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How many BBQ and grilling accessories could there be you ask? Well, you just might be surprised. They range from the essential, to the really cool. We will be taking a look at several of them and how useful they are. Any product images shown below are not an endorsement of any brand, but are there just to provide an example.
Here we will list and discuss some of the most important tools and accessories (besides the grill of course).
First up is the Thermometer. A good thermometer is quite possibly the most important thing you could get for all of your outdoor cooking. There are multiple types of thermometers that you can use.
There is the old standby instant-read thermometer. These come in both analog and digital. Which one you use is up to your personal preference. The biggest drawback to using one of these types of thermometer is that you have to open your grill to get a temperature reading from your food. This allows some of the heat (and smoke if your smoking it) to escape.
Then, there are several different types of wireless thermometer. You have the basic wireless thermometer that has a transmitter and receiver. Then there are Bluetooth thermometers as well as WiFi enabled ones as well. The Bluetooth and WiFi thermometers can sync up to your smartphone.
The great thing about a wireless thermometer is you can insert the probe into your food and leave it there throughout the cooking process and you can monitor the temperature without walking over to your grill or opening to let heat escape.
Another type of thermometer that is useful is one for your grill itself. If your grill or smoker doesn’t have one built in, consider buying one to help you maintain proper grill temps.
The second essential accessory is a Set of Utensils. I know, technically a set of utensils is more that one accessory, but they come in sets and no grillmaster/pitmaster would want to grill without them. Necessary utensils include a spatula, tongs, a barbecue fork, a grill brush, and a basting brush.
Next up is the Charcoal Chimney. The ability to light your charcoal with using lighter fluid and getting that chemical taste in your food is of the utmost import when grilling. I mean why grill if it isn’t going to taste good? If you are not familiar with what a charcoal chimney is, check out our post How to Light a Charcoal Grill.
The last of our essentials is a pair of Heat Resistant Gloves. You are going to be working with fire and hot metals and safety is extremely important. Therefore, a good pair of heat-resistant gloves or mitts are vital to prevent burns.
The Very Useful
The first accessory in our useful category is the Smoker Box. I probably could have put this in the essentials category as it is needed if you want to smoke meat in a gas grill. But, I chose to put it in this category as it isn’t needed if you are using a charcoal grill or smoker. One thing to note is that some gas grills come with them already installed.
For our next item, Claws! BBQ claws are not only useful, but they fall into the cool category too! These claws have multiple uses, they can be used for lifting and moving meat as well as pulling and shredding meat. They are perfect for when you want to make pulled pork.
The old standby, Aprons. These don’t fall into the essential category, but what contributes to the classic image of someone grilling than the BBQ apron? They come in a variety of styles and the most useful ones have pockets and holsters for various grilling implements.
Racks and Baskets. There is a wide assortment of racks and baskets out there that can make you grilling and smoking easier. They range from just a basic rack to put your food on to specialty racks for holding ribs, or roasting peppers. You can even get a S’mores grilling rack!
Skewers. Everybody loves kabobs right? Skewers come in both metal and wood. Metal skewers last longer, but they get quite hot and can be difficult to handle without burning yourself. Wood skewers (usually bamboo) need to be soaked before cooking or the exposed ends will burn off.
Grill Lights. These are quite helpful if you find your self grilling past sundown. These lights attach to your grill in one fashion or another and shed light on what you are doing.
There are some unusual accessories as well.
The Himalayan Salt Plate. This unusual plate starts off our section. It is cut from pink Himalayan salt and serving food on it adds a subtle salt flavor to the foods served on it. They can be used hot or cold and are easy to clean.
BBQ Branding Irons. Exactly what they sound like, they are branding irons so you can put your mark on the food you cook. You can find these in various standard designs or order custom ones made just for you.
Grill Cleaning Robot. Wait! What? Yes they actually have a robot for cleaning your grill. They have them for your floor, so why not the grill right? Personally, I have never used one of these and probably never will since it isn’t that hard to clean your grill with a grill brush, but hey if you’re that into robots, knock your servos off!
Some Last Thoughts
As you can see, there are a wide variety of accessories that can make your grilling life easier. At the very least you should make sure you have a thermometer. Proper meat temperature is not only important for flavor, it’s important to your health too.
Do you have any favorite accessories not listed here? Or maybe have questions or comments about the ones in this article? Please feel free to comment below!