The dog days are the optimal time to unleash the grillmaster within. Whether you’re a gas grill or charcoal grill kind of guy, having the right grilling accessories on your side is just as important as having the perfect grilling recipe. Try flipping a steak with a standard kitchen fork and you’ll know what we mean.
So, if you’re ready to turn heads and impress your friends, here’s our guide to the grilling accessories and tools that every grill master needs in their barbecuing arsenal. From spatula and tongs to gloves and meat thermometers, every item on our list will surely step up your backyard bbq game this summer.
Everyone thinks they can get away with managing their grill by using random utensils that are floating around the kitchen, but this is rarely the case. What you need to flip your meats is a proper spatula; preferably one with a really long handle. Metal spatulas are the safest and most effective variety for the grill, and they should be offset for the best results. For fish, you won’t find a better tool.
For a spatula, we recommend this one from FlipFork. The grip is made with an attractive water-resistant wooden handle that gives this spatula extra style points. But, it’s not all looks for this essential grilling tool. This stainless steel grill spatula offers a 5-in-1 functionality that easily makes it an all-around grilling accessory: It may be in a spatula form but it also works as a fork, bottle opener, tenderizer, and knife.
When you need a little more grip than a spatula can provide, grill tongs are the perfect solution. Many people don’t realize that all tongs are not created equal; some are far higher in quality than others. The tongs you choose should be heavy-duty and spring-loaded, which will allow you to gently turn your food rather than stab at it. Stabbing can cause the flavor-packed juices to escape your grilling meats and nobody likes a dry steak.
This stainless steel pair of tongs from OXO will be your go-to tool for gently flipping and adjusting the positioning of whatever meats and veggies you throw on the grill. At 16 inches in length, they’ll keep your hands a good distance from the heat so you won’t have to worry about any hot juices or embers that might kick back. These tongs are made with a soft, non-slip handle that allows for easy gripping and its locking feature makes it easy to stow away.
Charcoal can impart an immense amount of flavor to grilled meat, but it’s also a pain to work with at times. One of the most common issues that arises is simply getting the briquettes to light evenly, which can have a huge effect on how your food is cooked. A chimney starter will not only help to light your charcoal in no time, it’ll also ensure that you don’t end up with hot and cold spots once the grill gets going.
This chimney starter from Weber is a popular pick on Amazon with a 5-star rating accumulated from nearly 5,000 reviews. It’s made with aluminized steel and comes equipped with a thermoplastic, stay-cool handle for easy gripping. Don’t bother with lighter fluid because it isn’t necessary with this chimney starter. Its cone bottom ensures a fast start so you’ll be ready to grill in just 10 minutes.
If you don’t want to send your guests home with food poisoning, you should probably be taking temperatures before pulling anything off the grill. Those heavily charred chicken legs may look done, but there’s always a chance they’ll still be raw in the center no matter how much carbon they’re coated in. An instant-read thermometer will quickly dispel any concerns about undercooked meat or poultry.
While many say you can gauge the temperature of a steak or chicken breast by the firmness of the meat, it’s much more accurate to use an instant-read meat thermometer like the ThermoPop TX-3100 from ThermoWorks. It’s a digital thermometer that will give you an accurate temperature reading in just 3 to 4 seconds. It can read temperatures all the way up to a fiery 572 degrees Fahrenheit, but if your grilled chicken reads a temperature like that, it might be a little on the dry side.
A lit grill requires constant attention. If any issues come about, you need to be ready to intervene, and that means having the right type of protection on your side. Fire-proof grill gloves will allow you to combat just about anything your grill can throw at you, ensuring that you’re never at risk of burning your hands or forearms. After all, you really need those things.
Host of television’s Barbecue University, and quite possibly the king of grilling, Steve Raichlen, makes a pretty mean rack of ribs, but he also makes some pretty great grilling products that would be useful at your very own backyard barbecue. These grilling gloves are guaranteed to keep your hands and arms safe around the hot grill. Not only will they protect your hands, but they will also protect your forearms from the heat. These are great to use when handling cast iron, chimney starters, grates, and large items that you’re grilling. They protect you up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s important to note that these are not fireproof, they are only resistant to heat for a period of time.
One of the saddest moments for any grillmaster is when a wing falls through the grate or a nice fish filet crumbles when it gets flipped. Fortunately, with this handy tool, you’ll never need to worry about that again. This portable grill basket from Aizoam gives you plenty of room to safely flip delicate items. It’s an affordable tool to have in your arsenal that will drastically cut down on food waste. Also, don’t forget to pack it for camping trips for cooking over a fire.
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