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This Outdoor Cooking Equipment Will Change Your Summer

by Pam Silvia

You got your grill—now, you need the right tools. We got the lowdown on the outdoor cooking equipment you need to grill the perfect shrimp skewers and sear the juiciest burgers. Trust us, your family members will be standing in line to pay their compliments to the chef.

1. Basting Brush

It may not seem like it, but your choice of basting brush can make a big difference when grilling your barbecue favorites.

Silicone bristles not only make for a more durable tool, but they are preferred for marinating large chunks of meat, fish, and vegetables that are prone to drying out quickly—not to mention that this dishwasher-safe brush spreads thicker sauces more evenly.

Boar and nylon bristles tend to hold liquids and thinner sauces better, and these basting brushes grant you more control, allowing you to apply gentler pressure. 

In addition to your brush, make sure your outdoor-cooking arsenal is stocked with a pair of tongs, a grill spatula, and a barbecue fork.

marinated chicken legs brushed with barbecue sauce on a charcoal grill

2. Grill Basket

When it comes to outdoor cast iron cooking, a heavy-duty grill basket ensures that your vegetables cook neatly and that your steak comes out in one piece. 

Even if your grill basket is stainless steel, cast iron, or porcelain-enameled (or made with another nonstick coating), this piece of outdoor cooking equipment saves your grill grates in terms of cleanup and distributes heat evenly—you don’t have to worry about grilled vegetables shriveling up after more than 5 minutes or burning your shrimp if left on high heat. 

Flip over your foods more easily and enjoy juicier meats with the help of this grilling accessory.

grilled vegetables mix in a cast iron basket on wood table

3. Grilling Plank

Grilling experts concur: outdoor cooking with grilling planks brings endless benefits. 

Like a grill basket, a grilling plank prevents food from falling apart since most BBQ nosh is prone to sticking to the grates or falling into the burners when cooked directly on the grill. And of course, this accessory results in a breezy cleanup! 

What sets this piece of outdoor cooking equipment apart is that this grilling method imparts a smoky flavor more quickly and keeps your food moist. Different woods (ranging from cedar, maple, oak, and alder) bring out different flavors in vegetables and fish, so be sure to do your research! 

To avoid having to dole out your fire extinguisher, be sure to soak the plank in a tub of water for at least 30 minutes.

Salmon fillet with coarse ground pepper, grilled over a cedar plank

4. Grill Thermometer

While many cooks take pride in their culinary instincts and being able to eye their grub on the grill, we think cooking with a grill thermometer is essential for a few reasons. 

In addition to ensuring dangerous bacteria are killed when cooking specific cuts of meat to prevent illness, grill thermometers can keep you from overcooking, enable you to heat foods at a safe temperature, and eliminate the guesswork for determining doneness. When in use, make sure your instrument is inserted in the thickest part of the foodor in the inner thigh if you’re grilling poultry. 

For reference, here are the recommended temperature guidelines for the following cuts of meats, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture: 

  • Whole cuts of pork, beef, or lamb: 145 degrees 
  • Ground beef, lamb, or pork: 160 degrees 
  • Ground poultry: 165 degrees 

There are many types of meat thermometers to choose from, including digital versions, timer versions, instant-read versions, and ones with fork-prong probes.

grilled kobe beef with meat thermometer still in it, served on a white plate against a wood cutting board

5. Stainless-Steel Sliding Skewer

Compared to traditional bamboo skewers, stainless steel skewers offer more flexibility when it comes to grilling mouthwatering kebobs. 

Wooden skewers require a pre-soak, whereas stainless steel versions do not—so, investing in metal skewers will save you time. And since metal skewers retain heat, they cook foods from the inside as the grill grates directly char the outside. 

There is more nuance when it comes to selecting a set of stainless-steel sliding skewers. For instance, if your grill has a lid, you have to make sure you choose a skewer length that will allow you to shut the lid. Metal skewers come in different shapes—some are flat, round, spiral, or square designs, and some also have double shafts. A square or spiral shape keeps foods from sliding off the skewer or spinning around the shaft as you turn them on the grill.

mixed vegetable skewers on a charcoal grill

6. BBQ Glove

As you tie on your “Kiss the Cook” apron, don’t forget to put on some heat-resistant BBQ gloves. 

Designed to protect your hands from hot coals and other grill-heating sources, these mitts grant you enough dexterity to handle tongs and other outdoor cooking equipment without fear. 

BBQ gloves are made with several different materials, without one necessarily outperforming the others—although situational considerations do apply when you select your pair. Whether your gloves are made of silicone, leather, fabric, or synthetic materials, this grilling accessory allows you to directly handle your meats upon the grill or move hot coals and grill grates.

man wearing a grill mitt takes a grill brush over skewers

7. Burger Press

Summer is synonymous with outdoor barbecuing, and freshly smoked hamburgers are reliably at the top of every family cookout menu. 

Preventing your patties from falling apart and turning out more like blobs, burger presses ensure a uniform shape, resulting in evenly cooked meat and easier cleanup. As a bonus, this tool is suitable for all kinds of burger patties, including beef, pork, turkey, and vegetable versions. 

To use this piece of outdoor cooking equipment, first, measure out your hamburger meat into identical spheres and use parchment paper under and/or on the top of the patty. Place one of your hamburger spheres into the press, pushing down on the press until it stops. After setting aside all of your flattened burger discs, place them on your preheated grill, and get cooking!

rolled up hamburger meat next to a burger press

We hope our list of outdoor kitchen accessories inspires you to get the most out of your grill—or to invest in the ultimate one. Check out our digital catalog! We’ve got the best appliances for your outdoor kitchen, just in time for the summer. Call our store today!