You can never be too prepared for grilling season. —INGRAIN
Sun’s out, grill’s out. Grilling season is officially upon us. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite tools and accessories to ensure your next grill-out will go off without a hitch.
When it comes to grilling, charcoal is always far superior to gas. Still, when you’re grilling with charcoal you don’t want your food tasting like lawn mower fuel, so stay the hell away from lighter fluid. Lighter fluid adds unwanted chemical flavors onto your food. Bad! $20
DIGTIAL THERMOMETER (both remote and instant read)
Take the guessing game out of checking the doneness of your meat. Hardcore grillers swear by the “hand palm technique,” but the rest of us rely on common sense—we get ourselves a good, instant read thermometer. $20
–Get yourself a remote thermometer if feel like wandering away from the grill and closer to the beers while grilling up big cuts of meat. $60
Skip the cheese-dic, grilling tool sets that come in those cheap metal-looking briefcases with your initials engraved on the top (the kind that your distant aunt got you for a late graduation gift). Simplify your grilling life. You only need three solid, stainless steel tools: a sturdy pair of tongs, a spatula, and a grilling fork. Prices vary, this FT grilling-psycho/PT writer prefers Weber tools based on experience and their two year warranty. $30
Not surprisingly, burnt and blistered hands are the absolute worst for, well, anything BUT especially grilling. Protect your paws with some grilling gloves. Look for a pair of high rated, heat-proof gloves; the best ones are usually made with Kevlar, which is a super-strong, heat resistant, synthetic fiber. (Science! If you have the extra scratch and you plan on making any recipes with liquids or any juicy-ass meats, get you some waterproof gloves to supplement your high temp hand protection collection. Price varies
We can’t always have the ideal, sun-lit grilling sessions in those sexy, highly stylized, food magazines (cough, cough, INGRAIN, cough). One of the Ten Grilling Commandments, if there were any, would be: “Thou shalt not, not grill because of inadequate day light.” Grill lights are a simple yet genius solution for vampire grillers and everyone else who loses the sundown race. From lid handle lights to magnetic lights with flexible necks, whatever you choose, make sure you get LED lights for maximum brightness. And look for a weatherproof option in case you’re forgetful and leave your new toy in adverse conditions. Price varies
Pizza rules, obviously, but pizza made on the grill rules so much harder. You’re getting THE best of both worlds. If throwing a pizza directly on the grill doesn't fly, you’ll end up with an unevenly cooked and more than likely burnt pie. Pizza deserves better; that’s why the culinary gods invented the pizza stone. They retain heat so well, you can grill multiple pizzas without having to add fuel (if you’re using charcoal, and you should be). Pizza stones also absorb moisture, which helps develop a deliciously crispy crust. If you plan on grilling multiple items, go for a pizza stone with handles to help move it on and off the grilling surface with ease. Price varies
Who said you can’t have it both ways? The only thing better than cooking on a grill is cooking on cast iron on a grill. Get yourself a reversible griddle. Cast iron griddles offer even heat distribution; the ridged side is ideal for cooking veggies while the smooth side is the perfect cooking surface for delicious, crisp griddle burgers—and eggs if you’re doing an early morning grilling sesh. $45
Running back and forth between your grill and stove is a pain in the ass. Get yourself a stainless steel, perforated grilling basket so you can plant yourself behind the grill and cook everything on your menu. Grilling baskets are ideal for cooking veggies and other delicates while still getting that smoky flavor. Price varies
Wanna infuse great flavor while dressing up your grill top/looking like a grilling BOSS? Get yourself a Himalayan salt plank. Bonus: you don’t have to dump a bunch of pre-made spice blends on your food. (If you are cooking seafood, namely a delicate fish, a cedar plank can be your best friend, and it’s just as easy to use. Add a pleasant smokiness to your next fishy fish dish!) Price varies
Always remember that a clean grill is a happy grill. Get yourself a good quality brush, one with a solid scraper and that doesn’t shed (trust me, steel bristles are an unwise garnish for your next burger creation). $23 & $11.50 for 16 ounces
–Always scrape your grill when it’s hot to help loosen whatever may have been caked on your grates from your previous grilling sesh. Go the extra mile and use a non-toxic spray cleaner to get your grill baby looking shiny and new.