If you’ve earned the title of grillmaster in your home, then you know it’s a result of hours of intense labor spent perfecting your process. All that time means you know exactly what you’re doing anytime you fire up your grill.
Of course, you may never have become the grillmaster if not for some of the tools and accessories you use on a regular basis. Some you use every time you grill while others have a specific purpose and only come out on special occasions.
Regardless, there are accessories you are partial to. So much so that it might be time to consider replacing them. Or maybe you want to try grilling something new but don’t have the right tools. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best grilling accessories.
Heat Resistant Gloves
Can you count the number of times you’ve seen someone rearranging the meat on their grill with their bare hands? While this might seem like a good idea, it’s only a matter of time until that person burns themselves. That’s where heat resistant gloves come in.
There is no shortage of heat resistant gloves currently available, which can make it hard to determine which pair will work best for you. Our list is by no means exhaustive, but we wanted to give you an idea of what’s on the market so you can have a burn-free grilling experience! For starters, you might check out these awesome Extreme Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves. They’re sure to keep your hands safe!
Grilling gloves are an excellent and affordable accessory for any home griller. They come in a wide variety of materials, but the right one is doing to depend heavily on what you prefer. You may ask yourself what type of grilling you plan on doing on a regular basis to determine which material is best for you.
Heat resistant gloves are some of the more affordable accessories when it comes to grilling, so you might find yourself purchasing multiple pairs. Some grillers like to have one pair for wet use and one pair for dry use. For example, if you’re working with wet foods, you should check out these Artisan Grilling Gloves that offer a non-slip design.
For example, if you plan on working with a lot of juicy meat, then it might make sense for you to by some all silicone gloves. When it comes to moving grates, coals, or other dry items, consider getting yourself a pair of Kevlar gloves.
Meat and Smoking Thermometer
One of the nice things about grilling today is that there are accessories available that make it so we don’t have to hover over the grill or smoker. One such accessory is a wireless meat thermometer. These tools provide a great way for you to monitor your food if you need to do something else.
Just like with heat resistant gloves, there are many choices available, so be sure you select one that provides an accurate temperature treading. Some of the better options are going to be roughly a degree off, so find one that isn’t providing false information.
While the brand can make a difference, it’s more important that you purchase a thermometer that gives you accurate information so you can grill your food properly. For example, some people are partial to Weber, which offers a great meat thermometer if you like their products. Additionally, you’ll want to know how much heat the meat probes can handle.
Some of the more advanced thermometers on the market can handle up 700 degrees Fahrenheit. More than likely nothing you’re cooking is going to get that hot, but it’s always nice to know your thermometer isn’t going to melt into your food.
Speaking of probes, you may also want to consider the number of probes a thermometer has to offer. While it’s not a make or break feature, the more probes you have, the better and more accurate you’re going to get.
You’ll find wireless thermometers with a varying number of probes, but most often they’ll have between two and six. The ones that come with more probes are ideal if you have a large family or often cook large meals while entertaining. One great option is this Maverick Dual-Probe thermometer.
For example, if you go with a thermometer that comes with six probes, you can manage six different types of food on your grill. More isn’t always better, but if you have a lot of food to track, it might just be when it comes to your meat thermometer.
If you’re new to grilling then you may not know that it’s not a good idea to use chemicals like lighter fluid if you’re using a charcoal grill. These chemicals can stick to your food while you’re grilling it and then you and your guests wind up eating it.
That’s why we recommend getting a chimney starter if you’re the charcoal type. While it may not seem like there’s a huge difference between chimney starters, there are a few things to consider before you buy one.
First, you’ll want to determine the amount of charcoal your chimney can hold. Of course, this will depend largely on what type of grill or smoker you’re using and how large it is as well as how long you’ll be cooking. Weber offers a great starter chimney if you’re partial to their brand.
Along those same lines, your choice of charcoal can have an impact on the type of chimney you purchase. For example, if you use lump charcoal, you’ll want a chimney that can handle bigger and wider pieces as opposed to a chimney that works with briquettes. If you want a chimney that is quick and can start lumps, check out Oklahoma Joe’s Half-Time charcoal starter.
One of the biggest reasons for owning a chimney starter is that it provides a safer way to get your grill going. That doesn’t mean using a chimney is completely safe. Ideally, you’ll want one that has safe handles along with a heat shield so you have a layer of protection between the chimney and your bare skin.
Last but not least is the type of material the chimney is made of. The vast majority of chimney starters are going to be made of metal since they get very hot. However, be sure you double-check before you make a final decision.
Wood Grill Scrapers
If you’re not already aware, wire-bristle brushes for your grill are no longer in style. These brushes cause damage to the grates of your grill, can potentially pollute the food you’re cooking with foreign contaminants, and can cause harm to your family and friends when you cook for them.
So throw it out before you hurt someone. What should you use in its place? A nice wood grill scraper. It’s all-natural and offers a safe way to get your grill clean. Plus, you can choose what type of wood you want to use. For instance, this cedar wood grill scraper is perfect if you’re just getting started with one.
There are also selections available made of hickory, beechwood, bamboo, and oak. Remember that not all woods are the same, so it’s important that you do some research on the type of wood that will work best for you and your grill or smoker. Another great option is this red oak wood grill scraper.
In reality, different types of woods offer different types of features. Some are harder than others, some are stronger, and some are more affordable. Look primarily for harder woods like hickory. They’ll last longer and the patterns on the gain are distinct and unique.
Heavy Duty Tongs
When it comes to grilling tongs, you want some that are essentially an extension of your arm. That way you’ll have an easy time turning over the food on your grill. For the most part, tongs will fall into one of two categories: spring tongs or scissor tongs.
Some people prefer spring tongs because they are a little more heavy-duty then scissor tongs. They’re especially useful if you’re grabbing larger pieces of meat like steaks, pork chops, or ham steaks. They’re not perfect, but when people think grilling tongs, this is typically what they picture. A great example of spring tongs are these Weber Original Tongs.
Scissor tongs, on the other hand, are ideal when you’re dealing with smaller items like hamburgers, chicken legs, or finely cut vegetables. With scissor tongs, you’re getting increased control, which is great when cooking food that’s difficult to flip or turn.
You will usually find scissor tongs around the kitchen, especially since they’re useful for digging or grabbing food that is made in hot water or oil. But don’t think they’re not useful for grilling. They’re great for grabbing food when it’s done cooking, making more room for the next batch.
Whether you’re choosing scissor tongs or spring tongs, you want to be sure the pair you select is durable and resilient. With that in mind, choose a pair that is either aluminum or stainless steel. Ideally, you’d go with stainless steel but you can get by with aluminum.
Stainless steel more durable, which means you’ll get more use out of your tongs. Plus, they’re easier to clean and doesn’t conduct heat the way aluminum does. Speaking of conducting heat, the handles on your tongs should be heat-resistant as well. Check out these GrillHogs tongs to get an idea of what you’re looking for.
When it comes to heavy-duty grilling tongs, there’s no shortage of options on the market. You should have no trouble finding a good pair for a reasonable price. Don’t blow your wad on a fancy pair because after certain point tongs are tongs.
Salt Planks and Blocks
Salt blocks or plants are pink slabs of Himalayan salt that you heat on your grill and use as a cooking surface. Since these blocks retain their heat for long periods of time, they’re ideal for grilling.
When you grill your food on the block, your food is infused with the flavor of the salt. So if you’re cooking exciting foods like fish, pork, or vegetables, you’ll get an extra kick of flavor. Try to find one that fits well on your grill so you aren’t struggling with it while setting up everything else.
With a salt block, you can grill a wide variety of dishes, including thin-sliced meats, sushi, and much, much more. Additionally, using a salt block provides many health benefits you won’t get from other methods.
If you’re unfamiliar with them, salt blocks can be intimidating, but they’re a great accessory for any serious griller. Of course, you don’t want to just run off and buy the first salt block that catches your eye. You’ll want to consider a few things first.
For starters, make sure that you’re only buying Himalayan salt. Its distinctive pink color sets it apart from other salt blocks, which means you’re getting some of the purest salt from around the world. The blocks may be translucent, opaque, streaked, or a combination of the three. The point is, don’t get hung up on the block being solid pink. Just be sure it’s Himalayan. You might also want to consider what shape you’ll need.
You can find them in rounds and squares, but the most common shape you’ll find is a rectangular block. For more unique options, you can look for shapes like bowls or cups, although those aren’t going to do you much good if you plan on using it while you grill.
In addition to shape, you’ll want to think about what size salt block you want. If you have a small family and a small grill, you’ll clearly want a small salt block. They’re light, easy to use, and typically don’t cost as much as larger options.
On the flip side, if you have a large family and a large grill, it probably makes sense to get a large salt block. Of course, keep in mind that larger blocks are going to weigh more, cost more, and be more challenging to work with. They are more popular though, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that will meet your needs.
While there are a wide variety of spatulas for use in the kitchen, there’s only one type of spatula you need when it’s time to fire up the grill: the grill spatula. The types of spatulas are produced specifically with grilling in mind. There are plenty of grilling spatulas to choose from, but there are perhaps a few things you want to keep in mind before you make a final decision. For starters, the blade size should be one of your primary considerations.
Why? Because the longer the blade, the larger the piece of meat you can flip. With longer blades, you can easily turn over longer foods like fish fillets, while wider blades are perfect for wide foods like pizzas and burgers.
Additionally, you might want to look at the thickness of the blade. Blade thickness can have a direct impact on how well the spatula handles larger pieces of meat. Thin blades tend to bend under the weight of heavier meats, whereas a thick blade won’t have this problem.
Another area to consider is the length of the handle of your spatula. Both short and long handles have their place when it comes to grilling. Since grilling is typically done over a larger surface, you may want a spatula that lets you keep your arms and hands away from the flames.
This is particularly true if you have a multi-burner grill. However, if you’re cooking on a smaller grill, you might want more control which you’ll get with a shorter spatula handle. That and they’re a little easier to store when you’re not using them.
There’s more to grilling than just burgers, stakes, and sausages, and there are more ways to grill than just using tongs or a spatula. One example of this is the delicious foods you can make using a skewer.
With a skewer, you can cook an entire meal on a stick. You can have sausage, beef, vegetables, and mushrooms all on a single skewer. There are plenty of options available, but you don’t want to wind up with your food falling through the grates or getting burnt.
For starters, you want to be sure that your skewers are flat so that your food cooks evenly. A great example of these are the BearMoo Kabob skewers. Plus, it’ll keep your skewers from rolling around on your grill. Those round skewers do have a fun-looking quality, but you’ll almost surely get frustrated as you have to keep moving them around to get them into the right position on your grill.
Positioning your skewers is much easier when you have the right handle. The best options have a small loop on the end so you can move them around with ease. Some skewers come with wooden or plastic handles, but for the most part, these aren’t able to withstand the heat of the grill.
Another skewer you might consider purchasing is a double-pronged skewer. The CMYK Skewers might be just what you want. While these skewers will give you more space for your meat, they restrict how big your food can be. It’s almost always better to go with a single-pronged skewer so you can select the size of the food you want to cook.
There are some grillers who fire up their charcoal chimney, let it get nice and hot, and then scatter them across the bottom of the grill. Then there are those who do the same, except they put their charcoal into baskets or holders set on the bottom of the grill.
Either way is acceptable, however, if you’re planning on smoking or need heat in a certain area, having a basket to hold your charcoal is much easier than trying to make a loose pile with your briquettes. Something like this Weber basket will work perfectly for you.
Whether you’re searing your meat over a direct flame or want to use indirect heat to give your food a nice, smoky flavor, these steel baskets come in handy. You don’t have to use them every time you grill, but there are times when it pays to have some charcoal baskets for grilling.
Some kettle grills come with these charcoal holders, but if yours didn’t, you should consider getting some that fit into your grill. Find ones that are the right fit for your grill. They’re inexpensive and you’ll get plenty of use out of them.
Wood Smoking Chips
Is it worth it to use wood smoking chips while you’re grilling? Well, that depends on what type of flavoring you want to give your food. With wood smoking chips, you can infuse your meat with hickory, apple, or even mesquite flavor that will have your guests complimenting your grilling skills.
No matter what type or flavor your choose, smoking chips almost always come as natural hardwood. However, there are plenty of types of wood chips, so you don’t have to limit your grilling to just one flavor.
For the most part, wood chips are broken into two categories; savory and sweet. Some of the more common woods in the savory category include hickory, mesquite, oak, and alder wood. Let’s take a quick look at what these woods have to offer.
Arguably the most popular wood from the savory category is Hickory. This is primarily because it goes hand in hand with some of the oldest grilling and smoking traditions. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that hickory has a smoky flavor built right in.
Truthfully, hickory and smoky are often used interchangeably. People will say that their food tastes “smoky” because it has a hickory flavor. As a result, hickory is perhaps the wood that tastes most like pure barbeque.
Another popular wood smokers and grillers use is mesquite. Typically this wood is thought of as a southwestern flavor. Mesquite is a strong wood that can easily mute other flavors in your meat, so be careful when using mesquite. Due to how strong it is, it’s typically only used on beef.
You’ll often hear oak referred to as a filler wood since it’s the type of wood that plays well with others. It has a very light overall flavor which is why it’s a good idea to use it with other more flavorful woods.
The last savory wood on the list is alder wood. This wood has a light flavor that you can pair with soft tasting meals. It’s a great wood to use when you’re cooking lamb, fish, or ham. There’s a good chance that if you’ve ever had any of these meats prepared for you by a professional, it was smoked with alder wood.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the more common savory woods, let’s review the sweet woods that you’ll often find grillers using.
Maple, apple, and cherry are the types of sweet woods that most grillers use because they provide that type of flavor. It used to be that the most commonly used flavor was apple, although more recently maple has begun to make its mark on the grilling industry.
Still, apple is light enough that it pairs very well with almost any type of meat and won’t overpower the natural flavor. Maple is great for those that like to have a very sweet taste with their meal, although be careful because it could cause more problems if you don’t use it right.
That’s it for our list of best grilling accessories. Now let’s take a look at some often asked questions that pertain to grilling.
When you leave the lid up on your grill, the heat won’t build up the same way it would if you left the lid down. However, there are some meats that cook very quickly, so leaving the lid up allows you to keep an eye on things.
Not putting the lid down will slow the process of grilling your food by dropping the overall temperature. If you’re working with thicker cut meats, you may want to keep the lid closed so the temperature remains high.
The first thing you want to do is be sure to follow the provided instructions for lighting your grill. Once you have it lit, close the lid and allow the temperature to heat up. After about half an hour, raise the lid, then let your grill run for another five or ten minutes.
If you see any debris or dirt on the grate, be sure to brush it off so your grill remains clean.
Grilling your meat is often healthier than roasting because it allows the fat to drip away from the meat. That means there is less fat remaining on the food when you eat it. For healthy cooking methods, find ways to capture the flavor of your food without the need for additional calories.
There are plenty of healthy alternatives for salts, sauces, and marinades. You just might have to do a little research before you start preparing your food.
The best suggestion for oiling the grates on your grill is to preheat the grates prior to grilling for the first time. Doing this will aid in removing residue the grill may have accumulated during processing. Once that’s done, you’ll want to oil your grates every time you grill so you get the best possible results.
For the most part, you want to keep the top vent open and allow the bottom vent to control the airflow into your grill. When you close the top vent, you’re preventing air from flowing through the grill, especially if yours is well-sealed, which will quickly extinguish your flame.