Skip to content
Home » The Best Grill Tools and Accessories

The Best Grill Tools and Accessories

When you have a set of grill equipment that are up to the task of grilling, you’ll have a more enjoyable experience and better outcomes. Many of them, however, are weak, poorly constructed, or gimmicky in some way. They aren’t really useful. More than 90 different equipment, ranging from tongs to thermometers to chimney starters, were tested over the course of 65 hours of study and interviews with grilling professionals in order to determine the finest. Check out our recommendations to the finest charcoal, gas, and portable grills if you’re also looking for a barbecue.

In our most recent round of testing, we brought together the following members of our staff to form a grilling boot camp in the backyard.

On nine different barbecues, we cooked over a hundred burgers, twenty chickens, and ten pounds of veggies to see how well these products performed.

This tutorial does not include a grilling set. Tools in these sets are often of low quality and poorly constructed, despite their widespread use. It’s our opinion that the best strategy is to get exactly what you need and invest in high-quality tools instead of wasting time and money on unnecessary extras.

These are the greatest grilling equipment we’ve tested

1. Spatula: Mercer Hell’s Handle Large Fish Turner

  Get it now on

When it comes to flipping more than 100 burger patties, the Mercer Hell’s Handle Large Fish Turner is our favorite grill spatula since it’s both flexible and strong. Comfortable to grasp thanks to a broad and super-heat-resistant plastic handle. We’ve always regarded fish turners to be the most adaptable spatulas, and this enormous version is no exception. Sam Sifton exclaimed, “Holy cow, it’s a terrific tool” when he saw the Hell’s Handle spatula in action during our testing.

With a fine edge, a sturdy feel, and just the proper amount of give, the Hell’s Handle’s stainless steel blade glided effortlessly beneath our burger patties with little resistance. Sifton remarked that the Hell’s Handle was “a touch more flexible than [the competitors] in the essential first entrance of the spatula beneath the meal” after testing out 10 other spatulas. A smooth follow-through helps remove the food off the grill, as a consequence. With the spatula’s tapered form, we were able to effortlessly glide between burgers on the grill to accomplish a clean flip. Smaller rectangular turners were able to perform better in our testing than the larger rectangular turners.

Using the Hell’s Handle to transport entire birds from the grill to a chopping board is still possible.

Hell’s Handle spatula’s broad handle felt secure in the hand and gave greater leverage than other spatulas on the market. Polypropylene handles can resist temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a company spokeswoman. A lifetime limited warranty is included as well.

In order to remove the heaviest of burgers off the grill, we choose the Winco TN719 Blade Hamburger Turner. When used on a griddle, this powerful turner smashes burgers Shake Shack-style in a matter of seconds.

Winco TN249 Blade Flexible Turner, for example, had a more stiff design and had a harder time separating from the grill cleanly. Though we found the Mercer Hell’s Handle Square Edge Turner to have an excellent cutting edge and a strong blade during our testing, its large size made it difficult to maneuver around other grillers.

Some of the most common designs for home grill spatulas were found to be lacking in stiffness, length, and handle angle. For example, the OXO Good Grips 16″ Grilling Turner With Serrated Edge offered no flexibility and had long, awkwardly angled handles that made flipping burger patties more challenging compared with our new top pick.

2. Tongs: Winco UT-16HT Extra Heavyweight Utility Tongs

  Get it now on

We prefer the Winco UT-16HT Extra Heavyweight Utility Tongs because they’re long enough to keep your hands away from the flames when grilling on a scorching hot barbecue. As far as Sam Sifton was concerned, they were “perfect.” As an added benefit, these tongs are the most cheap of the kinds we examined. Many other tongs are excessively rigid and quickly weary your hands, but the Winco tongs have a nice “spread” when open and the spring offers just enough resistance so your hands don’t get tired while grilling for a crowd. The narrow angle of the Winco model’s scalloped heads gave the best control when catching thin asparagus stalks or slippery chicken pieces covered in sauce among the tongs we examined. The wide-angled heads of several rivals, on the other hand, make it difficult to pick up tiny objects. The 16-inch is your classic summer grilling go-to for Sifton, who says, “I use them interchangeably indoors and outdoors.” Tongs from Winco are made of heavy-duty stainless steel and are dishwasher safe, making them ideal for handling big chunks of meat.

They lack a ring to hang them on and a lock to keep them safe while not in use.

Our top option, the OXO Good Grips 16′′ Grilling Tongs, with a hanging loop and locking tongs. You may hang the pair on a grill side table with the large hanging loop thanks to the locking mechanism. It was simple for us to shut even though OXO’s tongs had a broad spread, the largest among the tongs we tested, and all of our testers felt this to be a burden. When you’re preparing a grill’s worth of food, hand tiredness may be a serious problem.

As a result, we lost a few asparagus during our testing with the OXO tongs since the scalloped heads aren’t as neatly oriented as those on our top selection. Tongs from the Good Grips collection from OXO have the same cushioned grips. Sam Sifton, one of our testers, raised worries about the feature’s long-term viability, which caused our reviewers to raise the issue “Rubber and high temperatures should never be spoken together. But the rubber is likely to wear out first, so it’s a good pair.” (Actually, the OXO tongs are made of a thermoplastic elastomer, which is a combination of plastic and rubber.)

3. Grill-grate brush: Best BBQ Grill Brush

  Get it now on

Cleaning your grill’s grate is the most effective technique to prevent food from adhering to it. Caramelized sauce and charred food fragments left on the grate stick to the food, making a clean release difficult. A filthy barbecue is a no-go for anybody who enjoys cooking. It was the fastest in our testing to remove sauce and carbonized pieces when using the Best BBQ Grill Brush. The only difference between this grill brush and our previous recommendation, the Qually United grill brush, is the color of the handle.

Because of its three wire bristle rows, the Best Grill Brush covered a large amount of space with each stroke, as well as being very durable. The steel bristles of the Best remained straight and undamaged, in contrast to rival brushes’ coiled metal pads. For this reason and because of its 10-inch plastic handle, it was our favorite of the brushes and scrapers we tried.

Wire grill brushes arouse some trepidation, as we should have said before. Wires from grill brushes have caused nonfatal injuries, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, despite the low number of cases, the risk is worth mentioning

Grill brushes only loosen carbonized food and soot; they don’t clean the grate. Keep that in mind when using them. As soon as you’ve scraped the preheated grill, wipe a moist cloth over the grates to remove any leftover debris, including potential wayward wires. Also, replace your brush if it shows signs of wear and tear.

  Get it now on

The Woody Shovel’s handle has a hole in it, compared to The Great Scrape’s Woody Paddle‘s solid grip. Although the pricing is somewhat more, we believe its improved ergonomic design helped us maintain a steady grasp. The Woody Paddle is a decent alternative if you’re looking to save some money and don’t mind sacrificing the reinforced handle.

Woody Shovel’s lovely burned wood scent is a perk of using it instead of a wire brush for cleaning. You can get away with just one Woody Shovel for a grill if you just have one; if you have numerous grills, you’ll need a separate Great Scrape tool for each, which may become pricey. We haven’t seen any reports of the Woody Shovel’s scraping powers deteriorating with time, so we plan to put it to the test throughout the summer.

The Great Scrape’s Woody Shovel is our preferred wire-free grate-cleaning alternative if you’re determined to avoid using wire brushes. It features a straight tapering edge that may be branded into the barbecue grates while the grill is still hot. Both the Weber Spirit E-310 and the Weber Genesis II E-310 had similar grates, so we used the Woody Shovel on both, and it worked well to remove both the sticky sauce and the burnt chunks.

Sam Sifton called the GrillFloss his “secret weapon for summer grilling” since it’s more than just a grill-grate scraper. Metal pole with a little, circular hook at the end is all that the GrillFloss has to offer. There are two types of grates on charcoal grills: rod-style and flat cast-iron. The rod-style grate can be scraped clean on all sides using this hook; the flat cast-iron grate can’t be cleaned with this hook. With the hook, it’s easy to move a hot grate on and off the grill, and the side hinges may be opened to add extra charcoal. And if the hook ever breaks, a new one will just cost a few dollars. For kicking hot coals about the firebox, the GrillFloss is a great alternative to using tongs, which will ultimately come into contact with your meal. If you’re going to use the GrillFloss to clean your grill grates, we recommend using one of our other grill brushes to speed things up.

The Tool Wizard Barbecue Brush, which has interchangeable woven wire pads, was one of the other grill brushes we tried and eliminated. When we attempted to scrape away tough problems with the scour pads, they unraveled rapidly and came free from the heads. In comparison to our top selection, the Weber 6493 3-Sided Grill Brush was unable to provide the same level of stability or coverage. The Bayou Classic Grill Scraper was heavy and uncomfortable to wield, and the hook wasn’t as defined as the GrillFloss’s, so it didn’t clean our grates as well.

4. Sheet pans: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet

  Get it now on

The idea of using a sheet pan while grilling isn’t one that immediately springs to mind, but it’s essential if you want to move food from one place to another. The Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet (as well as the Baker’s Quarter Sheet) is a long-time favorite of ours since it is sturdy and very handy. When you’re working rapidly over a grill, it’s crucial to have a rim that’s comfortable and simple to grip with one hand. The 18-gauge uncoated aluminum structure was able to withstand temperatures up to 500 °F without warping in our testing.

Nordic Ware’s sheet pan performs as well as pans that are twice the price. You’ll want to stock up on baker’s sheets because of their usefulness in the kitchen and on the grill. According to Sam Sifton, who spoke to us throughout our trials, “‘If you have one, you need another.’ is Melissa Clark’s fantastic remark regarding sheet pans. ‘You need a third if you have two.'” When hosting dinner parties and large cookouts, Wirecutter staff writer Lesley Stockton always requires more plates than she has at home.

5. Chimney starter: Weber Rapidfire

  Get it now on

When it comes to starting a fire, nothing beats the convenience and speed of a chimney starter, which does not need the use of noxious lighter fluid. Our top pick is the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter because it has a substantial size, is easy to use and is available often at a reasonable price. There is a 6-quart capacity, or around 90 briquets, in the Weber chimney starter’s main chamber, which is 9 by 734 inches. It turns out that a charcoal grill can cook 12 burgers and still have time left over for further cooking. In the lighting chamber, there is space for a huge wad of newspaper, which is our favourite igniting medium, with wide vents for ventilation.

Using the Weber Rapidfire, you can safely transfer hot coals to your grill. There are two handles: one fixed with a heat-resistant plastic grip, and the other swinging with a wire grip that gives you more control and stability while dumping the hot coals. The Rapidfire was the only model to provide all of these capabilities at a cheap price with widespread availability, even if the design element isn’t unique to Weber. Most major merchants including Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart carry this Weber brand of chimney starter, which is priced between $10 and $60 but is often found for about $15.

6. Basting brush: OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Basting Brush

  Get it now on

No matter what you’re grilling, whether it’s chicken or ribs, you’ll need a basting brush that won’t lose its brilliance at high heat. The OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Basting Brush comes out on top after evaluating four other types. To avoid stray bristles on your food, the silicone bristles on the OXO brush are heat-resistant to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (as most natural-fiber pastry brushes will). Dishwasher-safe, too, is the brush.

In addition to the flat perforated bristles found in the brush’s core, it contains silicone outside bristles. We didn’t have to keep reapplying sauce since they contained plenty in total. The OXO brush’s entire set of bristles was exactly the appropriate amount of flexible to produce a uniform coating of barbecue sauce on the top of the meat without being too stiff or unstable. We couldn’t discover any other silicone brushes with this unique combination-bristle design.

Our hands were safe from the grill even though this brush’s handle was shorter than those of some of the other brushes we examined. Scooping big quantities of sauce and simple basting were made possible by the large OXO handle’s small curve at the base.

We also tested the small OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting Brush, but it has a shorter handle than our main pick and brought our hands too close to the high heat of the grill.

7. Vegetable basket: Grillaholics Grill Basket

  Get it now on

When it comes to grilling chopped veggies, we believe the Grillaholics Grill Basket is the most cost-effective solution. The Grillaholics basket’s grape tomatoes, chopped zucchini, and eggplant had more color and developed more taste than the veggies we tested with the competitors. As a result, this basket’s bigger holes allow for improved heat and air circulation, as well as more direct contact between the grill and the veggies within.

Vegetables steamed more quickly when they had less direct contact with the grill. We expect the stainless steel Grillaholics basket to last longer than the nonstick Williams-Sonoma pan in our tests because of its higher resistance to intense heat. Cleaning is a breeze with the Grillaholics basket in the dishwasher. The curved handles on the Grillaholics basket were also a plus since they made moving the pan around the grill with tongs much simpler.

  Get it now on

Alternatively, the Cave Tools Vegetable Grill Basket is an excellent alternative if the first option isn’t available for purchase. Because its holes are thinner, this type doesn’t give as much contact with the grill grate as our top option but is almost equivalent in performance.

8. Grilling gloves: US Forge 400 Welding Gloves

  Get it now on

Welding gloves made of suede or split-leather are recommended by barbecue professionals as the best method to keep hands safe from the grill’s ambient heat. In terms of heat resistance, dexterity, and cost, we believe the split leather US Forge 400 Welding Gloves are the greatest option. These gloves provide higher heat protection than Nomex or silicone, and better dexterity than conventional kitchen oven mitts, than the normal kitchen oven mitt. We’ve used the US Forge gloves for years with sooty grill components and extreme heat, so we’re confident in stating they’ll keep you safe.

The gloves are heat resistant, but not heatproof, so keep that in mind while using them in a hot environment. Putting your hands in a hot coal bed or holding a piece of searing metal doesn’t mean you won’t feel the heat. For moving and grabbing metal grill baskets and grates, you’ll need additional protection. As an alternative to gloves, we recommend utilizing inexpensive terry bar mops or tongs to provide a safe grip and greater heat shield. Grilling gloves shield your hands from the heat of the firebox, the grates, and the hot coals spat out of a chimney starter while you’re working in or near the fire.

Lock-stitching, a comfortable cotton lining, and a strong top-grain leather exterior make the US Forge gloves sturdy enough to withstand years of usage. In addition, they’re fire-resistant and pleasant. The cotton inside adds warmth, protects your hands from the stitching of the gloves, and aids in perspiration removal. Tongs, spatulas, and basting brushes may be gripped more securely with these five-fingered gloves, which are more nimble than oven mitts. US Forge gloves are the most affordable and readily accessible welding gloves we could discover, even if other gloves have comparable qualities.

Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn of shared these suggestions for cleaning suede or leather grilling gloves: To remove dried oil and sauces, either wash them with soap and water or wait for them to dry completely before brushing them off.

Weber 6472 Barbecue Mitt, San Jamar Kool-Tek Conventional Oven Mitt, and ‘Ove’ Glove Hot Surface Handler were a few of the other gloves we put through their paces. These aren’t any more heat-resistant than the one we chose. Because mitts and woven-fiber gloves allow liquids to infiltrate, their thermal protection is compromised.

9. Slow ’N Sear Deluxe

  Get it now on

The success of the Weber kettle grill has spawned a slew of third-party innovations—essentially, techniques to “hack your Weber” in order to expand its capabilities. We can understand why it’s a favorite among charcoal fans, despite the fact that it’s not a necessary.

Smoking and high-heat searing have never been easier thanks to the Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe accessory for kettle grills. For easy access from the hinged cooking grate, this half-moon charcoal basket has an inbuilt reservoir holding 1 quart of water. For salsa, we tried the Slow ‘N Sear over direct heat for charring veggies, as well as indirect cooking and smoking techniques (sear). Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn, one of the most prominent voices in the world of professional grilling, says the Slow ‘N Sear “the single finest attachment for the Weber kettle ever.” Original version, the Slow ‘N Sear Plus, has now been discontinued and replaced with an upgraded version that has a detachable water reservoir and different-shaped holes in the bottom grid that the manufacturer believes would help prevent warping. Despite the fact that we haven’t had a chance to test the new version, we believe it will perform just as well as the Plus.

In our experiments, we employed the Slow ‘N Sear in a variety of ways. Baby back ribs were the first to be prepared using the “quick” technique. There were hot coals from the chimney starter, peach-wood pieces on top, and a water reservoir in this basket we made. About the 112-hour point, we added more hot coals to keep the temperature around 325 °F for the three-hour cooking period. They were succulent, juicy, and flavorful, all at the same time.

We attempted the “low and slow” approach on St. Louis–style ribs for the second time. We didn’t use hot coals in the Slow ‘N Sear; instead, we lighted a dozen briquets at one end. The remainder of the basket was filled with unlit coals, and the peach-wood pieces were placed on top before water was put to the reservoir. While cooking, coals and wood charred from end to end, forming an incandescent cigar. The St. Louis ribs were juicy and deliciously seared on the ends after four hours at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

After that, we used the Slow ‘N Sear’s high-heat “sear” setting to finish the meal. Typically, a fire-roasted salsa is made by roasting veggies in a hot cast iron pan beneath the broiler of your oven. We experimented with the Slow ‘N Sear to see if we could get the same or better taste and textural results on the grill. Over red-hot coals, we burned tomatoes and onions before adding a foil bag of garlic and olive oil to the indirect zone. To finish cooking the veggies, we flipped them over and placed them on a metal sizzling plate in the indirect zone of the grill. After that, we put everything in a Vitamix and gave it a good whirl (with a large handful of fresh cilantro and salt to taste). There’s no need to convert your kitchen into a sweatbox with a hot oven to get the finest salsa ever.

As Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn of refers to it, “searing in the back,” the Slow ‘N Sear is a great tool for “reverse searing.” This technique, which is best suited for thick steaks, entails cooking the meat indirectly until it reaches an internal temperature that is 15 degrees below your goal temperature before scorching it over hot coals to get a crisp exterior.

The Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe isn’t exactly cheap at $100. However, if you’re looking for an easy solution to improve the smoking and searing capabilities of your kettle grill, this is an option to explore. As the New York Times’ Sam Sifton noted, you may “use three bricks” if you’re just doing indirect cooking (they cost about 60 cents each) for less-expensive and less-controllable choices, such as Weber’s simple grill baskets. In addition to a water reservoir, the Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe provides precise heat control from the lowest to the highest temperature settings, long cook durations on a single load of coal, and quick setup and cleaning. Those features may be worth the money if you’re a frequent griller and smoker.