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Guide to Great Grilling Tools

You may already have a favorite set of basic grilling tools. Here's a guide to unique barbecue items that may come in handy -- and they make great gifts!

Basic grilling tools include the necessary tongs and a spatula, but a few barbecue accessories will please any beginner or seasoned outdoor chef.

-Grill lights. These portable units add an extra light source at the grill - at dusk, on cloudy days, or under a shaded carport. Models vary, but main features include bendable neck, four AAAA batteries, and clip for attaching to grill platform.

-Tong/Spatula combo. Spatula allows you to scoop up steaks and chops while the tong top clamps down to keep the meat stable. Up to 19 inches long.

-Corn Cob basket. Segmented, enclosed steel basket keeps corncobs in place and makes them easy to turn. Non-stick coating.

-Grill mat. If you are planning to cook fish or tender vegetables with indirect heat, a non-stick mat is great to have. Cooks food evenly, easy to store, and can go in the dishwasher.

-Ceramic briquettes. Add efficiency to gas or electric grilling. Do not absorb grease and are flareup free.

-Carbon remover. Brush this product on all metal surfaces to get rid of buildup. Also works on glass, teflon, stoves, and brick.

-Utensil racks. Attaches to grills with convenient hooks for hanging tools.

-Propane cylinder gauge. Adheres to your propane tank and indicates how much propane remains.

-Leak detectors. Check for leaks on propane tanks - some models also have level indicators.

-Grill gloves. Insulated and fire resistant. Some styles are great for lifting meats off the grill if you don't want to piece food with pigtails or forks.

-Caddies. Various models/styles/price ranges. These make terrific gifts - just fill with an assortment of tools and condiments for the chef.

-Wood chips and chunks. Add flavor to the grill with mesquite, hickory, apple, wild cherry, pecan, and more. A supply of each is good to have on hand for different types of meats, poultry, and fish. Experiment for unique taste treats.

-Aprons and belts. You'll find a wide variety of designs and patterns with enough pockets in each to hold an army of utensils and grilling supplies.

-Large wooden or plastic trays. All cooks need more than one oversized cutting board or tray for transporting large cuts of meat, such as ribs, to and from the grill.

-If you are looking for a unique tool holder for the deck, shop around for cast iron drawer pulls or other unique objects. Ours is a longhorn-shaped knob that was simple to attach to a deck post.

-Kabob forks and baskets. No more lost bits of food falling off a stick. Metal styles available with multiple tines. Enclosed baskets available in single sizes or multiple units.

-Timers and thermometers. These go hand in hand when cooking any type of meat. Always follow guidelines when cooking: both timing and internal temperatures are critical to food safety and enjoyment.

-Buckets for used coals. Look for unique, decorated metal buckets for safe dumping of used charcoals.

-Branding iron. Order custom with initials or select choice of brands. A conversation-starter at any barbecue.

-Personalized barbecue utensils. Shop around on the internet for custom-engraved supplies.

-Grilled jalapeno holder. These units hold peppers upright so they can be stuffed and charred for the perfect appetizer.

Barbecue accessories are essential for fine outdoor cooking. These items will keep you and/or your favorite chefs happy and ready to fire up the grill.



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