A new grill is only the first step in a string of fun and useful grilling purchases. There are a number of tools and accessories that serve to make grilling a more pleasurable and easier process. Whether purchasing for personal use or a gift, the following tools are a must-have for grilling aficionados.

1. Charcoal

Yes, charcoal is an obvious necessity for grilling. However, there are a large variety of charcoal products on the market. Experienced grill chefs advise against any products containing added starter. These additional chemicals are unnecessary and can add unwanted flavors to the food. Cooks can experiment with different charcoal varieties to find their favorites. All-natural mesquite, which is known for its ability to reach high heats, is one of the most popular choices.

2. Metal Skewers

Useful for everybody’s favorite grilled meal, shish kabobs, heavy metal skewers are a necessary grilling accessory. Wide, flat skewers with a pointed tip are a great choice, as they help the food stay in place and are easier to spear objects with. Skewers with wooden or plastic parts should be avoided, as these parts may not stand up well under direct heat.

3. Metal Spatula

Most people already own several spatulas, and it can be tempting to simply use these objects on the grill. However, it is important to purchase a heavy-duty spatula that is designed for grill use, as these tools are guaranteed to stand up to the high heat. A grilling spatula should be heavy, all metal, wide, and flat. This shape will enable easy lifting and turning while grilling.

4. Metal Tongs

Again, most people already own tongs. Grilling tongs are slightly different than those found in most kitchen drawers. Grilling tongs should be long, allowing the cook to reach and turn objects without getting too close to the fire. These should also be composed of all metal materials.

5. Meat Thermometer

There are all kinds of techniques to determine whether or not meat is done. Despite the plethora of methods, the only surefire way to avoid over- or under-cooking is to utilize a meat thermometer. While there are a variety of options, including high-tech options featuring alarms, a basic instant-read thermometer is a fine choice. These thermometers offer a quick and accurate read-out, allowing the cook to assess the temperature within seconds.

6. Silicone Brush

Old-fashioned bristle brushes tend to melt on the high-heat of grills. Silicone can stand up this heat, allowing the cook to marinate meat and vegetables as they cook. Cheap and incredibly useful, it makes sense to purchase a couple of these to allow for using multiple marinades.

7. Spray Bottle

Sometimes the flames flares up, charring dinner in the process. Having a spray bottle of water handy can help tame the fire, avoiding a dinner catastrophe.

8. Wire Scrub Brush

After grilling a delicious meal, it is important to thoroughly clean the grill. A heavy-duty bristle brush designed specifically for cleaning grills will help remove the grime that accumulates on grill grates. A grill should be scrubbed after every use, and the brush should be replaced at least once a year.

While there are a number of other accessories available, such as grilling baskets and wooden smoke chips, the above listed tools are all that are needed for starting out. Any basic grilling tasks can be completed with these accessories, and the entire process will be much less frustrating with the appropriate tools.

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