Some of the products reviewed here are country specific and may not be available in the Amazon US store
If you’re going to make burgers in batches, rather than throwing them on the grill immediately, you’re going to need either paper or cellophane/cling-film to separate them. Similarly, if you’re planning on making sausages, you’ll need not only a sausage-making device, but also sausage casings or skins. And of course, if you’re going to make kebabs, you’re going to need some skewers.
In this section, we review some of these consumables.
Butchers Sundries are a very well-known and reliable source of supplies and consumables for the serious barbecue enthusiast.
This pack of 250 large cellophane disks are ideal for separating your burger patties in preparation for putting them on the grill. Just put the disk in your burger press or mold, press the burger into shape and that’s it. They are 5” (12.4 cm) in diameter, big enough for the largest of burger presses and ideal for a man-size burger. (Is one allowed to say that, these days?)
The cellophane helps the burgers retain their moisture and prevents them from drying out in the waiting stage before they’re cooked. The pack containing the disks is itself, vacuum packed, so they arrive fresh and ready for use when you buy them. And these disks are thick and strong, now what you might usually associate with cellophane.
A clever feature of these disk-shaped burger separators is that they are slightly textured on one side to prevent the meat from sliding off, but also it makes it easier to peel the cellophane off them. This is especially useful if you freeze your burger patties for later use. The meat will not stick to these even if you have put the separated burger patties in the freezer.
Those who are used to using wax paper separators might be surprised to hear us saying this, but in our experience, these cellophane wrappers are at least as good as wax paper if not better.
This is essentially the big brother of the disks above. This is a monster pack of 1000 cellophane separator disks. It is tremendous value for money and if you make a lot of burgers, then get this pack!
The more usual type of separator disk for burger patties is the wax paper type. However, they didn’t really seem like true wax paper. They worked, but we needed two hands to get the burger off the paper. At least that was when the patties were put on the grill right after we made them - i.e. at ambient temperature. On the other hand, when we tried with burgers that had been refrigerated or frozen, they worked perfectly.
The size was slightly larger than the advertised 9 cm. However, it was still too small for the large flat burgers that we like to make. They can be used to make small, thick burgers for those who like their burgers that way, but we at mybbq.life prefer our burgers thin and wide to capture more of the flavor from the fire.
For a pack of 250, the price is eminently reasonable and they are certainly worth buying and trying out.
Parchment paper has a reputation for being less “non-stick” than wax, but we had no problems whatsoever with these 11 cm parchment disks. Even when the meat was at ambient temperature, we had no trouble separating the patty from the paper in a simple, one-handed movement. And ultimately, it is the one-handed separation that is the real test of how good separator papers are. If you can lift up the one part as a flap, put in on the grill and then peel away the paper without much meat getting stuck to it, then you know it’s a good product.
Added to that, this is a pack of 500 and it carries a 100% satisfaction guarantee valid for two years from the date of purchase. So, the makers are very confident - and with justification. We were certainly satisfied.
Now if you’re going to be making REALLY BIG burgers, THIS is what you’ll need to separate them. Cellophane disks with a SIX INCH diameter! Of course, you’ll be hard pressed (excuse the pun) to find a burger press that matches these dimensions. But if you’re into pressing burgers with your hands, then you can get some interesting results
One trick you could try, is to put the meat in the middle of one of these disks, put another one on top and then use a rolling pin to roll it out, alternating between rolling diagonally left and diagonally right (i.e. at a 90-degree angle) until you get a round burger that fills the six inch diameter. Of course, then you’ll also have to find a suitable bun for the cooked burger.
But then again, you could try a large pita bread. Just insert the point of a sharp, serrated knife into the pita and slice around the top, almost halfway round the circumference. That should give you enough of an entrance for the cooked burger. If you try this, let us know the results. Maybe even send a picture.
At the other extreme, if you’re making sliders and mini burgers, this pack of wax paper disks offers you what we can only describe as nearly the right size separators. At 8.5 cm, they are probably a little too big for sliders. They were however the smallest we could find. These are good for separating slider patties, even if you use the triple press.
If you have a good sausage maker with a wide nozzle and you want to make thick sausages, then you need thick sausage casings like these.
This 5-meter-long bundle will accommodate about 2.5 kg of sausage mixture. We don’t suggest actually making a 5-meter sausage - unless you’re trying to win a competition or impress your neighbors!
Made by the prestigious and reliable Butchers Sundries stable, these casings are a natural hog product. They produced excellent results, but it is important to work your way up the learning curve. If you get sausage-making right first time, you are batting better than average.
Also from Butchers Sundries, these collagen casings come as a double pack of 37.5 feet, for a total of 75 feet. That’s nearly 23 meters! Now these are 23mm casings so not, by any means the largest. But on the other hand, far from the smallest.
They arrive sealed in a 5-layer oxygen-permeable food grade vacuum pouch. But this does not mean you have to use them all immediately after opening. You can salt-soak them and then store them in the fridge.
We soaked them before using them, to flush them out, and got perfect results, but later we were told, by someone else who had used them, that they didn’t need presoaking if they are to be used immediately. We can’t vouch for this and would always advocate presoaking.
From the same supplier as the five-meter-thick sausage casings above, this is the triple pack of natural hog casings with 15 meters, for those who know they are going to be making a lot of sausages. You do not have to worry about not using them immediately, as you can keep them refrigerated for up to a year in the sealed vacuum pouch.
Each 5-meter bundle is enough for 2.5 kg. That’s about 5½ pounds. So altogether, this pack is enough for 16½ pounds of meat!
The key to getting the best results is to soak the skins in water overnight and to change it to lukewarm water, half an hour before use. Any unused casings should be flushed out with cold water, re-salted and stored (refrigerated) in an airtight container.
To be honest, any wooden skewers will split or splinter if handled roughly. But we found these skewers from Tongmaster pretty good to use with our Cube Steel Skewer box. The skewers were 30 cm long (1 foot basically) and there were 100 in the packet. That’s exactly the right number for the Cube. They can also be used for marshmallows.
Also from Tongmaster, these skewers are the bigger - or at least thicker - brother of the ones above. At 4mm at the thick end, they have the extra strength to avoid splitting when you insert them into the meat. While the others above are good, we recommend not cutting corners and buying these. After all, the cost is tiny compared even to the food - let alone the barbecue grill and tools, etc.
For those who need a larger quantity of skewers than a hundred, this pack of 300 may do you nicely. They are the extra thick ones, like those immediately above, and they are ideal for making kebabs for large gatherings.
The same again please, but this time in a bumper pack of 1000. Again, these are extra thick ones, which are less likely to split. And the advantage of buying 1000, this way is that you’ll get the economies of scale: i.e. lower unit costs.
This is the monster pack you’ll need if you like to do REALLY BIG barbecue gatherings. Even if you have some left over, you know you’ll have a use for them next time around. But pity, please, the poor sucker who has to slave away over the grill! 1000 skewers? Now that’s hard labor!
Okay, steel skewers are not, of course, a consumable. But we had to review them somewhere. And it made sense to review them after their disposable, wooden counterparts.
These are steel with wooden handles. They are 12 inches long and the high-quality chrome-plated steel - in addition to being non-toxic is also heat-resistant and rust-resistant and non-toxic. The wood also doesn’t burn and stays cool, as long as it isn’t left in the direct heat of the flame. In fact, you can even put them in a kettle type barbecue and close the lid, without having to worry about the wooden handles burning. They will get hot. But they cool quickly.
The 1 cm, oak wood handles are riveted for an easier grip and they take up almost 8.5 cm of the total 30.5 cm length of the skewers. And the steel needles, with a 2-mm diameter, tapering to a sharp point at the tip, are perfect from holding the meat. There is a spiral engraving on the metal that stops the meat from sliding.
If the set of 10 skewers above is inadequate for your needs, how about this set of 12? They are 30 cm long - 9 cm handles and 21 cm of stainless steel. Again, they have the spiralling that stops the meat from slipping or sliding.
The needles were strong and showed no sign of bending or warping in the heat and they can be used over and over again on the hottest of charcoal without fear. They should last many seasons.
They are dishwasher safe, but can also be washed in the sink. We were very pleased with them.
Of course, if you have even heavier needs than 12 skewers can satisfy, you could always double down and get this set of 24 that also come with a very nice basting brush. Like the ones above these stainless-steel skewers, with wooden handles, are heat resistant won’t bend or warp. The handles metal needles are 8.6 inches, while the heat resistant wooden handles are four inches!
The silicone basting brush was an excellent addition that also found plenty of use when when we tried out these skewers.
The skewers themselves can be cleaned in the dishwasher or by hand. It is fair to say that if you are planning a big family and friends sit-down, barbecue dinner and want proper, long, re-usable skewers for your sheesh or kebabs, this is the set of skewers you will want to buy.
Furthermore, they come with a LIFETIME, NO-QUESTIONS GUARANTEE!!!
We recommend this set most highly!
If you need longer skewers, and can get by with a “mere” set of 20 instead of 24, these 15-inch skewers are the set for you. At this length, you can get plenty of meat on even one skewer. So, if you have, say a dozen guests and the men want to 2 skewers and the ladies just one, this set will serve you nicely. (Sorry for the gender stereotypes!)
The one thing we thought was slightly strange was that they have a spiral at the handle end. This stops the meat sliding up to the handle, but won’t stop it sliding off at the end. The handles themselves were not wood but rather metal eyes that are great for hanging the skewers when not in use, but not as good as wood for heat resistance.
The real purpose of the spiral twist near the eye is actually to serve as a handle, to give you something to hold when you turn the skewers and take them off the grill. The trouble with that is that it takes up some of the useful room on the skewers and thus deprives the users of the main advantage of having 15-inch skewers instead of 12 inches. We’re not entirely sure if this actually undermines the position of these skewers in joint first place in our comparison, but we think that on balance, the skewers can still claim joint first place with the set of 24 above.
Therefore, this set of skewers has our highest recommendation!
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