The 20 Best Grilling Essentials

Jul 1, 2020

Category: Gear

Summer is finally here! And although much of the world is still on lockdown mode and many restaurants aren’t in operation at all, many campsites and (perhaps more obviously) people’s backyards are still open for business. That means, so long as you’re still adhering to proper social distancing guidelines to protect yourself and your family and friends, the possibility of having a BBQ is still very much an option.

That being said, having a proper grilling setup requires a lot more than just a space in which to grill. In fact, there are numerous essentials you’ll need if you want it done right. But you don’t have to scour big box stores, hardware shops, or the internet to find it all because we’ve wrangled everything you’ll need right here. The following 20 items are what we believe to be the best grilling gear you can get right now.

Bone Suckin’ Seasoning and Rub

There was a time when people thought marinade was the way to go for seasoning your grill meat. As it turns out, unless you’ve got a day or so to let your meat soak in the marinade or you inject it directly, a dry rub is going to give you a much better flavor profile. And the folks behind the legendary Bone Suckin’ BBQ Sauce also make a dry rub that’s one of the best available. And you don’t have to stick to meat, either, as it works brilliantly on vegetables, too.

Purchase: $7+

Cuisinart 3-in-1 Stuffed Burger Press

One of the best things about ground beef, turkey, bison, etc. is its versatility. Sure, you could make regular burgers and they might be delicious, but if you add a bit of flair by stuffing them with ooey-gooey cheese and maybe even adding diced peppers or bacon bits, you can step up your burger game tenfold. And that’s where Cuisinart’s 3-in-1 Stuffed Burger Press comes in handy. It can even make smaller stuffed sliders and is dishwasher safe for less hassle.

Purchase: $13

OXO Good Grips Locking Tongs

While a spatula might work better for burgers, they’re not quite as useful when it comes to flipping hot dogs, sausages, or even larger pieces of meat — like your favorite cut of steak. In those cases, you’ll be better off with a good pair of tongs, which will make quick work of a flip and will keep your hands away from the grill’s danger zone. These ones are made from stainless steel, so they’re tough and easy to clean, and they have a built-in lock for easier and more secure storage.

Purchase: $14

XIANGMIER Stainless Steel BBQ Grill Scraper

You should absolutely be cleaning your grill after every use to avoid contaminating your next grilled meal with what really amounts to charcoal coating the grate. However, traditional grill brushes and mesh scrapers leave behind tiny particles of metal that will also contaminate your food. That’s why we prefer the BBQ scraper you see here. It’ll get the job done right without leaving metal flakes in your next meal.

Purchase: $16

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto

For those unfamiliar, Aaron Franklin might just be the foremost expert on smoked meats. As such, his advice — collected, in this case, in the form of a 224-page tome of recipes — should absolutely be heeded by anyone interested in the art of grilling. Thankfully, he put the time in and crafted one of the best books on the subject in recent history. If you’re only going to buy one grilling cookbook, this might be the best option.

Purchase: $19

Lodge LGP3 Grill Press

All grillers and barbecue fanatics should own a grill press, as they can help squeeze unwanted grease out of your meats while you cook them. And, if there was ever a company you should trust in regards to grill-top goods, its Lodge. Furthermore, a grill press also helps get those eye-catching grill marks on your meats and can even be used on a flattop to keep your bacon from curling. For $20, it’s probably harder to find a reason not to buy this USA-made press.

Purchase: $20

Weber 6434 Deluxe Ss Vegetable Basket

Nobody can, nor should, survive on meat alone — even for just a single backyard meal. For a balanced dish, you should also include a portion of vegetables — and, no, we don’t just mean potatoes. Of course, throwing some asparagus or squash on the grill has other drawbacks, like the fact that a grill grate isn’t a good vessel for veggies that might slip through the cracks. To bypass that issue, we suggest picking up the Weber grill-friendly stainless steel basket you see here. You’ll still get a good char from the flame, but you won’t lose any precious morsels to the fire.

Purchase: $24

J.A. Henckels International Classic Meat Fork

Falling under the Zwilling umbrella, J.A. Henckels makes some of the best entry-level kitchen cutlery around. But don’t think that “entry-level” means cheap. In fact, this German stainless steel meat fork is exceptional and gets the job done right. Not only will it help you steady larger cuts and poultry for carving while keeping your fingers away from your blade, but you can use it to flip and pull your meat off the grill and probe your steak to get a better idea of how well-done it is without having to stick your finger directly into it.

Purchase: $25

GRILL SERGEANT Professional Meat Injector

As mentioned earlier, marinades are not always the best way to imbue your meat with flavor, especially when time is limited. But there is an alternative option that might serve you better: injecting that marinade into the meat rather than just soaking it. And you can manage that brilliantly with the GRILL SERGEANT Professional Meat Injector. This kit comes with six needles of varying sizes, it’s dishwasher safe, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Purchase: $27

Traeger Large Cut BBQ Spatula

When it comes to grilling, your average kitchen spatula simply isn’t going to cut it. After all, they’re just not made to handle the kinds of cuts you might toss on the grill. However, Trager — one of the biggest names in the BBQ game — has made their Large Cut BBQ Spatula specifically with grilling usage in mind. It boasts a large, flat, stainless steel blade perfect for flipping patties, steaks, ribs, fish, etc. And it has a large wooden handle for a sturdy grip.

Purchase: $50

HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire & Charcoal Starter

One of the toughest parts of getting your grill up and running for a day full of burgers and ribs is lighting those charcoal. Back in the day, some people would stuff some newspaper in there and try to stoke the coals. Others would use a chimney device. But now both of those methods are a bit outdated. That’s because the professionals turned to technology like the HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire & Charcoal Starter. This handy device makes simple work of getting those coals, wood, or whatever else started quickly.

Purchase: $50

Lodge Reversible Griddle/Grill

Grills can be remarkably versatile if you’ve got the right set of tools for the job. Obviously, they’re great for making meat. However, if you want to grill anything that might slip through the cracks — like diced veggies, bacon, or even eggs — you’re going to need an alternative surface, which is where the Lodge Reversible Griddle/Grill comes in handy. Built from sturdy cast iron, this accessory will transform your grill into a flattop and add another level of versatility to it. Best of all, it can be used inside on your range, as well — making it a safe go-to buy for any home chef.

Purchase: $51

Mechanix Leather Heat Resistant Gloves

Most oven mitts are at least halfway decent at keeping your hands from getting burnt. But they do lack one very important feature that severely limits their usefulness: articulated fingers. If you want to keep a measure of dexterity while still keeping your hands safe from flames, we suggest picking up a pair of Mechanix Leather Heat Resistant Gloves. They’re made with Kevlar protection, goatskin leather, and they were made to take on some pretty daunting tasks — like welding. And that makes them just as useful for grilling purposes.

Purchase: $75

Filson Tin Cloth Apron

There are a lot of cheap chef aprons on the market and, unfortunately, a high number of them have childish and/or cheesy slogans printed on them. We’re far more apt, however, to don something that’s actually useful and actually looks good, like Filson’s Tin Cloth Apron. It’s simple, understated, made from durable cloth, and has a trio of useful pockets for tools, times, or even a beer. Ditch the “Kiss The Cook” apron and opt for something you’d actually be proud to wear, instead.

Purchase: $95

MEATER+ Long Range Smart Wireless Thermometer

There are some who would vehemently suggest that grilling is an art. But there are undoubtedly parts of it that are more akin to science — like temperature monitoring to ensure your meat is cooked all the way through. As fate would have it, there’s a smart device available for that exact purpose. But the MEATER+ thermometer does more than just tell the internal temperature of meat — it also wirelessly connects to your smartphone via a monitoring app that can send you mobile alerts at distances of up to 165 feet. That means, if you’re slow-cooking something, you can go take a load off while the thermometer does all the work.

Purchase: $99

BBQ Hack Pizza Oven

As previously mentioned, a grill can be remarkably versatile with the right accessories. And the BBQ Hack Pizza Oven proves just that. Simply set this device atop your grill and you can make superb fire-roasted pizza the same way you might grill burgers. It’s designed for optimum airflow, is windproof, and can fully cook pizza pies in as little as four minutes flat. Now you don’t have to worry about being cooped up in a super-hot kitchen when you want a slice of pizza.

Purchase: $129

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

Even before its recent redesign, the YETI Roadie 24 was one of the best small coolers on the market — whether you wanted to use it in the comfort of your own backyard or as a rugged adventure cooler. But now that it’s 10% lighter, boasts 20% more internal storage space, and has 30% better ice retention, it’s practically unbeatable. Available in four handsome colorways, this might just become your go-to cooler, and it could potentially end up being the only one you ever use.

Purchase: $200

John Boos Walnut Reversible Cutting Board

Even if you’re making hand-formed burgers out of pre-ground beef, you should still have a solid cutting board for all your toppings and to use as a staging ground for when you’re actually doing the grilling. Furthermore, if you’re making anything that requires carving or cutting after it’s been cooked — like ribs — you’ll definitely need a cutting board. This one is made from solid walnut, it is reversible for added longevity and versatility, and it looks spectacular. Plus you don’t have to worry so much about staining and/or bacteria like you might with plastic cutting boards.

Purchase: $233

Benchmade 15500-1 Meatcrafter Knife

Obviously, some meats and vegetables require cutting — sometimes before, sometimes after they’re cooked. But if you’re going to be grilling outside, why bring out a kitchen knife when you can wrap your fingers around one that was built tough enough for the backcountry? That’s where the Benchmade 15500-1 Meatcrafter knife comes in handy with its CPM-S45VN premium stainless steel blade — boasting a SelectEdge 14-degree edge angle perfect for trimming, deboning, and slicing — G10 handle scales, and leather sheath.

Purchase: $300

Weber SmokeFire Grill

There are a lot of grills available on the market — and many of them are probably worth your hard-earned money — but few are quite as versatile as Weber’s SmokeFire lineup. Available in two sizes, these clever grills do more than just grill. In fact, with a variable temperature range of 200-600° Fahrenheit and wood pellet fuel, they can grill, smoke, sear, bake, etc. They also feature a porcelain-enamel finish to protect against rusting and cracking — making them perfect for those backyard barbecues.

Purchase: $999+

The Ultimate Guide To Beef Cuts

If you’re going to be grilling meat, you should probably know a thing or two about the how and why of choosing what you pick up from the butcher. Lucky for you, we’ve outlined everything you need to know on our guide to beef cuts.

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