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7 Essential Tools for Summer Grilling

The exploding popularity of grilling and smoking has inspired a whole new generation of garage-based entrepreneurs to develop barbecue tools to enhance your outdoor experience. Some are ingenious. Some are clever. Some are useful. And some are a bit preposterous (cool, but preposterous!).

What tools do you really need for live-fire cooking? The list is actually a short one. Here are some of our favorite tools.

7 Essential Tools for Summer Grilling

1. Tongs

“Turn, don’t stab” is one of my grilling mantras. And for that, the best tool is a set of long handled, spring-loaded grill tongs. A BBQ fork pokes holes in the meat–best avoided when you can. I’m partial to tongs I invented called Lumatongs, which, have a two bright LED lights on one arm (removable) to illuminate the grill grate during an evening cook session.


2. Grill Brush

It’s something you do every time you light your grill and get it ready for grilling. And every time when you’re finished. Scour the grate with a stiff wire brush or scraper. When selecting a grill brush, choose one whose bristles are firmly anchored into a twisted wire armature, so they can’t pull loose and wind up in your food. For example, the Ultimate Grill Brush. Alternatively, pick up one of the wooden grill scrapers now available in grill stores these days. Avoid cheap brushes whose bristles fall out when they get wet.

3. Chimney Starter

Owners of charcoal and wood-burning grills can be ready to cook in just 15 to 20 minutes—about the same amount of time it takes to fire up a gas grill. Position a petroleum-based fire starter or crumpled newspaper underneath the unit, light, and the chimney starter does the rest. For a righteous, wood-enhanced fire, I like to fill the chimney starter with hardwood chunks.

Chimney Starter

4. Grilling Gloves

Grilling involves handling hot chimney starters, hot coals, and reaching across a hot grill grate. So you want a pair of sturdy insulated suede grill gloves. That are supple enough to preserve your dexterity. With sleeves that reach up to your elbows to protect your arms from the heat.

Suede Grilling Gloves

5. Thermometer

The question Steven is most often asked is probably, “How do I know when it’s done?” “Done,” of course, refers to hamburgers, steaks, pork shoulder, brisket, roast chicken, etc. It speaks not only to the aesthetics of barbecuing, but more importantly, to food safety. Invest in a reliable meat thermometer, preferably one with wireless connectivity so you can monitor what’s happening on your grill without hovering. Know your target temperature before you start your grill session.

Maverick Long Range Wireless Thermometer Set

6. Long-Handled Spatula

Talk about a substantial grilling tool! This oversized steel spatula with sleek pakkawood handle turns any food with ease. The sharp leading edge slides easily under food, while the holes in the spatula release steam to prevent sogginess. A built in bottle opener in the forged stainless steel handle makes it easy to always have a grilling beverage close at hand!

Stainless Steel Wide Spatula


7. Galvanized Steel Ash Can

If you’re a charcoal griller, it can be difficult to dispose of spent charcoal when you’re at home, or especially a tailgating or camping venue. This galvanized steel can is the ideal receptacle. Spent ashes can cool off while you enjoy the game, then be safely disposed of. Also great for keeping your charcoal dry.

Charcoal or Ash Can


What are YOUR essential tools for grilling? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, or the Barbecue Board!

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