20 Grilling Accessories That Seriously Make Outdoor Cooking So Much Easier (and Tastier)
Your ribeye is seasoned, and the grates are hot—welcome to grilling season. To make your outdoor cooking sessions even more enjoyable this summer, why not give your grill setup the MTV Cribs treatment? From spatulas to sizzle platters, here are 20 grilling accessories to take your backyard barbecue to the next level.
1. Thermapen Mk4
Best Instant-Read Thermometer
A thermometer is essential for nailing the temperature and doneness of medium-rare steaks, juicy burgers and everything in between. The Thermoworks Thermapen is a chef-approved favorite and will give an accurate reading in two to three seconds. The Mk4 version has an automatic backlight so you can grill late into the night, too.
- Reads temperatures in seconds
- High accuracy (±0.7°F)
- Versatile for grilling, cooking and baking
- More expensive than other thermometers
- Handheld design requires frequent temp-checking
2. DOT Simple Alarm Thermometer
Best Probe Thermometer
A simple handheld thermometer is a must in the kitchen, but a probe thermometer with an alarm is a nice upgrade for grilling. A 47-inch heat-resistant cable means you can insert the probe, close the grill lid and still monitor the temperature of your brisket while it smokes. You can even set a target temperature alarm to alert you when your pièce de résistance is done.
- Cable probe for hands-off temperature reads
- Temperature alarm
- Simple interface is easy to use
- Relatively inexpensive
- Doesn’t have the high-tech features of more expensive designs
3. Grill Dog Cedar Grill Scraper
Best Grill Scraper
While steel grill brushes are traditional for cleaning gunk from grates, these cedar scrapers have a flat edge that’s more efficient and won’t leave behind shards of metal for your next steak sesh. The scraper will eventually form grooves and conform to your unique grate shape.
- Doesn’t leave metal behind
- Cleans efficiently
- Will wear down over time
- Some reviewers note cracking
4. OXO Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs
Best Grilling Tongs
If you’re grilling, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll reach for tongs over any other utensil. A pair that’s spring-loaded and locking is ideal; a pull-tab locking mechanism is even better. (It’s easier to open and close when you’re juggling other items and will stay securely locked.) This stainless-steel pair has all that, plus soft, non-slip grips on the handles, and a hanging loop for easy storage.
- Sturdy stainless-steel material
- Pull-style locking mechanism stays locked
- Dishwasher safe
- Some reviewers find the length too long
5. OXO Good Grips Fish Turner
We know, we know: It’s called “a fish turner,” so why would it be good for anything else? Hear us out: This type of spatula (usually known as a fish spatula) has a wide width and flexible blade, with an ultrathin edge that can get under any food with ease. It’s our favorite type of spatula for all tasks, and this OXO version is sturdy enough for grilling.
- Flexible but sturdy
6. Winco 11-Inch Aluminum Sizzle Platters
Best Sizzle Platter
Sizzle platters are a restaurant’s best-kept secret for broiling, mise-en-place-ing and corralling utensils into one place. They’re basically just small, lightweight aluminum pans, but they conduct heat extremely well and can really take a beating. Stock up on a few and use them to catch basting brushes, roast zucchini coins and hold resting cuts of meat.
- Small size is good for grilling vegetables or single portions
- Will eventually dent and discolor
7. Nordic Ware Naturals Half-Sheet Pans (Set of 2)
Best Sheet Pans
Aside from roasting vegetables and baking cookies, sheet pans are a cook’s best friend for carrying foods and condiments to and from the kitchen, and resting big cuts of meat before slicing and serving. The rimmed design of these Nordic Ware pans both prevents warping over time and catches errant juices.
- Rimmed design catches drips and prevents warping
- Can be a nuisance to clean
8. Just Grillin’ Nonstick BBQ Grill Topper
Best Grill Pan for Seafood and Vegetables
Smaller vegetables and delicate filets of fish can stick or fall through the grill grates, but a grill pan solves that. This 12-by-16-inch pan is nonstick and can be moved to and from your grill, plus it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
- Makes grilling fish and vegetables easier
- Dishwasher safe
- Some reviewers say food can stick
9. Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box
Best Smoker Box
Unless you have a full-fledged smoker (we don’t), this cast-iron gadget and a bag of wood chips is your next best way to infuse with rich, smoky flavor. You simply fill it with the wood of your choice, light the chips and rest it on the grates next to your food. When you close the grill lid, it traps the smoke and turns the grill into a makeshift smoker.
- Will last forever
- Cheaper than a smoker
10. Energizer Rechargeable LED Headlamp
A headlamp is an essential for grilling? If you plan on cooking outdoors past sunset or in off seasons, then absolutely. This one is rechargeable, water-resistant and size-adjustable, so you basically never have an excuse to not grill.
- Hands-free illumination
- Rechargeable and water resistant
- Some reviewers say the battery doesn’t last long enough
11. Weber Rapidfire Chimney Charcoal Starter
Best Charcoal Starter
Sure, you could use lighter fluid to light your charcoal grill (or alternatively, wait an hour for the coals to catch), but a chimney will get the same job done in 20 minutes and without any funky chemicals. To use it, pour your charcoal of choice into the aluminum drum, top with an oil-soaked paper towel and give it a light. Voilà, white-hot charcoal.
- Lights charcoal without lighter fluid
- Can be smoky when first lighting
12. Boska Ceramic Pizza Stone
Best Pizza Stone
Sure, you can use a baking stone in your oven, but did you know it works on the grill just as well? Take pizza night outside with this 12-by-15-inch ceramic slab, which yields crispy crusts just like your favorite restaurant. We like this design because it has one rimmed edge and one free edge, so you can slide your masterpiece on the stone with ease (and without fear of it falling off).
- Grill-safe up to 480°F
- Also works in the oven
- Makes brick oven style pizza at home
- Hand-wash only
13. OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Grilling Skewers (Set of 6)
Just us, or do kebabs have more fun? Skip the flammable bamboo skewers in favor of reusable steel ones, which don’t any require soaking. These have a flat design, so foods won’t spin around when skewered.
- Flat design
- No soaking required
- Metal gets hot
14. OXO Good Grips Grilling Basting Brush
Best Basting Brush
For baking, we prefer a boar-bristle brush, but for basting on marinades and barbecue sauces, silicone is easier to clean and won’t hold onto funky smells. (Oh, and it won’t catch on fire either.) We love that this brush has an angled head, so you can rest it on a surface without making a total mess.
- Easy to clean
- Impervious to smells and stains
- Heat resistant
- Large bristles aren’t good for precision basting
15. Williams Sonoma Olivewood Salt Keeper
Best Salt Cellar
There’s no point in grilling if you’re not going to season your food, so it’s best to keep some salt at the ready. Since a shaker won’t cut it, we prefer a salt cellar for generous pinches and sprinklings. This olivewood design has a lid for portability and won’t shatter if it drops.
- Some reviewers say it tips easily
16. Unicorn Mills 6-Inch Magnum Pepper Mill
Best Pepper Mill
Almost as important as salt is spice, and freshly ground black pepper is always the way to go. This is one of our favorite pepper mills because it’s incredibly fast and cranking it is as smooth as butter. The grind-size is also adjustable, and refilling is a breeze.
- Fast, adjustable grinding
- Easy to refill
17. Wildwood Grilling Grill Planks Sampler Pack (Set of 5)
Best Wood Grill Planks
For smoky meats and seafood (and even vegetables) sans smoker or smoker box, these wood planks get the job done. We like this set—which comes with one plank each of Western red cedar, alder, maple, cherry and hickory—for experimenting and first-time plank grilling.
- Infuses foods with smoky flavor
- Easy to use
- Will wear out over time
- Requires advance preparation
18. FiveTwo by Food52 Oven Mitts
Best Oven Mitts
Burns are not invited to this barbecue, so keep your digits cozy and safe with these handy oven mitts. They’re topped with silicone (which is heat safe up to 650°F) and contain secret magnets which allow hanging from any metal surface.
- Silicone is heat safe and flexible
- Easy to store
- Cotton accents are not heat safe
19. Hedley & Bennett All Day Crossback Apron
Best Grilling Apron
Grilling without an apron is like driving without car insurance, and accidents always happen. This one has a crossback design to keep tension off your neck (and will fit all sizes), and the heavy-duty canvas resists stains and abrasions. It also features multiple pockets and a smart side-tab for hanging a hand towel.
- Fits all sizes comfortably
20. John Boos & Co. End Grain Maple Chopping Block
Best Cutting Board
If you’re dining alfresco, placing a cutting board grill-side eliminates the need for trips in and out of the kitchen. This handsome end-grain maple board is an investment for sure, but it’s both durable and gentle on your kitchen knives. (Just don’t store it outside.)
- Beautiful and durable
- Gentle on knives
- Requires regular oiling