Fun and Useful Accessories for Barbecue

The center of the barbecue cannot hold. Fish fall apart, small things slip through the grating. Then the Gourmet Grid ($28.95) places wide, flat channels on top of the wire grid and we don’t even need the center, because the porcelain-coated steel carries heat to the edges of the barbecue as well.

Branding cattle is a tiresome business that involves wrestling down doggies in a stench of burning cowhide. Branding steaks is a lot more fun. To put your own initials on your lunch you need a branding iron, like the kind hand-made on an Texas ranch by Texart (P.O. 33187, Corpus Christi, Tex. 78463); three initials, $18.50.

Odorless, non-explosive: high virtues indeed. Weber has come out with a charcoal starter in the form of compact, nontoxic cubes that light even when wet and burn for about 15 minutes. Twenty cubes to a $3.99 tray; available at K Mart and other Weber outlets.

Like a remora fish attaching itself to a shark, the Ash Catcher (from Charcoal Companion; $13.50) attaches to the legs of a kettle barbecue and positions its mouth to pick up the leavings. At last the ashes dribbling from the kettle have a safe place to rest until the family ash monitor gets around to emptying it into a garbage bag. At the Broadway and Robinson’s.


How do you handle something soft and flaky on a grill? A grilling basket with a nice long handle, of course, and Charcoal Companion has developed the Ultimate Grilling Basket System ($39.95) with a removable handle so the grill can be closed for a smokier flavor. At the Broadway and Robinson’s.

You can customize a wimpy grill by adding aromatic wood chips. Charcoal Companion’s Smoking Woods Sample Pack ($14.99) includes apple for traditional American barbecue, mesquite, and the grape vine trimmings traditional with fish in France, along with a metal box to hold the woods in the barbecue. At the Broadway and Robinson’s.