This is the summer you'll become renown for your meat-charring abilities. This is when your kebabs and tin-foil-wrapped corn make you a favorite among your neighbors. No guarantees, but some may fall in love with you and your jalepeño-cheese-stuffed burgers. How? Lots of tasting, high-quality ingredients, and some of the best gear on the market. Read on.
This grilling plank set comes with six, 5-11-inch planks made from cedar, alder, cherry, hickory, maple, and red oak. Cooking on wood adds extra flavor in your veggies, meats, and seafood. These are oven-safe, too, so you can use them indoors. The variety pack comes with a recipe booklet. $25.
If you’re cooking after the sun goes down, make sure to keep your grill station lit. This Cuisinart grill light has nine LEDs with 10,000-hour bulb lives. It’s powered with three AAA batteries and clamps to your grill’s handle. The light isn’t waterproof, so make sure to remove the device when it rains. $20.
Grilling should be fun. This Batman BBQ tool set comes with a spatula—with the Batman logo—grilling fork, and slotted songs. The set is made of stainless steel with beech wood handles. $20.
Space on your grill is precious. These Fire Wire grilling skewers are made of a flexible stainless steel, so you can squeeze more onto your grate. The $10 set comes with two skewers.
Here’s a less messy way to make s'mores. Stack your ingredients in the baskets and safely stick it over your grill or campfire. Is it necessary? Not in the strictest sense. But the promise of making batches of s'mores on the grill is enticing. $14.
Grilling is great, but I can’t imagine eating burgers or grilled chicken every day. Why not grill up some molluscs with garlic and butter? This cast iron grill pan holds 12 oysters. It can really hold anything that fits in the oyster slots, so get creative. $30.
Wood or bamboo skewers work in a pinch, but once you realize how easily veggies and meats slide off a stainless steel rod, you'll never want to go back. This set comes with six flat, 14.7-inch skewers, all of which have an anti-scald handle that slides down, pushing hunks of chicken or pepper onto your plate. $16.
This digital thermometer has a large LCD display and can measure temperatures between -40 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The claws make tearing through smoked pork shoulder super easy and way less messy. Plus you'll feel like a bear or a tiger or something. $29.
Smoking meat is a lengthier process than simple barbecuing—but it's worth it. To make sure the smoky flavor of the wood chips penetrates the meat—and not just flavor the outside—you'll need patience first and foremost. Some people smoke their meat for for days or even weeks. This stainless steel smoker box is a good, cheap option for somebody who wants to smoke meat, but isn't quite ready to spend hundreds of dollars on an elaborate set-up. You put wood chips in the box and put it directly your charcoals. It's a relatively simple, inexpensive, and unobtrusive way to get some of that smokey flavor. $22.
Brush up on your basic BBQ knowledge and get tips from pros. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay will teach you how a smoker works, what woods to use, which cuts of meat work best, and how to serve your fare. There is nothing wrong with seeking a little outside help. $19.
If you've been using the same tools your parents put on their wedding registry, it's time for an upgrade that gets you excited to grill again. This kit comes with a spatula, power tongs, a basting brush, a knife, a cleaning brush, four pairs of corn holders, and two skewers. All the tools fit in the aluminum carrying case. It's suave as hell. $30.
Flame-resistant gloves will keep you out of the hospital and keep your grilling throughout the summer. The Flamen anti-heat gloves have a soft cotton lining, are made of a heat-resistant, synthetic aramid fiber, and have silicone grips that keep your tools from slipping from your hands. $15.
Why put fixings on your burgers when you can put fixings in your burgers? Mold and stuff your burgers with the plastic Patty Buddy Deluxe Stuffed Burger Press. The press comes with 20 recipes, though experimenting is encouraged—by me. I like mushrooms, onions, jalapeños, myself. $11.
Yes, this is rather unorthodox, but listen: everybody loves a pizza oven, and firing up that kind of heat outside makes a lot of sense. The PizzaQue uses a 14-inch cordierite pizza stone and propane gas to make a crispy pizza in six minutes. Use the grill to char vegetables for toppings. $109.
Designated trays for cooked and raw meats means less inadvertent cross-contamination. The trays have ridges on the inside for marinating foods and a labeling surface on the side. $13.
Grilling is fun. Cleaning the grill is ... not. The Grillbot will do it for you, with three different cycles ranging from 10 to 30 minutes. It has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and requires four hours of charge time to reach full power. The brushes are removable and dishwasher-safe. $68.
If you're not into the robot idea, here's a good option for the manual approach. This 18-inch grill brush has stainless steel bristles that, as the company notes, can survive a zombie apocalypse. $12.
This Himalayan salt block, roughly the size of letter paper, comes with a steel-coated holder with handles. Why cook on a salt block? The minerals and cooking technique are supposed to offer a more complex flavor than regular table salt. $32.
Six bucks is a small price to pay to seem incredibly fancy. TableCraft bamboo steak markers act as labels for cooked meats. This package comes with 130 markers—20 rare, 30 medium-rare, 30 medium, 30 medium-well, and 20 well. $6.
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