Essential Grilling Tools Checklist

Whether you’re grilling for one or a crowd, here are all the tools you need to tame the flame. 

Tools for the Grill

  1. Check Grill

    No matter if you choose a propane or charcoal model, invest in a grill that fits your needs: Are you planning to bring along your grill on a camping trip? Choose charcoal. Is convenience more of a necessity for you? Choose propane. Gas grills are more convenient than charcoal grills, since they are turned on with a knob. But charcoal grills cost less, are portable, and produce a hotter fire.

  2. Check Fuel

    For a gas grill, you will need a canister of propane; a charcoal model requires charcoal briquettes and a few sheets of newspaper (to stoke the fire in a chimney starter).

  3. Check Chimney starter

    Good-bye, lighter fluid. This upright metal tube lets you start your coals with only a few sheets of newspaper and a match. Buy the largest model you can find for firing up your grill with ease.

  4. Check Long-handled tongs

    Skip the grilling fork, which pierces meat and causes you to lose flavorful juices. Instead, opt for stainless-steel tongs, which offer the most gripping power and sturdiness.

  5. Check Spatula

    A necessity for flipping burgers and sliding under a filet of fish, a good grilling spatula should have an offset handle that allows you to slip the spatula under the food with ease. Silicone and metal spatulas work best for grilling.

  6. Check Long-handled basting brush

    Use this for applying sauce during the last few minutes of grilling meat. Look for one with heat-resistant silicone bristles.

  7. Check Long-handled stiff-wire grill brush

    For cleaning the grate.

  8. Check Instant-read thermometer

    For gauging when your meat is cooked.

  9. Check Fire extinguisher

    Grease flare-ups can quickly become dangerous conflagrations. Keep an extinguisher on hand for emergencies.

  10. Check Flashlight or grill light

    Don’t be reduced to checking your steak in the dark. Use a flashlight or a grill light, which clamps onto the side of the grill. Newer grill light models are solar-powered: Their batteries are charged by the sun during the day so they’re ready to illuminate your meal at night.

  11. Check Paper towels

    Keep a roll on hand for wiping up spills, barbecue sauce, and grease.

  12. Check Aluminum foil

    Protect delicate foods like fish and prevent small items like vegetables from falling through the grate by wrapping them in aluminum foil before placing them on the grill.

  13. Check Garbage can

    For quick cleanup, keep a trash can—with a tight fitting lid—outside near the grill.

Tools for the Table

  1. Check Tablecloth

    Look for an easy-to-wash cotton or vinyl-coated cloth.

  2. Check Napkins

    If you opt for paper over cloth, pick napkins made of recycled paper or other materials.

  3. Check Break-resistant dinnerware and glasses

    Whether you choose paper, plastic, or bamboo, a shatterproof set of dishes and glasses keeps a backyard, deck, or patio safe from broken shards.

  4. Check Silverware

    A set of dishwasher-safe utensils stowed in a caddy makes toting forks and knives outside (and back again) simple. If you grill meat often, consider investing in a set of sharp steak knives.

  5. Check Bottle opener

  6. Check Salt and pepper shakers

    Allow everyone to season their food to their liking at the table.