A grilling basket is a wire basket made out of usually large-weave mesh. It is used to hold food while cooking on a grill.
Grilling baskets can be used for vegetables, seafood or small pieces of meat that might fall through the grate of your grill (aka barbeque) down into the flames or coals. They are handy because you can flip everything in it at once when you flip the basket, rather than having to flip a lot of small things one at a time and trying to keep track of which ones you’ve already flipped while someone is talking to you. And, it makes it easier to turn delicate items that might fall apart, such as fish fillets.
Grilling baskets come in varying sizes; some have non-stick coatings on the metal. Some are flat, with a top and a bottom, with not a lot of height. Securing their tops not only holds the food in the basket, but also holds it in place, because the food doesn’t have room to move. Others are actual baskets, quite deep, and usually with no top. You may see them referred to as a “Shaker Basket”, because you can toss the food around in it while cooking.
Special hot-dog or sausage grilling baskets are more just like top and bottom frames to secure the sausages in place, with the sausages sticking out on either side. Special grilling baskets for corn on the cob, kind of look like a horizontal wine rack. There are specially shaped ones you can get for whole fish.
The handles are usually of wood, and are designed to stay cool. Some have detachable handles, to make it easier to close the lid of the grill (barbeque) all the way down. Usually, though, even with the handle sticking out, it will only raise the top lid of the grill about ½ cm (¼ inch) or so.
Most people buy a basket and almost never use it, because they only think of them for use for vegetable pieces or seafood, but they can be used for lots of other things, such as burgers, chicken parts and ribs.
Not all grilling baskets are dishwasher-safe; check first before purchasing if this is important to you.
Spray or brush regular grilling baskets with oil first. Put food in basket and secure before putting over heat.
A pouch made with aluminum foil with slits cut in it, or put the food items on skewers.