It’s finally Spring! And that means prime grilling season is around the corner. It’s time to clear away the clutter of winter, clean off your grill, and get ready for summer BBQ season. Whether you’ve been grilling for friends and family for years or this is your first journey into backyard BBQ’ing, you need to have the right tools for the job. Quality grilling accessories can make a big difference when it comes to creating mouth-watering food over an open flame. Most grilling accessories are easy to find and won’t break your budget, either.
Here are five must-have accessories recommended by America’s Test Kitchen. They’ve searched high and low for the best recommendations on grilling accessories. Check out their recommendations so you can get the most out of your time at the grill!
Tongs might be the most important grilling accessory. They help you move your food around the grill safely without getting delicate skin too close to your heat source. Most grilling experts recommend that you get tongs that are at least 16″ long. That extra length gives you plenty of space between you and the flame. After that, what tongs you pick comes down to preference. You don’t want them to be too heavy, or else you are going to get tired when you are moving steaks around all afternoon. Choose ones constructed with quality materials, though. You don’t want your tongs falling apart in the middle of a BBQ.
America’s Test Kitchen recommends OXO Good Grips 16-inch Locking Tongs. They are the right length for grilling and lock closed when you need to store them.
BBQ Basting Bottle
A basting brush is great. A basting bottle is even better. Basting bottles take all the good things about a basting brush and make it more convenient and less messy. The bottle holds your favorite sauce and has a silicone brush head on top. When you invert the bottle and squeeze, the bottle distributes the sauce into the brush bristles and evenly coats your meat. Good basting bottles will have a removable brush head that can be easily washed and replaced with a screw-on cap. That allows you to save your leftover sauce and not waste it.
The Mr. B-B-Q, Inc. Silicone Basting Bottle with Cap is everything you want in a basting bottle. It’s stain resistant and washable. Plus the silicone brush head withstands temperatures of up to 480 degrees. That helps you get the perfect sear while you baste without worrying about your brush melting.
Maybe you consider yourself a grilling master. But until you are working with a grill griddle, you aren’t really getting the most out of your grill. A grill griddle (also called a plancha) is a flat surface that sits on top of your grates. The heat is evenly distributed across the plancha to create a solid cooking surface. This is the perfect way to cook foods that would otherwise fall through your grill grates. That includes tasty treats like fish, vegetables, bacon, hashbrowns, and even pancakes! It’s the perfect accessory for your grill so you can create even more outdoor cooking magic. Look for a plancha that fits your particular grill (you may need to do some measuring here). Cast iron griddles are best, though you’ll find a wide range of options out there.
If you are a Weber user, their plancha is an especially good option. It’s porcelain and cast iron combination will last you for decades. We also like that there are two different cooking surfaces so you can switch depending on what you need.
It’s all fun and games until it’s time to clean up. Actually, clean up can be fun, too, when you have the right grill brush. If you’ve struggled with cleaning your grill in the past, there is a good chance it has a lot to do with what grill brush you are using. A bad brush can make you work harder than necessary to clean off your grates. A really bad one will put you off grilling in the future. But a high-quality stainless steel grill brush will allow you to quickly clean off your grill and rejoin the festivities. Look for a brush with a wide head on it so you can cover a lot of surface area quickly.
America’s Test Kitchen recommends the Weber 6494 12-Inch 3-Sided Grill Brush. It’s great for grill grates of all types and has an ergonomic handle so you don’t get close to the heat. The thick stainless steel bristles on this brush won’t wear down, either.
Think you can just grab your spatula from the kitchen to use out on the grill? You’ll quickly find that a dedicated grill spatula is the way to go when cooking up grilled perfection. That’s because grill spatulas have two distinct differences to their kitchen cousins. First, they have a longer handle that helps to keep your fingers away from the flames. And secondly, they have a wider spatula head, so they are better at flipping burgers, fish, and large steaks. You’ll want to look for a spatula that has a handle that fits comfortably in your hand with a good grip, too, so you don’t lose control of your steaks.
America’s Test Kitchen put eight models to the test and found the classic Weber 6620 Original Spatula to be the winner. The long handle kept hands away from the heat while the comfort grip provided plenty of control. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
And Don’t Forget the Meat
Of course, all the grilling accessories in the world won’t matter if you neglect the basics. The most important and most basic ingredient of any grill is the meat. And for that, you can turn to Schweid & Sons. Check out our selection of premium burgers that are just begging to go on your grill. We have everything from your no-frills, back-to-basics burger to premium blended burgers made from whole premium cuts of boneless chuck. Browse all of our delicious meat options on our website and find a retailer near you.
Want to learn more about great grilling accessories? Visit America’s Test Kitchen to learn more. And happy grilling!