The sun is high and July 4th is nigh… which means it's BBQ season. Maybe you took the plunge at Costco and got your first charcoal barbecue. You might be a burnt-ends pro who could use some fresh accoutrement. Below are some of the best accessories you'll need for this summer's cookouts.
I'm convinced that people who don't think a good set of grill lights are useful have never grilled before. It's downright dangerous to be cooking in the dark, because it's almost impossible to tell how well the meat is cooked. This set of magnetic grill lights are a true lifesaver. This $15 pair is super-bright, weather-resistant, and have a flexible neck. They look pretty good, too.
A good barbecue is an inclusive barbecue, so let's mind the veggies and vegans in our midst. This SMAID grill basket lets you cook your peppers, eggplants, onions, and other veggies without having to worry that they're going to fall through the grates. This version measures 13" x 11" x 3", so it should work with most grills. It's far more sustainable than using disposable aluminum foil, and dishwasher-safe. You can't beat that for $18.
The fear of contamination is real. Don't let the chicken touch the fish. Move the corn to its own side. With the Alpha Grillers 18" grill brush, you'll never worry about catching detritus from your last dish. This thing is sturdy and doesn't wear down easily, so you can really put some elbow grease into your grill cleanings. The $15 you invest in this brush will also preserve and extend the life of your grates, too.
The DRAGONN tongs can handle anything you want to throw down. This set, running a totally affordable $12 for a 12" and 9" pair, are a veritable steal. They lock so you can easily set them aside when not in use. But don't just take it from me: They're the highest-rated tongs on Amazon, and they're available for Prime shipping.
Are you ready to spring for a full set? You might be, because nothing is more frustrating than not having the right tools for the job. I recommend this $35 set from Alpha Grillers. It includes a steel spatula, fork, and tongs, so whatever you're cooking, you're ready to go. They're highly-rated and dishwasher-safe. And if you're not yet convinced, take it directly from them–the product copy promises "BBQ TOOLS OF EPIC PROPORTIONS."
A simple thermometer to measure meat temps is a game-changer. Rather than risk serving your friends undercooked meat, trust a good meat thermometer. This $9 ThermoPro Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer will get you an accurate temperature reading in 4-7 seconds. (ThermoPro also offers a wireless version, so you can monitor the temps while you're inside on the couch).
Let's be real: It's not a cookout without a set of leather sandals. A good pair will say: "Rather than let the taste of the food speak to my skills, let my sandals vouch on my behalf." The $50 Dr. Scholl's Gaston Fisherman Sandals are probably the ones you remember your uncle wearing at family parties. Arch-supporting and equipped with memory foam, this is a comfortable set. For the true professionals, I'd also recommend you pick up a Hawaiian shirt and a sturdy set of zip-off cargos.
On a personal note, I'm always looking for a new BBQ recipe. So if you've got a good one to share, let me know in the comments.
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