At its most basic, grilling is cooking on an open flame, like what our prehistoric ancestors used to do, but if you’re not the kind of person who takes pleasure in lighting charcoal on fire and then cooking big slabs of meat on it, you might be struggling to find the best grilling gifts for someone who does. (Though even self-described grill enthusiasts sometimes need help finding an actually useful but still unique grilling gift.) So to make it easy, we rounded up 19 of the best grills and grilling accessories that would be excellent gifts for the person in your life who likes to fire it up.
For the griller who struggles with lighting charcoal
Jean-Paul Bourgeois of New York City’s Blue Smoke calls the BBQ Dragon, “a fire starter’s best friend. This easy-to-use little gadget will clip onto any grill or smoker and assist you in getting those coals burning fast and evenly.”
For the griller who mostly cooks with charcoal
If anyone plays a little fast and loose with the disposal of coals, or wants a safer way to do it, this steel ash bucket will help prevent accidents. As Hugh Magnum, pitmaster at Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue, explains, “It sometimes takes as long as two days for coals to be completely cold, so you don’t put any coals for at least two days into a trash bag, or else that trash bag will go up in flames.”
For the griller who’s terrified of burns
Writer Caitlin M. O’Shaughnessy was introduced to these pit gloves by her mother, who used them to take a full turkey out of the oven. “The cotton-lined gloves are coated with neoprene rubber and designed for true-blue barbecuers who have to handle hot meat on the smoker — that means they’re also waterproof, stainproof, and (most importantly) greaseproof.” They also come recommended by Patrick Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville, who actually prefers these heavy-duty gloves to tongs, especially when working with big cuts of meat, like whole hogs.
For the griller who’s looking to streamline
Swap out the tool kit for this 7-in-1 grilling tool, recommended by self-described “pretty competent outdoor griller” Steven John, who calls this “the Swiss Army knife of grilling equipment, combining all three tools and even sporting a bottle opener built into its handle.”
For the griller who loves steak
For Valentine’s Day, writer Leah Bhabha gifted her carnivorous boyfriend a personalized branding iron, purchased on Amazon, and it was an instant hit. “We’ve now emblazoned his initials on everything from ribs to rib eyes, and even busted out the brander for cast-iron cooked burgers (the patty’s initials were covered by the bun, but he liked it so much he branded them anyway).”
For the griller who prefers chicken
Nick Pihakis of Jim ’N Nicks Bar-B-Q in Birmingham, Alabama, calls this chicken-roasting contraption “one of the best ways to cook a chicken. Not only is upright roasting the optimal position to roast a chicken (fat drips away, heat surrounds the chicken 360 degrees, skin crisps up better), this cooking method allows the steam and vapors to flavor the chicken from the inside cavity out, helping it to stay moist.”
For the griller who’s not sure what to do with vegetables
Steven John recommends this grill basket, “that can be placed atop any sort of grill (charcoal, gas, or even wood fire) and filled with loose veggies, shrimp, fries, and so on.” It keeps these more delicate ingredients from sticking to the grill’s grates, and, as John notes, “the grate’s cleaner, too.”
For the griller who over-checks their meat
A meat thermometer is a must-have accessory for a barbecue enthusiast to quickly and easily ensure that meat is fully cooked but not overdone. And for my money, there’s no meat thermometer better than the Thermapen. As I wrote in my review of this gadget, “What makes the Thermapen stand out from other digital kitchen thermometers is its speed and accuracy. According to the manufacturer’s website, this food thermometer can tell the real-time temperature of whatever you’re trying to measure within 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit in under three seconds. That speed makes a noticeable difference when you’re balancing a roasting pan on a hot oven door as you try to take the temperature of whatever’s inside without burning yourself or letting out too much heat,” or dealing with a hot barbecue grill. (And I’m in good company. The Thermapen also comes recommended by Amy and Mike Mills of 17th St. BBQ in Murphysboro, Illinois.)
For the griller who’s getting into marinades
In his roundup of the best condiments you can buy on Amazon, writer Hugh Merwin recommends this boiled cider, which is “kind of pure apple essence,” he explains. However, that sweetness makes it an excellent addition to a barbecue tool kit. “Grillmasters use it at the base of marinades, where it tenderizes meat and its mildly tart and subtle flavor blends in with wood smoke.”
For the griller with a small patio
Recommended by Leslie Roark Scott of Ubon’s Barbeque in Yazoo City, Mississippi, this large yakitori grill is ideal for those in a “tight space. It’s the perfect size for a couple of steaks, and holds heat like a champ.”
For the griller with no patio
For the indoor grill enthusiast who hates smoke
We discovered this indoor smokeless grill while watching Queer Eye on Netflix, and it’s a solid option for someone who wants to grill but is constrained by the realities of living in an apartment. It uses infrared light to heat the grill and help prevent smoking from dripping fat.
For the indoor grill enthusiast who doesn’t want another gadget
Though it’s more likely to smoke up your kitchen, this cast-iron grill plate from Lodge is “the indoor grill that’s closest in spirit to firing up the charcoal.” (Plus, because it’s essentially a flat piece of cast-iron, it’s much easier to store than a new appliance.)
For the griller who likes that smokey taste
As Steven John explains, “a pellet grill is a barbecue grill that uses an automatically fed supply of wood pellets to maintain a preestablished temperature and infuse the cooking foods with smoke aroma and flavor. Your fuel source is also your smoke source.” That means your meat takes longer to cook, but it’s also got more smoky flavor, and in his testing of pellet grills, John liked this one from Z Grills, in part because “you can load up enough wood pellets for hours of smoking with minimal refills required.”
For the griller who wants to go full pitmaster
On a long hunt for the “best, not-too-massive city grill,” Lauren Levy discovered that the best barbecue grill is actually this digital smoker from Masterbuilt. That’s according to Myron Mixon, the winningest man in barbecue, who explains, “It’s a digital smoker, so you can actually punch in the temperature you want and it takes you right there from 100 degrees to 275 degrees in just a few minutes.” He continues, “The truth is, everything that someone would want to barbecue you can cook with the Masterbuilt smoker, and it’s much more delicious.”
For the griller who tries to keep their grill spotless
I’ve written about the Drillbrush as the best tool to keep my shower clean, but the company makes different brush attachments with different stiffnesses for different purposes, like this barbecue accessories set, which can be used to detail-clean even the most grease-stained grill.
For the griller who likes to grill and chill
“When you’re smoking whole hogs, you can’t go for a beer run, so you need a good cooler that’s going to keep your beer cold for the night,” wisely notes Patrick Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. That’s why he recommends a Yeti cooler to keep by the grill. “I guarantee when you reach for a beer, it’s gonna be good and cold — just like it should be.”
For the griller who likes to carve meat
This sturdy Boos block has a juice groove to catch any liquid that might come out when carving a big hunk of barbecue. (And this gift certainly doesn’t have to be retired once grilling season is over. It’ll also come in handy at Thanksgiving, when it’s time to carve the turkey.)
For the griller who likes eating barbecue more than cooking
Once they cook the meat, they’ll need something to help you eat it, and that’s where these Messermeister steak knives come in. “There’s a curious delight in using these very, very sharp steak knives to bisect a morsel of beef (or pork, or chicken, or whatever flesh you have lying around),” writes Katie Arnold-Ratliff in her ode to these. “The blade slices through the steak with tactile precision — a kind of buttery, slippery ease that makes me say every time my boyfriend and I use these knives, which is a lot, ‘Man I love these knives.’”
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