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Grilling Accessories & How to Use Them

A close up of a person using a basting brush to rub bbq sauce onto a rack of ribs

Grilling is the highlight of spring and summer backyard activities for many families. Whether you prefer the ease of propane-powered grilling or the classic taste of charcoalgrilling accessories are what elevate the experience. Each time you grill can offer a different experience and radically different finished foods with the right accessories. Don’t just stick with the same old hamburgers and hot dogs when you could smoke meats, put together your own shish kabobs, and so much more with just a few accessories.

Smoker Boxes

A silver smoking box smoking wood chips in under the grates of a gas grill

There’s no need to invest in a freestanding smoker if you already have a high-quality grill, especially if it’s a charcoal grill. Some smoker boxes even work with propane grills with direct access burners. A smoker box is made from sheet metal and has a small compartment for the pellets or chips of wood that provide the smoke. Simple smoker boxes just hold the wood chips above the flames and fill the entire grill compartment with smoke. Try a double-chambered smoker box that holds food and a separate compartment for smoking materials for more direct application. This allows for better control of the amount of heat the food is exposed to, allowing for longer smoking times.

Skewers for Grilling and Roasting

Chicken and peppers skewers sitting on top of a charcoal grill grate

If you love grilling kebabs on the grill, then investing in a high-quality set of skewers is a must. Depending on your grilling needs, there are many different kinds of skewers, from wood to metal, flat to round, and long to short. The most common style of skewers are bamboo ones. While these skewers get the job done, they don't hold up as long as metal ones and must be soaked in water before grilling. If you prefer metal skewers, go for some with flat ends. These skewers won't roll off the grill and are easy to grab with tongs. They can also handle more meats and vegetables compared to wooden skewers. Flexible grill skewers made of high-quality metal wire can be curled up in a bag for marinating, then arranged on the grill around other foods to take advantage of free space. 

Skillets That Can Take the Heat

Cast iron skillet cooking a pork tenderloin with pepers, potatoes, and rosemary over a charcoal stove

Grills become truly versatile cooking devices when you bring in heavy equipment in the form of cast iron. While a heavy-duty skillet or dutch oven may take some arm strength to lift on and off the grill, it’s the best way to expand your options for cooking. At the most basic, you can quickly fry or sear anything you’d cook on the stovetop by running the grill on low heat. Covered dishes like dutch ovens and cast iron casserole sets allow you to bake desserts like a cobbler right on the grill after the dinner is done. Look for cast iron that can handle oven temperatures of 500 degrees or more to ensure they can take the heat of the grill.

Meat Shredders for BBQ and Brisket

A person using meat shredders to shred up pork for pulled pork sandwiches

Using a pair of forks for tearing apart large chunks of pork and beef that were slow-cooked for hours can feel like an endless uphill battle. If you’re tired of sore hands after shredding meat in volume, choose meat shredding tools designed to make easy work of it. Meat “claws” give you more grip and larger fork points for tearing into the meat and making uniform shreds of it. For slicing meat into thin and even strips, try a sharp knife and a sturdy meat fork with a thick handle for a comfortable grip.

Grill Baskets

A close up of a grill basket holding sliced onions and tomatoes set on top of a gas stove

Grill baskets are perfect for holding and flipping anything you don’t want to handle individually. Pack delicate foods like bread, pizza crusts, fish, or vegetable mixtures into a basket and apply a little oil. Close the basket and add it to the grill, then flip it as often as necessary for even cooking without burning. Foods that could easily stick to the hot grill can be cooked in a basket well-coated with cooking spray or oil. Try a collection of grill baskets in a range of sizes so you can make everything from appetizers (grilled cherry tomatoes) to dessert (easy s’mores) on the grill.

Basic Tools of the Grilling Trade

A basic set of grilling tools. One fork, brush, tongs, and spatula

While all the tools listed above are specialty items you may not have heard of before, basic grill accessories are even more important. No matter your grill type or grilling style, keep on hand plenty of:

  • Strong tongs and sturdy meat forks to help move foods and get them off the grill when done
  • An offset grill spatula that’s sturdy enough to flip the biggest burgers and chicken halves
  • Accurate instant-read meat thermometers that won’t melt in the heat of the grill
  • Cedar planks for infusing food with a mild smoky flavor
  • Copper grill mats to keep small items from falling through and to prevent sticking
  • Grill gloves for direct handling of heavy accessories like cast iron pans or foil-wrapped briskets
  • Various grill scrapers and brushes, preferably made of natural materials like bamboo or wood
  • Charcoal starting chimney if you have a charcoal grill.

With a few new accessories each summer, you’ll always have a grill innovation to wow your cookout guests with. You may find new ways to grill old classics or finally master those perfect burgers or brats that always eluded you.

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.


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