Whether you’re new to BBQ or you’re a seasoned griller, there’s always something new to learn about barbecuing. And even if you’ve got a family ribs recipe down pat, you can always branch out and try new things, from grilling seafood to learning how to get good flavor from beefless burgers. An important part of becoming a grilling master is having the right tools.
Just like every chef depends on his or her favorite knife, every griller needs a trusty spatula, a pair of tongs and a grill fork. If you’re a griller who likes to kick back with a beer and check on the steaks every once in a while, a basic set with just three or four utensils will do the job. But maybe you treat every burger patty with a level of surgical precision rivaling an actual surgeon. In that case, you’re going to need a set with a lot of pieces. Either way, we’ve found the best sets for you. Plus, if you need a gift for someone who loves to grill but is still making do with the spatula they use in the kitchen, many of these sets come in giftable cases.
Do you just need a basic set of tools to flip burgers, carefully remove corn on the cob off the grill, or turn hot dogs? Are you a serious grilling enthusiast and you love trying out new recipes and cooking your food to perfection? The type of tool set you need will be based on your cooking skills, what you like to grill, and even the size of your grill. Because of this, you need to ensure that the tool set you buy comes with all of the accessories you need for your average grilling session. Check out all of the tools in the set and determine whether you’d use most of the tools or if the set only includes a few tools you actually need. If you find that you don’t need more than two or three accessories when you grill, then you won’t need a large, higher-priced set.
The length of the tools will also be important. Make sure the handles are long enough and will allow you to easily work over a hot grill without getting burned. Keep in mind, longer handles can also make it difficult to control meat. They’re also more prone to breaking or bending. Look for tools that are at least sixteen inches in length and steer clear of any tool set that has tools that are under twelve inches in length.
Ideally, for a standard grill, the tools should be around twelve inches. For larger grills, the handles should be sixteen inches long. If you have a very small grill, you can get away with a handle length of around ten inches.
Durability will be another important factor to consider. Make sure the tools you purchase are rust-resistant, especially if you plan on keeping the tools outside with your grill, even when not in use. The tools should be made out of tough material and designed to withstand high temperatures.
A grill can reach temperatures up to five thousand degrees, so you’ll need tools that are made out of high-grade stainless steel. These tools will not bend under heavy weight, allowing you to easily remove a rack of ribs. The handles should also be able to withstand higher temperatures. Heat resistant handles that are made out of silicone and have wood accents will allow you to easily control the tool during use and promote user comfort. Tools that are dishwasher safe will also be a plus.
Every set will come with a pair of heavy-duty tongs, which can be used to turn veggies and flip meat. Long-handled tongs are a must and one of the best grilling utensils for users of all cooking skill levels. Search for a pair that features a large comfortable grip and make sure they’re made out of tough stainless steel, which will also be easy to clean.
Some sets with come with a basting brush, which is used to apply sauces and marinades to meats. If you don’t normally use barbeque sauces or marinades on your meats or veggies, then you won’t get much use out of this tool.
Most sets will come with a carry case. These cases can be made out of aluminum, wood, nylon, or plastic. Aluminum cases tend to last longer. Wooden cases are not quite as durable, but they often feature an appealing design. Plastic cases are often used for lower-priced sets, however, durable plastic cases will be a better option for travel, compared to cases made out of wood. Make sure the case that comes with the tool set is weatherproof and durable. Tools with a sharp edge can easily cut through a nylon case. Wooden cases are more susceptible to damage if left out in the elements.
Spatulas allow you to lift and flip burgers, or remove them safely off the grill. Stainless steel, heavy spatulas are a great option regardless of what type of food you normally cook. The best spatula for grilling will have a long handle that’s heat-resistant.
Before you grill, it’s important to begin with a clean cooking surface. A good grate cleaning brush in your setup will allow you to make delicious food each time you fire up your grill. It’s one of those must-have accessories for beginners and skilled grilling enthusiasts and allows you to quickly and easily prep the surface of the grill. It should also be used after you grill, to remove any stuck on, burned food.
These long forks are perfect for spearing a chicken breast or hot dog on the grill and carefully removing them to the heating rack or an awaiting tray. Forks are another must-have tool that you’ll find in most sets and it’s one that you’ll find comes in handy often.
Below is a list of tools that you may not find in every tool set, but they do serve important purposes, depending on the type of foods you normally grill and how serious you are about your grilling.
If you usually cook on a charcoal grill, then use a chimney starter. This tool will help to get the charcoal at the perfect temperature so you can grill faster and easily.
These are considered great accessories for cooking foods including peppers or sliced onions. A grilling basket and pan will prevent food from falling through the grates. Some sets will include baskets in a variety of sizes, which will give you more options in terms of the types of veggies you can grill.
A mat is designed to prevent delicate food from being overcooked or sticking, thanks to their durable nonstick surface. These mats will come in handy when you’re cooking foods such as veggies, shrimp, or fish.
A wireless meat thermometer makes checking the internal temperature of meat a cinch. They’ll come in handy when you’re cooking pork, chicken, or steak, ensuring you don’t undercook or overcook your meat. These instant read thermometers will also help you check the internal temperatures of your food with more accuracy.
If you’re tired of struggling with a kebab that refuses to cooperate, then try this handy accessory, which has a disc located on the end that’s designed to allow you to remove veggies and meats easily. Most models are even dishwasher safe.
If you don’t have a woodfired pizza oven in your own backyard, then you definitely need a grilling stone, which is the next best thing. These stones come in a rectangular or round design. When making a pizza on your grill, you’ll need to ensure that the crust is very thin, since the pizza will cook from the bottom up. You’ll also want to clean your grill off prior to cooking the pizza, otherwise, they will have an overly smoky flavor.
Racks will not only help by circulating the air around ribs, but they will also conserve grill space, so you can cook other types of foods at the same time. The rack works by propping up the ribs vertically and can be used for other meats such as chicken breasts. Make sure when you use this type of rack that you place a drip pan underneath it to cutdown on clean up time.
While some grilling enthusiasts may not consider this an essential accessory, if you find yourself grilling hot dogs often, then you’ll fall in love with how easy it is to use. A hot dog roller makes flipping hot dogs over simple and fast. It can be used for both hot dogs and sausages and works by continuously turning the meat around and around. All you have to do is use a spatula and glide it over the hot dogs to roll them on the rack. You can also search for a higher-priced tool set that comes with a motorized version, so all you have to do is load it up with hot dogs and it will take care of the rest. A roller will prevent hot dogs from falling off the grill when you try to turn them and also prevents them from falling through the grates. It will also ensure that they cook evenly.
Skillets designed for grills will allow you to easily cook a wider range of foods quickly, with minimal mess. However, you’ll need to babysit the food and constantly stir it to prevent it from sticking to the surface of the pan, unless you season the pan beforehand. Most tool sets will not come with a skillet, although there are some higher-priced sets that will come with a small skillet that you can use to grill up onions or peppers.
Choose a tool set that’s low maintenance, is made out of rust-resistant materials and is dishwasher safe. Low maintenance tools will usually have handles that are made out of aluminum, plastic, or silicone. Tool sets with wooden handles cannot be placed in the dishwasher and must be washed by hand, which can be a deal-breaker for some, especially those searching for a tool set that’s easier to clean and maintain.
If you only find yourself grilling once or twice a month, or just during the summer, then you may not need a big set of tools, in which case, you can save some serious cash. However, if you love cooking a wide variety of foods and want a set that comes with all the bells and whistles including a wireless meat thermometer, grilling baskets, basting brushes and more, then you can expect to pay a higher price. Aside from how many pieces come in a set, the type of material used will also have an impact on the price, but if you want a set of tools that are designed to last, then it’s often worth a higher price tag.
The best BBQ tool sets will come loaded with all the essential tools you’ll need to cook your food to perfection, whether you normally fry up some burgers and hot dogs or you often grill steak, ribs, or chicken breasts. Make sure you pay attention to the different tools that come in the set and determine whether you’ll actually use most of them. Many higher-priced sets will come with specialty tools that you won’t find yourself using often, or at all, in which case, you’re better off investing in a smaller set that only comes with the basics. This guide and the products I’ve included on my must-have tool set list are designed to help you make the right choice, based on your grilling needs, grill size, and your skill level. I’m confident you’ll find the perfect set in my product lineup, and purchase tools that you’ll find yourself relying on each time you grill.
Even if you don’t know anything about Magnetic Knife Holders, you can still make a smart buying decision with the right information in hand. At US Expert Locks, we perform extensive research in every product category. To avoid bias, we always decline offers from manufacturers for “free” samples. We want to be your go-to source for honest, thorough product reviews you can trust.