Essential Grilling Tools for the New Pitmaster

bbq toolkit

To craft the perfect barbecue experience, you need more than culinary skills and quality ingredients; you need the right gear at your fingertips. The aim of this guide is to recommend you a list of the essential grilling tools, spotlighting those indispensable instruments that boost your grilling prowess. From searing steaks and smoking brisket to charring vegetables, the leap from good to great often hinges on the tools you wield. Our curated list aims to improve your grilling and BBQ technique and the flavors coming off your grill. Let’s explore the tools every pitmaster and backyard grill enthusiast must have, turning every cookout into a culinary adventure.

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When it comes to grilling, precision is key, and there’s no tool more vital to achieving perfectly cooked meats than a reliable thermometer. The right thermometer takes the guesswork out of grilling, ensuring that whether you’re aiming for a rare steak or a well-done chicken breast, your food is always cooked safely and to your exact preference.

Thermometers come in various forms, each suited to different grilling needs. From instant-read thermometers that provide quick temperature checks, to leave-in probe thermometers that monitor your food’s temperature throughout the cooking process, there’s an option for every type of pitmaster.

Benefits of Using a Thermometer:

  • Safety: First and foremost, thermometers ensure that meat reaches a safe internal temperature, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses.
  • Consistency: They take the guesswork out of cooking, helping you achieve the perfect doneness every time, which is crucial for hosting and impressing your guests.
  • Versatility: Whether you’re grilling thick cuts of meat, delicate fish, or even baking, a good thermometer can be used across a variety of cooking methods.
  • Efficiency: By knowing exactly when your food has reached its ideal temperature, you can avoid overcooking, which not only saves time but also preserves the quality of your ingredients.

Investing in a high-quality thermometer can transform your grilling experience, elevating your culinary creations from good to great. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a weekend warrior, understanding the different types of thermometers available and their specific uses can significantly enhance your grilling game. Let’s explore some top picks in the thermometer category, each designed to make your next barbecue session both stress-free and delicious.

Lavatools Javelin Thermometer

Atlanta Grill Company // YouTube

The Lavatools Javelin Thermometer is your go-to for quick, accurate readings without breaking the bank. Highly regarded for its efficiency and reliability, the Javelin is a favorite among both novice and experienced grillers. Its sleek design and easy-to-read display make it a practical addition to any grilling toolkit, ensuring your meats reach the perfect temperature every time.

  • Fast Readings: Delivers precise temperature readings in just 3-4 seconds, so you’re not left guessing.
  • Accuracy: With an accuracy of ±0.9°F, it ensures your meats are perfectly cooked to your desired doneness.
  • Easy to Use: Features a simple, user-friendly design with a large display for quick temperature readings at a glance.
  • Compact and Durable: Its compact size and robust construction make it easy to carry and durable enough to withstand the rigors of grilling.
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Meater Thermometer

MEATER // YouTube

Elevate your grilling game with the Meater Thermometer, the epitome of sophistication in the world of grilling tech. Favoured by BBQ and grilling content creators for its innovative features, this standout choice offers a truly wireless experience, allowing you to monitor your cooks from a distance with unparalleled ease. Its sleek design and advanced technology, including smartphone integration and dual temperature sensors, make it a game-changer for the discerning pitmaster. The Meater’s completely wireless setup, long Bluetooth range, and ability to measure both internal and ambient temperatures simultaneously ensure your grilling results are perfect every time.

  • Completely Wireless: The first truly wireless smart meat thermometer, eliminating the fuss of wires and offering freedom to monitor your cook from anywhere.
  • Smartphone Integration: Pairs with the Meater app to provide real-time temperature monitoring, cooking notifications, and a suite of cooking tools at your fingertips.
  • Dual Temperature Sensors: Measures both the internal meat temperature and the ambient temperature simultaneously for perfect results every time.
  • Long Range: Offers a Bluetooth range of up to 165 feet, so you can keep track of your cooking no matter where you are in the house or yard.

The Meater thermometer comes in both a 1-probe variant and a 4-probe variant. Both variants are linked below:

  • 1-Probe Version
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  • 4-Probe Version
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Tongs and Spatulas

man holding grilling tongs and spatula

Tongs and grill spatulas are the unsung heroes of the barbecue world, acting as the essential extensions of the pitmaster’s hands. These tools are not just about flipping burgers and turning sausages; they’re about precision, control, and safety at the grill. A good pair of tongs offers a firm grip on food, while a spatula’s wide surface is perfect for lifting and flipping everything from delicate fish fillets to hearty steaks.

Choosing the right tongs and spatula can make all the difference in your grilling experience. Tongs should have a comfortable grip and be long enough to keep your hands away from the heat, yet provide precise control over your food. A spatula, on the other hand, should have a thin, wide blade for easy sliding under food and be sturdy enough to handle heavier items without bending.

Why Tongs and Spatulas are Essential:

  • Precision Handling: They provide the control needed to flip, turn, and move food with ease, ensuring every piece is cooked to perfection.
  • Safety: Long handles keep your hands safe from the grill’s high temperatures, preventing burns.
  • Versatility: From delicate vegetables to thick cuts of meat, these tools can handle a wide range of foods, making them versatile additions to your grilling arsenal.
  • Durability: Made from materials like stainless steel, these tools are designed to last, resisting rust and corrosion even under harsh grilling conditions.

Having a set of high-quality tongs and a spatula at your grill side means you’re prepared for any cooking challenge, ensuring your food is not only delicious but also safely and expertly handled. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or just starting out, investing in these essential tools will elevate your grilling game to new heights.

Blackstone Tongs

Elevate your outdoor cooking experience with the Blackstone 5228 Tongs, designed for precision and durability. These high-quality stainless steel tongs are an indispensable part of your grilling toolkit, perfect for expertly handling a variety of foods on the griddle or grill. With a comfortable grip and balanced design, they provide the control and versatility needed for flipping burgers, turning veggies, or serving up your grilled masterpieces.

  • Durable Stainless Steel: Crafted for longevity and resistance to rust and corrosion.
  • Ergonomic Grip: Designed for comfort and control, ensuring precise maneuvering.
  • Locking Mechanism: Features a convenient locking system for easy storage and safety.
  • Versatile Use: Ideal for a wide range of grilling tasks, from delicate to hearty foods.
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Char-Broil Comfort Grip Spatula

America’s Test Kitchen // YouTube

The Kingsford Stainless Steel Spatula is a testament to both form and function, blending elegance with practicality for the modern griller. Constructed with high-quality stainless steel, this spatula is designed to last, making it an essential tool for anyone serious about their barbecue. Its wide, flat head and ergonomic handle provide the perfect combination of control and comfort, allowing you to effortlessly flip burgers, transfer grilled vegetables, and handle delicate fish with precision.

  • High-Quality Material: Made from durable stainless steel for long-lasting use and resistance to rust.
  • Ergonomic Handle: Ensures a comfortable, secure grip for easy flipping and turning.
  • Wide Head: Offers a large surface area for handling a variety of foods with ease.
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OXO Good Grips Grilling Tools Set

OXO // YouTube

If you’re in the market for a comprehensive solution to your grilling needs, the OXO Good Grips Grilling Tools Set is the choice to make. This set combines the renowned ergonomic design and durability OXO is known for, providing you with the ultimate pair of tools for any grilling task. Featuring both tongs and a turner, crafted with high-quality stainless steel and equipped with soft, non-slip handles, this set ensures comfort and control at the grill.

  • Comprehensive Set: Includes both tongs and a turner, covering all your basic grilling needs with quality tools.
  • Ergonomic Handles: Soft, non-slip grips provide comfort and control, even when your hands are wet or greasy.
  • Durable Construction: Made with high-quality stainless steel for lasting durability and strength against the rigors of grilling.
  • Easy to Clean: Both tools are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze after a long day of grilling.
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Aluminum Foil

close-up photo of aluminum foil

Aluminum foil is an unsung hero in the realm of grilling and cooking, offering a versatile and practical solution for a myriad of culinary applications. This kitchen staple transcends its simple appearance, becoming an invaluable asset for both the casual home cook and the seasoned grill master. From wrapping veggies for a smoky roast to covering meats for retaining moisture and flavor, aluminum foil is a testament to utility and simplicity in the culinary world.

Key Uses and Benefits:

  • Heat Distribution: Aluminum foil ensures even cooking, reflecting heat and locking in flavors and juices for delicious results.
  • Versatility: Perfect for grilling, baking, roasting, and even storing leftovers, aluminum foil is adaptable to virtually any cooking scenario.
  • Convenience: Easy to mold and fold, it can be shaped to fit any dish or food item, providing a hassle-free cooking experience.
  • Cleanup Ease: It can dramatically reduce cleaning time by protecting surfaces and containing messes, making post-cooking cleanup a breeze.

Whether it’s creating tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs or preserving the freshness of your favorite veggies, aluminum foil stands as a cornerstone of efficient and effective cooking techniques. Its ability to transform the cooking process with minimal effort makes it a must-have in any kitchen or grill station, proving that sometimes the simplest tools are the most essential.

Reynold’s Heavy Duty Foil

When it comes to reliable and robust kitchen essentials, Reynold’s Heavy Duty Foil stands out as the trusted name in foils. Renowned for its superior strength and versatility, this heavy-duty foil is designed to tackle the most demanding cooking tasks, whether you’re wrapping brisket for slow cooking on the grill or creating that foil tent to rest your steaks. Unlike standard foil, Reynold’s Heavy Duty Foil is thicker and more durable, ensuring it can handle the heat without tearing or leaking, making it the go-to choice for serious cooks and grill masters.

  • Enhanced Durability: Its heavy-duty construction provides a stronger barrier, preventing tears and leaks better than standard foil.
  • Versatile Cooking: Ideal for grilling, roasting, and baking, it withstands high temperatures and locks in moisture and flavor.
  • Easy Cleanup: Offers an effortless cleanup process, saving time and keeping your grill or oven spotless.
  • Trusted Brand: Reynold’s is a name synonymous with quality, offering reliable performance that home cooks and professionals rely on.
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Decent Kitchen Knife

photo of a knife laying on a cutting board

A decent kitchen knife is not just a tool; it’s the heart of the kitchen. This essential piece of culinary equipment transcends its basic function, becoming an extension of the chef’s hand. Whether you’re dicing vegetables, slicing meats, or mincing herbs, a sharp, well-crafted knife can transform the cooking experience, offering precision, efficiency, and ease with every cut.

Investing in a decent kitchen knife means prioritizing quality and functionality. Look for knives made from high-grade steel that promise durability and longevity, with a comfortable handle that ensures stability and control. A good knife is versatile, capable of performing a wide range of tasks with minimal effort, making it indispensable in any kitchen.

Why a Decent Kitchen Knife is Essential:

  • Precision and Control: A sharp blade offers clean cuts, enhancing the texture and presentation of your dishes.
  • Efficiency: Reduces preparation time, allowing for a smoother, more enjoyable cooking process.
  • Versatility: Whether it’s chopping vegetables, slicing bread, or carving meat, a good knife adapts to various culinary tasks.
  • Longevity: Quality materials and construction mean a decent knife can last for years, even with daily use.

Choosing the right kitchen knife is a personal decision, reflecting your cooking style and needs. It’s an investment in your culinary journey, elevating not just the quality of your meals but also the pleasure of preparing them. With the right knife in hand, the kitchen transforms into a place of creativity and passion, where every slice and dice brings you closer to culinary perfection.

Victorinox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

ChefPanko // YouTube

The Victorinox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is a hallmark of affordability and excellence in the culinary world. This Swiss-made marvel is not just celebrated for its precision and quality; it has also been recognized for its outstanding value, earning accolades such as being named a top pick by America’s Test Kitchen for its exceptional balance of performance and price. Its high-carbon stainless steel blade ensures long-lasting sharpness and durability, making every slicing, dicing, and chopping task smooth and effortless.

  • Highly Recommended: Lauded as a top choice by America’s Test Kitchen, this knife stands out for its quality and affordability.
  • Swiss-Made Precision: Expertly crafted in Switzerland, offering unrivaled durability and cutting accuracy.
  • Ergonomic Handle: Features a non-slip, ergonomic handle for a comfortable and secure grip, minimizing hand fatigue.
  • Versatile Utility: Its versatility makes it ideal for a broad range of tasks, from precise vegetable chopping to effortlessly slicing meats.
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Wire Rack

photo of a wire rack sitting on a table

In the realm of grilling and BBQ, a wire rack emerges as an essential tool, transforming the way we cook and serve our favorite grilled dishes. This seemingly simple accessory offers a multitude of benefits, enhancing the grilling experience by improving air circulation for more evenly cooked meats and vegetables, and providing a convenient platform for letting those juicy steaks rest without losing their succulent flavors.

Key Benefits of Using a Wire Rack:

  • Improved Air Circulation: Elevates food off the grill surface, promoting better heat distribution and more consistent cooking, especially for delicate items that need gentle heat.
  • Enhanced Flavor Through Resting: A wire rack is perfect for resting meats post-grill, allowing juices to redistribute and ensuring every bite is as flavorful and tender as it should be.
  • Versatility on the Grill: Not just for cooling, a wire rack can be used to smoke cheeses, nuts, or to keep smaller items from falling through the grill grates.
  • Keeps Food Warm: Ideal for keeping cooked food warm while the rest of the meal finishes grilling, without overcooking or drying out.

A wire rack is not just an accessory; it’s a game-changer for BBQ enthusiasts looking to elevate their grilling game. Whether you’re smoking, resting, or simply trying to cook more evenly, incorporating a wire rack into your BBQ toolkit can significantly enhance the quality and enjoyment of your grilling endeavors.

Nordic Ware Naturals Tray and Rack Set

Elevate your BBQ and grilling game with the Nordic Ware Naturals Tray and Rack Set, expertly designed to bring versatility and efficiency to your outdoor cooking. Crafted from pure aluminum, this set ensures exceptional heat conductivity, making it perfect for everything from smoking meats to roasting vegetables over indirect heat. The sturdy, non-warping construction with an encapsulated steel rim stands up to the rigors of grill use, while the included rack serves as an invaluable tool for letting meat rest, cooling baked sides, or infusing smoke flavor into your favorite dishes.

  • Exceptional Heat Conductivity: Ideal for evenly smoking, roasting, or baking on the grill.
  • Grill-Safe Construction: Durable, non-warping design withstands high temperatures and indirect heat.
  • Multipurpose Rack: Enhances smoking, resting meat, or cooling dishes, directly on the grill.
  • BBQ Cleanup Ease: Simplifies post-grill cleanup, thanks to its nonstick surface and easy-to-clean design.

The Nordic Ware sets comes in two sizes:

  • Quarter Sheet (12.9” x 9.6”) (small enough to fit in a convection oven) amazon button
  • Half Sheet (17.9” x 12.9”) (for standard-sized oven use)
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Charcoal Starter

close-up photo of hot charcoals in a charcoal lighter

For the charcoal griller, igniting charcoal quickly and evenly is a cornerstone of successful grilling, and that’s where the chimney starter comes in. This indispensable tool for charcoal grill enthusiasts dramatically cuts down the time it takes to get your grill to the perfect temperature. By utilizing a chimney starter, you’re not just speeding up the heating process; you’re also enhancing the flavor of your food by eliminating the need for chemical-laden lighter fluids.

Chimney starters are designed to maximize airflow around the charcoal, ensuring a fast and uniform burn. They come in various sizes to accommodate different grilling needs, from intimate family dinners to large backyard bashes. With a chimney starter, you’re not only making your grilling process more efficient but also more eco-friendly.

Key Advantages of Using a Chimney Starter:

  • Efficiency: Provides a quick and reliable method to start your charcoal, significantly reducing the time it takes to heat up.
  • Flavor Preservation: Eliminates the need for chemical starters, ensuring the true flavor of your grilled foods shines through.
  • Consistency: Delivers even heat distribution, allowing for consistent cooking temperatures across your grill.
  • Eco-Friendly: Offers a natural alternative to chemical starters, contributing to a cleaner grilling experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice looking to improve your grilling game, incorporating a chimney starter into your toolkit can revolutionize the way you grill. It’s a simple yet effective solution to one of the most common grilling challenges, ensuring your charcoal is ready in no time, so you can focus on what really matters: cooking up delicious, flavorful food.

Weber Chimney Starter

Weber Asia // YouTube

The Weber Chimney Starter stands out as the quintessential tool for any charcoal grilling enthusiast. Known for its durability and efficient design, this chimney starter gets your charcoal glowing hot in minutes, ensuring a quick start to any barbecue session. Its ergonomic handle provides comfort and safety, while its clever design maximizes airflow for an even and consistent burn every time. This is the go-to choice for those seeking a hassle-free and effective way to ignite their charcoal.

  • Rapid Ignition: Quickly heats charcoal to grilling temperatures, reducing wait times.
  • Stay-Cool Handle: Safety first with a handle designed to stay cool, offering a comfortable grip when pouring hot coals.
  • Ergonomic Design: Features a comfortable handle, making it easy and safe to pour hot coals.
  • Durable Construction: Built to last, ensuring reliability and longevity for countless grilling adventures.
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