It is the time of year where everyone is outside grilling, smoking, and barbecuing. But what are some smoker accessories that you should invest in to make your BBQ experience better? The following list includes 19 smoker accessories, grilling tools we believe will help you grill like a pro this summer.
#1 Grill Cover
Grill cover is necessary to protect your grill from outdoor elements. It will not only look good but also keep the grill secure. There are many different covers that can be purchased to choose from, you just have to decide which one best fits the needs of your grill.
#2 Water Pan
Water pan allows you to add moisture to your food which also ensures that the food is moist and not dry. Putting water in the water pan will prevent the meat from burning and keep the temperature of your grill low so that your meat doesn’t get dried out while cooking. You can use either a metal or glass water pans.
If you use a glass one, be aware that if it breaks, there is no way on earth that you’re going to get all those pieces off your grill! So do yourself a favor and buy something more durable than glass such as stainless steel or cast iron. Also, try to place your water pan below the opposite side of the meat you are cooking. This way when your food is done, it will be easier to flip and remove from the grill.
#3 Grill Thermometer
A lot of people don’t know this but grills have hot spots! These can vary in different models and even between different areas on one grill. Some hot spots may be hotter than others; therefore, not all grilled foods get cooked properly/equal amounts of time or temperature.
With a grill thermometer, you can determine where these hot spots are located and then place your meats accordingly for more accurate grilling…especially if you like your meat medium rare instead of well done! Furthermore, with a grill thermometer, you don’t have to keep opening up the hood and releasing all the heat. This allows your meats to lose their juices and flavors which need to stay trapped inside where they belong!
#4 Deep Frying Thermometer
Also known as a candy thermometer, deep frying thermometer should be used while preparing fried foods such as French fries or chicken wings . It should also be used when liquid sugar is being prepared for desserts such as candies, divinity, fudge, etc… Using this tool will ensure that you get your food cooked at the right temperature so that it does not burn but instead gives you a crispier outer layer.
#5 Grill Brush
Grill brush or grill wire brush helps remove the crusty, burnt pieces of food off your cooking grates. There are many different styles, types, and shapes of grill brushes that you can choose from. Just make sure to purchase one that fits your grilling needs best! Some may prefer a heavy-duty wire brush because it has longer bristles than its cousin.
Whereas others may gravitate towards using steel wool bristle pads for easier cleanup…just be careful not to scratch the surface of your grate! It all depends on what you’re cooking whether it be delicate items or foods that require more attention during the grilling process. This way you will end up with a clean cooking grate that is free of food particles.
#6 Slotted Spatula
A slotted spatula has many different types of uses. As the name suggests, you use this to remove items from your grill…especially foods that can fall through the grates! This includes items such as shrimp, scallops, hot dogs, brats, burgers, and vegetables (e.g., onions & peppers). Using this tool helps keep flare-ups to a minimum because fats escape while meats cook without having to turn them over constantly. When using aluminum foil for wrapping foods on the grill (e.g., fish fillets), a slotted spatula will make removing the foil easier without tearing or ripping.
#7 Long-Handled Tongs
Tongs are extremely versatile utensils that can be used to flip, turn, move, and grab items off the grill. They are usually made of stainless steel with heat-resistant handles that range in size from 7 to 21 inches long. Most people would think that these tools cannot be used when grilling because they may get too hot; however, some tongs have wooden or plastic handles so if you prefer not to use metal ones…go for it!
The choice is yours. But definitely use this tool when cooking items such as vegetables that can fall through the grates. These are perfect for turning over delicate meats that you want to cook slowly and evenly. They may also be used when removing items from boiling liquids, marinating foods prior to cooking, or even mixing salads!
#8 Slotted Spoon
A slotted spoon is similar to a slotted spatula except it has holes in it so you can drain watery ingredients. It is commonly used when making pasta dishes such as spaghetti or minestrone soup, draining soups/stocks , fried foods (e.g., French fries), boiled veggies…the list goes on! This tool helps get rid of excess liquid while keeping the solids inside where they belong.
#9 Grill Basket / Grill Wok
When you are cooking things on the grill that will fall through the grates or has a tendency to rotate, grab, flip, etc., then using a grill basket might be your best bet. This tool offers extra protection by creating a barrier between the food and heat.
You can use this for small items that have tend to roll around such as shrimp & scallops, veggies that cook fast (e.g., asparagus), halved fruits with seeds still intact (e.g., tomatoes…if you don’t want them spinning away). Although some baskets come with long handles, make sure to grasp tightly when removing from the grill because they may get extremely hot
#10 Grill Tongs
These items are similar to the long-handled tongs mentioned above. So if you don’t like metal handles, then this might be for you! This tool offers those who prefer plastic or wooden handles a chance to use tongs on their grill with no worries of getting burned.
Another bonus is that these usually come in smaller sizes (6 to 10 inches long ) which make them easier to store and carry with you when needed. You can use these for most of the same things as listed above…just make sure they do not have sharp edges because they may puncture your foil packets which will render them useless.
#11 BBQ Gloves
If you are using tools that may get extremely hot or if want extra protection when using tongs, then you might want to consider wearing BBQ gloves. They come in many different styles, colors, fabrics (e.g., cotton, leather), but they basically do the same thing…protect your hands from extreme heat!
If you need something with a little more grip or insulation than typical food-grade silicone or latex rubber gloves, try this out! If not, oven mitts will also work. But remember one important detail: Make sure they match so know which goes on which hand…like lefty loosey and righty tighty! Or else they’ll be coming off at lightning speed.
#12 BBQ Grill Mat
I am sure that some of you are thinking, “Why would I need to buy something to put my grill on when it came with one?” Well, this might have come with your grill…if so congrats! But if not, then these may be the answer to giving your food a nice clean presentation. This helps prevent little things from falling through the grates or any sauces/grease splashing upon them while cooking. Plus they are extremely easy to clean after use which makes them more versatile than just being used for meat! You can use this for almost anything that might normally sit/lay right on top of the grates including veggies breads, fruits, fish, tofu, etc. The possibilities are endless!
The main purpose of a grill mat is to prevent little things from falling through the grates…but it can also be used for baking, broiling, cooking fish, making paninis without messing up the sandwich maker, or even warming your tortillas (think fajita night)! So next time you want some grilled cheese sandwiches, make them on the mat instead and give yourself an easy clean-up job! And yes they come in different sizes but if you’re only using this for one thing then I suggest getting a smaller size because that will be easier to store during non-use & clean.
#13 Grill Light
Grill lights are perfect for those that grill long into the night. It’s not frowned upon to get a little “caveman” when you’re cooking something up on the grill, but sometimes it can be difficult to see what you are doing. When this happens, I think everyone goes through the same thought process, “Do I give up or keep going?” Well nobody wants food too burnt so we usually go with the latter…but if only there was an appointed time for us to stop playing around with fire & eat already…there isn’t.
That’s where a good ol’ trusty grill light comes in. It attaches easily to your gr and emits a nice bright white light that will show you exactly what’s going on without being too intrusive for those around you. If it is a nice clear night then just leave the lid up and turn this baby on! You can use one of these at home, or you can even carry it with you if your tailgating/at the cabin/on an RV…you get where I’m going with this by now right?
#14 Grill Cleaner
This stuff is like a miracle worker for those who like to cook out but hate the clean-up afterwards. It works wonders on stainless steel, porcelain, and cast iron grates which do not respond well to metal scrapers (I’m looking at you grill brush !). But beyond this, this stuff will also remove paint from rusty surfaces so be careful around your BBQ if it’s an older model. I have had some good experiences with this product & I have seen even better ones so try out their full line of products if you are curious!
#15 BBQ Claws
I know what you’re thinking, “What do I need a pair of claws for?” Yes, these were originally used on the battlefield to take down opposing knights in full plate armor BUT THEY CAN BE USED FOR MANY OTHER THINGS INCLUDING GRILLING ! Most people think that this is just another one of those weird “grill tools” but they actually have a purpose other than being intimidating to your friends. These are perfect for picking up meats without puncturing them & dropping their precious juices everywhere! So next time you want to move some chicken from here to there, put these on and be done with it!
#16 Rib Rack
The great thing about a rib rack is that you can make a ton of ribs at one time without having to worry about them touching each other in the cooking process. This exposes more surface area for heat to hit which means they will cook much faster, and this will keep your guests from getting hangry. Besides this, you don’t have to worry about flipping ribs around multiple times trying to get both sides evenly cooked when they are stored vertically in this bad boy!
#17 Chimney Starter
Grillers rejoice! This is made out of the same material as your charcoal chimney so you know it’s legit. You are probably wondering, “What exactly do I need this for?” Well, that’s understandable, but what you need to know is that by using a starter like this one will allow you to evenly light all briquettes at once instead of one at a time. Not only does it work faster, but it also produces an even heat which allows maximum cooking potential! So next time you have some grilling to do get yourself one of these bad boys ASAP!
#18 Grill Press
The goal here is to create a nice even cook on your food across the board, not just have one side burned to a crisp while the other is undercooked. One of the main factors that contribute to an uneven cook is how much fat content there is between meats. Something like salmon will release it’s juices more rapidly than something like chicken so this allows us to use the press on these types of foods which usually have very little if any at all! Besides being able to evenly apply pressure, there are some high-end models that come with interchangeable plates allowing you to do things like make pancakes.
#19 Meat Injectors
I’m talking to you guys, I know someone out there has been using a turkey baster for injectable marinades this whole time. That my friend is just not going to cut it anymore! There are all sorts of reasons that you would need something like this but we will focus on the most important ones: cleanliness and speed. A lot of these come with multiple needles so you can switch them depending on what type of meat or liquid you are injecting & some even have the ability to administer marinade from all sides. They also tend to be very long which allows you to get every last bit of goodness in your food without punct the container…
The world of cooking utensils seems endless but hopefully, you now feel better equipped to take on the grill. From safety to cooking times, to which items will make your life easier…the possibilities are endless! So whether it’s grandma’s favorite cookie recipe or something you just pulled off of Pinterest …have fun with this outdoor activity because time together is always special.
I hope that this article has inspired someone out there to explore the world of grilling tools. Although most people have grills already, it is always a good idea to get new ones especially if they are on sale. If you’re looking for an excuse to up your game in the kitchen pick one of these tools up & start impressing yourself & family! If you still think I’m crazy or are having some difficulty finding what you need let me know in the comments below!