I had an old grill tool set that maybe lasted for one summer.
I got it for nine bucks (brand new, I might add), and it really wasn’t worth it.
Needless to say, I’ve smartened up and nabbed a high-quality set, which has lasted me for the last five years now, and it’s still running strong.
For this guide, I stuck to stainless steel that’s thicker than your average set of tools—no more spatulas bending, handles twisting in on themselves, or fork tines getting out of alignment.
These are the best grilling tools you could ask for.
Grill tools are usually an afterthought; most of the focus goes towards the grill, its fuel source, and what you’re going to make.
Take it from me: having the right tools for the job makes it that much easier, and a heck of a lot more enjoyable.
Let’s get you kitted up.
Best Grill Tool Set
OlarHike 25-Piece BBQ Grill Tools Set
Grill tools should last you for as long as your grill does.
Unpopular opinion, I know, but I like to make purchases that I know I can benefit from years down the line.
I like to opt for quality over quantity, but OlarHike gives you the best of both worlds.
Included in this set, you get all stainless steel tools.
You’re going to see a lot of stainless steel on this list, but the reason this kit is so important—and why it won our top spot—is because the steel is made extra thick.
You ever go to lift that huge steak and you’re trying to wedge it off the grates? Yeah, no more bending.
OlarHike includes tongs with a wide handle, though they are pretty slick to the touch, so that’s something to keep in mind.
The spatula includes a serrated edge, as well as ventilation slots to allow airflow during use.
I’m personally a big fan of the cleaning tool since it doesn’t warp horribly after the first use, but with any barbecue tool kit, cleaning brushes go through the most damage and will need to be replaced in the future.
Let’s talk about the case. It’s ridiculously durable and includes straps for every single tool so it’s not all just rattling around at random when you go to move it.
It’s as compact as you can get when you’re storing 25 different tools, and it does its job well.
I anticipate having the case for as long as I have the tools since it’s made with a thick ABS plastic.
Out of all the tools, I would really say that OlarHike went to town on the design for the syringe.
Injecting your meat is its own art, but with OlarHike’s syringe, it feels like a flawlessly simple process.
But it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows. I don’t recommend using the skewers in this set at all.
The handle is kept together with an adhesive, which was a mistake on their part.
It melts after a short amount of use and renders them completely useless.
On top of that, you’re going to get a dead battery in the thermometer you receive.
That’s not an end-all, be-all issue, but it’s like “I just got this and I have to do extra stuff just to make sure it works.”
An unnecessary extra step. It would be much more efficient for them to package an individual battery along with your purchase than include it inside of the thermometer.
|Number of Pieces:||25|
|Items Included:||Tongs, BBQ brush, spatula, fork, knife, skewers, and more|
Romanticist 23-Piece Stainless Steel Barbecue Grill Set
They didn’t hit the top of the list as the best grilling accessories, but it’s set anyone would be thankful to have.
While this comes with fewer pieces than OlarHike, Romanticist focuses on the tools themselves instead of having a glove or syringe involved.
I don’t mind the grill mats that they included, but they’re more like add-ons, and I don’t think they should be included in the total set piece.
I will say this: they know how to add some aesthetic points to your case.
It’s built with aluminum, but it’s thick enough that you’re not going to encounter any dents if you’re just casually banging it around while moving your grill.
It’s fairly durable and holds onto almost everything perfectly.
There’s a very fine line between the edge of your knife and the serrated side of your spatula, which is something I would watch out for when packing so you don’t chip the edges.
Other than that, the straps hold everything in tight, and there are two latches on the handle side to keep it closed at all times.
The digital thermometer is decent, but it’s nothing fantastic.
It takes a little while to get an accurate temperature, and while that temperature is accurate, there are many thermometers that also have speed on their side.
It’s going to do the trick for now, but if you’re passionate about grilling, an upgrade in the future would be a benefit to you.
We saw a problem with the OlarHike skewers, but Romanticist hit the nail on the head.
They’re made of stainless steel, and there are no meltable handles that are going to ruin the foot you put on it.
Nice and simple, but also hard to bend.
Grill cleaning tools have a short lifespan before they’re not very effective.
I would say that Romanticist has as good of a cleaning tool as you’re going to get.
The good thing is that they include extra scrubbers, which triples the lifespan of this one tool.
They’re a pain to peel off and replace, but it beats buying an entirely new cleaning tool.
Last but not least, the BBQ glaze brush is standard quality.
The rubber is about the same grade that you see in indoor kitchen utensils, and personally, I’m a bit rough on those so I don’t anticipate the brush to last for too long.
It’s nice to have in the meantime, just not a forever brush.
|Number of Pieces:||23|
|Items Included:||Thermometer, spatula, tongs, fork, BBQ brush, cleaner tool, and more|
Cuisinart Deluxe Grill Set
Cuisinart makes a lot of appliances (some of which are on my computer as I write this), but I initially didn’t think they would make it on this list as a contender of the best grill tool sets on the market.
Without charging too much for this set, they really offer a good level of quality.
Made of stainless steel, this 20-piece set is designed to hold a certain level of aesthetic appeal, while remaining very effective.
It’s not as thick as the OlarHike set, but it’s definitely built to last.
I could easily see this being a decade-long kit before you might consider replacing it.
I talked about the thermometers in the other kits being sort of lackluster, but Cuisinart really stepped up to the plate here.
Your thermometer is built into a two-prong fork and comes with a very large handle.
It’s not a dainty little thing. The soft-touch rubber around the LCD screen and buttons allows you to have a really good grip, and the thermometer itself doesn’t take long to get a good readout.
That LCD screen I mentioned is visible even in direct sunlight, which is a huge plus.
The spatula is okay, but it lacks serrated edges.
There are no other functions you could possibly have with this; it’s quite simply just a spatula.
When it comes to your skewers, they added a little thumb handle on the end of each (branded with their name, of course) to give you a better placehold while you’re skewering meats and veggies.
It actually works out great, and since it’s a single cut piece, there’s no risk of bending or melting off.
The kit seems pretty great, but it did come with a fatal flaw.
The metal hooks on the end of the spatula, the brush, and the cleaning tool, are all barely there.
They’re known to come off.
Cuisinart also has some issues when it comes to quality assurance because there are plenty of people who end up with a missing piece or a damaged case that’s missing a latch.
My tongs were a bit misaligned, which I found odd since it’s in a protective case.
Other than that, the last thing I’ll say about this kit is that the cleaning brush is utter rubbish.
I already don’t expect them to last long, but then when you factor in that the scrub pad can often dislodge from the brush handle, it’s not that good.
They made a solid set here, with a few picadillo to factor in.
|Number of Pieces:||20|
|Items Included:||Fork thermometer combo, spatula, BBQ brush, multiple tips, skewers|
Alpha Grillers Heavy Duty BBQ Grilling Tools Set
This one is pretty quick and simple.
The reason it’s at the fourth spot on the list is because of the tong, and the price for a four-piece set.
The saying “You get what you pay for” is pretty true here; you’re getting high quality but at a premium.
These tong handles are comfortable to use, but at its default design, the ends clash against each other and make this awful scraping sound.
While that isn’t really the biggest deal in the world, it leads to wear and tear on the tong ends, as well as eventual warping.
This is probably the only rubber-tipped glaze brush that I would say is worth the money though.
The rubber bristles are close together, making it easy to actually hold onto sauce (most brushes have visible lines between each bristle and then the sauce slides right out).
It’s a solid brush.
As far as the fork goes, it does something that most kits don’t, where it has a couple of teeth along the innermost section of the tines to grasp food effectively.
No more dropping sausage links because it slid off the fork.
The spatula is serrated on one side, but very minorly, so it’s not like you’re using a hacksaw on your food like some other spatulas make it feel like.
Ultimately, where do I set on this?
It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. The tools are very heavy-handled, so you have a lot of swaying power then you’re using them.
It makes the brush feel more stable, and the fork a little easier to control thanks to the ergonomic grip design.
Altogether, it’s a solid set, if you’re willing to pay a little bit more.
|Number of Pieces:||4|
|Items Included:||Spatula, BBQ brush, tongs, fork|
Cuisinart Wooden Handle Grilling Tool Set
Now, this looks like an old-style barbecue grill kit.
Wooden handles have this nostalgic feel to them, but they definitely require a bit more TLC to make sure they don’t get destroyed, such as oiling and sealing.
Thankfully, the handles come sealed, but it’s something you’ll have to upkeep as time goes on.
This simple 18-piece kit comes at a fair price and doesn’t feature the same artsy feel that the other Cuisinart set did.
I would say the case is definitely good, albeit it is a bit rough to actually fit all the pieces back into.
There’s no velcro straps or ways to hold the tools in place, but since they fit in pretty tight, you could drop the closed case and not hear everything rattle around.
Stainless steel has basically become the go-to material, as you’ve seen on this list, and Cuisinart didn’t shy away from that.
It’s about as thick as a grill tool set should be, making it difficult to bend, but not the strongest kit out there.
Your skewers are fairly sturdy, and the corn cob holders aren’t too shabby either, it’s just as good, all-around durable kit from the tongs to the cleaning brush.
Definitely a solid pick for anyone who’s just starting out with grilling on a constant basis.
|Number of Pieces:||18|
|Materials:||Stainless steel, wood|
|Items Included:||Tongs, spatula, corn cob holders, and more|
Grill Tool Set Buying Guide and FAQ
What Tools are Needed for Grilling?
Professional grill tools come with a variety of different utensils, most of which are very versatile, though some will only be applied in specific circumstances.
This is a brief overview of the basic tool set you need while grilling.
- Spatula: Used for flipping burgers, and if they’re small enough, New York strip steaks, pork chops, and chicken. Serrated edges allow you to make small cuts or chops along the way.
- Fork: Not a dinner fork, a grill fork. These are used to move well around on the grates, They shouldn’t be used with electric grills, as they can scratch the cooking surface.
- Skewers: Shish kebabs have to go on something, right? You can use wooden skewers, but those are prone to snapping. Skewer steak tips, vegetables, and even fruits with metal skewer sticks. Totally reusable, always handy.
- Thermometer: Used for internal temperatures for meat, or to test the heat of your grate if you’re going to for a really aesthetic sear mark pattern.
- Brush: Used to clean up bits of stubborn, stuck-on grime and food particles as they cook to the grill. These don’t last long, but they’re necessary.
- Tongs: Simply to pick up sausage links, hot dogs, and vegetables like asparagus.
- BBQ Glaze Brush: Sometimes simply referred to as a basting brush, these are silicone or plastic bristle brushes to apply sauces and glaze to your food while it cooks.
- Mitts: If you slow cook with cast iron pans, you need range mitts. These also work in a pinch if you need to pull something out of the grill that wasn’t supposed to fall in.
- Chimney: If you’re a charcoal grill user, you should have a chimney handy. These allow you to light briquettes in a two-pound or three-pound capacity, get the right blaze going, and then pour them into the basin. They make charcoal life a whole lot easier.
Can You Use Silicone Utensils on the Grill?
You’ll notice that some of the best grill utensils ever made have silicone in them.
Sometime back in the mid-2000s, silicone became one of the biggest additionals to kitchens all across America.
Personally, I prefer steel all the way, but you can’t exactly have a steel BBQ glaze brush, now can you?
Silicone is usable on the grill.
In most instances, it can withstand temperatures up to 575° F—food-grade, restaurant-quality silicone can go higher—which is more than enough for most of your grilling needs.
Electric grills rarely go past 450° F, charcoal grills sometimes hit about 500° F, but if you’re using a Kamado grill, then you’re going to run into issues with silicone.
Kamados can reach temperatures of 750° F with ease, such as the Kamado Joe Classic II on our best Kamado grill guide, and that’s going to melt silicone extremely quickly.
It’s going to cake for your food, and while silicone is food safe, it’s not ingestible.
At the end of the day, silicone is still rubber and can be known to leave trace elements inside your food that may set off certain sensitivities.
They’re inexpensive, but if you have the option, you should always go with stainless steel.
Steel lasts longer (silicone can rip or tear with time), and has a melting point of over 2,400° F, even for lower-grade stainless steels.
While that’s just a threshold and specific situations apply, that’s more than four times the melting point of silicone.
What is the Best Material for Grill Tools?
Every barbecue accessory is different.
Even when you look at this list of all stainless steel tools, each of them is different grades, meaning they are subject to change at different temperatures.
It’s difficult to say exactly where stainless steel can be warped and melt, but for the most part, it’s at extremely high temperatures.
Stainless steel is the best material for grill tools, hands down.
These companies that make grill tools do their research, they find out what people like best, and what is the most sustainable material available to make their tools out of.
Stainless steel simply gets the job done without suffering from melting or extreme damage.
But it’s not perfect.
Steel that’s made too thin can still bend from excessive force.
The hotter the tool is, the more malleable it is, which is where you can run into problems.
If your steel is thin, then trying to clamp your tongs while picking up a whole brisket could warp it, or sending a steel fork through a piece of meat and banging it off the metal grates below.
It’s all subject to angles, pressure, and temperature, but even with all those variables in mind, stainless steel is still the best material.
The problem with plastic utensils is that they melt.
Quite plainly, they melt, even if it’s slowly over time from using them.
You can’t leave a plastic spatula on a countertop griddle for more than a minute before it starts warping and reforming.
That’s releasing chemicals into your food, and ultimately ruining something you spent good money on.
As we mentioned before, silicone is often an alternative, and with its melting point being around 575° F for most silicone utensils, it’s still not quite the best material.
Even if you take melting points out of the picture, silicone is a form of rubber, and have you ever tried to make rubber spotlessly clean?
It’s a chore.
Silicone tools are difficult to clean. They’re also prone to breaking fairly easily.
You’ll see splits on the edges of silicone spatulas and cracks in the bristles of silicone BBQ glaze brushes after a short amount of time.
Hard to clean, hard to maintain, just not worth the initial amount of money that you could save for going with them.
How to Clean Your Grill Tools?
Let’s say you got the best BBQ utensils available, you love them, and you’re using them every single weekend to cook up some truly tantalizing food for the family.
Keeping them clean and maintained is half the battle, otherwise, they’ll fall into disrepair and be useless.
To clean your grill tools, whether they’re made of steel, aluminum, silicone or whatever, follow these simple steps.
Fill your sink with hot water, as hot as your faucet will allow it to come out. From there, you have an A and B solution.
- You could put in dishwashing detergent, such as Dawn, and mix it around until you get a nice bit of soapy foam on top.
- Use an all-natural solution, such as lemon and baking soda mixture. White distilled vinegar works wonders for sanitization at the end.
Use a soft plastic bristle brush to scrub away any stuck-on grime. This might take a few passes depending on how stubborn and stuck-on the grime is.
Grime occurs from BBQ glaze cooking to your utensils, as well as grease, dressings, and soot rising from charcoal briquettes.
Scrub in a circular motion. This will give you multiple angles to attack grime and grease from.
Dry them off with white cotton or microfiber rag. Dry out every possible crevice.
That means the bolt holes on wooden handles, in between all the bristles on a BBQ glaze brush, and especially in the grooves of your serrated spatula.
Every single crevice you possibly can.
This will give you the opportunity to check the rag, and see if any residual grime was stuck in hard-to-reach spots, giving you more working knowledge for the next cleaning.
Leave to air dry for 30 minutes.
Yes, you dried them with a rag, but air drying is the most effective way to ensure a sanitary surface, and that no trapped water will be able to be corrosion or rusting your stainless steel grill tools.
Return to the appropriate case to ensure no further damage or dirt. Close the latches, and put it somewhere dry.
What is a Grill Fork Used for?
Grills forks actually aren’t the best grilling utensils in your kit.
They seem like they play a huge role, but they need to be used for very specific tasks, otherwise, you risk ruining your food.
Even though it’s tempting to use the grill fork and stab through a brisket, it’s just going to leave the juices out, dehydrate it, and let all that dry hot air in. It’s not a good idea.
You can use your grill fork to remove fully cooked hot dogs and sausage links from the grill, but you shouldn’t puncture chicken, beef or lamb with it.
Grill forks work excellently to flip or remove vegetables, such as asparagus spears.
You don’t have as much control over small vegetables with a spatula-like you do with a fork.
You can stab them with one tine, flip them over, and let the cooking commence.
Master Your Grill with the Right Tools for the Job
Now you’ve got the tools, but do you have the know-how to utilize their full potential?
If you’re still learning the ropes of grilling, check out our How to Grill: 11 Grill Recipes guide to not only learn how to cook, but pick up on some killer recipes that will transform how you cook outdoors forever.
Last update on 2021-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API