meats, and cook things the same way you would if you were outdoors. How you present the table is also key, as for a barbeque outdoors you tend to have your dishes spread out like a buffet for guests to pick their food as they choose. Keeping this relaxed feel to the indoor barbeque will ensure you keep things the same. Having your food spread out across a table gives people the chance to choose food as they please, and go back for more if needed. It’s also much easier to socialise when you can float around the room with your plate, instead of having to sit in a seating plan at the table! If you decide to make additional plates of food or even desserts, you can simply keep them fresh with Clingfilm and keep them neatly placed on your kitchen units, until you’re ready to bring them to the table.

How you present your outdoor or indoor areas is really important to creating that perfect barbeque atmosphere. Summer is a time for colour and fun, so purchasing some bunting or colourful napkins will help to brighten up the table and add to the summery feel. It doesn’t matter if your indoors or out, you can still incorporate your summery additions to your area and create a fun, welcoming atmosphere. Candles are another great feature to add to your barbeque, as they create a beautiful atmosphere and add a relaxing, calming touch. Music also very important when creating the perfect atmosphere. If you have your barbeque outdoors, a portable speaker is a great way to keep the music flowing whilst everyone enjoys the food and great company. Similarly, if you’re indoors, you can have your music playing softly in the background, as background music is always good for filling any silent moments and simply keeping the positive feeling strong.

 

Tools Every Griller Needs To Get Ready For Barbecue Season

Barbecue season is finally upon us. That means it is time to gather up those grilling tools, find some meats, and fire up those grills. It might also be time to purchase some new tools for your collection. Or maybe you haven’t even started your own collection of grilling tools.

Maybe you don’t even have your own grill yet. Whether starting from scratch or just updating your arsenal, there are some essential grilling tools you will need to start this season on the right foot. Here are some of the most important grilling tools that no aspiring grill master should live without.

The Grilling Spatula

Even Spongebob Squarepants understands the importance of a quality spatula when it comes to flipping burgers. Having the right spatula handy can either make or break your grilling experience. Spatulas come in all shapes and sizes. It often comes down to a battle between simplicity and available features.

On one hand, you have the traditional long-handled spatula. Many grill masters still prefer to keep this trusted tool nearby. They may also have a few specialty spatulas available if the need arises. For example, there are spatulas that combine several tools into one, such as a spatula, fork, and tongs, to make your grilling experience easier.

As for the traditional spatula, you will want a long handle that is slightly offset. This lets you easily slide the spatula beneath the food without fighting. The long handle is there to protect your hands from the heat. Choose either silicone or metal for a tough spatula that is easy to clean.

A Press And Store

Flipping hamburgers is easy enough, but actually forming and storing perfect patties can be somewhat difficult. Luckily, they have these neat tools called press and stores. The are cylindrical in shape and stand vertically. They are the perfect tool for anyone who grills a lot of burgers and is tired of struggling to get uniform patties.

You simply place the hamburger meat into the container up to the measuring mark. You then use the press device to apply pressure to the meat. This spreads the meat out into the circular shape of the container. Most presses will come with disks you use to separate the patties. Place the disk on top of the patty and then put more meat on top to repeat the process.

Not only can these be used to create perfect, uniform patties, but they are also ideal for storing and transporting the patties. You can keep extra burgers for a few days until you’re ready to fire up the grill again or even remove and freeze the patties for a later date.

The Unique Branding Iron

This is more of a novelty item, but it is still a great addition to any grilling tool set. You work hard on your delicious dishes. Wouldn’t you love to brand them with your initials? You can purchase unique monogrammed branding irons for a fairly low price online or at specialty grilling stores.

Using the branding iron is pretty simple. You just heat up the end in the fire of the grill and then press it into the meat. Then, everyone who takes a bite of your steak will know just who the artist was behind its creation.

Other Essential Utensils

A long set of tongs is the perfect way to get those hot dogs off the grill without them rolling right onto the ground. You will also need a basting brush to add the barbecue sauce when your meat is almost done. Of course, it should be long handled so that you are protected from the heat and any flare-ups. You should always end the cook-out by scraping your grill with a metal brush. These come in a variety of styles and work best if used when the grill is still hot.

Don’t Overlook The Grill

None of these tools will really help if you don’t have an awesome grill to use them with. Grills are available in a huge range of designs, features, shapes, sizes, and fuel sources. Be sure to find the grill that really resonates with you and has the features that you want. Once you have found the grill of your dreams and have the right tools for a successful barbecue, it is time to send out the invitations and get your grill on!

Roger Lehman writes and plays music in his spare time. He runs a site, BestBlenderForTheMoney.com that gives you the latest reviews and information on blenders to help you make the right choice.