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To make barbecuing easier and neater.

This array of barbecue accessories, some new and some updated, responds to complaints often voiced by outdoor chefs.

Handling charcoal is messy; igniting it takes time and effort. Older systems that still work well, such as the chimney-type and electric starters, can be supplemented with nontoxic fuel cubes, to tuck among briquets (cubes catch fire readily from a flame), or replaced with paraffin-coated hardwood charcoal-enough for 1 round of cooking-that lights in its own bag. The butane lighter, also used in kitchens with gas ranges, is a good outdoor tool because it works well even in the wind. It's difficult to control the amount of smoke flavor. A little smoke goes a long way, so premeasured or easy-measure chips or bits control the intensity. When smoking in a gas barbecue, the chips usually need to be contained in a pan and used according to the manufacturer's directions.

Small bits of food fall through the grill or cook faster than you can turn them. Simple solutions for these situations are the small-mesh grill that can sit atop a regular grill, or a hinged basket. Cleanup is a chore. A metal brush does a good job if grill is hot. The bucket ash catcher (below) holds residue of several rounds of cooking, then is easy and neat to empty. Be sure ashes are completely cold (sparks linger for many hours) if you dump them into a paper container.
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Date:Jul 1, 1990
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