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There's a quote that says a man (or woman) is only as good as his (or her) tools and when it comes to BBQ, that’s the absolute truth. To have a good BBQ experience, you need the right spatula, tongs, grill fork, grill brush, meat thermometer, and grill pans, just to name a few. But we’re guessing that you want to spend less time searching through all of the different options out there and more time standing over sizzling burgers. That’s why we did the work for you and rounded up the best BBQ tools across all categories to help take your grilling up a notch.
There’s a reason Cuisinart is largely preferred by professional chefs and home cooks. It’s considered one of the most reliable names in the kitchen game and this Cuisinart CGS-134 Grilling Tool Set proves why. It comes with three basic grilling tools—a grill spatula, a grill fork, and grill tongs—and a heat-resistant glove that protects your hand from the open flame or when lifting the cover of a charcoal grill.
Each of the grilling tools has elongated 12-inch stainless steel handles that are finished off with ergonomic, heat-resistant rubberized grips in bright red. The included wide spatula certainly helps flip burgers and any of your other favorite grilling meats, but it also has an integrated bottle opener, a toothed edge, and a serrated edge, making it a true multi-use tool. Cuisinart finished off its design with conveniently placed hooks at the end of each handle so you can easily attach each tool to your grill hooks so they’re within reach every time you need them.
You may not think that a spatula could make a huge difference in your grilling experience, but once you try the OXO Good Grips 16-inch Grilling Turner with Serrated Edge, you’ll likely be singing a different tune. With its extra-long, 16-inch handle that’s designed to keep your hands away from the hottest areas of the grill, the OXO spatula immediately stands out from the rest.
The spatula is entirely made up of rust-resistant stainless steel that’s finished off with a rubber non-slip handle that provides a comfortable and heat-resistant grip. The flat part of the spatula has a beveled front that slides easily under foods and makes easy work of flipping, while the side of the spatula is finished off with a serrated edge that glides through meat to help test for doneness.
And when you’re done cooking, the spatula’s dishwasher-safe design makes cleanup a breeze. Just throw it in the dishwasher on a regular cycle and use the included hanging hook to store the spatula on the grill until next time.
Just like a great spatula, a sturdy pair of tongs, like the GRILLHOGS Barbecue Grill Tongs, can take your grilling game to another level. These tongs feature a 16-inch handle that opens up into a scalloped edge clamp that can easily flip hot dogs, while also providing a strong enough grip for heavier duty items, like a T-bone steak.
The stainless steel handle is finished off with oak hardwood that not only adds to the overall design, it also protects your hands as things start to heat up. The top of the handle features what GRILLHOGS calls a “lock and hook.” You just pull on the hook to lock the clamp shut and then use the same hook to hang the tongs on your grill until you’re ready to use them again.
If you’re looking for something a little less heavy-duty, GRILLHOGS also offers a 12-inch design that can handle most grilling jobs and a 9-inch serving tong that’s designed for smaller cuts of meat and serving.
Any grillmaster—or aspiring grillmaster—knows that the grilling experience isn’t complete until the grill is clean. While that may be the part you look forward to the least, the Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush helps get the job done quickly and with minimal effort. The unique design combines three stainless steel hard-wired brushes in one so that every pass on the grill does the equivalent work of three strokes of other grill brushes.
Unlike other cumbersome grill brushes, the design also allows easy access to the side of the grill grates to ensure that your cleanup job is complete. And even though the bristles are 60 percent stronger than those of other grill brushes, it’s safe for all grill types, including porcelain, ceramic, and infrared.
It has an 18-inch patent-pending handle that’s designed to keep your hands away from the hot grill grates while allowing you to effectively reach all areas of the grill while you clean. Unlike wood, which can break down with exposure to water over time, the weather-resistant handle is made of plastic and designed to be easier to grip and 275 percent tougher. This allows you to dip the brush in hot water as you clean without worrying about the longevity of your tool.
With the ThermoPro TP-17 Dual Probe Digital Cooking Meat Thermometer, your days of standing over the grill as your meat cooks are long gone. As the name points out, this thermometer is equipped with two independent probes that allow you to monitor the temperature of different pieces of meat simultaneously. While you can manually enter an ideal temperature, the ThermoPro also helps take the guesswork out of food safety, since the device includes preset USDA temperatures for all different types of meat, like pork, beef, chicken, and even fish.
As you're grilling, the temperatures pop up on a large LCD screen that displays the set temperature goal and current temperature of the probe reading. Once your meat reaches the set goal, the thermometer will beep and flash to let you know your meat is ready. And if you’re grilling outdoors at night, the backlit LCD screen allows you to see temperature readings even in the dark.
For added convenience, the body of the thermometer has a magnetic back so you can stick it directly to your grill or you can pull out the countertop flip stand to display it next to the grill. And with a temperature range of 14 to 572 degrees, there’s no cooking job the ThermoPro can’t take on.
If you’re looking for a way to wrangle smaller or more delicate foods while still getting that great grill taste, the Weber Style 6435 Professional-Grade Grill Pan has you covered. The stainless steel design provides perfect heat distribution and retention when grilling vegetables or smaller items, like shrimp, scallops, or diced meat, while the 1/8-inch slits allow juices to flow easily out of the pan. This grill pan is also Ideal for fish or other delicate items that can get stuck or fall through the grill grates.
Even when the pan is full, the wide handles help ensure a secure grip so you can transfer the cooked food to your serving platter without it slipping from your hands.
Keep in mind that at 17.4 x 11.81 x 1.46 inches in size, this pan takes up a decent amount of space on the grill. It was designed for Weber Q 300/3000 and larger gas grills or 22-inch or larger charcoal grills.
While you don’t necessarily need a grill pan and a grill basket, the options from Weber make it hard to choose just one. Similar in design to the grill pan, the Weber 6434 Deluxe Ss Vegetable Basket is made of durable stainless steel with slots that allow oil and drippings to flow out. However, unlike the grill pan, which has shorter, flatter edges, the vegetable basket has deep sides that make it perfect for piling up vegetables or using as a wok pan for diced meat.
The basket is designed to fit All Weber Q 300/3000 and larger gas grills as well as 18-inch or larger charcoal grills. And at 13.8 x 11.8 x 2.5 inches, it’s the perfect size for filling up with longer vegetables, like asparagus, or stacking with veggies—yet it doesn’t take up all of the available space on the grill so you can still cook your meat on other burners.
You can also use this Weber vegetable basket in the oven, but if you go that route, you’ll need to put a drip pan underneath to catch any oil or drippings that leak through the slots.
Named the best BBQ tool by the National BBQ Association in 2013, the Original Bear Paws Shredder Claws are something that every pitmaster needs in his or her arsenal. Originally designed to make easy work of shredding pulled pork, the shredder claws, which feature a wide grip handle and six sharp claws on each piece, have evolved to become a seriously versatile tool for both the BBQ and the kitchen.
You can use the claws to shred and lift meat, hold meat in place while you’re cutting and carving, hold and slice a watermelon, and even to toss a salad. They’re easy to use and easy to clean—each claw is top-shelf dishwasher-safe—and made with only FDA-approved and BPA-free materials in the USA.
While you can certainly make your own grill bags and pockets with regular aluminum foil, why would you want to when the Kingsford Extra Tough Aluminum Grill Bags are such an easily accessible option? Each 15.5 x 10-inch bag is made of heavy-duty, extra-tough aluminum that’s designed to withstand steaming, grilling, and smoking temperatures. The bags are ideal for steaming and you can also use them to create a smoker pack by adding wood chips to the bag, sealing, and poking holes before grilling.
Each grill bag also has a food-safe coating that keeps your food safe and free from harmful chemicals while preventing it from sticking on the grill. And, of course, the bags make for an easy cleanup since all you have to do is serve the food and then throw them out.
If you’re looking for a highly-rated multi-tool set, the Cuisinart CGS-134 Grilling Tool Set has everything you need to get the grill fired up and get started. When it comes time to clean, the Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush makes easy work of wiping down grill grates and starting fresh.
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Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and cooking experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the best cooking gadgets, at the best prices, to help make life in the kitchen or in front of the grill more streamlined and efficient.