Written By
Published Aug. 4, 2021

Why Netflix and chill when you can summertime and grill? One of the best perks of warm weather is getting to cook outside on a charcoal, gas, or electric grill, and the best grill basket instantly makes it easier. For food that’s too small to rest on the slats, a basket made of fine mesh or solid stainless steel with air vents allows you to get all the yummy goodness without worrying about your food sliding through and perishing in the flames.

What to consider when shopping for the best grill basket

If you have a grill but no basket, you’re missing a major opportunity. They give you a dedicated place to cook smaller pieces of food that would otherwise fall through the grates (e.g. veggies, scallops) while the main event (steaks, chicken, veggie burgers) sizzle on the main grate. Holes or perforations in the mesh are big enough to let heat and smoke through for an even cook, but small enough to keep tinier pieces secure. A basket that comes with a locking top can be rotated for an even cook, and some models are built specifically to function like a rotisserie.

One thing that’s crucial: Measure first! A grill basket can be your best accessory, but only if it fits. Make sure that the specs of your grill match those of your basket. Otherwise you’ll have some very sad zucchini and pepper slices falling into the charcoal depths, never to be savored.

Will you be using your grill basket primarily for vegetables?

Unless we’re talking about entire ears of corn or massive slices of eggplant, chances are the veggies you want to grill are too small to sit on the main grill slats. Some may even be too small for certain types of grill baskets. If you know you’ll be using yours for sliced peppers, onions, tomatoes, and other small slippery suckers, you need a basket with a very fine mesh or slatted stainless steel. That way they won’t slip through. 

Do you want the brand of your grill basket to be the same as your grill?

You can absolutely mix and match brands when it comes to your grill and accessories, but by buying coordinating accessories from the same brand, you can assure that they fit and work together. If you purchase grill utensils that are a different brand than your grill, you absolutely want to measure first and make sure the specs match up. (You don’t, for example, want to buy a grill basket that’s narrower than the circumference or width of your appliance.) 

What are some other BBQ supplies to invest in?

BBQ tools that every aspiring grill guru should consider include heat-resistant grill gloves (so you can manhandle your food without worrying about burns or germs), tongs, a fork, a spatula, a basting brush or mop, a grill brush, a thermometer, an injector (for marinades), and an olive-oil mister. You don’t need every single piece, of course, but if you’re after a well-stocked grill setup, start here!

The best grill baskets

When it’s time to grill, baby, grill—chill, baby, chill! Whether you’re looking for something super affordable, want something with some extra bells and whistles, or just need a flat surface for all your delicate zucchini curls, we’ve got you covered.

Top pick overall: Weber 6434 Deluxe Ss Vegetable Basket

Ideal for Veggies

This brand’s grill accessories are the gold standard of barbecue accoutrements: This stainless-steel option is 13.8 by 11.8 by 2.5 inches—ideal for cooking cut-up vegetables. Weber

Check Price

This vegetable basket ensures maximum heat retention, cleans up easily with soap and water, and features wide handles for easy transport from grill to table. It’s only 1.1 pounds, and fits all Weber grills and most other charcoal, gas, and electric grills. It also doubles as a wok for diced meat.

Runner up: Yukon Glory Premium Grilling Basket

Sturdy Construction

A lock-in latch on this 11-inch-by-3¼-inch-by-7½ inch model means you can flip burgers, steaks, veggies, plus the most delicate foods for an even cook with zero chance of spillage. Yukon Glory

Check Price

Heat-resistant handles prevent burns; plus, they’re foldable, meaning that this Yukon grilling basket will stow easily in a compact space. (The handle is 9.5 inches extended, 3 inches collapsed.) The basket can withstand heats up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Premium pick: Rösle BBQ Stainless Steel Revolving Skewer Basket

Worth the Splurge

Dishwasher-safe fine stainless steel mesh makes this 17.3-inch-by-6.5-inch-by-5.1-inch locking basket ideal for tossing your grub with wild abandon. Rösle

Check Price

Like an interlocking flat model, only better! True, 100 bucks is a lot to lay down for a grill accessory, but if you spend a lot of time grilling and like quality BBQ tools, an option that allows you to easily, effortlessly toss things like potato wedges and mixed veggie cubes (i.e. irregularly shaped items that won’t necessarily lie flat) could be worth it.

Budget pick: Ronco Ready Grill All Purpose Basket with Kabobs 

Total Steal

For less than 8 bucks, you get a one-pound, 17.4-by-2.3-10.55 inch stainless steel grill basket and four skewers meant specifically for a countertop Ronco ready grill, meaning you can get your grill on rain or shine. Ronco

Check Price

This one is more durable and versatile than some options three times the price, but it is only meant to work with a compatible Ronco ready grill. Note: The handles are plastic and could melt if used on a conventional outdoor grill. The all-purpose basket folds in half to keep food secure and slides in easily to the portable indoor grill, which plugs in and can be used for everything from fish and veggies to ribs and frozen foods.

Also consider: Yukon Glory Mini BBQ Grill Accessories Basket Set

Everything You Need

For less than 30 bucks, you get a trio of grilling baskets in multiple sizes and shapes, plus bonus cleaning pads (though the set is dishwasher-safe). Yukon Glory

Check Price

Different-shaped baskets are best suited for different foods. A bowl is great for stir-fry, a flat tray works for patties and fish, and a basket gets the job done for irregularly shaped vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and more.

FAQs

Q: Do grill baskets work?

They do! They are the perfect way to cook anything that would otherwise fall through the slats, like veggies, shrimp, scallops, and kebabs. A dual-sided basket that lets you flip also makes getting an even cook easier. 

Q: Who makes the best grilling tools?

Best is of course subjective, but some names to look out for when you’re shopping for grill tools include Weber, Blackstone, Traeger, and Ninja. Founded in 1893, American brand Weber is, in particular, synonymous with grilling, so if you can get your hands on Weber grill accessories, you’re set. 

Q: How do you keep fish from sticking to the grill basket?

The best ways to keep fish from sticking to the basket all involve oil: Brush the fish with olive oil, then do the same to the grill basket itself (use a paper towel to apply the oil or invest in an olive oil sprayer). Also, always make sure that the grill is clean and the fish is dry before you start. Preheat the grill so you get an instant sear and arrange the fish perpendicular, not parallel to the grill bars.

Related: Planning your next camping trip? These are all the cooking tools you do and don’t need

The final word on shopping for the best grill basket

If you’re looking to impress your family and friends with flavorful, perfectly cooked meats, fish, and veggies, the first crucial BBQ tool you need is a grill basket. While your main course is sizzling on the main grates, the mesh will get to work on your more delicate foods, like seafood and vegetables. Pull up an Adirondack chair, crack open a beer or pour a glass of iced tea, and get ready for a delightful summer evening, grilled goodies included. 

MORE TO READ