Grillmaster and Chief Designer, Russ Faulk has spent countless hours cooking and testing products for Kalamazoo. With Father’s Day just around the corner, we sat down with Russ and asked which grilling tools he relies on to achieve the best cooking results. Here are a few of his top picks.
1. Epicurean Gourmet Series Cutting Boards
“This cutting board series is my go to for a few reasons. They have an NSF rating, and they are dishwasher-safe. I appreciate that they are a “fast” cutting surface, unlike most dishwasher-safe cutting surfaces that are made of plastic and are “slow.” The Gourmet Series has a juice groove and is a bit thicker than the standard Epicurean boards, which I like.”
2. Peugot U-select Pepper Mill, 15.75”
“This tall pepper mill is easy to handle and clean. It holds more pepper, so I am not constantly refilling. And it has never clogged up on me. It also has the best adjustment for coarseness of grind that I have ever seen on a pepper mill.”
3. Staub Cast Iron Mini Round cocotte
“I like to use these as salt cellars. I keep a set of three on my countertop for the three different kinds of salt I use for cooking: kosher for rubs and brines, Celtic gray for general cooking, and flaky Maldon finishing salt. My set is in the graphite color, which is my favorite in the Staub offering.”
4. Thermoworks Signals
“I use this wireless thermometer for testing and product development, and also while smoking on the Shokunin Kamado. It monitors temperatures using up to four probes at once. It’s very accurate and connects over Bluetooth and WiFi. It’s also easy to add temperature alarms using the app, so I don’t have to constantly pay attention to the fire.”
5. Kalamazoo Grilling Tongs
“I keep a drawer full of these tongs in the kitchen. During any given cook, I might use three, each designated for a different purpose. I have a pair reserved for fire management (especially when cooking on the Gaucho), one for handling raw meat, and others for active grilling. The extra long handles keep my hands further from the hot fire without compromising on dexterity or precision.”
6. Food + Fire Cookbook
“My second cookbook is a compilation of more than 170 outdoor cooking recipes. The start of the book discusses the key components of grilling and offers tips I’ve learned over the years. Crucial grill tips, 170 recipes and a wide variety of dishes ensures there is a recipe for every preference and ability level.”
7. PLUMBER'S TORCH
"I keep one on hand to light charcoal fires - I find it particularly useful when lighting the Shokunin Kamado and Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet."
8. Hybrid Fire Grill Pellet Inserts
“These inserts are one of my favorite accessories we’ve designed to enhance the Hybrid Fire Grill’s cooking capabilities. They fit neatly inside the angles of the grilling drawer and can be loaded with smoker pellets. The Hybrid’s ignition burner is enough to provide gentle heat so that you can smoke for hours. These are perfect for smoking pork and beef ribs, and I’ve made more than a few delicious pork butts using these inserts.”
9. Quebracho Charcoal
“I tested countless types of charcoal over many years before I found one I felt was deserving of the Kalamazoo brand. Quebracho wood is incredibly dense, lending it the nick-name “axe breaker.” Lump charcoal made from quebracho burns hotter, cleaner and longer than any other charcoal I’ve used.”
10. HARIO COFFEE GRINDER
"If you want to really elevate flavor I recommend using whole spices and grinding them with a coffee or spice grinder. I grind everything from whole coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, chopped garlic and dried chiles."