GET FIRED UP!
Grilling is a great way to cook while enjoying the outdoors and the company of others. For backyard cooks looking to expand their grilling vocabulary beyond spatulas and tongs, here are some useful accessories worth buying to impress friends and family with mouthwatering specialties throughout the summer.
Price: $30 | Buy it at Grill Beast
This injector from Grill Beast lets you intensify the flavor of even the toughest cuts of meat, with three needles separately designed to distribute chunky or liquid marinades. For those unfamiliar with injecting meats, a free e-book on the subject is included, as is a lifetime warranty.
Price: $30 | Buy it on Amazon
If you have a charcoal grill but get fed up waiting for the coals to ignite, try speeding up the process with the Chimney of Insanity, which features a hole in one side to allow more air circulation and fuel insertion. Newspaper works fine, but in a fix, the heating process will go even faster with a chimney starter.
FIRE STARTER FAN
Price: $40 | Buy it on Lowe's
For an even faster light time, this battery-powered fire starter can be attached to the Chimney of Insanity to literally fan the flames. Grill masters can also use this BBQ Dragon fan on its own, clipping it to the outside of the barbecue and using it to direct heat as desired without straining their lungs. It's just as effective at sustaining a bonfire as it is at starting a grill.
Price: $23.50 | Buy it on Amazon
Most grill brushes tend to fray or lose their bristles after a few uses, but this one lasts longer thanks to its well-leveraged handgrips and steam-cleaning technology. Water stored inside the Grill Daddy Pro brush turns to steam on contact with the hot grill, better sterilizing the surface for your next use.
WOOD GRILL SCRAPER
Price: $25 | Buy it on Amazon
Another good tool for keeping your grates clean is this simple wooden paddle, which starts out flat but over time molds to fit the exact grooves of your grill. Thus, it's effective, aesthetically pleasing, and naturally customizable.
VEGETABLE GRILL BASKET
Price: $20 | Buy it on Amazon
Don't complicate a cookout by preparing your sides on the stovetop—instead, invest in a cheap steel basket so even smaller vegetables can go on the grill and get infused with the inimitable charred flavor. This version will fit inside most any grill and can also be used as a wok to contain shrimp or other proteins cut into smaller chunks.
FISH GRILL BASKET
Price: $7 | Buy it on Amazon
Whether you catch it yourself or buy it iced at the grocery store, there's something about whole fish that's infinitely tastier than a precut fillet. This simple but cheap wire basket makes it easy to cook and flip on the grill without the fish falling apart or sticking to the grate. It can also hold in seasonings or other garnishes like lemon slices or parsley to infuse more flavor.
Price: $6 | Buy them on Amazon
Often the most frustrating part of barbecuing is carefully carving a roast once it's done. Made from a heat-resistant and BPA-free polycarbonate material, these easy-grip claws make that part of the process much more fun, so kids or adults can pull or shred their meat apart and get to eating it even faster.
STUFFED BURGER PRESS
Price: $7.19 | Buy it on Amazon
A stuffed burger, or "Juicy Lucy," is a meat patty with cheese and other flavorings cooked into its center. They're often delicious and extra-decadent, but they can be difficult to make without falling apart. Cuisinart's stuffed burger press makes matters simpler with a three-piece tool to stuff and shape the two halves of your Juicy Lucy before grilling.
HIMALAYAN PINK SALT BLOCK
Price: $25 | Buy them on Amazon
This thick grilling plank is made entirely from pink Himalayan salt, so as it heats, some of the salt and savory flavor will leach into whatever vegetables or cut of meat you cook on top of it. This version is good for many repeat uses and includes a metal holder to transport the slab and hold the pieces together as they break apart.
Price: $23 | Buy it on Amazon
These chemical-free, Western red cedar planks double as grilling surfaces and serving trays for salmon and other meats, absorbing excess moisture and emitting rich smoky flavor as they cook. This particular set of five reusable planks comes with a burlap drawstring bag for storage and a grilling recipe to get you started.
Price: $100 | Buy it at Ribolator
The four-tray Rib-O-Lator is most useful for big cookouts with a lot to serve but not enough space on the grill to cook it all at once. Save on gas or charcoal and conserve succulent juices by putting roasts, ribs, or vegetables on the stainless steel trays and turning them as desired for a nice, even, indirect cook.
Price: $8 | Buy it on Amazon
If you're interested in adding rich woody flavor to your meats but don't want to invest in a full smoker setup, start simple and cheap with this smoker box. Just pre-soak some wood chips and place them in the box beneath the grate to get the taste you want even on a gas grill.
Price: $21 | Buy it on Amazon
On a grill or in the oven, a heat-proof ceramic stone is crucial for preparing a good pizza. This Cuisinart set has the stone plus a cutter and foldable peel to remove and serve each pie, so you can start making gourmet wood- or coal-fired pizzas alongside burgers and hotdogs at the next barbecue.
PIZZA GRILL ATTACHMENT
Price: $69 | Buy it on Amazon
If you want to get even more serious about pizza grilling, this metal attachment will turn any 18- to 22-inch kettle grill into a more effective pizza oven, with a viewing window to see the cheese melting and the crust browning. Also included are a ceramic stone, aluminum peel, and charcoal fence to help make the perfect pizza in just three to five minutes.
SLOW 'N SEAR
Price: $100 | Buy it on Amazon
Another kettle grill attachment, the Slow 'N Sear confines charcoal to one section of the grill for better temperature control, so you can sear a meat for seconds or slow roast it for hours. It fits 22-inch grills and includes an integrated water reservoir to keep food moist for longer cook times.
CHICKEN WING GRILL RACK
Price: $14 | Buy it on Amazon
Chicken wings and drumsticks can be difficult to flip and cook evenly on a grill, so this steel wire rack lets them hang suspended above the heat for a more consistent char. Let the excess fat drip away (or save it for later) as the wings cook, then turn up the heat in the final minutes to get nice crispy skin.
BACON GRILLING RACK
Price: $15 | Buy it on Amazon
Enjoy crispy bacon in the great outdoors with this rack, which suspends the strips over a triangular rack to cook and folds up for easy storage. The bacon strips hang over a steel tray to catch the fat, but you can also put grilled onions or other ingredients in there to absorb some of the delicious, pork-fatty flavor.
CAST IRON REVERSIBLE GRIDDLE
Price: $45 | Buy it on Amazon
This 20-inch-long griddle also allows you to cook bacon on the barbecue, along with eggs, pancakes, and any other typically fried ingredient. It's a durable and versatile accessory that enables you to grill just about anything, with reversible sides so you can still get nice grill marks when desired.
CERAMIC OYSTER SHELLS
Price: $8 each | Buy them on Etsy
These ceramic oyster shells can be used to barbecue shucked oysters or just as individual sauce cups, and they make appealing serving trays as well—about as close to oyster shells as you can get. Unlike the real ones, however, these can be reused indefinitely.
OYSTER GRILL PAN
Price: $38 | Buy it on Amazon
This nonstick pan works better if you tend to have oysters in the shell but don't want the hassle of individually placing and removing them from the grill. Use it to grill up to 12 oysters or bake small, single-serving bites of corn bread, drop biscuits, mac-and-cheese, and more.
BEER CAN CHICKEN RACK
Price: $5 | Buy it on Amazon
If you've never heard of beer can chicken before, it's a method of cooking a whole bird by placing it upright with a beer can in its cavity, so the beer evaporates and keeps the meat deliciously moist while cooking. This no-frills wire rack will support the beer can and a chicken up to 4 pounds.
JALAPEÑO POPPER RACK
Price: $9 | Buy it on Amazon
Like an oyster pan, this specialized grill-top rack for jalapeño poppers saves time and energy checking and flipping individual ingredients as they cook. Instead, put up to 36 stuffed peppers in the stainless steel openings and watch them blacken evenly in minutes. The rack also comes with a corer to faster remove the jalapeños' flesh and seeds.
Price: $12.65 | Buy it on Amazon
Grill up to five racks of ribs at once using this plain steel holder from Weber. The ribs are held vertically above the grill grates, allowing their fat to drip down and the meat to cook more consistently than with direct contact. The steel bars are rather large, however; they work best with larger, full-rack ribs.
KABOB GRILLING BASKETS
Price: $13 | Buy them on Bed Bath & Beyond
Kabobs are another barbecue favorite that can get difficult to flip with the components sliding around independently on their skewers. These elongated baskets keep skewered meats and veggies in place during grilling for a better, more evenly cooked result.