I’ve been into the topic of grilling for many years, I have gained a lot of experience on the way with every type of grill and multiple accessories.
Now I am perfectly aware of what I will need when grilling to achieve much better results.
When I was starting, I would use simple tools while preparing the most basic food. These days I can’t go without at least a few tools when preparing different types of food of top quality.
Grilling accessories improve the comfort of cooking, provide new opportunities and most important, allow to achieve much better results at much lower effort.
I assure you that you will regret not investing in adequate accessories much sooner that are useful when grilling.
The 10 Grilling Accessories You Must Have
Most accessories mainly improve comfort and provide new opportunities, then there are some of them that I can’t imagine grilling without.
Among my favorite grilling accessories are such things as meat thermometer, charcoal chimney starter, solid gloves and many more. The list of valuable accessories is huge, which is why I encourage you to check them out below.
You may also like my list of the best accessories for smoking
1) Charcoal Chimney Starter
I think that everyone who loves grilling has a charcoal grill in their backyard.
Plenty of people also have a problem getting charcoal burning.
Never use a lighter fluid and other toxic substances, that’s one of the most serious mistakes.
Use a charcoal chimney fire starter, which makes it possible to get the charcoal burning in the shortest time possible without using toxic matches. All we have to do is fill the entire chimney with charcoal, then put the paper underneath and light it.
After about 15 minutes, the charcoal will get covered with white coating (ash), which means that it is ready.
The greatest advantage of this method is the convenience, then the effectiveness and the charcoal burning evenly.
On top of that, it’s a good thing to remember that, when using a chimney starter, you don’t need any toxic firestarters. The chimney has such an effective air draft that all it takes is a few paper sheets for the charcoal to start burning fast and easily.
When it comes to me, I always recommend the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter.
I’ve been using it for years and I know that it is solidly built, durable and inexpensive.
You have several sizes to choose from, so consider your choice carefully.
2) Grill Gloves
Intense heat is an inevitable element of every grilling.
It is present right from the start when the grill reaches the right temperature for cooking. You need to be careful when moving food from one place to another or refilling charcoal.
You don’t need to play a tough guy, just buy solid grill gloves and forget about the problem.
The right gloves effectively protect from intense heat and provide comfort in many situations such as holding a hot chimney full of charcoal, hot food or moving heated elements around such as grill grates.
They don’t cost a lot compared to a grill’s price, and they will certainly protect your hands in every situation.
Here I recommend CI Jolly Green Products Ekogrips Premium BBQ Gloves.
They provide adequate insulation, dexterity, durability and are available at a decent price.
3 ) Instant read thermometer
This kind of thermometer is most useful during quick grilling.
Especially if you grill steaks with different levels of being done. Using an instant read thermometer allows you to read the internal temperature of meat within a few seconds, so that you can know the cooking stage you’re at.
No more raw or dry meat.
It’s time for perfectly prepared food without the risk of blunders. A very useful tool, especially if you cook plenty of things at the same time.
I recommend Lavatools Lavelin Pro, it’s a solid and very fast thermometer. It comes with some of the best parameters on the market, despite being available at an adequate price (much lower than many competitive models).
Of course the most important thing is the speed and accuracy of readouts, but we can’t ignore the quality of workmanship, durability and functionality either. In all these regards, it is one of the best options on the market.
4) Slow ’N Sear 2.0
A very useful tool if you’re planning to cook on a charcoal grill (mainly the kettle style).
It allows to divide the charcoal zone by placing it in a special container. It is mainly used for smoking with indirect heat, although it can also be used for grilling.
A full basket works great by creating a very high temperature that is focused in a single spot, it’s a great solution for searing.
Another advantage is much lower charcoal consumption compared to regular cooking and much better effectiveness (charcoal burning time).
Without a doubt, Slow’N Sear 2.0 is the best on the market when it comes to accessories of this kind, which is why I consider it to be obligatory in the equipment of every fan of grilling or smoking.
5) Leave-in Thermometer
It is a thermometer that is much more useful during smoking than grilling, but it’s still a good thing to have.
A leave in probe makes it possible to monitor not only the temperature inside the meat but also in every place where you put the probe (as long as it’s a probe for monitoring the ambient temperature).
This tool makes it possible to monitor the temperature inside the grill, I’m talking about the actual temperature.
Not everyone knows it, but a built-in thermometer shows inaccurate temperature readouts in most cases.
An important thing is the temperature on the grill grates level, which is where the food is, whereas a built-in thermometer shows the temperature in a place located much higher.
It means that the actual temperature often differs a lot from what the built-in thermometer indicates. When looking deeper into the topic, you will notice as much as several dozen degrees F more at the grill grates, especially if you open the grill lid a lot.
Of course you can also utilize this thermometer when monitoring the temperature inside the meat, but when it comes to quick and hot grilling, it’s a rarely used tool.
I really recommend ThermoPro TP20, which comes with two probes, making it possible to monitor the temperature inside the meat and the grill at the same time.
It’s a solidly built smoker thermometer that also comes with many useful features and a great manufacturer’s warranty.
A very useful tool in many situations.
If you grill on charcoal, I recommend buying two grill tongs, one for moving food around, and one for moving charcoal.
Tongs should be solidly made, durable and most important, of adequate length in order to protect hands from intense heat while maintaining dexterity.
Personally, I mostly use GRILLHOGS Barbecue Grill Tongs
They are long enough, solidly made and durable. They come with appropriate teeth that make it easier to grab food.
When it comes to charcoal tongs, even the cheapest tongs on the market will do, provided that they are durable.
Tongs won’t work in every situation, which is why you should definitely buy a grill spatula as well.
It allows you to flip food over or to scoop it from the grill onto a plate.
It works great with the most delicate food, like raw burgers, fish etc.
What matters is for the spatula to have a long enough handle and be solidly made of good quality materials. It is the best for it to be high quality stainless steel with a solid wooden handle.
Another important thing is the shape of the handle, it has to lie well in the hand and ensure dexterity.
There are plenty of options on the market, but one of my favorites is Mercer Culinary Hell's Spatula.
It works best when grilling burgers thanks to its adequate width and mobility.
8) Vegetable/Food basket
It’s not just the food that can be grilled, grilled vegetables are delicious as well.
Sadly, due to the construction of grill grates, most vegetable can’t be grilled because they’re too tiny and fall through the grates.
A great solution in such situation is a special basket that makes it possible to grill small food, preventing it from falling inside the grill.
For that purpose, I use Weber Deluxe Grilling Basket.
The adequate construction ensures free air flow through the small vents, making direct cooking possible.
Remember that you can use this basket to grill not only vegetables but also very finely sliced pieces of meat.
A huge advantage is the ability to wash baskets of this type in a dishwasher or a sink.
9 ) Griddle for existing grills
Are you in a mood for grilling something completely different?
A griddle makes it possible to prepare completely different things compared to standard grilling.
The flat surface makes it possible to fry pancakes, small vegetables, eggs and most of foods perfectly known from regular grills.
It’s an interesting variation of regular grilling, griddle grilling provides new possibilities and introduces a lot of interesting things into the menu.
You can prepare different types of food besides regular meat.
Standing out in this category is Little Griddle Sizzle-Q SQ180, or a steel griddle.
Solidly made of very high quality steel, it guarantees durability and effectiveness.
10 ) Grill Brush
Once you’ve made a mess, it’s time to clean up after yourself, leaving the grill and especially the grill grates in the best possible condition.
The post-cooking cleanup is an integral element of grilling.
The accumulating grease and food remains stick to the grill grates. If you don’t remove the stains, you have to be aware that it will impact the food’s flavor and the comfort level during the next cooking.
It’s not about the visual aspects, what matters is the food’s flavor, comfort and safety.
Dirty grill grates are a cause of much more frequent flare-ups, sticking food and bad food taste (flavor/smell of burned food etc).
Cleaning isn’t anything difficult, which is why I encourage you to buy a decent brush (such as Kona 360° Clean Grill Brush) and keep it clean after each cooking.
Good habits will result in this chore not being annoying to you and in the grill always being in a perfect condition.
Of course the list could be much longer, but I only limited myself to the accessories that I use personally.
These are the accessories I can’t imagine grilling without. Most of them are not obligatory, but they really improve the cooking comfort, making it possible to achieve much better results.