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The Grilling Essentials Guide: Best Grilling Tools & Accessories

A Grilling Essentials Guide to make your outdoor cooking experience incredible! Everything you need to know: the best grills on the market, from charcoal to gas and wood pellet, my favorite grilling tools and fun accessories to take your grilling up a notch! 

After you’ve gone through this list the top two recipes you need to make are my Grilling California Steak Salad with Chimichurri Dressing and my Honey Sriracha Grilled Chicken Thighs.

Grilling Essentials Guide

You guys know my passion for grilling! I absolutely love it! I grew up with a mom who was always on the grill too, which is probably why I have that same passion and excitement.

Grilling isn’t just for men y’all! Girls can grill too! 

I’ve had a lot of you ask me questions about grilling. Questions from doneness temperatures, to best grills, favorite grilling tools or how to make the grill the center of your summer entertaining. Well, I’m here to answer all of those questions with my NEW Summer Grilling Series and it starts TODAY! We are gonna go through… All the things! Trust me. First up is this Grilling Essentials Guide. After all, you gotta have the goods before you can make the goods. Am I right? Ok, let’s dive in. And as always, if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask!

a collage of gas, charcoal and wood pellet grills

The Best Grills 

Let’s be honest, when it comes to grilling most people land on either the charcoal side or the gas grill side. I grew up with my mom using a Weber Charcoal Grill, she would even do our Thanksgiving Turkey on the grill. (which is saying a lot because she’d hike through the snow in Wisconsin to baste that thing). Now that I’m the Grill Master at our house I get to choose.  I’ve always used a gas grill, I’m too impatient for a charcoal to lit up. But there is something to say about the taste you get from a good charcoal grill! So I’m on both sides, I ride the fence. Is that okay? Any who, this wouldn’t be a grilling essentials guide without giving you my recommended grills!

Top Gas Grills

  • Weber Gas Grill – The hottest gas grill this summer is the Weber Summit Series. It has a rotisserie option, Infrared burners,
    Lighted control knobs,  storage9mm diameter stainless steel cooking grates, a Smoker box to infuse wood chips into your food, a Side Burner and Stainless steel side tables. A cheaper option that is a bit smaller but gives you all the same bells and whistles is the Genesis Series!
  • Char-Broil – There are two hot grills out there right now by Char Boil. The first one is there Gas2Coal Grill – you can have the ease of cooking on a gas grill, or the great taste that can only be achieved on a charcoal grill. With the Char-Broil Gas2Coal, you can now have both, all in one powerful grill. The second grill is their TRU-Infrared 3 burner Grill with exclusive stainless steel finish for increased style and durability. TRU-Infrared cooking technology that prevents flare-ups, delivers even-heat and cooking for juicier food. Porcelain-coated grates are durable, rust-resistant and easy-to-clean
  • Blaze – This is the grill we have. It is considered a premium or professional gas grill. We have the natural gas one that sits in a built in outdoor kitchen, it’s a 40″ grill (we grill A LOT) and has five burners. I absolutely LOVE it and would buy it again in a heart beat. If you don’t have a natural gas option, here is a freestanding grill with propane underneath.
  • Napoleon – Another premium or professional grill is you are a grill master like me! The Napoleon Prestige is a great mid level for Napoleon. It has a side burner for additional grilling space, a rotisserie kit, rear burners which brings in more overall heat, stainless steel grill grates, huge surface area for grilling and infrared burners. If you are a serious grilling and want to one up the Prestige line, then Napoleon’s LEX730RSBI Natural Gas Grill is specially designed with a ceramic rear infrared burner, infrared sizzle zone bottom burner and range side burners. Made of heavy gauge stainless steel, this grill has everything you need for an outdoor kitchen experience.

Best Charcoal Grills

I mean honestly when it comes to charcoal grills Weber is where it’s at, it’s the one and only. But a grill that has both the charcoal option AND the smoker are the newer ceramic grills, I have two of those options listed below.

  • Weber Original Kettle Premium Grill – Rust Resilient, built to last. This grill comes with plated steel and hinged grates. The lid handle comes with a heat shield and the bowl is porcelain-enameled. Plus i has a lidAluminized steel one-touch cleaning system. YES! This is a time tested favorite, Weber is KNOWN for it’s quality.
  • Kamado Joe – The Kamado Joe Classic II includes new innovation, featuring a thick-walled, heat-resistant shell that locks in smoke and moisture at any temperature. You can get the optimal smoke at 225°F with precise temperature control using the unique Kontrol Tower Top Vent or ramp up the fire to sear some steak at 750°F with direct charcoal flavored heat on the 2-Tier Divide & Conquer grill system. You’ll get premium results with the Kamado Joe for any type of grilling or smoking you do!

The Newest Grills: Wood Pellet Grills

This is the new phenomenon when grilling! No more gas or charcoal, you use wood pellets to cook. These grills use state of the art technology and grilling innovation that leaves you with the perfect end product every time and makes grilling foolproof.

  • Traeger Ironwood Collection – My brother has this one and absolutely LOVES it! The Ironwood Series is among Traeger Grills most innovative products with WiFIRE technology that allows the chef to control their grill from anywhere at anytime with your phone.  You can monitor temperatures, set times, receive alerts, and custom recipe cook cycles. The Ironwood Series also has a built in pellet sensor that alerts you when you’re running low on pellets. Grill it hot and fast, or low and slow, the Traeger Ironwood Series pellet grill offers 6-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ food to juicy perfection
  • Traeger Wood Pellet Grill – Never use gas or charcoal again: cooking with wood just tastes better. Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill as the ultimate way to achieve wood-fired taste. The Digital Pro Controller rocks Advanced Grilling Logic, which maintains a +/- 15 degree F temperature control to guarantee precision grilling. Traeger Grills are built to be sturdy and durable: made with powerful steel construction and durable powder coat finish, easy to clean porcelain grill grates and all-terrain wheels. You’re gonna love them!

a collection of my favorite go to grilling tools and accessories

My Favorite Grilling Tools & Accessories

A girl’s got to have her accessories. Am I right? And grilling is no different. I definitely a list of staple grilling tools that I use all the time and I wanted to make sure you have that list because the recipes coming at you in the next 2 months will be using these items! So get prepared!

  • BBQ Tool Set – A 4 piece set that has the essential is the best place to start and this BBQ Tool Set has wooden handle on long tongs, hamburger spatula, basting brush and BBQ Fork. 
  • Meat Thermometer – One of my favorite meat thermometers is by Polder. I has a long extension so you don’t burn your fingers over the grill, a backlit digital display, and the option to select meat types with built in doneness temperatures.
  • Grill Brush – I’ve tried a couple different grill brushes and at the end of the day the one that does the best job in my book is this one. I recommend you turn your grill up to the highest heat to burn off anything on the grill grates and then use this brush to scrub it squeaky clean.
  • Grill Basket/Grill Grate – No more losing vegetables down the grill, this is a must when it comes to grilling tools! One of the easiest and fastest ways to grill up fresh vegetables or even shrimp is by using a grill basket! You get the flavor from the grill but not a mess on it! 
  • Basting Brush – I’ve gone the silicon basting brush route which are heat resistant, but find that I lose more sauce down the grill because the sauce doesn’t always stick to the brush. And I’ve gone the classic bbq basting brush, I’ll let you chose. I prefer the later, but fair warning, the later is harder to clean. Either way, you’re gonna need a basting brush if you want to infuse flavor and definitely if you are making BBQ Chicken or BBQ Baby Back Ribs!
  • Grilling Tongs – Unless you have heat resistant hands, you’re going to need a good pair of tongs to flip the beautiful tuscan ribeyes you’ll be grilling up. I like the ones that can lock in place and these are long with an easy grip no slip grip on the ends, it’s a must have in regards to grilling tools.
  • Stainless Steel Skewers – One of my favorite things to make on the grill are kabobs. They are healthy, easy, delicious and beautiful. Personally I use stainless steel skewers because when the metal gets hot it helps cook the meat from the inside too leaving you with perfectly cooked kabobs. The dual prong skewers really make sure your meat and vegetables stavy in place and don’t move around on the grill when you’re flipping.
  • Wooden Skewers – If you don’t like stainless steel but still want to make those pretty steak kabobs then wooden skewers will be your jam. Just remember to soak them for at least 30 minutes before use.
  • Cedar Plank Board – Grilling on a cedar plank allows you to cook your food low and slow in it’s own juices while also infusing it with a distinct cedar taste you’ll love! These are a must during grilling season and will change salmon for you forever!
  • Grilling Gloves – My husband loves these because when you have these heat resistant babies you can grab the steak off the grill with your hands or flip stainless skewers, no tongs needed! This is for the mans man! There are two kinds, the silicone gloves or the high heat resistant gloves. We have both and Mike prefers the silicon which are the ones most BBQ pit masters use.
  • Bamboo Cutting Board – An extra large bamboo cutting board or butcher block with a juice catcher on the side is a staple in my house. It’s what I place my meat on to rest after I’ve grilled it. I slice all my meat on it because if juices do come out I know they won’t get on the counter! I also use this oil to make sure I’m taking care of the wood and it lasts me a long time.
  • Meat Marinading Tray – This is a great easy to use long tupperware that allows you to marinate meat in a container with an air tight lid to make sure nothing else gets contaminated in your refrigerator.

fun grilling tools and accessories

For Fun: Grilling Accessories

This section is exactly that, for fun. I have a few of these grilling tools, but not all of them. Sometimes I just fun to have a stuffed hamburger press so you can make a burger stuffed with cheddar cheese or a pizza oven that can go over your grill! Let’s dream and have fun!

  • Adjustable Non-Stick Burger Press – Don’t get me wrong I can form burgers myself, but if I can take an easy button and put the ground beef in a burger press to get the perfect size patty every time… I might just take this easy grilling tool!
  • Stuffed Hamburger Press – Amp you’re burgers up this season by stuffing them with gooey cheese or bacon! These easy stuffed burger press makes that dream a reality!
  • Cast Iron Grill Press – When you’re making Brick Chicken or just trying to get a nice sear on the outside of your meat, a cast iron grill press comes in super handy in the realm of grilling tools. The weight of it really helps press your protein into the grill giving you that seared crunchy crust everyone loves and also helps press out unwanted fats and oils while grilling.
  • Basting Pot – Place this basting pot with whatever sauce you’re using on the grill to keep it warm the entire time!
  • Wide Spatula – This spatula has a comfortable non-slip grip with an angled neck to help keep your hands and arms away from the heat. The wide spatula head is designed for expertly turning fish, large pizzas, steaks or anything else that needs a wide mouth spatula so it doesn’t fall apart in the flip.
  • Glazed Pizza Stone – This pizza stone produces perfectly crispy crusts and doubles as a cutting surface, wohoo! This glazed pizza stone withstands extremely high heat, so it can be used in the oven or on the grill!
  • Pizza Oven Kit – You know how I’ve been making pizzas on the grill? Well, this is the ultimate pizza oven kit that will leave you with the best charcoal oven pizza EVER!
  • Fish Grill Basket – Never deal with another fish massacre again! Gently place your fish in this consolidated grill basket and ensure you have the perfect grilled fish every time without leaving half of it on the grill.
  • Drop Bottom Charcoal Chimney – A charcoal chimney starter with a quick-release drop bottom makes starting your charcoal grill fast & easy. Fill the chimney with charcoal & light it, once your coals are hot, squeeze the trigger to drop the charcoal into your grill. Easy Peasy!
  • Smoker Box – Infuse grilled meats, seafood and vegetables with cherry wood, hickory or mesquite without using a smoker! This easy to use box can give the same effect by soaking your wood chips, placing them in this smoker box to then infuse for one delicious bite!

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