the best. really.

What Are the Best Grilling Tools?

We had the country’s best pitmasters weigh in.

Whether you’re new to ‘cue and looking to build your grilling toolbox from scratch, or you’re a seasoned smoker looking to upgrade her rusty tongs, we went to a dozen of the country’s best pitmasters taking part in the upcoming Big Apple Barbecue (June 10 and 11 in Madison Square Park), and had them share their go-to gear with us. (Note, Father’s Day is upon us, and a lot of these gizmos, gadgets, and can chicken-roasting racks would make great gifts.)

Weber Grill Out Handle Light
“This light is perfect for the home grill. It turns on and off as you open and close the lid to the grill (so you don’t have the touch the controls with dirty hands). The light also illuminates the entire cooking area of the grill so that you see the true color of your food, no matter what time of day.”

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set
“All-Clad grill utensils are heavy, sturdy, weather-resistant, good-looking, and easy to clean. The rounded handles are shaped for comfort and secure gripping. The grill brush is sturdy and keeps the grill clean, which is essential to good grilling.”

Harris Professional All-Purpose Spray Bottle
“You need this! It has a couple great uses. Fill it with water to quickly squirt out any flare-ups — too many flare-ups can make your food taste a bit acrid. Or fill it with your favorite vinegar-based mop to add that extra spritz of flavor to your food. This squeeze bottle is durable and hard to clog. You can also set the exact amount of liquid to dose as well.”

Cave Tools Smoker Box
$19

Cave Tools Smoker Box
“I’m a pit guy who loves smoke. This smoker box by Cave Tools is a great alternative to a full smoker. A little oak chips on your grill can breathe new life into your ‘cue. This box is made from heavy aluminum to prevent warping and has a large capacity, so you are not changing chips as often. Smoke is the secret seasoning that can take your barbecue from good to great.”

Weber Jumbo Joe
$89

Weber Jumbo Joe
“For the apartment dweller, the Weber Jumbo Joe is perfect for grilling on the sidewalk, fire escape, or common space. Eighteen inches of grill space gives you enough room for one rack of baby back ribs, or three rib-eye steaks, or four half-pound burgers. It is functional and effective at grilling and smoking.”

Red Boat Salt
Red Boat salt is often my secret ingredient when making interesting dynamic rubs. I will either replace salt completely with this salt substitute, or cut it into the salt in traditional rubs. Red Boat is known for making fish sauce. Once the barrels of fish sauce have been emptied, they allow the salt to crystallize on the inside of the barrels. The barrels are then scraped, harvested, and packaged. The salt is delicious — sharp with a big punch of umami.”

BBQ Dragon
“The BBQ Dragon is 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.”

Thermapen MK4
“Thermapen digital thermometers give an accurate, instant read, and they are backlit, so you can see in the dark. The MK4 model is the industry gold standard. If you’re really getting into barbecue, invest in a more high-tech solution and get the ThermoWorks Smoke model with two probes.”

Magnolia Barbecue Mop
“A string mop will soak up a good bit of liquid, making it easy to mop the meat with sauce. You can wash them in the dishwasher a few times, but they’re inexpensive and come in a box of 12, so you’ll always have one at the ready.”

Lamberts Sweet Swine O’Mine Red Box Charcoal Smoker
“For true barbecue, the little Red Box cannot be beat. Small and affordable, this insulated, double-walled, reverse-flow smoker is perfect for the terrace or deck of an apartment, or as an addition to your cooker arsenal. Don’t let the size fool you, though. The three racks can accommodate four slabs of ribs, two small brisket flats, two Boston butts, or three split chickens.”

Fire Sense Large Yakatori Charcoal Grill
“This little grill is really cool when you’re in a tight space. It’s the perfect size for a couple of steaks, and holds heat like a champ.”

Magid Glove & Safety Protective Sleeve
“If you’re going to be spending a long time at the grill, these can save the day. These sleeves will protect your arms from extreme heat.”

Quality United Grill Brush
“This is one of my have-to-have items. These heavy-duty brushes are essential for maintaining the buildup of grease and debris on the grill, both of which can affect the taste of the meat.”

Cave Tools Beer Can Chicken Roasting Rack
“This is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to cook a chicken. Not only is upright roasting the optima