Grilling with a disability is easy with these tools
Anyone can cook a tasty summer meal.
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The summer season is upon us, and that means it’s time to get those grills cleaned and prepared for your next big cookout or family event. If you’re like me and deal with mobility, visual and dexterity issues, the prospect of cooking over a boiling hot surface might seem a little scary. With these adaptive grilling supplies in your kit, we hope to make your next culinary adventure as safe, and delicious, as possible.
Finding the right wheelchair and mobility-accessible grill
Reviewed has spent lots of time testing grills, and there are plenty of options that we feel would be broadly accessible to suit a variety of needs. While there are companies like Pilot Rock and Lynx that offer fully outdoor solutions tailored to ADA specifications, there are a wide variety of indoor and tabletop grills that overcome height obstacles for a fraction of the price.
In our latest roundup of the eight best indoor grills, we loved products like the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe and the George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill. Both of these options can be plugged into any standard outlet and placed at any height that’s suitable for you. Unfortunately, you’ll need an outdoor outlet if you want the full summer feel of the sun on your back, but the end result offers a taste that competes against most of the full-size options.
$159 at Amazon
Protect your hands
Especially if you have dexterity issues, protecting your hands while grilling is an absolute must. Not only is it helpful to shield your precious digits from scalding hot temperatures, but you might also want to avoid the occasional accident while wielding sharp instruments, too.
In cases like these, you may want to pick up this Weber Black Premium BBQ Glove Set. These gloves offer full access to your fingers and should do enough to keep you safe while grilling or touching a hot grill cover. If standard gloves are difficult for you to put on, maybe try something like the mitten included in this larger Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set. You may need some other utensils if you’re trying to optimize your setup, so this is a smart way to cover multiple bases at once.
Double or EZ Flip Spatula
The spatula is the cornerstone of any accessible grilling setup, and folks with limitations have a few different options to consider based on their level of need. Those with full confidence in their dexterity can buy something like this Precision Grill Spatula from Weber, but there are alternatives that may be simpler for everyone to use.
This Double Spatula from Westmark should allow anyone to pick up and flip burger patties or a grilled cheese with ease. Just squeeze the handle and enjoy the comfort of full control of your food. A similar benefit is offered by this EZ Flip Spatula from MaxiAids. You’ll have to pick up your food just like a standard spatula in this case, but flipping is as easy squeezing the handle on the back. The basic act of flipping and grilling should be fairly simple for all to accomplish with the right tools.
Adaptive cutting board
Before you even get to the act of grilling your favorite meats or vegetables, you’ll probably have to cut them up. Believe it or not, there are lots of adaptive cutting boards that make the act of chopping more streamlined for all.
We recently reviewed this Etac Deluxe One-Handed Cutting Board and loved the accessibility benefits it provides. It has spikes to hold smaller objects in place, as well as a vice to grip larger ones. You may also want to consider buying a cutting board with a pivot knife as well. These products have a knife screwed into a specific spot, so all you have to do is place the object under the blade and press down on the knife handle with your hand. Both products are appreciated by buyers, so just pick the one for your cooking kit that best suits your ability level.
$74 at Amazon
A rolling knife
If you’re in the market for an adaptive cutting board, a rolling knife should be on your list of grilling supplies as well. This Mezzaluna Knife from Checkered Chef has more than 5,000 positive Amazon user reviews and seems perfectly catered to making the act of cutting easier than ever.
Those with limited dexterity are likely familiar with painstakingly shredding food with dull knives or pulling apart food with their hands. This rolling knife offers users full grip of a sharp blade with a very large handle. Just grab the handle with your full fist and glide the blade back and forth over anything you need to chop. This will be especially helpful when preparing extra fixings for your expertly cooked burgers.
A smart thermometer
If you’re really going to take the grilling game seriously, then you’re going to need a meat thermometer. And, in the accessibility space, smart devices are becoming critical for persons with all kinds of life-altering conditions.
With that reality in mind, this Yummly Smart Meat Thermometer is popular and highly reviewed amongst owners. It offers flexibility for would-be grill masters to step away from the heat and be notified as soon as their meat hits the proper temperature. Your mileage may vary when using the downloadable app with screen readers like VoiceOver or TalkBack, but at least some of the essential functions should operate just fine through traditional push notifications. Like all assistive tech, this thermometer does the hard work, so you don’t have to.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.