Whether you’re new to the Q’ or you’re a seasoned griller, there’s always something new to learn about barbequing. And even if you’ve got a ribs recipe down pat, you can always branch out and try new things, from grilling seafood to learning how to get good flavor from beefless burgers. The key to becoming a grilling master is part practice, part having the right tools. Practice is something we can’t help you with, but we can give you advice on finding the right equipment.
The first thing to look for, of course, is the grill itself. The major kinds are gas, charcoal, and electric. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages, and part of that decision comes down to a matter of preference. Gas is easy, but costly. Charcoal provides a smoky flavor but is time-consuming. Electric is safer for the city-dweller, but you won’t get that same smokiness. No matter what kind of grill you have or end up buying, and regardless of what you choose to throw on the grill, you’re going to need a good set of tools.
Just like every chef depends on his or her favorite knife, every griller needs a trusty spatula, a pair of tongs, and a grill fork. If you’re a griller who likes to kick back with a beer and check on the steaks every once in a while, a basic set with just three or four utensils will do the job. But maybe you treat every burger patty with a level of surgical precision rivaling an actual surgeon. In that case, you’re going to need a set with a lot of pieces. Either way, we’ve found the best sets for you. Plus, if you need a gift for someone who loves to grill but is still making do with the spatula they use in the kitchen, many of these sets come in giftable cases.
1. Alpha Grillers Heavy Duty BBQ Grilling Tools Set
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty set of nothing but the most essential pieces, then this is the way to go. There are four pieces in this set: a spatula, fork, basting brush, and tongs. Each piece has a large loop on the ends, so you can hang the tools while not in use. The spatula has a built-in bottle opener and a sharp, serrated edge for cutting meat. That means that a single tool can operate as several tools. Incredibly, the brand also offers a lifetime money-back guarantee.
Pros: High-quality tools made from thick stainless steel, spatula includes a bottle opener and a serrated edge. Lifetime guarantee from the brand.
Cons: No carrying case included.
2. Cuisinart Deluxe Grill Set, 20-Piece, Stainless Steel
It’s Cuisinart, so there’s a standard of quality that you can reliably expect from this grill set. It comes with 20 pieces, so it’s a good set for anyone who takes their grilling very seriously. It also comes in a metal case, making it a great thing to gift. Included with the kit are a variety of corn holders, in addition to a basting brush, tongs, and spatula. Plus, there’s a cleaning brush and extra brush head, meaning you can spend less time cleaning the grill and more time grilling.
Pros: Good option to gift because it comes with a metal carrying case. In addition, the spatula has a built-in bottle opener. After all, no BBQ is complete without beer.
Cons: Tongs could be more grippy.
3. ROMANTICIST 21pc Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Tool Set
This set includes 21 pieces that come in a metal briefcase. The pieces included are a spatula, tongs, grill fork, cleaning brush, extra grill brush head, a knife, a basting brush, eight corn holders, four kabob skewers, and the aluminum case. They even throw in a cooler bag for good measure. The tools have metal loops for easy hanging when not in use, and the spatula has serrated edges and a built-in bottle opener.
Pros: Comes with an impressive amount of pieces, including an aluminum carrying case and a cooler bag. Pieces are made from stainless steel and are dishwasher safe.
Cons: Tongs are very stiff, making it hard to grip smaller foods.
4. Kacebala Grill Tool Set
This 19 piece set includes all the basics, plus corn holders, a cleaning brush, skewers, a basting brush, a knife, and a cleaning brush replacement head. The ends of the tools have hooks for easy hanging when not in use, and the set comes in a sleek aluminum briefcase. Like many of the other options on this list, the spatula has multiple functions, including a bottle opener, tenderizer, and a serrated knife.
Pros: Affordable 19-piece set that comes with an aluminum carrying case. Multiple useful accessories like skewers, corn holders, a knife, and a cleaning brush.
Cons: Tools could be thicker and sturdier.
5. Kandu Kitchen Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Tools
For a set that includes just the basics, this kit from Kandu Kitchen comes with a grill fork, tongs, and a spatula. The spatula has a bottle opener, a meat tenderizer, and a serrated edge. The handles of the tools are extra long to protect your hands from heat, and the ends have convenient hanging loops. The tongs have teeth on the ends, making it easier to grab and pick up meats and vegetables.
Pros: Sturdy stainless steel set. Well-thought-out details like tongs with grippy teeth, angled heads, and extra-long handles to protect your hands.
Cons: Tongs don’t lock closed like some of the other options on this list.
6. Simplistex 4 Piece Stainless Steel Barbecue Grill Tool Set
Another basic but durable option is this set from Simplistex. There are three essential pieces included: a spatula, grill fork, and tongs. In addition, there’s a cleaning brush with three-built in cleaning tools. There’s a bristle side, a scrubbing pad, and a metal scraper on the tip. Each piece except the brush has a hanging loop on the end, and the handles are coated for comfortable holding. The spatula has a serrated knife edge as well.
Pros: Basic set that includes a cleaning tool with a scrub pad, bristle brush, and metal scraper. Coated handles for comfortable gripping and large metal loops for convenient hanging.
Cons: Tools are very large, which may make them unwieldy for some.