Top Ten Grilling and Barbecue Tools
By: Jack Mancuso
The more you grill, you realize that some tools make your job easier. Is it time to upgrade your grill and work toward mastery? I have my favorites. So today, I’m giving you my list of the top ten grilling and barbecue tools. With these implements, you’ll be able to flavor your food and cook nearly anything.
Now, of course, I have other treasured tools. You can get custom grill grates such as a sear station, mesh to keep small things from falling into the grill, and salt plates, to name a few. Grilling should be fun. Having good tools only increases the enjoyment you get out of barbecue as well as the results.
Top Ten Grilling and Barbecue Tools
1. Grill Thermometer
While your barbecue grill or smoker may have an external heat gauge, they are not always accurate. You want to know the temperature inside for proper searing and smoking. Additionally, thermometers let you check your food’s internal temperature too. Make sure it’s done (Food Safety First). Precise readings accompanied by following your recipe make sure your food doesn’t dry out, too.
2. Basic Grilling Tool Set
Your kitchen utensils won’t cut it on the grill. You can buy grilling tools in nearly any department store and online, and many will come in sets. You’re looking minimally for:
- Grill fork
- Barbecue spatula
- Barbecue tongs
- Basting brush
You’ll notice right away that these tools have long handles to keep your hand safe from the heat.
Some fancier kits include digital temp forks, skewers, corn holders, a meat injector, and a heavy-duty mitt. The add-ons are items that personalize your tools. Note, however, it’s always a good idea to buy two mitts. Even with tongs, sometimes sparks fly, and the temperature near the grill is uncomfortably high.
3. A Set of Knives
While not solely a grilling tool, having a good set of knives makes your prep work much less frustrating. By far, the best knife to have in your collection is a Chef’s Knife. It’s perfect for chopping, dicing, mincing, slicing, cutting meat, and disjointing some bones. It is the “one-stop shop” of knives.
4. Charcoal Starter
There’s nothing quite like the smell and taste of charcoal, but when you light it with fluid – well, there is a residual chemical taste. Just say no to the fule and go with a lighter. And, of course, there’s the inevitable area of coals that goes out on you. A good charcoal starter fixes both issues. The most popular charcoal starter is a chimney. It looks, as the name implies, like a cylinder. Charcoal and newspaper go inside, producing a flame. The other option is a charcoal lighter, which is electric. This type of lighter gets a flame going in just a minute or two.
5. Flavor Enhancers
If you have a smoker, there are a variety of chips on the market, each of which presents a different taste profile and smell. If you don’t have a stand-alone smoker, you can get small smoke boxes that can go on your gas grill. Heat them up, and let the magic begin.
Then there’s aromatic charcoal, like those produced by Kingsford. There’s garlic, onion, and paprika, chumin’ chili, and basil, sage, and thyme for spicing up your flavor notes.
And don’t forget barbecue spices. There are so many variations out there, it makes your head spin, which is why I created some to share with you. Our Cuso signature flavors are:
Rotisseries create a slow-cooking method, resulting in amazing flavor. Why? Because as the meat turns, it bastes itself from the fat and drippings. Once it’s set up, the cooking requires no fuss on your part. Follow the recipe, and test your meat’s temperature before stopping the unit. Items that benefit from rotisserie cooking include:
- Pork loin
- Prime Rib
- Roast Beef
You can also balance skewers in it!
7. A Griddle
The nice thing about a griddle is that you can make your side dishes in it while tending the main course. Griddles have tremendous versatility, and you can take them indoors, too. That big, smooth surface can handle a lot of cooking.
8. Pizza Stone
Pizza stones result in some of the most amazing pizzas you’ve ever made. Grilling a pizza is easy. Your grill gets hotter than your oven, creating a better crust.
The keys to the pizza stone’s success are its ability to absorb moisture, distribute heat, and retain heat. When you’re eating your first delicious slices, the rest remain warm.
9. Infrared Burner
When you want your food seared “just so,” an infrared burner gives you precision. Infrared cooking maximized flavor and juiciness. They preheat quickly, offer even and faster cooking, reduce flare-ups, and produce steakhouse searing.
10. Cleaning Tools
At the end of the day, it is time to clean up. You want to take good care of your grill, so don’t mince on cleaning tools. They are among the most vital implement among your top ten grilling and barbecue tools. And before you worry, the cost is minimal. Some paper towels, dish soap, a grill brush, and grill cleaner is all you really need. Who wants to cook on a dirty grill?