Essential BBQ tools you need to become a grill master

Become a bonafide grill master with the best BBQ tools. From tongs, to grill mats and cleaning kits.

Best bbq tools

by Natalie Corner |
Updated on

It's time to become an absolute master on the grill, all while using the best BBQ tools in our arsenal. There's nothing that reminds us more that warmer weather has arrived than the smell of food cooking on a BBQ or outdoor grill. Aren't BBQs magic? We think so. Those longer evenings give us plenty of time to grab some BBQ fuel and fire it up,

But perhaps your utensils have seen better days, or you left them to rust after last summer (guilty), and you need to invest in some new BBQ tools to really show off your culinary prowess. Then we've got you covered.

Investing in long-lasting, durable utensils and BBQ tools like a cleaning kit and BBQ cover, is crucial if you frequently cook on a barbeque. If you're new to the world of outdoor cooking it can be bewildering to know what kinds of accessories and fuels are right for your barbeque. You may have friends insisting that you must use restaurant-quality charcoal - but which brand to choose? If you're looking for some guidance on how to light a BBQ, scroll to the FAQs at the end of this article.

The Best BBQ tools at a glance:

Editor's Pick: Weber Original BBQ Tool Set, 3 Piece - View offer on John Lewis
Best premium BBQ tool set: grilljoy BBQ Grill Tool Set - View offer on Amazon
Best premium BBQ gloves: Weber Premium Gloves - View offer on Amazon
Best premium meat thermometer: Meater Plus Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer with Bluetooth Repeater - View offer on Amazon

So whether you enjoy a BBQ when camping and are looking for compact essentials or are looking to take your grilled feast to the next level with handy accessories such as grilling mats and meat claws - then here are our picks of the best BBQ tools and sets.

Best BBQ tools

Editor's Pick

This three-piece Weber Original BBQ Tool Set includes your basic BBQ essentials for beginners or those looking to refresh their set. The tong, spatula and basting brush are made from stainless steel with easy-grip rubber handles, along with useful tool hooks so you can hang them within easy reach.

Our review: "I've had more sets of barbecue tools than hot dinners - from wooden-handled ones that go mouldy in the shed to tongs and flippers that bend when you try to lift a heavy joint of meat. Shortcut the false economy of replacing cheap kits every year by simply buying this brilliant set from Weber. It's a bit of an investment but one that pays off in the long term because the quality is very high, and they feel built to last.
Metal hanging loops are vastly superior to the leather or string variety (which snap after one summer's use) and the tools are long enough to reach the back of the largest of barbecues without grilling your forearm. There's no bottle opener on the flipper tool, but that's not the end of the world."

Love Weber? We do. Why not check out our piece on Weber BBQ accessories?

Pros

  • Varied, sturdy set
  • Worthy investment
  • Hanging loops for storage

Cons

  • No bottle opener on the flipper

Best premium BBQ tool set

Cover all bases with this epic grilljoy BBQ Grill Tool Set, crammed full of every essential tool you need to grill your meat and vegetables. There are added extras like a marinade injector, a thermometer as well as corn cob holders.

Customer review: "Honestly, grab one of these sets. You won't need another. It has a very tool I could need and more. The brush has an additional head as well, so even when you use up the brush, boom, just slip the other one on and good to go."

Pros

  • Great value and selection
  • Rust-proof, durable stainless steel
  • Comes with a storage case

Cons

  • Fiddly to get back into case

Best premium BBQ gloves

Weber Premium Gloves are protective gloves that can handle up to 250 degrees - an aramid construction protects your hands while extensive, grippy silicone helps you hold onto hot items.

Our review: "These are not cheap, and some of that price tag goes towards paying for the Weber name, but on the other hand, do you want to cut corners when it comes to a product designed to protect your fingers from a red hot barbecue element? These are super comfy and can be used to shield your hands and forearms when reaching across a hot grill or to pick up hot trays and cooking surfaces without resorting to dangerously levering them with a pair of tongs or similar."

Pros

  • Washable cooking mits
  • Flexible silicone grip
  • Heat protection for BBQ

Cons

  • Only available in one size at the moment

Best premium meat thermometer

Meater Plus Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer with Bluetooth Repeater

Rrp: $99.95

Price: $69.95
Alternative retailers
Overstock$88.03View offer

A thermometer is essential for BBQing to check the consistency of the heat when you're cooking meat. This Meater Plus Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer is Bluetooth enabled so it means you don't have to risk singing your eyebrows by standing and staring over the heat because the Meater App notifies you of the estimated cooking time and target temperatures. It's an expensive addition to your BBQ toolkit but certainly worth it.

Customer review: "I bought this primarily for use on my BBQ rotisserie as my wired temperature probes can't be used here for obvious reasons. The pairing to my phone is seamless and the cooking times are very accurate.
One word of warning. The probe does not like high heat so steer clear of searing a steak with the probe in place. It's better to use the reverse sear method and remove the probe before finishing your steak over extremely high heat."

Pros

  • Kitted out with great features
  • Has WiFi, Bluetooth capabilities
  • Helps you plan your meal

Cons

  • Takes time to master the thermometer

Best multi-tool (Editor's favourite)

This Swiss-army knife-inspired BBQ multi-tool is a great accessory to take camping as it requires little space or as a nifty tool. The multi-tool is formed of a spatula, fork, bottle opener, and corkscrew and will always come in handy for spontaneous cooks.

Customer review: "I use this with a small smokeless BBQ both at home, at the park or out of the back of my car - it's got everything you need. It splits into two parts so you can control turning sausages without piercing them and the length of the handles is good too unlike other compact tools I've tried to travel with where you burn your hands.
This got a lot of use last summer and no doubt will again this year. People keep asking me where it's from and several friends got this for Christmas as a stocking filler."

Pros

  • Useful, solid gadget
  • Multi-tool for camping

Cons

  • A little heavy for some

Best portable grill basket

This ACMETOP Portable BBQ Grill Basket provides space for meat for two or three people. The lockable grill basket secures foods in place and promotes easy flipping of grilled foods. Ideal for cooking meats, fish or vegetables. It also comes with a grill mat, basting sauce bottle brush and a carrying pouch.

Customer review: "The handle is a bit fidgety - you have to slide the metal clasp over the two parts to get the handle to lock shut. It can take two fillets of fish or similar and will fit in even smaller BBQs. Shame the depth isn't greater as only thinner filets will fit - otherwise you risk squashing the raw food - and it will become attached to the wires once its grilled! Bit of a pain to clean - but a hard brush will do the trick. Overall, not a bad product, but could do with another 1 or 2cm of depth."

Pros

  • Non-stick grill basket
  • Safe, heat-resistant handle
  • Carrying pouch for portability

Cons

  • Fidgety handle

Best budget-friendly BBQ gloves

If you have a tendency to burn yourself while cooking, grab yourself a pair of Dualeco Silicone BBQ Gloves. The five-finger design gives you more flexibility when holding hot pots, food or racks and has a 3.14-inch cuff to keep your wrists and lower forearms from scalding.

Customer review: "Being of a certain age I have owned and used many, many oven gloves over the years. These new ones are superb due to the heat resistance combined with the dexterity they bring to an extremely boring task. They are also a nice bright colour (I have orange ones). I have previously bought silicone mitt-type oven gloves from a catering company at more than twice the price thinking they would be worth it. However, I hardly used them as they were so very clumsy which made it difficult to hold onto hot things from the oven (surely the main point of oven gloves). With fabric mitts that I owned previously, they become stained and shabby fairly quickly and if you get them wet they lose all the heat resistance. They were also quite clumsy. These Amazon ones win on every count and are so cheap."

Pros

  • Heatproof and waterproof
  • Ultra-protective and flexible
  • Great value and quality

Cons

  • Can be a little slippy

Best BBQ skewers

These reusable KitchenCraft Flat Kebab Skewers can be used as a barbecue skewer, kebab and kofta skewer or for roasting veg. Each skewer is 20cm long. They're great value. good quality and a handy size, too.

Customer review: "I’ve bought 6 packs of these over the last few months as I’ve yet to find any skewers this size of comparable quality. The 20cm skewers are perfect for fitting in a grill pan and are well-sized for individual portions. The only grumbles would be that they are a tad overpriced and could be a bit wider/flatter, as food does sometimes spin on them. Still, far better than wooden or any other metal skewers of this size you can find."

Pros

  • Handy size for BBQs
  • Great value pack of six

Cons

  • Sometimes spins

Best for holding corn on the cob

Alternative retailers
Macy's$10.99View offer

Who doesn't love an ear of buttery, chargrilled corn on the cob straight from the BBQ? Make it easy to scoff with these OXO Stainless Steel Corn Cob Holders.

Customer review: "These little cob holders are great value. Not only do they do the job, but they also look great, they are easy to clean and take up no space."

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Great value and quality
  • Take up little space

Cons

  • None

Best easy-clean drip pans

Weber Small Aluminium BBQ Drip Trays, Pack of 10
Price: $5.79
Alternative retailers
Lowe's$10.49View offer
Tractor Supply$10.49View offer
Blain Farm & Fleet$10.49View offer

Serve up all the juicy meat goodness in these disposable Weber Small Aluminium BBQ Drip Trays. Saves on washing up! This pack of ten will come in handy for a summer of cookouts and BBQ lunches.

Customer review: "These are good quality. We use it for our Weber traveller BBQ and they fit well. Keep reusing them and wash fine."

Pros

  • Durable and reusable
  • Retain heat
  • Quick and easy clean-up

Cons

  • None

Best eco-friendly grill scraper

The Great Scrape Wood Grill Scraper

Rrp: $29.99

Price: $19.99

Get rid of any leftover char with this The Great Scrape, Wood Grill Scraper. The great thing about it is it customises to your grill grooves, simply heat the grill to high heat and use slow, firm pressure to glide the paddle front to back on grates, keeping the grooves in the same place each time.

Customer review: "Husband loves his so much, he bought another one for camping. We'll never go back to wire cleaners. The brush type are dangerous and the ones with rolls of wire are hard to clean. This is the perfect solution. Plus it fits inside our little camping BBQ and actually works great."

Pros

  • All-natural materials
  • Safe and sturdy use

Cons

  • None

Best BBQ cleaning brush

Take care of your BBQ grill with this Weber BBQ Cleaning T-Brush. Thoroughly clean your cooking grates so food tastes freshly barbequed each time. It's the perfect gift for your friends and family members who love to BBQ.

Customer review: "My parents got this for me in August and my dad loved it so much that I just got him one for Christmas. Works extremely well."

Pros

  • Good value, perfect for gifting
  • Innovative and effective

Cons

  • Use away from food

Tools To Start The BBQ

Where would you be without the actual fire? Here are some tools to get you started when it comes to lighting your BBQ. If you need a step-by-step breakdown on lighting your grill and where to get the right gas, check out our in-depth guide to the best BBQ fuel for hybrid, charcoal, electric and gas grills.

Best chimney starter

Weber Chimney Starter
Price: $30.50

This Weber Chimney Starter features two handles behind a heat shield to help you aim and pour the hot coals into your grill without burning yourself. Large enough (conveniently) to fill one Weber kettle barbecue, it also features a cone-shaped element at the bottom to ensure the maximum surface area above the firelighters. 

Our review: "The tool that revolutionised charcoal barbequing for me. Simply fill with briquettes, light a fire beneath, and return 20 minutes later to perfectly lit coals.

"I bought the Weber one to match my kettle grill but also because their kit just works and carries on working for years to come. Case in point - I've had mine for four years, and it still works perfectly. No warped metal, no melted handle, no loose rivets or fixings.

"The handle is long enough to keep your arm away from the hot charcoal, and the second handle further up allows for accurate tipping into briquette baskets. Just remember to put it somewhere safe where kids can't reach it afterwards, as it stays hot for a while."

Pros

  • Quick, easy BBQ starter
  • Good value and quality

Cons

  • No fuel or lighter cubes included

Best efficient charcoal-free lighter

Make starting your charcoal BBQ even easier by piling in these Weber 17670 Lighter Cube firefighters. They're a non-toxic and odourless alternative to igniting charcoal and will light easily even when wet. Use these cubes with charcoal barbecues and smokers. Plus, these lighter cubes come with no chemical aftertaste, only a true charcoal flavour.

Customer review: "These are great and do the job without fail. Weber recommends using 3x cubes for each set of coals you wish to light (they work so well I’m interested to see if 2x cubes could do the trick). The only downside is that they still let off a bit of stinky smoke for a minute or so (not great if, like me, you live in mid-terrace and neighbours have their windows open)."

Pros

  • Nonn-toxic and odourless
  • Lights when wet, too
  • Environmentally-friendly

Cons

  • Only for charcoal BBQs and smokers

Best eco firelighter alternative

If you're looking for something a little more eco, we recommend these odourless Natural Eco Wood Firelighters from Log-Barn. They're made from wood, wool and wax. Use with wood burners, fireplaces, BBQs or camping fires for 10 minutes of flame.

Customer review: "These are excellent, some previous ones I’ve bought weren’t great but these lit straight away and I’d definitely buy again. Lit them with an electric lighter, too (with a flexible neck that you can bend to 90 degrees), which I purchased at the same time. Life changer."

Pros

  • Eco-friendly firelighters
  • Very easy to use

Cons

  • Inconsistent sizes

Best FSC-wood briquettes

If you want consistent results briquettes are hard to beat. They light evenly and burn at the same temperature, so there's less chance of developing a hot spot, and these Weber 1759180 Briquettes are made from waste wood and promise a three-hour burn. Use with charcoal BBQs, these briquettes are easy and quick to light; plus, they burn for a long time, ready to use in 20 minutes. Coming with three hours of burning time, you can't go wrong.

Our review: "My favourite briquettes, bar none - easy to light, with a long, hot burn and consistent results every time. I've been let down by other brand coals before, either failing to get up to temperature or varying greatly in how long they stay hot. These Weber ones work so well it almost feels like cheating."

Pros

  • Good quality and value bag
  • Eco-concious briquettes
  • Easy to light for three hours of heat

Cons

  • Mixed results from customers

Best gas cylinder for BBQs

Ideal for patio heaters and large BBQs with four burners or more, this Flogas Butane Gas Cylinder gives an average of 43 hours of heating for one burner and 32 for two burners. It's perfect for caravans, domestic and commercial heating, too.

Customer review: "This was quite simply the best gas I had ever bought. I connected it to my BBQ and it cooked my meat. Happy Days."

Pros

  • Good value and quality
  • Long burn time
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Take care when handling gas cylinders
  • Existing contract required to get refill

Added Extras: BBQ Tools For The Expert Grillmaster

Best BBQ lights

BBQ Light with 360 Degree Flexible Gooseneck

Rrp: $12.99

Price: $11.69

If you need some better lighting in your back garden when dusk draws in, don't fret about getting anything installed. The BBQ Light with 360-Degree Flexible Gooseneck has got you covered. Reach for these handy magnetic battery-powered lights that attach to your grill, the flexible neck means you can adjust them exactly where you need to.

Customer review: "These were not my first choice, but when my original grill light, which was ADVERTISED as ‘heat resistant’ plastic, began to melt when attached to the grill as the instructions specified, I switched it up. So glad I chose these. The magnetic base allows me to place the lights wherever I need them, and the gooseneck design gives me ultimate adjustability. It even came with a nice storage box. Very happy with my purchase. Don’t make the mistake I made. Buy these first and leave the plastic ones alone."

Pros

  • Comes with a storage box
  • Ultimate adjustability

Cons

  • May not handle very high heats

Best smart grilling hub

Take your grilling game to the next level with this Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub. No more guesswork when it comes to cooking different types of meat on your BBQ, instead this step-by-step grilling assistant sends notifications directly to your smartphone, including features like a food-readiness countdown and when it’s time to "flip-and-serve". Compatible with Android and iOS and Weber Grills.

Customer review: "Did take a bit of time to set up, it wasn’t just plugged and used and the update took about an hour. The first cook was a couple of steaks. The cooking instructions were easy to follow. Right there are not that many recipes to follow but most of the things you want to cook on the BBQ are there. Remember not to set the unit on the lid of the BBQ if it gets too hot. Find a cool dry place to leave it. I like that there was the option for four probes, just ordered another one. This really helped cooked the perfect medium rare steaks on the BBQ. Temperatures were pretty accurate and checked manually with the probe too. Remember not to stick the probe right through the centre of the meat to the other side - Rookie mistake!!! Can't wait to cook again and get the lamb on!"

Pros

  • Easy to follow use
  • Highly accurate
  • Smartphone connectivity

Cons

  • Don't set the unit on the BBQ lid

Best apron for BBQs

Grilling on the barbecue can get very messy and extremely hot. So stay protected with a hardier apron like this leather ProCook Premium Apron which has generous front pockets for your BBQ tongs.

Customer review: "Quality apron for a good price.”

Pros

  • Good quality leather
  • Hard-wearing and adjustable
  • Pockets to hold tools and utensils

Cons

  • None

Best BBQ grill cover

Don't forget to protect your BBQ with a heavy-duty cover. With over 10,000 ratings on Amazon, this Velway BBQ cover will fit most brands and is under £20. This is a waterproof and heavy-duty cover with a drawstring at the bottom to keep it securely in place.

Customer review: "Have had this cover on my BBQ for a few months now covering heat waves, torrential rain and snow and it has proven itself to be very durable and excellent cover. The material is great for my garden as we have foxes come in and out so it's good to have a material that doesn't catch their fur like my previous patio furniture cover. The cover is super easy to clean and is very low-maintenance."

Pros

  • Heavy-duty material
  • Easy folding and cleaning

Cons

  • Not as thick as expected

Best BBQ pizza oven topper

Cater to the masses at your barbie with this pizza oven from Argos, which sits directly on top of your BBQ. Made from steel with a pizza stone to retain the heat, the portable Argos Home Pizza Oven BBQ Topper With Paddle quickly heats up ready to cook your pizza in minutes so you can dish up authentic stone cooked pizzas alongside your burgers and sausages.

Customer review: "Was a gift for someone and they are very happy with it, said it works great and the kids loved using it."

Pros

  • Thermometer to monitor cooking
  • Easy to use and good value

Cons

  • Charcoal and gas only

Best tools for shredding meat

Meat Claws Meat Shredder for BBQ

Rrp: $14.99

Price: $12.99

This nifty piece of kit helps you to lift up meat and shred it. Ideal for making pulled pork or chicken and getting the shred just right without having to faff about bending forks or burning your fingers. Plus, the Mountain Grillers Meat Claws Meat Shredder for BBQ are dishwasher safe.

Customer review: "They have sharp tips, easy to hold and dishwash-able. It makes pulling meat a 15 minute job to a five minute job. The only thing I would warn is bones if you are doing a whole bird. they are so effective you do need to be careful. Hunt through to be safe. Easy to use, comfy on the hands, easy to clean… just a wonderful product. Thank you."

Pros

  • Comfortable and practical
  • Perfect for lovers of pulled pork
  • Saves your cutlery and hands

Cons

  • There are no grips on the handle

Best meat injector for BBQs

Premiala Meat Injector

Rrp: $49.95

Price: $39.95

Help the meat to really take centre stage and take the flavour to the next level by injecting it with marinade, using the Premiala Meat Injector. You will never have dry meat again.

Customer review: "I wanted to try this for filling doughnuts with jam and pork pies with jelly. However, I have since learned it has many other uses which I can’t wait to try. I choose this particular make as it looked well made and I wasn’t disappointed. It arrived quickly and is nicely packaged, too."

Pros

  • Food safe and tenderising
  • Reduces waste
  • Gift-boxed for gifting

Cons

  • E-book - not paper guide

Common BBQ FAQs

How do I start a BBQ?

There are a couple of options when starting a BBQ and which option you choose depends on which BBQ you have, if you have a hybrid BBQ then the choice is all yours.

How to start a gas BBQ: For beginners selecting the right gas like butane gas or methane gas is the best starting point, advises Robert Dyas. After following the manufacturer's instructions to connect it correctly, keep the lid open and light it. Gas canisters can last for up to four hours on low heat but it’s wise to have a backup just in case. Never leave your gas BBQ unattended and set it up away from flammable products.

How to start a charcoal BBQ: To make things easier when lighting a charcoal BBQ, you’ll also need firelighters. This can be liquid lighter fluid, natural eco-friendly firelighters, or firelighter blocks. Pack them in between your charcoal and light them to get your fire going using lump charcoal or briquettes. Robert Dyas recommends using the 1:1 ratio for your coal – for every kilogram of meat, add a kilogram of charcoal.

How long does it take for charcoal to get hot enough?

It takes roughly 15-20 minutes for the charcoal to get hot enough to cook with, and you should keep the lid of your charcoal BBQ closed for maximum heat efficiency.

Is a gas BBQ better than charcoal?

Of course, everything depends on preference; however, if you compare the two, then the best part about gas BBQs is that there is very little wait time as they reach a cooking temperature almost immediately. If you like to grill outdoors frequently, then a gas BBQ is a great trade-off. However, if you are after something portable to take to the beach, campground or park, then a charcoal BBQ may be cheaper for short-term use.

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Natalie Corner is the Commercial Content Editor across the Specialist Portfolio for Bauer Media and is slowly learning how to care for her plant babies. When she's not soaking up the three days of sunshine in the great British outdoors, she's testing out the latest BBQ products.

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