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Grilling & Barbecuing

The Best Grill Tools and Accessories

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Though many of the special grilling tools on the market today are unnecessary and a waste of money, there are a few essential grilling tools.

Long-handled tongs

Tongs help you handle food on the grill. Tongs won’t pierce the food like grill forks do, so the flavorful juices stay inside. Avoid tongs coated in plastic, which may melt if it comes in contact with your grill.

Wire grill brush

Grill brushes are necessary to scrub the grill grate clean after each use. Replace the brush when the wires soften and can no longer clean the grill grate when applied with medium pressure.

Basting brush

Basting brushes let you add sauces to food as it grills. Look for a brush with a long handle so you don’t have to reach right over the grill’s high heat.

Instant-read thermometer

A thermometer can tell you the interior temperature of meat as it cooks so that you don’t under- or overcook your food. You can also use a thermometer to measure the inside of your grill to make sure it’s at the right temperature. A digital probe thermometer is best because its long cord allows you to take the temperature of both your food and the grill without having to hold your hands too close to the heat.

Chimney starter

Packs of charcoal briquettes or lumpwood allow you to ignite charcoal in half the time it takes to ignite a pile of coals using just heat and lighter fluid. Chimney starters range in price from $10–30.

Lighter fluid

An alternative to a chimney starter, lighter fluid is a highly flammable liquid that you pour on coals to make them easier to light.

Matches or butane lighter

If you’re using a charcoal grill, you need matches or a lighter to start the fire. Look for long-handled matches or a butane lighter that keeps your hand as far from the flame as possible.



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You can use spatulas to flip burgers, sliced vegetables, and other flat foods. Look for one that’s metal (not plastic) with a long handle so you don’t have to reach over the hot grill.

Oven mitts

If you’re placing any pans, skewers, or rotisserie spits on your grill, you need oven mitts to protect your hands. Make sure your mitts are made of flame-resistant material.

Spray bottle

Spray bottles can be convenient tools for controlling flare-ups. If flames flare up from dripping fat, spray water toward the flames to suppress them.

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