Grilling
All the Grilling Equipment You Need to Grill and Chill
Including the best grills, essential tools, and nice-to-have accessories.
05-23-2018
America's Test Kitchen

Before you can take advantage of grilling season, it’s best to take inventory of what you’re working with. Are there gaps in your grill kit, or is it time to upgrade some old standbys? Or maybe you’re just interested in buying a unnecessary but fun-to-have accessory. Invest in the best and you’ll be blissfully grilling for years to come. Here are the grilling tools and equipment we recommend for both gas and charcoal grilling. (And if you're looking for a list of charcoal-only grilling equipment, we've got that, too.)

The Best Grills

  • Weber Spirit E-310 Gas Grill

    Gas Grill: It’s easy to drop several hundred dollars on a gas grill and not get what you need. Our favorite gas grill, the Weber Spirit E-310 Gas Grill, is equally good at burgers, steaks, barbecue, and more. With a heavy-duty cookbox of thick cast aluminum and enameled steel and just one narrow vent across the back, it was easy to keep heat steady and distribute smoke. The angle of the lid when open kept smoke out of our faces. Its large, secure grease tray made cleanup easier; the sturdy, compact cart rolled without a struggle. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill

    Charcoal Grill: Our favorite charcoal grill is the Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill. It uses a gas ignition system that lights coals with the push of a button—no chimney starter needed—so it’s as convenient as a gas grill but gives you the flavor of charcoal. (If it’s out of your budget, our runner-up, the relatively inexpensive Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, is versatile and well-designed and costs less than half as much.) [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

BOOKSTORE

The Best Summer Ever Master of the Grill

With recipes and techniques arranged by skill level—from The Basics to The Easy Upgrades to The Serious Projects—cooks of all stripes can dive in and choose their outdoor cooking adventure.
 

Essential Grill Equipment

  • OXO Good Grips 16” Locking Tongs

    Grill Tongs: You’ll need long tongs to safely move food around the grill. The best pair is the OXO Good Grips 16” Locking Tongs, which have just the right combination of light but tough construction, precise pincers that stayed aligned throughout testing and could pluck up the tiniest toothpick or hoist the heftiest slab of ribs, and an easy locking tab that opened and closed simply and smoothly. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Weber Original Stainless Steel Spatula

    Grill Spatula: Grill spatulas are long-handled turners designed to keep your hands away from the flames while grilling. Our favorite is the Weber Original Stainless Steel Spatula, which we love for its slim, rounded, offset handle that lends the griller agility, a sense of control, and confidence. Particularly when the grill is really packed, this is your spatula. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Norpro 12-Inch Stainless Steel Skewers

    Skewers: We’ve been burned by skewers before. Bamboo and wood scorches; super-thin double prongs are flimsy; smooth, rounded prongs let food spin in place when you’re trying to flip it. The only set to ace every task, the thin, flat Norpro 12-Inch Stainless Steel Skewers supported thick kebabs, threaded delicate scallops without tearing them, and turned easily. Plus, their looped handles cooled quickly. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Steven Raichlen Ultimate Suede Grilling Gloves

    Grill Gloves: When you’re reaching over a red-hot grill to turn burgers or steak, you need serious protection for your arms and hands. The best grill gloves are the Steven Raichlen Ultimate Suede Grilling Gloves, which give the griller great control when manipulating tongs and grabbing hot grill grates. Long, wide cuffs protected our forearms and let air circulate to keep us cooler over a scorching hot grill. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Elizabeth Karmel Super Silicone Angled BBQ Brush

    Barbecue Basting Brushes: Long-handled barbecue basting brushes allow you to safely apply oil or sauce to food on the grill without burning your fingers. Our favorite is the Elizabeth Karmel Super Silicone Angled BBQ Brush. It’s come out on top of our last two barbecue basting brushes reviews thanks to its 12-inch handle, long bristles, and a head that’s fixed at a slight angle, which makes it nimble and precise. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Grill Wizard 18-Inch China Grill Brush

    Grill Brushes: Our favorite grill brush, the Grill Wizard 18-Inch China Grill Brush, uses a replaceable pair of steel scrub pads that effectively cleaned up dirty grates, requiring far less effort than other brushes. The tightly woven pads (which can be removed for rinsing or dishwashing) were well shaped to reach around and between the grates on both gas and charcoal grills, and they held up well without appearing worn or frayed. [Read the Full Review]

Fun-To-Have Grill Accessories Worth Buying

  • GrillStone Value Pack Cleaning Kit by Earthstone International

    Grill Grate Cleaning Block: As an everyday grill brush, the GrillStone Value Pack Cleaning Kit by Earthstone International isn’t very convenient, given that it generates a lot of dust, wears down quickly, and puts hands too close to preheated grates. But for returning dirty grates to like-new condition once or twice per season, it works like a charm. The pumice rapidly conforms to the shape of the grates for thorough cleaning. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Polder Dual Sensor Meat and Oven Thermometer

    Barbecue Thermometer: With slow and low barbecuing, it’s especially important to monitor the temperature of the fire without opening the grill lid. If your grill doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, it’s a good idea to buy one. We love the Polder Dual Sensor Meat and Oven Thermometer’s easy-to-read screen and ability to simultaneously check the food and oven temperatures. Its $10 price tag is just the cherry on top. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Grilling Enthusiast Mr. Bar-B-Q Silicone Brush Basting Bottle with Storage Cap

    Barbecue Basting Bottle: Plastic basting bottles with brush heads eliminate messy dripping between your bowl of barbecue sauce and the grill. The best available is the Grilling Enthusiast Mr. Bar-B-Q Silicone Brush Basting Bottle with Storage Cap, which is flexible and small. The bottle is easy to squeeze, allowing for good control over the amount of sauce dispensed. It even features milliliter and cup measurements on the side of the bottle so you know exactly how much sauce you’re using. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Original Grill Gauge

    Propane Indicator: OK, so this gadget isn’t necessary for a charcoal grill, of course, but we still wanted to include it here because we know how it feels to run out of gas midway through grilling. The Original Grill Gauge looks like a car gas gauge and registers the gas level by weight, so you can monitor your propane level before you light the grill. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

  • Weber Style Porcelain-Enameled Cast Iron Plancha

    Plancha (Grill Griddle): Popular in Spanish cooking, a plancha is a flat griddle that fits on top of gas or charcoal grill grates. Its surface puts a good sear on meat, chicken, or fish and also prevents smaller foods from falling through the grates. The Weber Style Porcelain-Enameled Cast Iron Plancha boasts raised sides that keep onions and peppers from spilling out and a slightly sloped surface, which directs fat away from the food. Plus, its square, roomy cast-iron surface is enameled, which makes cleanup a breeze. [Buy on Amazon l Read the Full Review]

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