10 Essential BBQ Grill and Smoker Accessories
You can’t have good BBQ with come quality equipment to back you up. Even if you have the best smoker out there you’re going to need to start it somehow. And when your brisket has finished, you’ll need somewhere to slice it up. That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide to some of the most essential (and non-essential) barbecue smoker accessories you should have in your BBQ arsenal.
1. A Digital Meat Thermometer
A quality smoker thermometer is the most essential smoker accessory that you should be using. This one is a no-brainer and if there is one smoker accessory you buy today make it a smoker thermometer!
There really is a huge defence going from smoking without a thermometer to using a quality dual probe setup. You won’t know how you lived without it. The built-in thermometer isn’t good enough, you need something that can continuously monitor the inner meat temperature. In addition to this it’s good if the thermometer has some of the following features:
Two or more probes to monitor multiple sources of heat simultaneously.
A wireless receiver to allow you to read the temperature and set alarms from the comfort of your arm chair.
Rugged, durable design so you’re not buying a new one every other smoking session.
Simple, clear display to make reading the temperatures as easy and accurate as possible. It’s pointless having a thermometer that has an unreadable display.
We have a full breakdown of some of the best smoker thermometers available today with quick reviews for each one.
The ThermoPro TP-20 has everything you need to get you accurately measuring the temperatures of your meat. There’s a dual probe setup to measure the meat and the surrounding air, a rugged build with a clear backlit screen. It has a 300ft range so you can go do other jobs around the house and still be notified when your meat is done.
For more information on BBQ thermometers, check out our list of the Best Meat Thermometers for the money.
If you’re looking for something a bit better with extra probes, features and Bluetooth to turn your phone into the receiver, then the iGrill2 is the perfect alternative. Check out our run down of the Best Bluetooth BBQ thermometers for more information.
2. An Instant Read Thermometer
An instant read thermometer is a must have for any kitchen, whether it be indoors or outdoors. Instant read thermometers can read the temperatures of the insides of meat in a few milliseconds to a very accurate degree. They are incredibly useful and will ensure you never under or over cook food again. They’re not just great for smokers, but grills, indoor ovens and our favorite use it to take them with us whenever we’re doing come campfire cooking.
Our pick: Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer
This is a great little thermometer that has a lot of neat features that make it a great choice. It’s fast, taking 4 seconds to read the temperature, with a wide temperature range. It’s got a good screen that is bright and clear. The Kizen also has a specifically thin tip to allow minimal juices to escape. Overall, it’s a great thermometer that is a steal at the price.
If you’re in the market for the best possible instant read thermometer that money can buy, we’d highly recommend the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4. This is the best instant read thermometer on the market and is what we use here at King of the Coals. The downside is that it is a bit more expensive than the Kizen, but if you can afford it, it’s worth every single penny.
3. A Chimney Fire Starter
If you’ve ever sat around a grill for ages wondering how to get it to light or even resorted to using lighting fluids then we’ve got the prefect smoker accessory for you.
We’ve said it before on this site, and we’ll say it again, you need a chimney starter! They make lighting any grill a whole lot easier. You won’t have to use any lighters, just paper. All you have to do is pour charcoal into the top, scrunch some paper into the bottom and light it. In 10 minutes or so you’ll have some fully lit coals ready to go. Check the video out below for a demonstration.
For more information on using a BBQ chimney starter, check out our complete chimney starter guide.
Our pick: Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter
The Weber is the classic chimney starter. It’s made from quality materials, is just the right size for most grills and is very reasonably priced. You can’t go wrong with the Weber.
4. Quality long handled tongs
Obviously, you’re going to need some quality tongs when you’re grilling. A lot of the cheap tongs are made from a low quality aluminum that heat up far too easily. They’re lightweight, bend and generally aren’t very good.
What makes a good set are if they’re made from good quality metal, ideally stainless steel. If they have a spring-loaded hinge, that’s great. Ideally, they’d have some form of insulation on the handle to keep you from burning yourself.
Well, the GrillHogs 16” Oak Barbecue Grill Tongs have all of those features and are our pick.
Our Pick: GrillHogs 16” Oak Barbecue Grill Tongs
They’re great quality, the spring isn’t too heavy and the wood has a great finish. They’re a little more money than other options but they quality makes them well worth the extra price.
5. A BBQ Grill Brush to keep your grate clean
Keeping a clean cooking area is essential to good quality BBQ that won’t make you ill. You could use a piece of scrunched up aluminum foil or a cloth but a dedicated BBQ grill brush will keep your grates cleaner than any makeshift grate brush will.
The best way to clean is to turn the temperature right up and use a grill brush on the grate after a cook. This will make anything that has stuck on the grate heat up and be easy to brush off.
Our pick: Qually United 18” BBQ Grill Brush
This brush has a 10” handle with a huge scrubbing surface. There’s 3 parallel brushes that can get in between the griddle bars. It’s made from good quality metals, has a durable handle and is very easy to use. We’d definitely recommend picking up a brush to help with cleaning and this is one of the best you can buy.
6. Quality Cutting Board
A good quality cutting board is essential for any kitchen, including your outdoor BBQ kitchen. The first thing to know about cutting boards is that glass ones should never be used. They will blunt your knife and are generally a lot less enjoyable to work on. We suggest picking up a quality wooden cutting board. Wood won’t blunt your knife, won’t smash and is more durable than plastic.
The Napoleon is the ultimate cutting board. It’s made from strong, yet light bamboo and has two built in stainless steel bowls. A nice feature is that it has a groove around the outside, perfect for catching any juices from your meat.
This cutting board is great for pizzas as well!
Read more: ‘Best Pizza Ovens – An Ultimate Guide’
7. Metal Claws for Pulled Pork
One of the non-essential but still very useful pieces of equipment are the metal claws for pulling pork. They can also be used for lifting and transferring all kinds of meat and are generally really practical. But the best thing about them is how fun they are to use!
Our pick: The Original Bear Paws Shredder Claws
The original and we think, still the best. The Bear Claws are made from a BPA-free nylon and heat resistant up to 475°F (246°C). They’re great quality and feel fantastic to use. They have ergonomically designed handles with comfortable grips. They also dishwasher safe so cleaning them isn’t a problem. At roughly $10 you can’t go wrong.
Read more: ‘How to Smoke a Pork Butt’
8. Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves
Whilst not essential a good pair of heat resistant BBQ gloves are one of the best smoker accessories you can buy. If you have to move a whole smoker, turn around a brisket, or even just want to protect your hands when lighting a grill with chimney lighter a quality pair of heat resistant gloves can save you a lot of potential pain.
Our Pick: Artisan Griller BBQ Gloves
The Artisan Griller BBQ gloves are pretty much all we could ask for. They are available for less than $30, they’re lightweight, incredibly well insulated and waterproof. They’re well made and designed with an extra long sleeve that protects your wrist and forearm as well. The inside is a soft cotton that’s comfortable and allows your hands to breath and stay cool, whilst the outside is finished with a premium neoprene coating that helps insulate and gives the gloves waterproofing. If you’re looking for a glove that does everything very well, then these are the ones to buy.
Read More: Best Heat Resistant Gloves for Barbecuing
9. Utensil Set
Having a good set of tongs is necessary, having a full utensil set is a luxury. But what a luxury. There are many utensil sets on the market but a lot of them are cheap, low quality and tend to break easily. But if you’re thinking of taking barbecuing and smoking seriously then having a nice utensil set will make your life a whole lot easier.
Our pick: 16 Piece BBQ Utensil Set
This set is one of the best value sets you can buy. It has a set of 16 different tools all inside a nice carry case. All the tools are made from a good quality stainless steel and rubber. This means they won’t rust or crack and can be relied upon for years. There is even a manufacturers warranty of 10 years!
We’d recommend picking up an individual pair of tongs but if you’re looking for an entire set then this is the one to get.
We also recommend getting yourself a good quality carving knife. We reviewed the best carving and slicing knives available today.
10. Smoker Cover
If you’re keeping your smoker outside then the best accessory you can get for it is a quality smoker cover. This will not only keep it dry and stop it from rusting but it’ll also keep out dirt and dust. The smoker cover will be dependent on which smoker you own and generally the manufacturer of the smoker will make a cover for their smoker as well. There are third party covers available as well, some of which are better than the manufacturers ones.
To get a good one you need to be looking out for a quality, heavy duty cover that is ideally made from some form of polyester material that will not fade and is water proof. There’s a lot on the market and most of them are good enough quality to keep your smoker safe from the weather.
Hopefully you’ve got a better understanding of what smoker accessories are available. If you can think of anything else or have any questions then please write a comment or contact us.