Food & Drink

The Grilling Gear You Need to Get This Year

Grilling
Frannie Jiranek/Thrillist

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when most grilling was done with a rusty, propane-powered rig, a spatula, a beer, and a plate of raw beef. But it’s 2019, and technology will not stop until it’s invaded every single part of your existence...including when you’re grilling! The great news is that this modern grilling gear has made it easier than ever to light charcoal, to figure out when your meat is cooked, and to scrub all the crud off the grill when the night’s over. We’ve also got the best low-tech tools to help you skewer and clip all the meats and veggies you can handle. Here’s all the grilling gear you need this season.

Grilling gear
Frannie Jiranek/Thrillist

Taylor Folding Bottle Opener and Grill Thermometer

Grilling is tricky if you’re not one of those people with a Jedi-level sixth sense for when meat is done. This little doodad solves the problem of undercooked meat and stores easily. Like a Swiss army knife, the thermometer probe folds up into the case where the readout is. And perhaps more importantly, the bottle opener on the end will help you pop open a summer beer or two. 
Price: $13.49
Where to purchase: Amazon

Grillight LED Smart Tongs

The winner of our “Lamest Sounding Really Cool Idea” award is a set of grilling tongs with an LED flashlight at the center to let you see your food better when you’re grilling. Yep, that’s it. No Bluetooth. No bottle opener. Just tongs that light up. But you'll get why we're putting it on this list if you've ever found yourself double-fisting tongs and a flashlight after sundown.
Price: $24.97
Where to purchase: Grillight

Weber iGrill 2

Using an app to grill does not make you a nerd -- it makes you James Bond. This thermometer connects to your phone via Bluetooth and lets you decide how deep into the food-geek rabbit hole you want to go. Second-by-second temperature updates? Sure thing. Connect to social media to keep the whole world updated about when you pull your pork? Check. If you just want something to tell you when to take everything off the fire, it will do that too. Most pros caution against the “set it and forget it” model of grilling. Those folks likely didn’t have this kind of tech to remind them not to burn stuff. Protip: you might want to also pick up an ambient probe to pair with the iGrill so you’ll never have to wonder, “Gee, how hot is the air in the grill right now?”
Price: $61.99
Where to purchase: Amazon

Bear Paws

The only thing better than fresh barbecued pulled pork is getting to stop pulling it after your hands have cramped so much you have to wait an hour to hold a fork. Barbecue claws give you all the shredding with none of the pain. You hold these combs-from-hell in comfy handles and go to town on your meat like Wolverine on an inconvenient bad guy. Voila! Beautiful shredded or pulled barbecue for whatever your needs, even if those needs are Cosplay based. There are many varieties, but we dig the Bear Paws.
Price: $12.99
Where to purchase: Bear Paw Products

The Looftlighter

Anybody being even a little bit honest will admit that half the fun of grilling is having an excuse to play with fire, but half the time the damn bricks just won’t ignite. Which is why a charcoal lighter that’s essentially a hand-held flamethrower needs to be on your essential summer supplies list. It uses no chemicals to light your fuel of choice, instead using an electric heater to blow 1,256 degree air in a straight line. That’s just a little under half the temperature of a welding torch. Your briquettes and wood chips will ignite when you need them to.
Price: $79.99
Where to purchase: Looflighter

Ozero BBQ Welding Gloves

All the cool BBQ kids are flocking to silicone gloves right now, and that’s all well and good. But unless you’re 100% sure your grill isn’t getting hotter than 500 degrees (most silicone gloves ensure protection up until that temp), consider welding gloves. We like these Ozero gloves because they’re welding gloves designed for grilling, and made from flame-resistant leather that’s been insulated with cotton. And because they have a 7.5” sleeve, they’ll keep your forearms safe, too. 
Price: $8.00
Where to purchase: Ozero Glove

Veggie grill clips

Grilling asparagus and other thin veggies in quantity means you have two choices: 1. Move in a hurry to turn everything before the last ones burn, exposing yourself to grill mishaps; or 2. Just accept that you’re going to singe the last few veggies. Both of these options suck. These veggie grill clips by Charcoal Companion solve this problem. They grip asparagus, julienned squash, and zucchini, some kinds of mushrooms -- whatever you’re putting on the sides of those steaks and drumsticks -- all at once, thus preventing burning and thin veggies falling into the fire.
Price: $12.99/set of four
Where to purchase: BBQGuys.com

Grilling gear
Frannie Jiranek/Thrillist

KettlePizza Ovens

Fact: The best pizza crust comes out of a brick oven. Further fact: You don’t have one of those at your house (though you can find a couple good ones here!). Corollary fact: You can put the next-best thing in your grill. The KettlePizza Gas Pro inserts into your gas or charcoal grill and shapes the heat to give your crust that charred feel and smoked taste. Cook halfway, top, then put back in to finish the job. For best results, make huge batches of dough all at once for the freezer, then thaw on demand.
Price: $139.95-$429.95
Where to purchase: KettlePizza

Grillbot Grill Cleaner

Essentially a Roomba for your barbecue, this thing goes to town on your grill while you’re busy eating, drinking, and rushing to the hospital after a predictable lawn-dart accident. Brass or steel wire bristles rotate under the friendly casing with absolutely no plans for world domination or exterminating all mankind when it’s done. It even shuts itself off. The future is here, and it’s ready to make you lazy.
Price: $89.95
Where to purchase: Grillbot

Proud Grill Slide & Serve BBQ Skewers

Skewers of old are like Pennywise from It: slightly innocuous at first glance, but absolutely horrifying to deal with. (Don’t get us started on those teeth!) These stainless-steel, dishwasher-safe skewers are exactly what you need to skewer everything from shrimp to veggies. Food slides easily on and off the skewers when you’re ready to prep or eat, but it won’t come loose while it’s cooking on the grill, saving you from serving unevenly cooked pieces of chicken. When you’re ready to flip the skewers, the Proud Grill’s sizable, arrow-shaped ends make it easy to grip with your tongs and get everything grilling on the other side.
Price: $29.99
Where to purchase: Amazon

Taylor Grill Beef Buttons

The worst part of grilling is figuring out when the meat is done. Forget those myths about poking it with your finger and comparing it to the tension in your fist. What if you’re a rock climber or work in construction? Using one thermometer to probe takes a long time, and means you’re opening the grill too often and for too long. These little buddies you poke into your meat, so you can peek at them once or twice. They can handle most temperatures your grill can put out, and the ink glows in the dark so you see it quickly and clearly, in the event that you don’t have flashlight tongs.
Price: $8.26
Where to purchase:Amazon

Spare Tire Grill Mount

The summer is the perfect time to load up the car and drive somewhere far, far away from all your responsibilities. But it’s never a good time to load up an entire grill into your backseat. It’s a serious pain in the behind, and you need room for beer! That’s why this ingeniously designed grill mount is ideal for any summer adventure. This grill slips over your spare wheel and has three legs you can use to prop it up on any campground or beach. Get a fire going underneath it, and you’re grilling like a boss in no time.
Price: $144.00
Where to purchase: Front Runner

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Jason Brick is a voracious reader, heroic drinker, and super-cool dad (not necessarily in that order of importance). When not testing the theoretical limits of coolness, he practices martial arts so he can beat people up for teasing him about how much he likes playing Dungeons & Dragons. Find out more at BrickCommaJason.com.
Lee Breslouer is a writer and editor based in Colorado who thinks pudding is the only food on Earth that cannot be improved with a grill; he takes photos of coffee and beer @LeeBreslouer.