Essential Summer BBQ Tools: Elevate Your Grill Game

Elevate your grilling game with essential tools like heatproof gloves and spatulas, advanced accessories like chimney starters and smoker boxes, and unique additions such as beer can chicken roasters and grilling planks for unforgettable summer BBQs.

A food thermometer checking that chicken is being cooked correctly, safely on a barbecue on a sunny day in the garden as a man turns over kebabs with tongs.

As summer rolls in, so does the season of backyard barbecues, where the right tools can turn a good grill session into a great one. Among the essential gear, heatproof gloves stand out, offering not just protection but also the dexterity needed to master the grill with confidence.

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Essential Grilling Tools

After ensuring your hands are protected with heatproof gloves, let’s dive into the arsenal of tools that will elevate your grilling game this summer. These essential accessories are not just add-ons but the backbone of any successful BBQ party.

High-Quality Spatulas and Tongs

Cooking supplies. Chef's knife, spatulas and tongs on a black background.

For flawless flips and seamless transfers, a high-quality spatula is indispensable. Look for one with a wide surface area, capable of supporting a hefty burger, and a serrated edge to help you navigate through stuck-on food. The Brandless spatula hits all these marks, plus its long handle keeps your hands safely away from the flames. When it comes to tongs, seeking out a pair with extra-long handles and a gentle grip is key. This combo makes flipping everything from delicate veggies to a thick steak effortless.

Durable Grill Brushes and Scrapers

Cleaning a grill, dirty grill grate is cleaned with stainless steel grill brush.

For quick and effective grill cleaning, the Grillart grill brush is a top choice. With three rows of bristles and a 360-degree cleaning capability, it offers triple the cleaning power. Its scraper blade easily removes stubborn buildup, ensuring spotless grill grates. Choose a brush with a long handle, like Grillart’s 18-inch model, to keep your hands safe from heat and provide a comfortable grip.

Instant-Read Meat Thermometers

Thermometer spoked into side of chicken to check temperature before serving.

Arguably the most crucial tool for ensuring your meats are cooked to perfection is the instant-read thermometer. Gone are the days of guesswork and undercooked or overcooked disappointments. An instant-read thermometer gives you precise temperature readings in seconds, making it easier to cook your meats exactly how you and your guests like them. It’s a small investment that pays off by significantly upgrading your grilling accuracy.

Sturdy Basting Brushes

Barbecue sauce with basting brush over stone table with room for copy space.

To bring your BBQ creations to the next level, basting brushes are essential for applying those flavorful sauces and marinades. A sturdy, heat-resistant brush will allow you to slather on the goodness without the bristles melting or shedding. Silicone brushes are a popular choice for their durability and ease of cleaning. They help ensure your meats and veggies are coated in an even layer of flavor, making each bite better than the last.

Equipping yourself with these essential grilling tools means you’re not just ready to barbecue, but to master the art of grilling. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a weekend griller, these tools will help make your summer barbecues the highlight of the season.

Upgrade Your Grilling Game with Advanced Accessories

Elevate your summer BBQs from good to unforgettable by incorporating some advanced grilling accessories into your toolkit. Let’s dive into what you’ll need to up your grilling game this season.

Chimney Starters for Quick Ignition

barbecue coal chimney starter

Forget the frustration of trying to start your charcoal grill with lighter fluid and matches. A chimney starter gets your coals burning hot and ready to grill in no time, without the chemical aftertaste. Simply fill the chimney with charcoal, place a starter cube or some newspaper underneath, and light it. In about 15 minutes, your coals will be perfectly ashed over and ready to distribute across the grill. It’s a game-changer for charcoal grill enthusiasts, ensuring a quick, efficient start every time.

Smoker Boxes for Flavor Enhancement

Hankering for that rich, smoky flavor in your grilled meats but don’t own a smoker? A smoker box is your secret weapon. Compatible with both gas and charcoal grills, these small metal boxes hold wood chips that smolder and smoke, infusing your food with delicious smoky flavors. Choose from a variety of wood types like hickory, apple, cherry, or mesquite to complement different meats and veggies. It’s an easy way to upgrade your grilling without the need for additional, bulky equipment.

Grill Baskets for Vegetables and Small Foods

If you’ve ever experienced the heartbreak of watching vegetables or shrimp tumble through the grill grates, a grill basket will save your day. These baskets come in various sizes and shapes, with fine mesh or perforated metal, keeping your food securely inside while allowing smoke and flames to enhance their flavor. It’s ideal for grilling delicate items like fish, small veggies, or even fruit, ensuring they get that grilled taste without the risk of falling into the fire.

Cast Iron Presses for Perfect Grill Marks

Lodge LGP3 Rectangular Cast Iron Grill Press, Pre-Seasoned, 6.75-inch x 4.5-inch

For those picture-perfect grill marks and evenly cooked burgers or steaks, a cast iron press is a must-have. Heavy enough to press the food onto the grates, it ensures consistent contact and heating, while speeding up the cooking time. Use it for paninis for a mid-BBQ snack, or on bacon to keep it from curling up. It’s also fantastic for getting that crispy skin on chicken or fish. Beyond functionality, it feels satisfying to wield a tool that not only improves your food’s taste but also its presentation.

By integrating these advanced accessories into your grilling repertoire, you’ll not only widen your culinary possibilities but also impress your guests with your grilling prowess. So go ahead, make this summer’s BBQs the best yet.

Safety and Maintenance Must-Haves

As you gear up for the summer BBQ season, let’s not overlook the importance of safety and maintenance. These essentials not only promise a smooth grilling experience but also ensure your beloved grill lives to see many more summers.

Heat-Resistant Gloves for Safe Handling

Man hand in glove check barbecue temperature for grilling

Heat-resistant gloves like Rapicca BBQ Oven gloves are essential for handling scorching-hot grates or moving racks of ribs closer to the flame. Made of waterproof, food-safe neoprene, they can withstand temperatures over 900 degrees. Their impressive length protects your arms, and they provide a secure grip, making them ideal for tasks like reaching into smokers or adjusting hot grilling baskets. Pair them with tongs or cheap terry bar mops for enhanced grip and safe handling of all your grilling essentials.

Grill Mats for Easy Clean-Up

Grillaholics Heavy Duty Grill Mats - Set of 2 BBQ Mats Built to Last - Make Grilling Easier & Keep Grates Looking New - The Perfect Grilling Gift

Nobody wants to spend hours scrubbing the grill after a successful BBQ. Here’s where grill mats come into play, offering a non-stick surface that makes clean-up a breeze. These mats not only keep your grates clean but also allow you to grill smaller items without fear of them falling through. Opt for heavy-duty options, like those from Grillaholics, which can withstand high heat and are dishwasher safe, making them an invaluable addition to your grilling arsenal. With these mats, you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the company of friends and family.

Grill Covers for Protection Against the Elements

An autumn leaf has fallen on a covered barbecue grill signifying the end of the barbecue season

Last but not least, a quality grill cover is crucial to protect your grill from the weather’s whims. Whether it’s scorching sun, pouring rain, or a dust storm, a durable cover will shield your grill and keep it ready for the next BBQ session. Look for covers that offer a snug fit and are made from heavy-duty materials to ensure maximum protection. Not only does this keep your grill in pristine condition, but it also extends its lifespan, ensuring countless summer BBQs to come.

Unique Accessories for the Ultimate BBQ Experience

Taking your summer BBQs from basic to extraordinary doesn’t just end with having the right grill or the freshest ingredients. It’s about upgrading your toolkit with unique accessories that transform your grilling into a culinary adventure. Let’s dive into some one-of-a-kind tools that are sure to impress at your next gathering.

Beer Can Chicken Roasters

Ever dreamed of making that perfect, juicy beer can chicken? Beer can chicken roasters are your ticket to achieving just that. These simple yet genius devices support a whole chicken upright, allowing heat to circulate evenly for a beautifully roasted bird. Just slide a can of your favorite beer into the holder, place the chicken over the can, and let the grill do its magic. The beer steams the chicken from the inside, infusing it with moisture and flavor. It’s a foolproof method for a show-stopping main course that’s as delicious as it is Instagram-worthy.

Grilling Planks for Smoked Dishes

If you’re aiming to add a smoky depth of flavor to your dishes, look no further than grilling planks. Typically made from cedar, but also available in other wood varieties like alder and hickory, these planks infuse your food with subtle, smoky flavors without overwhelming it. Soak the plank in water (or wine and herbs for an extra flavor kick), place your food on top, and set it on the grill. As the plank slowly smolders, it releases aromatic smoke, enveloping your salmon, vegetables, or cheeses in a cloak of smoky goodness. It’s an easy, mess-free way to achieve that sought-after smoky flavor.

Rotisserie Kits for Even Cooking

Pig roast at Winter Wonderland, a Christmas fair in London

For those who love the slow-roasted perfection of rotisserie cooking, a rotisserie kit is a game-changer. Designed to fit onto your existing grill, these kits come with a motorized spit that ensures your meat is evenly cooked on all sides. Whether it’s a succulent whole chicken, a savory pork loin, or a tender leg of lamb, rotisserie kits make it effortless to achieve that evenly browned, crispy skin with a juicy interior. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it approach to grilling that allows you to mingle with your guests instead of being chained to the grill.

Pizza Stones for Grilled Pizzas

A homemade sausage pizza on a pizza stone over a charcoal grill

Who says you need a wood-fired oven to make artisanal pizzas? With a pizza stone, your grill can double as a pizza oven, delivering crispy crusts and perfectly melted toppings. The stone distributes heat evenly, drawing moisture out of the dough to achieve that coveted crispy bottom. Just preheat the stone on your grill, slide your pizza onto it, and close the lid to create a mini pizza oven. Whether you’re making a classic Margherita or experimenting with your toppings, grilled pizzas are sure to become a fast favorite at your BBQs.

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