If you’ve recently purchased a new outdoor grill, or even if you’re still looking for the right grill to buy, knowing the best outdoor cooking utensils will ensure that you get the most out of your new purchase, allowing you to cook all of the food that you love.
Having a quality grill is only one part of the process, because the utensils and accessories will play a large part towards convenience and overall enjoyment.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the essentials that you’ll need, as well as some optional extras that will add value to your grill.
Essential Outdoor Cooking Utensils for Basic Cooking
No matter what it is that you want to put on your grill, the essential utensils will ensure that you can cook the majority of your family favorites and the most common barbeque foods.
The best way to get started with a new grill is to purchase a barbeque tool set. Even if you buy the utensils individually, there are some specific utensils that you shouldn’t go without.
Perhaps the most common and important utensil, is a set of quality barbeque tongs. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the ones that you choose will ultimately be determined by your specific needs.
Most quality tongs are made from stainless steel, and high end sets will incorporate wooden or composite material handles. Although you can buy simple tongs that are made from all stainless steel, these can become inconvenient in the long run.
Without having a handle to provide insulation from heat, tongs will quickly heat up and can become uncomfortable or even dangerous to use. Although you could use heat resistant oven gloves with plain stainless steel tongs, this will become inconvenient and can take a lot of the fun out of your cooking, particularly if you need to keep removing the gloves to prepare your food that is not on the grill.
Quality wooden handled tongs will provide many years of use, and the small price premium that you pay will be worth it for such an essential outdoor cooking utensil.
The next most important piece in our breakdown of outdoor cooking utensils, is a quality spatula. Again, look for a spatula that is made from quality stainless steel, and that incorporates a heat resistant handle.
Just like with tongs, a spatula can easily heat up the longer that it is being used on top of your grill, so you’ll need to make sure that there’s a hefty handle to protect you from burns or discomfort. A large handle also makes a spatula easier to use because you’ll be able to get a firmer grip.
When choosing a spatula, you should look for one that offers multiple functions. A basic spatula will have a large surface area with cutouts to help prevent sticking of your food.
If you want one that is more versatile, then you could choose one that includes a serrated edge. This will allow you to cut into meat or other food to check that food is cooked throughout, and it eliminates the need to use a separate knife or other utensil while you’re grilling.
High Quality Two or Three Pronged Barbeque Fork
A barbeque fork is essential for cooking sausages, steak, or even chicken on your grill. It can be used in conjunction with a serrated spatula in case you need to secure a piece of meat while you are cutting it, or you can simply use a BBQ fork to make small holes in food to help release some of the excess juices while ensuring that food is thoroughly cooked.
A good grilling fork will also help you when you are transferring food to and from your grill.
With the three essentials that have been mentioned, you’ll be able to cook some of the most common barbeque foods at home. However, if you want to do some special meals or if you simply want more options when you are cooking, then there are a few other utensils and accessories that you should consider buying.
A quality grill press will be made from heavy cast iron, and it may incorporate an alternating raised/recessed surface to help prevent food from sticking.
A pattern on the surface can also help to give your food an authentic barbeque look that will impress your family and guests at your next gathering.
A grill press isn’t just about getting the right look for your food, and using one can also ensure that food is cooked thoroughly. For food like chicken, or even steaks that you are preparing medium or well-done, a grill press will help to compact the meat so that the heat from the grill can easily penetrate into the center.
If you are using a flat grill plate, then you could even use a grill press to help shape flatbread or a pizza base that you are cooking on your grill. A quality press will incorporate a heat resistant handle so that it can be safely and comfortably used on a hot grill.
A Meat Hook is one of the Great Alternative Outdoor Cooking Utensils
Another one of the best outdoor cooking utensils for home cooks is a quality meat hook. A meat hook offers a unique way to handle your food on the grill, and you may find that you are more comfortable using a meat hook when compared with a spatula, tongs, or even a barbeque fork.
The benefit of using a meat hook is that you can quickly pick up and flip all of your large cuts of meat, and with the right technique you
won’t need to use any other tool at the same time. A meat hook is a rather niche utensil, but many who try a hook will find that they prefer it over the traditional outdoor cooking utensils
. Just as with all of the utensils that we’ve mentioned, stainless steel and a sturdy handle is essential for a meat hook. These utensils are affordable so it’s worth purchasing one to see how it differs from using the more common utensils, and you may even find that a hook becomes your favorite barbequing tool.
Meat Claws for Handling and Shredding
These utensils offer two functions in one, allowing you to pick up and reposition food on your grill, and they can also be used to shred meat. If you’ve slow cooked a roasted chicken, beef or even pork, then shredding it afterwards can ensure that the meat can easily be used in sandwiches and salads, and shredding the food after cooking will also help to ensure that the food cools faster and doesn’t overcook from residual heat.
Because you’ll likely be using meat claws with larger cuts of meat, you’ll need a strong stainless steel product that has long claws for securely flipping or carrying meat to and from a dish.
Although you won’t spend a lot of time holding the claws over the grill, you’ll still need to make sure that they have sturdy heat resistant handles, as these will allow you to get a firm grip with no risk of dropping your food. Strong handles also help when it comes to shredding the meat.
If you’re someone who likes smoked food and you want to use a large hooded barbeque for meat that is smoked and cooked overnight or for a few hours, then meat claws will be a huge help as you remove the meat from your grill.
Step 1 – The best time to clean the grill is when it is still warm, because then the grease will also come off easily.
Step 2- Take the grill brush all over the grill surface, underneath and in the corners.
Step 3- Scrub, but not so hard that it wears the grill surface.
Step 4- If you have been using the same brush for a long time, ensure that the bristles have not become loose as some bristles may stick to the grill surface and mix with the food later. That is a potential health hazard.
Maintenance of the brush is important. Replace it when it wears out. Clean it with soap and warm water after use,or else it can lead to bacterial growth.
If you’re cooking on a grill, then you can’t forget barbeque skewers. Although these are listed here with the other specialist outdoor cooking utensils, skewers are utensils that every grill enthusiast should own.
Wooden skewers can be used if you don’t have metal versions, but this means that you’ll be creating more waste every time that you grill, and you’ll need to purchase new skewers for every cookout.
With wooden skewers, they can easily burn even if you soak them in water first, and they can also splinter inside your food, which is an inconvenience to say the least.
The best solution will be metal skewers. These can be reused as many times as you need them, and they also look more presentable when served on a plate for your guests.
With skewers you can cook almost anything that you could imagine. You could use them for roasting marshmallows, you could dice meat and vegetables to be cooked Mediterranean style, or you could even use a skewer for a smaller roast cut of meat.
Skewers are perfect for chicken, pork, beef, and all of your favorite vegetables. Although you can get skewers with wooden handles, this is not always necessary, because the skewers are typically made from thin stainless steel that will quickly cool when removed from the grill.
Wooden handles will also discolor over time when placed directly on top of the grill, and may even become a fire risk if quality hardwood is not used.
With skewers, you’ll find an instance where a quality handle on your outdoor cooking utensils is not a requirement.
Grill Basting Brush
This is used to spread that delicious sauce over the meat and vegetables. The bristles are made of nylon or silicon. Original ones (basting mops) had bristles made of cotton fibers. It depends on your choice, but we think it is more convenient to use a silicone brush.
Clean basting brush with warm water and soap soon after cooking to avoid any residual grease or food particles from sticking to it.
Charcoal Grill Rake
This is an essential tool needed for moving charcoal around if you are using a charcoal grill. Some people may use tongs or whatever is available to arrange the coal – doing so can get you too close to coals. A rake is long enough to keep you at a safe distance from the hot coal.
The purpose of this is to get the fire started on the charcoal. Simply put, it is an aluminized steel cylinder, with a grate at the bottom. Here is a look at how you could use it easily.
Step 1 – Place the charcoal above the grate.
Step 2 – Place some newspapers or lighter cubes below this grate and light them with a match stick. The fire will heat the charcoal, and by convection the heat is circulated through the charcoal briquettes.
Step 3- Once they are heated enough, pick the chimney by its plastic handle. Best is to use mittens or gloves while doing so. Pour the charcoal into the charcoal grill bowl.
Why do you need a chimney starter?
Because it can be dangerous to use a liquid fuel to heat the charcoal and its smell would affect the flavor of food.
Purchase These Grill Accessories Along with Your Outdoor Cooking Utensils
When buying your utensils, start with the essentials, and then choose the specialist accessories based on your needs and what you plan to cook on your grill. When you do buy your utensils, it will be a good idea to pick up the most important grill accessories that you can have.
The first is a meat probe thermometer. This handy device incorporates a stainless steel probe with an embedded temperature sensor. It can penetrate large cuts of meat to ensure that they are fully cooked, right through to the center of the meat. A meat probe is especially important if you have a large hooded grill and you want to cook whole chicken, turkey, or large cuts of red meat for roasting.
In addition to a probe, you may want to buy an infrared surface thermometer. This type of device can be used to identify the temperature directly on your grilling surface, which will let you know if you’re at the right heat for whatever you’re cooking. If your grill doesn’t have a built-in thermometer on the hood, then an infrared thermometer can be an effective tool for determining the temperature for baking and roasting inside of a closed grill.
Finally, if you don’t have a light built into your grill, then it’s a good idea to purchase a detachable grill light. There are options designed specifically for outdoor cooking, and a grill light can allow you to always get the best view of your food when you are cooking in the late afternoon or in the evenings. A light is important to determine how well the outside of your food is cooked, and it can help to prevent accidents with dropped food when you are working around the grill.
Use These Suggestions to Get the Most Out of Any Grill
Whether you love to make homemade grilled pizza, or you want to become a smoked meat specialist, having the right utensils and accessories will ensure the best experience from your grill. Keep this advice in mind and never skip on the essential outdoor cooking utensils when you are upgrading or buying your first grill.