Grilling & Smoking Essentials: Top Tools You Need

Fire up the grill or smoker and get ready to cook like a champ with our roundup of must-have BBQ tools.

Published Categorized as Buying Guides
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It’s that time of year again when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the smell of sizzling meat fills the air. That’s right, it’s grilling season!

And if you’re going to make the most of it, you’ll need the right tools for the job. No more using your mom’s old tongs or that rusted spatula you found in the garage. It’s time to upgrade and get yourself some proper grilling and BBQ gear.

We’ve scoured the web to bring you the best of the best when it comes to grilling and BBQ tools. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out on your grilling journey, we’ve got something for everyone. From tongs to basting brushes to spatulas and beyond, we’ve rounded up all the accessories you’ll need to cook up a feast fit for a king (or queen).

So fire up that grill and get those meats sizzling!

Best Accessories & Supplies for Your BBQ

Cooking Tools

Calling all grillers and smokers! Are you tired of burnt burgers and undercooked chicken? Well, it might as well be time to upgrade your grilling game with some essential cooking tools. A spatula, a pair of tongs, and a meat thermometer are all must-haves for anyone who’s serious about his or her BBQ.

A spatula and tongs let you to flip and maneuver your meats like a pro, ensuring that they cook evenly and to the right level of doneness. And a meat thermometer? Well, it will allow you to measure the internal temperature of your meats so you can finally convince Uncle Joe over there that his steak is cooked to medium-rare.


Traeger BBQ Tongs, Stainless Steel

These tongs are made from sturdy stainless steel and can handle even the heftiest of ribs. And with their locking mechanism, you can be sure your ribs will stay securely in the tongs rather than slipping out and falling into the fire.

Spatula/fish flipper:

Mercer Culinary Hell's Handle Fish Spatula, 4 x 9 Inches

Don't let the name of this spatula fool you — it may be called a "fish" spatula, but it can handle much more than just your aquatic offerings. It's great for steaks, burgers, sausages, and pretty much anything that hisses and sizzles on the grill.

Heavy-duty meat turner:

Mercer Culinary Hell's Handle Heavy-Duty Turner, 8 x 4 Inches

This here heavy-duty meat flipper will get the job done when your trusty fish flipper just isn't up to the task. It's built to handle even the heftiest of meats, making it the perfect tool for flipping and maneuvering thick-cut steaks, roasts, and more.

Burger press/smasher:

Hulisen Stainless Steel Burger Press, 6.2-Inch

Say goodbye to uneven, misshapen burgers! With a stainless steel body and a handle free of any wood, this burger press is easy to use and clean — and it's dishwasher-safe.

Instant-read thermometer:

Alpha Grillers Instant-Read Meat Thermometer

This meat thermometer takes 2 to 4 seconds for a reading and is accurate to 1°F/1°C. It's waterproof, the display is easy to read (and has a backlight), and there's a lifetime warranty. What more is there to say?

Leave-in thermometer:

Alpha Grillers Leave-In Meat Thermometer

With a 7-inch probe, a 39.3-inch cable, and an easy to read display, this meat thermometer allows you to accurately and easily measure the internal temperature of your meats, ensuring they are cooked to the perfect level of doneness. No more poking and prodding or guessing at the temperature.

Grilling basket (for veg and seafood):

Grillaholics Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel Grill Basket

Vegetables? Scallops? Shrimp? No problem! Forget about losing small pieces of food to the fire with this heavy-duty stainless steel grilling basket, then clean it in the dishwasher when you're done.

Pizza steel (for one-of-a-kind grilled pizza):

Artisan Steel Baking Steel, 16 x 14.25 Inches (.25-Inch Thick)

This solid, heavy-duty steel pizza steel won't not break on the grill. It's easy to wash and care for, and churns out the finest grilled pizza pies you've ever laid fingers on.

Charcoal Tools

There’s something about that rich, smoky flavor of meat that can only be achieved with the use of charcoal. But if you want to truly embrace the art of charcoal cooking — and, trust me, you do — you’ll need more than just a good ol’ bag of briquettes. That’s where charcoal grilling tools come in.

A chimney starter, for example, is an essential tool for any charcoal griller or smoker. It allows you to easily and efficiently light your charcoal, ensuring that it’s ready to go when you are. No more fussing with lighter fluid or struggling to get your coals to catch.

You’ll find our top pick below. But if you’re thinking of buying one, and you haven’t decided on it just yet, you might as well head on over to our roundup of the best chimney starters on the market.

Chimney starter:

Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter

This chimney starter will fire up your coals quickly and efficiently, with minimal fuss and hassle. No more awkward contortions or burnt fingers as you struggle to get your coals lit.

Charcoal rake:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Coal Rake

A coal rake for your grill or smoker that does it all. This handy tool can move coals, scoop ash, and lift grates with ease, making it an essential part of any grilling or smoking setup.

Heat-resistant gloves:

Ozero Heat-Resistant Cowhide Leather Gloves

If they're good enough for welding, they're good enough for grilling and meat smoking. These heat-resistant leather gloves withstand temperatures of up to 932°F, keeping your hands safe from the heat of cooking.

Temp gun:

ThermoPro TP450 Dual-Laser Temperature Gun

Tired of guessing the temperature of your embers? With a range of -58℉ to 1022℉, this temp gun will allow you to accurately and easily measure it so you can get the perfect cook every time.

Basting, Mopping, And Spritzing Tools

If you baste your meats while cooking them low and slow, then you’re well aware of the crucial role that the proper basting tools play. Whether you prefer to spritz or mop your sauce on, the right equipment is essential to get the job done.

Basting tools allow you to distribute that succulent sauce across your meats nice and evenly, so that single every bite comes out bursting with flavor. And with the ability to easily add more sauce as needed, you won’t have to interrupt the cooking process or risk singeing your fingers.

When in doubt, look no further than our picks below. We’ve rounded up the Internet’s best quality basting tools — the cream of the crop, if you wish — so you can add them to your arsenal.

Basting brush:

OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting Brush

This handy brush boasts tapered outer bristles that are specifically designed to baste whole birds and big roasts with ease. And with its heat resistance up to 600°F, you can be sure that it can handle even the hottest grills and smokers. Plus, the angled head ensures that the bristles stay off of your countertop, making it easy to use and clean.

Meat mop:

YFWood 18-Inch Basting Mop (Plus 4 Extra Mop Heads)

Stainless steel hook, rubber wood handle, and replaceable, dishwasher-safe head made from 100% cotton, soft and absorbent. Comes with 4 extra heads.

Spray bottle:

Bar5F Plastic Spray Bottle Set (16-Oz, 3-Pack)

Good spray bottles can be surprisingly hard to find, but we've found them. These bottles are food-grade, see-through, and let you adjust the mist to your liking. And they're made in the USA.

Wrapping Supplies

Meat smoking’s a true art. One that requires patience, skill, and of course, wrapping supplies. And while a top-quality smoker is certainly an important piece of equipment, don’t forget about the often-overlooked meat wrapping supplies. Whether you prefer to use butcher paper or aluminum foil, these staples play a crucial role in the smoking process.

Butcher paper and aluminum foil help to seal in the moisture and flavor of your meats, ensuring that they stay juicy and delicious throughout the smoking process. They also help to prevent the formation of unwanted bark on your meats, giving you greater control over the final texture and taste.

Finally, when it comes time to serve your smoked masterpieces, these wrapping supplies make it easy to transport and serve your meats without any mess, haste, or fuss. Some may even say that they are non-negotiable.

Aluminum foil:

Reynolds Wrap Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil (130 Sq. Feet)

This heavy-duty foil is here to do one thing, and do it well: wrap your brisket, and wrap it properly. No more struggling with flimsy, thin foil that tears and falls apart at the slightest touch.

Pink butcher paper:

Bryco Goods Pink Butcher Paper Roll (175 Sq. Feet)

This ultra strong and durable paper is designed to withstand the rigors of the smoker, ensuring that your brisket stays perfectly wrapped and sealed throughout the cooking process.

Cleaning Tools

Don’t skimp on the cleaning, folks — it’s what keeps your grill in mint condition and ensures your food tastes its best. And to keep your grill spick and span, you’ll need a good set of cleaning tools to get the job done.

Without the right tools, it can be hard to damn right impossible to get rid of stuck-on food, grease, and grime from your grill grates. But with a reliable grill brush and scraper by your side, you’ll be able to quickly and easily scrub off your grill grates so they’re prepped and ready for your next cookout.

Not too long ago, our Craig Britton did a roundup of the best brushes and scrapers for your grill and, after heated debate with everyone in the editorial team, came to the picks below.

For cast iron grates:

Kona Grill Brush and Scraper

An all-around grill brush and scraper that will get your grill grates clean as a whistle in no time. Functional design and 5-year warranty.

For enameled cast iron grates:

Grillaholics Brass Grill Brush

A grill brush with heavy duty stainless brass bristles. It can tackle even the toughest gunk and grime, but it's also gentle enough to not scratch the enamel on your grates.

For stainless steel grates and warming racks:

Grill Rescue Bristle-Free Cleaning Brush

A bristle-free cleaning brush with a replaceable head, specifically designed for your stainless steel grates. The best part? It was designed by a fireman, so you know it's built to handle the heat.

For any type of grill grate and every brush or scraper:

Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner (24-oz)

We've found a cleaning gel that does it all. Not only does it get rid of stuck-on food and grime, but it also prevents corrosion and reduces smoke and flare-ups on your burner covers.

Final Words

And with that — like every good thing — our roundup of the best tools and supplies for grillers and meat smokers comes to an end.

We hope you’ve found it informative and helpful as you embark on your grilling and smoking journey. Remember, having the right tools can make all the difference in the world when it comes to churning out delicious, smoky flavors that will have your taste buds singing.

They say “buy it nice, or buy it twice,” and nowhere is this more true than in this hobby of ours, where our tools are exposed to the elements and the heat. You want tools that’ll last you for years to come and make your grilling and smoking experience all the more enjoyable.

And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! Grilling and smoking are all about relaxation, camaraderie, and, of course, great food. Invite some friends over and get ready to cook up a storm.

Here’s to delicious BBQ. Happy cooking, y’all, and we wish you many more mouthwatering meals to come!

By Sammy Steen

Sammy, Barbehow's editor, is a die-hard carnivore, barbecue whisperer, and self-proclaimed master of the grill.

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