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10 Grilling Tools Every Outdoor Cook Needs

10 Grilling Tools Every Outdoor Cook Needs

We've rounded up some of the most crucial tools to prepare you for any kind of barbecue

The coals are becoming ashy, the marinades are marinating and the barbecue sauce is perfect. You have made plenty of ice, the cooler is full of cold drinks, and guests have started to arrive — the time to grill is near. We have rounded up a few essential tools that will help you become master of the grill.

Click here to see the 10 Grilling Tools Every Outdoor Cook Needs (Slideshow).

Around grills or any kind of heat source, safety is always the most important thing. Remember that when you're grilling, it's important to not only pay attention to how the meat is cooking, but to watch children, animals, and party guests around the hot grill. What seems like an obvious danger to you may not be that obvious to someone else.

Tools also play a huge role in safety. The short tongs that you use for indoor cooking are fine for a quick sauté or grabbing crusty bread out of the oven, but they are too short for the grill. Long tongs protect your hands and arms from the heat while still rotating corn cobs perfectly.

After safety is taken care of, it's time to grill. To get the char just right, include some of these tools in your barbecue toolkit and you will be set to go!

Emily Jacobs contributed to this story

Cooking Grill Tools

In the following paragraphs, we are going to present you the most important info about cooking grill tools. Investing in a good cooking grill tools consists of investigation and making the correct decision, and we want to help you to accomplish this task with success.

The Mandolin is a tool that has been used in every professional kitchen I’ve worked in. There’s still no replacing the ability to make precision cuts with a knife, but, when speed is needed, the mandolin can be an important addition to your tool chest.

In a professional kitchen, you’ll most likely find a French mandolin it’s a stainless steel device that sits on the countertop and can cost as much as three or four hundred dollars. It usually has a couple of blade options and can slice vegetables as thin as paper. It can also julienne veggies and, with the turn of the mechanism, cut French fry potatoes. For the home cook, there are cheaper plastic varieties. These generally have different blade options as well.

Indirect vs. Direct Heat Grilling

You can create different cooking "zones" on a charcoal grill, which is great for searing, cooking, and keeping food warm. After the charcoal is lit, don&apost cover the entire grill with the briquettes. Create a "hot zone" or direct heating area on one end of the grill by evenly distributing the coals under half of the grill. This is the perfect spot for searing meat and getting beautiful hatch-marks. Then move to a "cool zone" or indirect heat with fewer or no briquettes to finish cooking. This will prevent flare-ups and cook food more evenly. If you leave it over direct heat for too long, you often end up with a burnt exterior and raw interior. Plus, if you are grilling a large cut of meat (like a leg of lamb), cooking over the indirect heat with the lid on will create the same effect as using an oven.

Try this recipe: Cherry Bomb Chicken

Watch the video to see Chef John demonstrate how to start this top-rated grilled chicken recipe over direct heat to get grill marks, and then move it to indirect heat to finish cooking.

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker

4. Sweet Tapiocas

Who says you can’t cook dessert on your outdoor flat top grill? Tapiocas are a South American crepe-style dessert that you can enjoy with a variety of fillings. Here’s how to make them on your flat-top grill:



  1. Place the flour in a large bowl and slowly add the water to the tapioca flour one teaspoon at a time, mixing with your fingers.
  2. Break down any big clumps as you go along.
  3. Set the mix aside for five minutes then sieve it into another bowl. You may need to press it through with a spoon.
  4. Oil your grill and heat it up. You need to work fast when cooking these crepes.
  5. Sprinkle the mix evenly on the grill in a circle and let it cook for 30 seconds. Turn it with a spatula and cook the other side for 30 seconds.

You can top your tapiocas with any of the following ingredients before rolling them up and enjoying your dessert. Try these:

  • Chocolate and peanuts
  • Chocolate hazelnut spread with chocolate sprinkles
  • Banana, honey, and cinnamon
  • Cream cheese and coconut
  • Ice cream

16 Best Grilling Accessories, According to Cooking Experts

Now that warmer weather is just in sight, you&rsquore probably itching to break out the outdoor grill for everyone&rsquos favorite pastime: backyard barbecues! But no matter how great your grill is, the right tools can make or break a meal.

If you're looking to upgrade your entire grill setup, look no further: The Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliance Lab experts are constantly testing grilling must-haves, from grills themselves (including charcoal grills, gas grills, pellet grills and smokers, indoor grills, and more) to the essential tools for grilling, like barbecue tongs and grill pans for easy cooking and grill brushes and grill cleaners to keep your BBQ clean.

Our pros test these products for factors including efficacy, ease of use, and durability to find the ones that are actually worth your money. Get ready to whip up the best grilled chicken and grilled veggies (and even more amazingly delicious grilling recipes) with these top tools tested by our kitchen experts and editors:

Steak Grilling Seasonings, Rubs, Marinades, and More

Most grass-fed steaks are so tender, they need little more than kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to make them explode with flavor.

But even these cuts of beef are enhanced by spending a bit of time in a savory and healthy marinade. Give a ribeye a half-hour in a balsamic vinaigrette or any number of red wine-based healthy grilling marinades, cover a NY strip steak in a quintessential rub overnight, or marinate and cover a top sirloin with chimichurri all of these approaches will lead to an amazing transformation for any steak.

Tools Needed to Achieve Steak-Grilling Mastery

Whether you prefer the characteristic char of a charcoal grill or the ease and convenience of a gas grill, there are some key tools you’ll need to get the most out of your grilling escapades. You can check them all out in our article, 7 Handy Essentials for Outdoor Grilling.

First and foremost comes the grill selection.

There’s nothing like the characteristic flavor of food cooked on a charcoal grill. Charcoal burns hotter than gas, and you can create direct and indirect heat areas pretty easily.

However, gas grills are more convenient, easy to clean, and make easy work of grilling a steak. Both allow you to whip up deliciously smoky and charred steaks.

Here are the three tools that will help you most when grilling a steak:

  • Tongs – a spring-loaded, long-handled pair of tongs will allow you to pick up, rotate, and turn nearly any-sized piece of beef without burning yourself or ruining the steak.
  • Meat thermometer – An instant-read meat thermometer will let you best gauge a grilled meat’s doneness . A good one will read off your meat’s internal temperature (give or take a few degrees) within seconds. We love the Thermapen instant-read thermometer.
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board – In reality, you need a few different knives to accomplish most of your grilling needs, but a chef’s knife will perform the brunt of the work—chopping, dicing, peeling, and smashing. Pair with a quality wood cutting board—more durable than a plastic one in the long run.

22 Essential Grilling Tips You Need to Know

Summertime is here and that means it's the official start of grilling season. Before you plan your next barbecue , check out these must-read grilling tips to make your food taste better than ever.

Whether you're a beginner griller or an iron chef, you'll need some tools to help you make the best food for your barbecue. Stock up on the basics, like a pair of tongs, a grill brush, a long-handed spatula, and a hinged-wire basket.

This might sound obvious, but it's important to know as much as you can about the grill you're using. An electric grill, for instance, will give your food the barbecued 'look', but you won't get the same smoky flavor you get from a charcoal grill.

If you're using a charcoal grill, using a chimney starter is the easiest and safest way to grill your food as it doesn't use lighter fluid that can be dangerous and add an unwanted taste. Simply fill the chimney with charcoal and light it over a few sheets of crumpled paper over the bottom grill grate. After 15 to 20 minutes, pour the coals over the grate, place an oiled grate on top, and you're ready to get grilling.

Keep the lid of your grill down as long as necessary. While it's tempting to keep checking your food, opening the grill lets the heat escape, which could lead to dry meats.

When you cook in your kitchen, you can start and stop at any point to prepare your sides, condiments, plates, utensils, and table setting, but on the grill, once your coals get going&mdashthere's no slowing them down. Ensure you can focus on the task at hand by prepping everything necessary before you light the coals.

When it comes to backyard grilling, there are several ways to add extra flavor to your food. The quickest way is with glazes, which are syrupy coatings often made with honey, maple syrup, or molasses that are brushed on during the last few minutes of grilling. Similarly, wet and dry rubs require little preparation time. Apply these blends of herbs and spices (wet rubs incorporate moist ingredients, such as oil, mustard, and yogurt) up to a few hours before cooking to create a savory crust. To deeply infuse foods with more flavor &mdash and tenderize them, too &mdash immerse them in marinades that are made with acidic liquids, such as lemon juice, vinegar, and wine.

Whether you grill over gas or charcoal, use hardwood logs, chunks, briquettes, or chips to impart a smoky flavor to foods. Different wood varieties add subtle nuances try applewood for sweetness, mesquite for tang, or hickory for a bacon-like taste.

On a kettle grill, bank coals in its center. Sear food in the middle, where heat is highest, then move it to the outer edges of the grill to perfectly cook without burning. On a gas grill, leave one burner on high, another on medium.

Prior to grilling, scrub the hot grate with a long-handled wire brush. This keeps it clean&mdashand ensures neat grill marks.

Prevent food from sticking by brushing the grill grate with oil. Grab a small wad of paper towels with tongs, then dip in a bowl of canola or vegetable oil and rub lightly to evenly coat the grate.

Use fresh plates, utensils, and cutting boards to prevent raw meat, poultry, and fish from contaminating cooked food.

To give your burger that classic, round look, create a indent in the center with the back of a spoon while you're making the patty. The meat will rise in the middle of the burger as it cooks, puffing it up to perfection.

To prevent your bamboo or wooden skewers from burning, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes to an hour before you place them on a hot grill.

Thread two skewers (or use a two-prong skewer ) through each kebab to avoid the food from moving around as you flip the kebab.

If you love grilling corn, tofu or fruit, a grilling basket is a worthy investment. A basket keeps the food safe from falling through the rack, and it doesn't take away from the flavor.

When grilling, lay food on the grate in orderly lines, moving from left to right. Or for quick-cooking items, such as shrimp and scallops, arrange in a circle going clockwise. This will help you keep track of which foods hit the flames first, and also allow you to group raw items away from cooked ones.

When checking for doneness, resist the urge to repeatedly poke, stab, or flip your food. Instead, give food time to sear and develop a crust turn only when grill marks form.

Food continues to cook after it comes off the grill, so it's best to remove it just before it has reached the desired doneness. A digital instant-read thermometer gives the most accurate results, but you can also gently poke steak and chops with your index finger the firmer meat feels, the more well-done it is. With seafood, look for opacity well-done fish fillets will be opaque all the way through. For chicken, make a slit in the thickest part of the cut. Any juices that escape should run clear.

The best way to handle excessive flare-ups is to put the lid back on the grill. This will suffocate the flame in the quickest and safest way possible. Whatever you do, don't use water to take out the fire. It will only make it worse!

Don't overdo it when it comes to cooking meat. You can always place the meat back on the grill if it's slightly underdone, but you can't go back if it's overcooked.

23 Things to Cook on Your Fire Pit

You heard it here first: This is the summer that fire pit cooking becomes a thing. If you don’t have a fire pit, we suggest you get one — and then get cooking! It’s the easiest and most fun way to escape without leaving your home.

As a rule, anything you can cook on the grill you can also cook on a fire pit — as along as you’ve got a grill grate. More often than not I find my own fire pit gets lit late in the evening without any forethought, meaning anything I’m going to cook on it needs to be tasty, easy, and short on ingredients. Here are the 23 recipes I lean on for easy entertaining meals from the fire pit.

Snacks or Apps

A fire pit can warm dips, melt cheese, and pop popcorn with ease, but when you want an appetizer that’s just a little bit fancier, reach for one (or more) of these.

Easy Meals

Here’s what happens with my family: We are lingering around the fire after a day on the beach and suddenly everyone is hungry (and the adults are at least one beer into the evening). These recipes are perfectly satisfying and super easy.


My late-night sweet tooth always gets the best of me. The safe answer around the camp fire is s’mores, so try one of these 14 ideas. Or try my favorite skillet cobbler that bakes up beautifully on a grill grate over the fire.

Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn's Skills content. She's a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting — both time and money — and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown's culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn't I Just Feed You.