10 Grilling Accessories of the Bona Fide Cook Master
It’s often the little things that distinguish a great chef from a mediocre one. Here’s a short list of gadgets and add-ons that will help you up your grill game.
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Grilling is something anyone can do but few people can do well. Knowledge and skill are key, but you can get only so far without the proper tools of the trade. For example, you should know that it’s best to use tongs or spatula to flip a steak, never a fork, because the prongs can puncture the meat and screw up the internal temperature and moisture. Nobody wants to inadvertently turn a juicy rib eye into an expensive slab of jerky.
Whether you’re grilling meat and veggies or looking to temporarily turn your grill into a slow cooker, these grilling add-ons and quick tips will help you deliver.
Infrared grills are designed to cook meat evenly and prevent flame flare when juices drip, but they can cost thousands of dollars. The removable GrillGrate, which includes a spatula, achieves a similar result in your typical gas or charcoal meat temple. It sits on top of your traditional grill and amplifies the heat by refracting it back at your food at close range. It also blocks flames, and juices fall into long trenches that recirculate some of the liquid as vapor, leaving you with juicier, tastier meats.
VonShef BBQ Professional Grill Set ($43)
Every serious grill chef should have the proper tools, period. This set includes the fundamentals: spatula, tongs, knife, fork, skewers, corn holders, and cleaning brush. Everything comes in a sleek metal case. Grill-specific tools are important: You should never flip grill foods with a fork or knife if you can avoid it, for the aforementioned reasons. Always flip using a spatula or tongs.
Ribalizer Rib Cooker ($30)
You can cook six racks of ribs with this handy cooker (or just one or two for a lighter meal). This metal frame within an aluminum pan sits inside your traditional grill. Simply pour a tasty liquid into the bottom of the pan for steaming (soda, beer, and wine are all good options), then slot your marinated rib racks inside the metal frame, snap on an aluminum lid, close the grill lid, crank up the heat, and let it cook. Pro tip: Wait the required two hours of cooking time before basting with barbecue sauce, and then cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Bear Paws ($13)
Get in touch with your inner Paleolithic predator with these super-simple meat shredders. If you’re smoking or slow cooking, these are what you need to execute pulled pork. They’re also useful for securing a roast while carving.
Discovering midafternoon that you’re short on gas sucks. Available in July, the GasWatch propane tank scale is an important add-on if you want to make sure you have enough fuel to make it through the day. It’s a scale of sorts that sits under the tank and is wired to an LCD that shows the fuel level and how much time you have left for cooking at certain temperatures.
Sur La Table Cast-Iron Garlic Roaster ($17)
This miniature iron pot sits on your grill and cooks up to three large cloves in about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Lop off the tips of the bulbs, drop in the cloves, spritz with olive oil, and occasionally open the roaster and turn the garlic for even cooking. It’s the perfect accent to that Omaha steak.
Outset Magnetic Light for BBQ Tool ($27)
You’ll be surprised how handy this light is for nighttime cooking. It clips to the side of a grill and shines a bright light over your grill so you can inspect the tenderness of your meat. It will have you rethinking the drawbacks of grilling at night.
Oregon Scientific Grill-Right Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer ($60)
This thermometer syncs to your phone and allows you to set a target temperature and read the grill’s current temperature as it heats up. Can you cook without a temperature gauge? Sure, but it is not advised. Also, it allows the chef some respite from being chained to the grill all day checking on the temperature.
Gerber Freescape Camp Kitchen Knife ($53)
Think of this knife as “old reliable.” It’s designed for camping but works great as an outdoor kitchen knife. We used one for slicing through lobster tails, which requires a sharp and durable knife to make a clean cut. If it can slice through crustaceans, it can slice through just about anything you’d toss on your grill.
Broil King Marinade Injector ($17)
This stainless-steel injector looks like an industrial-grade hypodermic needle designed to insert deliciousness into whatever you’re grilling. Forgot to marinade in advance? No worries, this device is equipped to pass “herb solids” and other thick marinades and juices. It has a small window with dashes demarcating the level of liquid in the tube.