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16 best BBQ tools, utensils and accessories for cooking outdoors

Published: May 27, 2022 at 11:36 am
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Firing up the BBQ? Read our round-up of accessories for any grill lover, from aprons and cooking utensils through to tools and gadgets that will help you get more from your BBQ.

This guide is updated regularly with new tools and gadgets that have been tried, tested and top-rated by BBC Good Food's reviews experts. Those featured in this list earned their place based on their performance during rigorous, impartial product testing. Included is a selection of new releases and firm favourites that continuously hold their position against new products. We will only ever feature BBQ tools that prove to be good value for money.

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When the scent of a barbecue lingers in the air, you know the season for outdoor cooking and al fresco eating has arrived. Barbecuing is a failsafe way to give your food that sweet, smoky flavour synonymous with cooking over charcoal. Chargrilling can also enhance meat and veg by caramelising their sugars and creating that perfectly appealing criss-crossed appearance.

It helps to have the right selection of barbecue tools and there are nifty bits of kit designed to help you achieve big flavours and delicious meals from an improved outdoor cooking experience. Whether you barbecue over charcoal or gas, the possibilities for prepping delicious dinners are endless, from sizzling seafood including these fiery prawn and pepper skewers to sides like buttery baked corn on the cob, or even something sweet such as our barbecued banoffee splits.

We’ve given our tried-and-tested favourite bits of barbecue kit ‘best for’ labels below, having cooked a variety of ingredients on fully heated barbecues to test their performance, including halloumi kebabs, griddled vegetables with melting aubergines, burgers and spatchcock chicken. Discover more about how we test products.

Food expert Barney Desmazery also shares his top 10 barbecuing tips at the bottom of the page. Whether you’re cooking on gas or over charcoal, discover our selection of the best barbecue tools, gadgets and accessories to help you get the most out of your outdoor grill.

Looking for a new barbecue? Visit our reviews section to find our tried and tested picks of the best gas barbecues, best charcoal barbecues and best portable barbecues. Plus we've brought together our picks of the best outdoor tableware including the best serving dishes and platters for bringing some zing to your summer table.

Best BBQ tools at a glance

  • Best heatproof BBQ gloves: Weber premium gloves, £55.49
  • Best BBQ cleaning tool: Grill Guard BBQ grill cleaning brush and scraper, £9.99
  • Best tool for searing meat: KitchenCraft cast iron grill press, £14.60
  • Best affordable single BBQ glove: Boss grill glove, £14.97
  • Best barbecue set: Boss Grill 18-piece BBQ utensil set, £34.97
  • Best BBQ basting brush: OXO Good Grips Grilling basting brush, £15
  • Best BBQ tool essentials: Tramontina three piece BBQ tools set, £19
  • Best tongs for BBQs: OXO Good Grips silicone tongs, £14.98
  • Best for pulled pork: Meat shredding claws, £30.22
  • Best barbecue gadget for health and safety: Thermapen One meat thermometer, £61
  • Best for getting charcoal BBQs up to temperature: Weber chimney starter, £21.79
  • Best for barbecuing fish: Galileo wooden handle BBQ grill basket, £16.39
  • Best natural firelighters: Log Barn natural firelighters, £17.59
  • Best for lighting gas BBQs: KitchenCraft electronic butane gas lighter, £7
  • Best affordable leather BBQ apron: Leertheori leather cooking apron, £35.80
  • Best blow-out dutch oven for BBQ: Netherton Foundry Dutch Oven, £225.70
Halloumi kebabs and courgette slices on a gas BBQ grill

Best BBQ tools and accessories 2022

Weber Premium gloves

Weber BBQ gloves

Best heatproof BBQ gloves

Barbecues can reach temperatures beyond 300C, so a pair of BBQ gloves are a smart investment for minimising the risk of burns. This pair from Weber reach nicely up the wrist to offer forearm heat protection. There are practical non-slip silicone lines across the palm for aiding your grip of large BBQ tools. They're big and a little on the expensive side but durably made to last from 100% Aramid (outer) and 80% cotton/20% polyester (lining).

Grill Guard BBQ grill cleaning brush and scraper

Grill Guard BBQ Grill and Scraping brush

Best BBQ cleaning tool

Cleaning your grill while it’s still warm will make the process of removing stubborn grease or sticky juices a little easier to shift. A hard-wearing scraper and brush that has a long handle is one of the safest ways to go about it. The Grill Guard has both these qualities allowing you to apply pressure for scrubbing but still keep a safe distance from the grill. Width-wise, you can scrub multiple grill bars at once making the whole job faster. When tested, the barbecue looked like new after using this. Plus, there's a convenient hook at the end of the handle for storing it out of the way when not in use.

KitchenCraft cast iron grill press

Best for searing meat

Grill presses are a lot easier to use than a spatula for pressing meat like burgers and steaks while they cook over a barbecue. The result should be evenly seared meat that's packed with barbecue flavour. This grill press by KitchenCraft has a good surface area and being cast iron, can be heated on the barbecue to sear the meat from above while it cooks from below.

Boss grill glove

Boss grill glove

Best affordable single BBQ glove

If you're only after one BBQ glove, this single heatproof gauntlet offers silicone grips across the palm and an elasticated cuff that rises almost to the elbow – particularly useful when turning ingredients while they cook across the grill. It would benefit from a carry loop for hooking up when not in use. Ours went AWOL a few times during testing, but if you're organised with where you leave it, this practical glove will prove endlessly handy.

Boss Grill 18-piece BBQ utensil set

Boss grill 198 piece BBQ set

Best barbecue set

Great value-for-money, this 18-piece set comes stored in a nifty aluminium case. All the tools are designed with practical long handles for keeping you away from the heat and they feel durable, so should last with care. We loved the addition of sweetcorn forks, although these should only be used when the cooked corn cobs are removed from the grill. Also included is a 42cm fork, 43cm spatula, 40cm tong, 38cm silicone basting brush, 43cm brass brush and four skewers.

OXO Good Grips Grilling basting brush

OXO Basting brush

Best BBQ basting brush

Although it lacks an accompanying pot, this basting brush is nicely designed for basting ingredients while they cook on the grill with minimal risk to you. It has a long 34.4cm handle and broad head of heat-resistant silicone bristles that carried an efficient quantity of marinade for each stroke. Its head also angles up, meaning less mess when rested flat on the counter, although we simply rested it against the bowl for more basting.

Tramontina three piece BBQ tools set

Best BBQ tool essentials

The Tramontina pack of three barbecue tools are impressively sturdy. Firstly, they’re long, allowing you to manage what’s cooking without having your hands too close to the hot grill. Wooden handles work particularly well here because they don’t conduct heat. A good pair of tongs are always crucial, plus the flipper has a sharp serrated edge, which comes in handy for splitting ingredients in two to check if they’re done. Nothing fancy, just three really useful tools for a good price.

OXO Good Grips silicone tongs

Best tongs to use with a barbecue

These tongs are really well-designed – the rubberised handles are easy to grip and the flat silicone tips are slightly flexible so they can be used as a spatula to flip food. They're ideal for burgers but really come into their own when having to turn fish or vegetable slices. Plus if you have smaller hands they're still comfortable to use, unlike many big BBQ tools.

Meat shredding claws

Best for pulled pork

These neat meat shredders are ideal for pulling apart pork or chicken – whether at a barbecue or generally in the kitchen. There’s nothing quite so therapeutic as putting these claws to use, and they'll save the juices going all over your hands.

Thermapen One meat thermometer

Best barbecue gadget for safely cooking meat

Lightweight, incredibly responsive to temperature changes and easy to read, this Thermapen takes away the anxiety of cooking meat on the barbecue. We inserted it into the thickest part of the meat around the estimated cooking time to ensure the meat was cooked through. Check out our round up of the best meat thermometers for our full review.

Weber chimney starter

Best for getting your barbecue up to temperature

Chimney starters offer quick and reliable means of lighting your barbecue charcoal. The design allows air to circulate below and feed the coals oxygen to really get them going. This chimney starter by Weber has two handles to help you tip the hot coals into your grill. Remember to always use gloves when doing so.

Galileo wooden handle BBQ grill basket

Best for barbecuing fish

Fish are famously tricky to cook on a traditional barbecue. As the flesh becomes tender the skin starts to stick on the grills and you watch as the delicious meat is lost to the coals below. A fish cage can help you out with this. One with a long handle and wooden gripper will allow you to turn and baste the fish without the handle overheating and being too hot to touch.

Log Barn natural firelighters

Best eco-friendly firelighter

These firelighters are an eco alternative made from wood, wool and wax (compared to those made from fuels like paraffin). Lit beneath barbecue coals, firelighters provide that initial ball of high heat needed for coals to catch. Seeing as you’ll be cooking food above the coals, these are a fume-free option for starting the barbecue.

KitchenCraft electronic butane gas lighter

Best for lighting gas barbecues

It’s useful to have a lighter with a long neck in order to be able to reach your firelighters when they’re stacked beneath unlit BBQ coals. It’s also a far safer option than using a normal lighter where your fingers could be at risk from flames. This butane gas lighter by KitchenCraft gets the job done well.

Leather BBQ apron

Leather BBQ apron

Best affordable leather barbecue apron

For ultimate protection from splashes, this adjustable leather apron becomes a second skin that shields you from grilling mishaps. The nature of the apron is that it’s built for durability, so you will likely be able to use it for years to come.

Netherton Foundry Dutch Oven

Best blow-out dutch oven for BBQ

This British-made dutch oven is designed for outdoor cooking and sitting amongst hot coals, so can definitely handle the heat of a sizzling barbecue. It’s a great pot for keeping food warm or cooking more liquid dishes like Boston beans. It’s heavy, so avoid resting on cheap, lightweight or disposable barbecues.

The cast iron construction is an efficient conductor of heat, so pile the coals on top of the closed lid and you have yourself a small oven that heats from all angles – great for roasting joints of meat or even baking bread. This would be a long-lasting investment that will build its own non-stick patina with repeated use. A stand is also available to buy.

Available from Netherton Foundry (£225.70)

Flatbreads

Top 10 barbecue tips

Food editor and barbecue superfan, Barney Desmazery, draws upon his years of experience as a cookery expert to bring you 10 top tips for getting the most from your barbecue.

  1. If you’re using a charcoal BBQ, allow plenty of time for it to get hot. Only start cooking when the flames have died down and the coals have turned ashen.
  2. Have a water-spray bottle on hand to dampen down any aggressive flames which may rise as hot fat drips onto the coals.
  3. You’ll have natural hot and cooler spots on a coal BBQ. Utilise this by charring the food in the hottest areas (usually the centre) and then finishing or keeping warm in the cooler spots (usually around the edges.)
  4. Use two pairs of tongs for cooking if you can – one for touching raw meat and one for cooked.
  5. If you’re serving vegetarians or vegans, make sure you keep one side of the bbq for the meat and one for veggies – you can place a coil of foil down the centre of the bbq before you heat it up to mark out the two areas. Also, use two pairs of tongs.
  6. If you’re worried about your meat or vegetables not being cooked all the way through or if you're strapped for BBQ space, try charring the outside of the meat/veg for that smoky BBQ flavour and then finishing off in a moderately heated oven until cooked through.
  7. Never try to clean a charcoal BBQ while it’s still hot. Wait until the next time you use it, let it get hot then scrape off the bits cooked onto the grill.
  8. Arrange the charcoal to make heat zones so you can cook directly over them for a fierce heat and indirectly for things that take longer. This works well with lidded barbecues.
  9. If you’re trimming hard herb plants like bay or rosemary, save the clippings to throw on the barbecue for a blast of aromatic smoke flavour.
  10. Use a probe thermometer to tell if something is cooked all the way through without having to cut into it.

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If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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