BBQ Basics: Grilling Tools and How to Use Them

5 minutes, 38 seconds Read

Ready to get grilling? Not too fast!

Before you fire up the grill, you want to stock up on essential grilling tools every BBQ enthusiast should have.

But honestly, it’s not that easy. There are a ton of grilling tools out there, and you’d spend a fortune buying them all. The number of grilling tools in the market can also get confusing.

Don’t worry. In this blog, we’ll list the top five tools every grill master should have and provide a short description of how to use each one. Let’s go!

5 Essential Grilling Tools and How to Use Them

You don’t need to buy all the gas BBQ accessories your heart desires. Stick to these five first, and grow from there.

Grill Tongs

When grilling, you want to be in control. You want to pick up your burger patties and kabobs and place them right where you want them to be.

Great news. Grill tongs make this job super easy. You hold them at the edge like scissors and use your hand to open or clamp them shut.

Remember, not every pair of tongs you see is a grill tong. There are kitchen tongs that are shorter and might cause your hand to roast along with your favorite meat. You don’t want that!

When choosing your grill tongs, make sure they’re long enough to keep your fingers at a safe distance from the fire. However, don’t go too long. You still want a good amount of control when you’re roasting away happily at the grill.

When it comes to material, choose all metal. Kitchen tongs can have rubber ends, but these aren’t too great for the grill.

For design, choose tapered heads. These help you get a firm grip on your food, ensuring it doesn’t fall onto the grass to be feasted on by ants.


Everybody loves tender, juicy pieces of meat on sticks. But while bamboo skewers are great for bigger events, you want a few metal skewers to keep in your grill drawer.

Skewers are easy to use. All you need to do is push your meats and vegetables through them, and get grilling! You can be creative with what you roast on skewers. You can cook chicken, pork slices, eggplants, onions, tomatoes, corn, and anything you might fancy! Everyone loves a delicious kabob.

When buying skewers, it’s a good idea to go for metal ones. That’s because metal is a great conductor of heat. As your favorite meats and veggies roast on the outside, the heat travels into their centers and cooks them as well. Yup! Say goodbye to food that’s charred on the outside and raw on the inside.

Another consideration to make when buying skewers is their design. You want them to be as simple as possible for those days when you’re just too exhausted to wash them. A flat, wide design is also great to help you avoid dry, overcooked meats.

A Fish Spatula

If you’re not a fan of fish, that’s OK. Fish spatulas are not only for fish. In fact, they’re the most versatile of spatulas, and you can use them for almost anything.

Love juicy beef burger patties? Can’t get enough of whole roasted chickens? Want to grill heads of corn on coals? A fish spatula can help you achieve the best results.

A fish spatula is easy to use. It’s like a regular meat-turner, but it’s thin enough to slide under the flimsiest pancake. It’s also strong enough to turn huge hefty birds.

Trust me, a fish spatula is the mother of all spatulas. It’s the only turner you’ll ever need to keep in your outdoor BBQ drawer.

Basting Brush

Photo by Z Grills Australia on Unsplash

A basting brush might not seem like much, but it is an essential grilling tool. You don’t want your sauce clumping on the meat as you pour it in!

A basting brush allows you to gently distribute sauces across your food. It ensures that all surfaces of your meats and veggies are tasty. No one wants a dish that’s super salty at one end and totally bland at the other!

A grill basting brush can be used for all kinds of food. Use it to spread pizza sauce over those nicely grilled crusts, coat your ribs with marinade, or spread butter over roasting corn. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do with a basting brush.

Of course, not all basting brushes are created equal. There are those for the grill and those specially made for indoors. When choosing your brush, make sure it’s wide enough to easily spread sauce over large surfaces. You don’t want to purchase a narrow pastry brush designed to seal the edges of ravioli!

Meat Thermometer

Nothing is as frustrating as biting into a nice joint of crispy meat and finding it icky and undercooked on the inside.

But the truth is, grilling meat is tricky. Depending on the temperature of your grill, the outside of the food can cook much faster than the inside. A piece of meat might look tasty and juicy on the outside, but actually be raw and pink on the inside.

That’s why you need a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer will tell you if your food is cooking at the right temperature, or whether you need to heat up or cool it down.

Another reason you need a thermometer is that different types of food require varying temperatures to cook. Birds often need higher temperatures to cook, while beef needs a gentle flame to avoid toughness. A meat thermometer will help you achieve pro results every single time you light up the grill.

To use a meat thermometer, simply jab it into the meat you’re cooking. With modern digital thermometers, you can see the temperature at a single glance. You can even switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius with a click of a button. Having a meat thermometer will ensure that whatever you cook always turns out right.

That’s All You Need to Grill Like the Pros

Worried you’ll need a cartload of accessories to enjoy an outdoor BBQ party? Don’t be. You don’t need a whole drawer of grill tools to reach the level of grilling pro. All you need is five items: grill tongs, skewers, a fish spatula, a basting brush, and a meat thermometer. That’s it!

Of course, you can always upgrade later and buy more. But for now, get these five tools, learn how to use them properly, and you’ll be on your way to grill mastery!

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