I sometimes get asked what tools for the BBQ and grill are best to have around, so I thought I’d put my list of tools here for you to check out.
Candy Thermometer: I know you’re wondering what in the hell would I use a candy therm for so I’ll tell you. I use it for reading the air temp when using my Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) smoker. The candy therm reads low temps and is easy to read. Don’t get the cheapest, I got mine at Sears.
Instant Read Thermometer: I have a digital instant read therm that comes in handy when grilling thick cuts of meat and I want to take several temp readings from different parts of the meat.
Remote Thermometer: I currently use a Maverick ET-7 remote therm when doing BBQ. The ET-7 has two probes that can be used for meat and/or air temp monitoring. You can also be up to 100′ away and still get a reading.
Honestly, I don’t care for the ET-7 as much as I should and plan on getting an ET-73 in the very near future.
Extinguisher: Fire, fire, fire!
Grill brush: Each grill/smoker I have has a grill brush nearby.
Grill gloves: A good pair of heavy duty grill gloves come in handy quite often. I use a pair of welding gloves that can be bought at Northern Tool, Sears, etc. They come in handy when using the smoker, moving grates, moving lit coals, etc.
Chimney starter: I have a Weber Perfomer grill with the propane ignition system for lighting coals, but I prefer to use a chimney starter in conjuntion with the Weber’s starter so I get the coals evenly lit. It also make transporting lit coals from the Performer to the WSM when I’m going to smoke something.
Tongs: Get long, strong tongs. Those short flimsy things you get in the kitchen department just don’t cut it when your working over expremely hot coals. I have Steven Raichlin’s tongs from Amazon.
Spatula: You need a good spatula so don’t skimp. Mine’s the bomb! It came from The Pampered Chef and is big and strong. It has a nice leading edge to get under your food, a tenderizer, knife and best of all, a bottle opener. It also comes with a sheath to protect it.
Rubber gloves: Whenever I prepare food for guests I’m sure to use rubber gloves. I don’t like my hands getting dirty and the guests know I’m being safe. The gloves also come in handy when rubbing and pulling BBQ. I pick them up in big boxes at BJ’s.
Metal Trashcan: A small metal trashcan is great for spent coals. Never put old coals in paper, plastic, or anything that could melt or catch fire. Coals can stay lit for days after a cook so you need to be safe.
Grill Cover: Protect your grills and they will last years.
Lighter: You never know when you’ll need a lighter so keep a long stemmed one around the house. I have a beautiful Ducane Natural Gas grill the sometimes needs a little help getting lit so the lighter comes in handy.
Spray bottle: I’d never use a spray bottle over coals, but a spray bottle with water is sometimes nice to have when using a gas grill. That is, until you learn to grill and keep the flare-ups from happening.
Oven cleaner and plastic bags: When you want to do a deep cleaning you can spray your grates with oven cleaner and put them in plastic bags while the magic happens. Ummm, I don’t do this. I just heat the crap out of the grates and thoroughly brush them.
Grill Light: I don’t have one for the gas grill because that one is under roof and lit, but I’d like to get one for the Performer. The clip on style is best with LED lamps. The batteries will last much longer with the LED’s.
Sauce stuff: No, I don’t mean sauces, but you need a good silicone brush for applying sauces and whatnot. I’ve found silicone to be the best for this because the bristles don’t come out. A stainless steel sauce bowl goes well with this.
More items could easily be added, but most of the above in needed, not wanted.
Hope this helps.
EDIT, JANUARY 23, 2009: If you’re using a gas grill, it’s a good idea to have some baking soda handy. Read this to find out why: Clicky here.