Summer might be drawing to a close, but there is still plenty of grilling time stretching ahead of you.
Whether you’re brand new to grilling at home or a much more experienced grill artist, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of tools and accessories to make your experience run as smoothly as possible.
One of the most common questions we’re asked here at Hempen Hill BBQ is why can’t you just use your regular kitchen utensils for grilling.
Firstly, these utensils are not necessarily designed to keep your hands at a safe distance from the grill or to stay cool. With dedicated grill tools, these elements are accounted for.
The following grill tools should be considered absolute essentials:
If you become more committed to grilling and prepared to invest a little more in widening your repertoire, you could also consider a chimney starter, a temperature probe, and a char basket of some nature.
When it comes to shopping for accessories, you need to decide whether to accumulate your tools over time, or whether to invest in a comprehensive set. Many smaller sets offer you the basics of a brush, spatula, fork, and tongs. These usually offer great value and eliminate the inclusion of unnecessary tools.
At the upper end, you’ll find sets with up to 28 tools in, ideal for covering all conceivable bases with a single value-packed set.
You should consider build quality when you’re buying rather than purely looking at the bottom line. This is doubly important if you grill frequently. Buying the best tools once will save you from needing to constantly replace sub-par accessories that let you down ahead of time.
When it comes to materials for grill tools, there is really no better option than stainless steel. This won’t rust or corrode, and you’ll get years of faithful service from this heat-resistant material.
The best advice we can give you when shopping for grill tools and accessories is not to do this on a whim. Instead, take the time in advance to plan what tool you need and what tools you’ll actually use. If you simply buy blind, or buy based on the number of tools in the set, you’re likely to end up with lots of them unused.
Now, we’ll round out today with some of the most frequently asked questions about grill accessories, so if you have any remaining concerns, check for the responses down below.
Now, though, it’s time to explore our huge cross section of the 20 best grill tools and accessories out there.
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The 20 Best Grill Tools and Accessories
- Tools: Spatula, fork, tongs, glove
- Materials: Stainless steel and rubber
- Dimensions: 18.6 x 4.7 x 3 inches
First up in today’s comprehensive lineup of the best grill tools and accessories comes from kitchenware specialist Cuisinart.
This 4-piece set gives you all the key grilling essentials in one handy kit.
The spatula is extra-wide and ideal for flipping your burgers and steaks. This features a serrated edge and a toothed edge, and there’s even a bottle opener baked in.
Tongs are ergonomically curved and pack sharp teeth to streamline gripping your sirloin steaks.
Test the doneness of your meat with the fork and take advantage of the oven mitt throughout grilling.
All of these tools are finished in stainless steel with rubber handles that are highly resistant to heat.
The only real gripe in a sea of positive user reviews concerns the sizing of the glove. Several users report the fit being too tight for larger hands.
Overall, you get all main bases covered here in a compact and no-nonsense set from a brand you can trust. All that remains is to choose which of the vibrant colorways best coordinates with your kitchen.
- Tools: Grill brush
- Materials: Stainless steel and plastic
- Dimensions: 18 x 4 x 10 inches
When you’re shopping for grill brushes, you’ll find Kona is a dominant presence, and with just cause.
This stainless steel and plastic brush promotes 360-degree cleaning with the innovative and bristle-free design.
The lack of bristles is a plus point as bristles can easily detach, ending up on your grill and ultimately in your food.
Despite the absence of bristles, cleaning is quick and efficient thanks to the innovative design of this brush. You’ll find you quickly strip away food splatter without needing to put in too much physical effort.
Despite being marketed as super-tough, we found a number of complaints from users about the flimsiness of this brush, so keep your expectations reasonable. The 5-year limited warranty should ease any concerns about lifespan, though.
Safe for use on all types of grill, including infrared and ceramic, this is one of the most versatile grill brushes you’ll find, and it makes a neat addition to any set of BBQ supplies.
- Tools: Tongs
- Materials: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 16 x 1.5 x 1.13 inches
Next up in our showcase of the best grill tools and accessories comes from the inimitable Winco, so what do you get for your money here?
Unlike some of the more complete sets of accessories and tools we review today, here you get nothing but an excellent set of tongs.
The spring-loaded mechanism streamlines operation, making these ideal even if you have arthritis or struggle with mobility in your hands.
Made from hardwearing and rust-resistant stainless steel, you should get plenty of faithful service from these tongs.
The 16-inch tongs are sized ideally for handling items on a scorching grill. Keep your fingers well away from the business end, and ensure it doesn’t come tumbling onto the floor thanks to the tight grip you can exert on your food using these tongs.If you already have a decent selectin of grill accessories and you simply need to upgrade your tongs, this is a cost-effective way to do that without buying a bunch of extras you don’t want or need.
- Tools: 2 x tongs
- Materials: Stainless steel and oak wood
- Dimensions: 13.9 x 4.2 x 1.9 inches
If you frequently host larger cookouts, you can never have too many tongs. This pocket-friendly set of 2 tongs will set you up without forcing you to dig too deep.
The stainless steel and oak build means you’ll get years of use out of these things.
The properties of oak mean the handles will stay cool to the touch and you shouldn’t need to wear oven mitts when you’re using the Grillhogs.
The edges of the tongs are scalloped so you’ll tightly grip all your grilled treats and prevent any spillage when you’re serving.
When the tongs are not in use, they lock safely shut to stop any accidents with kiddies around.
Some users complain that these 12-inch tongs feel a little too short. If you feel this might be an issue, we would recommend the 16-inch alternatives.For build quality and performance at a reasonable price point, Grillhogs is a name you can trust.
- Tools: Digital thermometer
- Materials: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 3.23 x 0.85 x 3.23 inches
Even if the grill or smoker you use has an integrated thermometer, there is no substitute for a standalone thermometer with probes when you want the utmost precision.
The interface is pretty intuitive, and you just need to punch in your upper and lower temperature limits. If the grill or smoker steps outside of these limits, you’ll get an audible beep to prompt intervention.
You get a pair of stainless steel probes, allowing you to keep tabs on two separate pieces of meat without needing to swap the probes or use a second thermometer.
USDA safe temperature presets are baked in to remove all the guesswork from grilling. You also have the option of overriding this and controlling the temperature manually.
The display is backlit and allows you to see all key metrics at a glance and from a distance.
Accuracy is plus/minus 1.8F and you can measure temperatures from 14F to 572F with this thing.
For any grill artist with most of the man accessories already in place, this agile and precise thermometer from ThermoPro is a must.
- Tools: Grill basket
- Materials: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 11.5 x 13.5 x 2.5 inches
Not all food are created equal when it comes to grilling, and with some delicate foods that would otherwise tumble between the grates, a grill basket is the obvious solution.
Made from robust stainless steel, you get a basket that’s built to withstand sustained use. It’s super-simple to keep clean, too, and completely dishwasher-safe.
Whether you’re grilling shrimp, catfish, veggies, or diced meat, ensure none of those delicate ingredients works their way between the grates.
The design of the basket means the ingredients are kissed by flames through a series of openings rather than being scorched to a crisp and smeared all over the inside of the basket.
If you only ever grill burgers and hot dogs, you won’t need a grill basket. If, on the other hand, you like to get more creative when you’re grilling, this nifty device lets you keep the char without the burn.
- Tools: Chimney starter
- Materials: Aluminized steel
- Dimensions: 13 x 7.5 x 12 inches
Next up in our collection of the best grill tools and accessories comes a chimney starter from grill specialist Weber. As you would expect from a brand that makes such outstanding grills, the attention to detail on this chimney starter means getting your charcoal grill going needn’t give you a headache.
This compact unit is designed to generate high heat from your coals double-quick. Made from aluminized steel, all the heat stays inside.
A neatly designed handle allows you to maneuver this chimney starter with ease. The handle is also protected by a heat shield.
It will take you 20 minutes or so to get your charcoal grill going using this thing. Load it up with enough coals for your cookout and then pop a couple of Weber lighter cubes on top of the charcoal grate. Upend into the kettle when the top briquettes start turning gray with ash.
If you have been put off investing in a charcoal grill due to the perceived difficulty of getting it started, using this chimney starter from Weber makes it as easy as 1,2,3.
- Tools: Grill pan
- Materials: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.81 x 1.46 inches
Depending on what type of dishes you prefer when you’re grilling out, you may find this grill pan makes a nice addition to your supplies.
Another entry from Weber, a brand synonymous with great grills, this stainless steel pan is so well built it should return years of service.
The slits are 0.125 inches, wide enough for the juices to pour out, but not the food you want inside the pan.
Cleaning this pan couldn’t be easier. All you need is some hot soapy water and you’ll have it spotless. Dry thoroughly and expect years of service from this pan.
Although almost all user reviews of this grill pan are positive, we found some isolated complaints about the weight and bulk. It weighs 2.2 pounds, so only you know if this is a non-issue or a deal-breaker.
The carrying handles go some way toward mitigating the weight, and you should find it easy enough to move this pan from grill to countertop.
- Tools: Vegetable basket
- Materials: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 13.8 x 11.8 x 2.5 inches
Weber enters the fray once more with this vegetable basket that makes a great extra if you have all the staples for grilling already in place.
As with some of the other more niche accessories we review today, if you only ever grill burgers and hot dogs, this veggie basket is likely to be a waste of money. If you frequently pep up your favorite grilled meats with peppers, zucchini, and eggplant, though, read on.
The stainless steel build of this basket ensures you get plenty of life from this thing, even if you grill out regularly.
Suitable for use with all Weber grills – check out our guide to Weber grills to find the best one for you – you can ensure none of your grilled veggies end up between the grates.
The design of this pan means it also works well with diced meats and kebabs.
Almost all user testimony concerning this veggie basket is positive, but we unearthed a handful of complaints about how tough it is to clean.
- Tools: Meat shredder
- Materials: Nylon
- Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 1 inches
Do you cook a lot of pulled pork on the grill or smoker? How about other cuts of meat that call for carving and slicing? If so, these nifty shredder claws from Bear Paws allow you to get hands-on without getting your hands dirty.
Made from BPA-free nylon, these innovative shredding tools replicate the action of animal claws, so you can quickly and easily grasp all your favorite grilled meats and then shred them apart with consummate ease.
The material is heat-resistant to 475F, so you can confidently deal with scorching hot meat without any concerns about your equipment letting you down.
Not only is this grilling tool highly effective, it also adds an element of fun to the tedious business of prepping and serving food.
- Tools: Grill bags
- Materials: Aluminum
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 10 x 1 inches
As we pass the midway point of our grill tools and accessories reviews, some superb disposable grill bags from Kingsford.
These bags have multiple use cases, from grilling and steaming through to smoking your favorite foods.
Made from aluminum, all the heat is locked inside when you’re cooking. Each bag measures up at 15.5 x 10 inches, and you get 4 bags in each pack.
A few users have complained about the cost of these bags relative to aluminum foil, but that misses the point. You’re paying for the convenience here of keeping all your food inside without the foil ripping, and without to wrestle with a roll of foil while you’re prepping grilled foods.
For anyone looking to enjoy grilled foods but without the fat, try steaming your dishes inside these bags for a snack that’s friendlier on the waistline.
Whether you want grilling bags for use at home or on the go, these aluminum offerings are not cheap, but they’ll get the job done in fine style, and you won’t have any messy cleanup to worry about either.
- Tools: Propane tank leak detector and pressure meter
- Materials: Brass
- Dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 2 inches
Anyone with a liquid propane grill would benefit from this leak detector and pressure meter rolled into one.
Universal compatibility with all propane tanks up to 40 pounds means all you need is a Qcc (Type 1) connection and a tank sized from 5 through 40 pounds.
This nifty device allows you to keep your eye on fuel levels without needing to remove the tank. Kiss goodbye to interrupting your cookout, and you won’t run out of propane midway through either if you invest in this nifty meter.
As an added bonus, the dial comes color-coded, so you can detect if anything is amiss from a distance.
You won’t need any tools beyond a simple handheld grip. This meter is easy to fit and easy to tighten up, leaving you with a stress-free LP grilling experience.
- Tools: Chimney starter
- Materials: Alloy steel
- Dimensions: 10.5 x 8 x 5.75 inches
Weber delivers another iteration of a chimney starter for grill lovers, this time a compact model from the Rapidfire line.
Suitable for use with both the Jumbo Joe and Smokey Joe, this starter is not designed for use with other Weber grills. Check for compatibility on the product listing page before committing to purchase. If you have either of those Joe models, read on.
This chimney starter can have your charcoal BBQ up and running in no more than 15 minutes, eliminating one of the common barriers to cooking with charcoal.
Use this device in combination with Weber’s proprietary lighter cubes, or simply use some crumpled paper.While this chimney starter makes a superb choice for small families, if you intend to host a larger cookout, this is the wrong tool for the job. If you host lots of short, sharp grilling sessions, on the other hand, this is one of the most useful BBQ accessories you’ll find.
- Tools: Oven gloves
- Materials: Silicone
- Dimensions: 10 x 7.5 x 1 inches
When you’re grilling and handling hot kitchenware, it makes sense to keep your hands protected. These oven gloves from Grill Armor ensure your precious pinkies are safeguarded, and they allow you to confidently serve and handle all you need to.
The gloves are heat resistant to a staggering 1472F, and they won’t catch alight even if exposed to direct flame.
The outer of the gloves is made from a certified silicone that keeps your hands safe whatever you’re handling on the grill.
Inside, the gloves are softly lined, and you get a full five-finger design, promoting maximum maneuverability.
Choose from a wide range of colors to suit, and take advantage of the universal sizing. We couldn’t find any complaints from consumers in this regard.As an inbuilt bonus, you could also use these oven mitts as a potholder if you don’t have one to hand.
- Tools: Basting brush
- Materials: Silicone
- Dimensions: 16 x 4.5 x 1 inches
There is no substitute for a great basting brush when you’re grilling. Whether you need to coat your meats with your favorite rubs, or you want to lightly dust your grilled snacks with olive oil to prevent them sticking to the grill grates, you can do all this and more with this OXO Good Grips brush.
The brush is reasonably large and bulkier than it looks in the listing images. Several users complain about the brush feeling slightly unwieldy.
Measuring 14 inches long, you can keep your fingers well clear of the hot grill or your food.
The brush is designed to cope with temperatures to 600F without any damage or danger, so you’re getting an incredibly versatile piece of kit here.
You should nevertheless avoid exposing this brush to any direct flames. Unlike the gloves above, this brush will not withstand such treatment.
Although this brush has bristles, most users report these stay firmly in place. The bristles are tapered on the outside to streamline basting your roast.
The angled design of the head ensures the bristles stay clear of the countertop and completes a winning package from a brand you can rely on.
- Tools: Protective gloves
- Materials: Leather and cotton
- Dimensions: 13 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
While welding gloves might not seem like the first thing to pick when you’re comparing grill tools and accessories, these lined leather gems are well worth popping on your shortlist.
The outside of the gloves is a supple leather than allows you to feel as you work. Inside, you get a soft cotton lining that feels comfortable year-round.
The design of these gloves means you can protect your arms and not just your hands when you’re grilling or handling hot cookware.
The double stitching eliminates the usual weak point on grilling gloves and allows these to withstand plenty of wear and tear.Since these gloves are constructed to cope with molten metal and ultraviolet rays kicked out from welding gear, you should encounter absolutely no problems if you’re wearing them for your next grill-out.
- Tools: Fish turner/spatula
- Materials: Stainless steel and polypropylene
- Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 2 inches
As we near the end of our shortlist of the best grill tools and accessories, we have a spatula from Mercer Culinary that certainly isn’t cheap but might well end up the last spatula you need to buy.
Ideal for working with fish when you’re grilling, the wide blade sits at the upper end of this broad range of fish turners and spatulas. Measuring up at 9 x 4 inches, you can slide this slice under delicate pieces of fish and thin cuts of meat with confidence.
The handles are designed to absorb much less heat than the handles on most spatulas, so you enjoy a more comfortable grilling experience.The blade is made from a long-lasting and easy-care stainless steel, and the handle is completely sealed to keep hygiene when you’re grilling uppermost.
- Tools: Instant-read thermometer
- Materials: Stainless steel and polycarbonate
- Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.4 x 0.75 inches
A precise thermometer is a trusted friend when you’re grilling.
Choose from a variety of colorful thermometers to coordinate with your kitchen and benefit from a precise read on the internal temperature of all the meat you’re grilling.
Using this thermometer couldn’t be much easier, even if you’re a newcomer to grilling.
The display is large enough for you to read the temperature at a glance. This measures 1.4 inches across and is rated IP65, designating that it’s splash-proof.
The rapid response time of just a few seconds means you’ll enjoy a seamless grilling experience, as well as improving the precision of your next cook-out.
Although most users seem entirely satisfied with this instant-read thermometer, a few complain about issues with accuracy developing over time.Running on lithium batteries that come bundled, you have everything you need to get going right out the box.
- Tools: 28-piece set
- Materials: 95% stainless steel and 5% plastic
- Dimensions: 17.32 x 8.27 x 2.68 inches
Next up is a strong contender for the best grill tools and accessories all bundled up into one enticing package.
Here’s what you get in this bumper 28-piece set:
- Aluminum case (1)
- Salt and pepper shaker (2)
- Kabob skewers (4)
- Corn holders (8)
- Steak forks (2)
- Steak knives (2)
- Digital meat thermometer (1)
- Silicone basting brush (1)
- Extra grill brush head (1)
- Grill cleaning brush (1)
- BBQ mats (2)
- Grill fork (1)
- Tongs (1)
- Slotted spatula (1)
All the stainless steel pieces are safe to pop in the dishwasher for stress-free cleanup.
The presentation box keeps all your accessories in one place, and also makes this set a wonderful gift idea for any grill lovers in your life.Aside from a few isolated issues with quality control, this set of grill necessities attracts almost universally positive reviews.
- Tools: Spatula, fork, tongs, basting brush
- Materials: Stainless steel and silicone
- Dimensions: 18.03 x 8.46 x 2.8 inches
To round out our selection of the top 20 grilling tools and accessories, a solid 4-piece set from Alpha Grillers. What do you get for your money here, then?
Well, there are 4 stainless steel tools here: a spatula, fork, tongs, and basting brush. All of these are rust-resistant and built to last, and they are safe to slide in the dishwasher, too.
The handles are ergonomic and stay-cool, and they also come equipped with some handy hooks so you can hang them up with the rest of your grilling accessories.Boxed in a presentation set, this bunch of grilling tools makes a great gift idea, as long as you can resist the temptation of keeping it for yourself!
1) What is a chimney starter?
A chimney starter is sometimes called a charcoal chimney, and it’s a device intended to streamline getting your charcoal grill up and running. Simple in design and execution, you get a metal tube with a grate, ideal for holding your charcoal. You simply place some kindling under the grate and your charcoal above the grate. As the kindling lights, this creates a draft, with radiation heating the coals nearby, and convection heating the uppermost coals. A chimney starter is an absolute must if you hate lengthy wait times when you’re cooking with charcoal. With a charcoal chimney, you could be up and grilling in 15 minutes flat.
2) Why can I not rely on the thermometer built into my grill?
You can do this and if you’re happy with the accuracy, there’s no reason not to continue doing this. Some grills and smokers don’t have a thermometer baked in, though, and not all thermometers bundled are precise enough for experienced grill artists. By investing in an instant-read thermometer, you can monitor the internal temperature of all the food you’re grilling and smoking. These thermometers come with stainless steel probes and LCDs so you can see the temperature at a glance. As with all the tools and accessories we review, you’ll get superior results if you choose specialized equipment designed for grilling rather than general kitchenware.
3) Is an oven mitt necessary when I’m grilling?
As with all the accessories on our list today, all that counts is choosing those that mesh with your requirements. If you only ever rustle up a few hotdogs and burgers on your grill, you can easily get away without an oven glove. For those who frequently handle hot cookware and grill a wide cross-section of dishes, a comfortable and highly hear-resistant mitt will allow you to cook much more comfortably.
4) What is the purpose of a grill basket?
If you grill veggies or fish, you might be concerned about these foods tumbling between the grates when you’re grilling. By using a special grill basket, you can keep all your ingredients safely contained, while still benefiting from the advantages of grilling.
5) Why should I bother with a basting brush?
From coating your meats with marinades and rubs to smearing oil over equipment and food to prevent it from sticking on, a proper basting brush will help you to achieve these tasks with much more precision.
6) What’s the best way to carve meat?
There is no substitute for a sharp knife, but you may like the idea of getting more hands-on and using a meat shredder.
7) Why should I consider smoking my food?
Whether you have a standalone electric smoker, a classic charcoal BBQ smoker, or a grill/smoker combo unit, cooking your food slow and low is a great way to ensure it stays juicy and tender inside but perfectly charred on the outside. When you add flavored wood chips in a smoker, the resultant taste and aroma is unbeatable, while the texture is to-die-for. Even though smoking your favorite meats might take all day, it’s a set-and-forget process, so all you need to do is relax and wait for those unbeatable results. We can assure you it will be worth the wait, too.
8) Do the large and complete sets of grilling tools make a smart buy?
This depends wholly on your needs. If you have no accessories whatsoever and you want everything in one handy box, a large set makes sense. If you already have many of the tools bundled, though, it’s a wise move to explore some of the smaller sets including just a handful of basics.
If you came to Hempen Hill today stuck for ideas about grill tools and accessories, that should have changed completely.
We reiterate the advice from our buying guide in closing, urging you to take your time before buying grilling accessories. It’s easy to flick through a magazine or website and buy tools whimsically, only to discover you never really use them.
We highlight the flaws of all the products we review rather than purely focusing on the benefits. This allows you to buy with your eyes wide open, so did you see anything you like today?
Before you leave, bookmark our blog and pop soon. We update our content daily, so don’t dip out.