All the grilling gear you need for summertime cookouts

best tailgate gear

In all honesty, you don’t really need a lot of gear to have a good cookout. You’ll be able to get by with the most basic grill and a set of busted old tongs — but if you want to step up your game, a few extra pieces of kit can drastically improve your overall grilling experience. We’ve rounded up a few of this year’s coolest accessories below. Enjoy!

Carolina Pigtail ($40)

carolina pigtail

There’s something very rustic about cooking food over an open flame. There’s also something rustic about this Carolina Pigtail Meat Turner. Hand-forged in the Tar Heel State from a single railroad spike, it can add some unique old-west flair to your grilling setup. The carefully curved bottom that makes it easy to flip steaks and other meat, ensuring your dinner plans don’t get derailed.

Stake Grilling Multitool ($65)

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This beast is basically a spatula, tongs, knife, and fork all in one. Think of it like a Leatherman that you can use at the grill without burning all the hair off your knuckles.

Wood Grilling Planks ($28)

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If you’re looking to take your grilling game to the next level, slap your meat on a slab of wood. It imparts it with all kinds of awesome flavors. Hit up our Guide to Smoking Meat for a rundown of which woods work best with certain meats.

Cast Iron Smoker Box ($16)

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The awesome thing about cast iron is that it’s ridiculously cheap, but will last you a lifetime. Stuff one of these badboys with your favorite wood chip blend, pop it into your hot grill, and it’ll drench your meat in delicious smoky flavor.

Bison Airlighter ($80)

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The days of wasting half a can of lighter fluid and twiddling your thumbs for half an hour just to get your charcoal up to temp are over. This beast starts your briquettes with a superhot burst of fire, followed by a blast of oxygen, so you’ll be up and cooking in a fraction of the time.

Grill Grate Oiler Brush ($13)

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Keeping your grates well-oiled is the surest way to make sure your food doesn’t stick. The Steven Raichlen Grilling Grate Oiler makes it easy. Its design combines a grill brush with a small reservoir for the oil, letting you get solid coverage with every swipe. It’s made from temperature-resistant plastic and silicone, and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

Rufus Teague Whiskey Maple BBQ Sauce ($39)

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Really, any old BBQ sauce will likely keep your guests happy, but if you want to knock their socks off and convince them you’re god’s gift to grilling, get yourself a bottle of this awesome concoction from Rufus Teague. Whiskey Maple BBQ. Need we say more?

Outset Leather Grill Apron ($27)

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Don’t waste your time with some cotton-canvas atrocity that’ll barely make it through one summer. If you’re serious about searing steaks, you need a goddamn leather apron. Any one will do, but we like this one because it’s got plenty of pockets.

Frontrunner Spare Tire Grill Grate ($125)

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Who says your cookouts have to be confined to your backyard? With this cleverly-designed grill from Frontrunner, you’ll always be prepared for a backcountry BBQ, no matter where in the world you happen to end up.