BBQ Grilling Tools & Essentials

Besides an ice-cold beer (or two)

Throwing a backyard barbecue—you know, the summer pastime that's supposed to be fun—can turn into the exact opposite if you don't have the right tools for the job.

You could be a pro who's already taken a few turns around the barbecue block or the unfortunate soul who just happens to have the biggest yard, but as long as you have these 12 grilling essentials (and a friend ready to make a last-minute ice run), we promise you'll have everything you need to celebrate summer right.

This month, we're taking you Beyond BBQ into the deep, dark, drool-worthy corners of the 'cue world, from Seoul to South Carolina. Smoke will get in your eyes (and your cocktail) as we explore the best pits, tips, roasts and rigs—you might even see a vegetable or two along the way.

Grilling Basket

Playing the game How Many Pieces of Asparagus Will Survive the Grill is fun for the first five minutes—until you've lost half your meal to the gaps in your grill grate. Don't play with fire.  

Stainless Steel Flexible Grill Basket, $12

Charcoal Chimney Starter

Resist the very real temptation of dousing everything in lighter fluid—a trusty chimney starter will get your briquettes just as hot without the potential of causing an explosion.

Weber Compact Chimney Starter, $14

Extra-Long Tongs

The added length makes these tongs perfect for reaching all corners of your grill, while simultaneously keeping your digits safe from the flames.

16-Inch Stainless Steel Tongs, $16

Instant-Read Thermometer

Why invest in a pricier thermometer over a dollar-store model? Because it requires mere seconds for an accurate reading, which means your forearms will survive the day with most of their hair intact.

Javelin PRO Digital Meat Thermometer, $50

Half Sheet Pans

Excellent for both queuing up uncooked items for the grill or serving as a landing pad for finished steaks, sheet pans are the one item you can never have too many of in your kitchen.

Sur La Table Platinum Professional Half Sheet Pans, $45 for two

Unbreakable Dinnerware

Between burger buns catching on fire and your propane tank running dry halfway through grilling, there are already enough things that can go wrong at a backyard barbecue. Don't let shattering china be one of them.

Brentwood Melamine Dinner Plates, $28 for two

Serving Platters

Ditch the disposable foil pans and invest in a few basic serving platters. These ones are casual enough for your rack of ribs yet spiffy enough for a holiday turkey (for when you inevitably get called upon to host Thanksgiving, too).

Glenna Large Platter, $78

Drinks Tub

Just don't forget to add ice to your shopping list.

Cawley Beverage Tub with Stand, $60

Bottle Opener

Sure, everyone has their own hack they want to show off for opening a beer bottle, but none will work as well as, you know, an actual bottle opener.

Cahill 2-Piece Barware Set, $34

Shatterproof Drinkware

Trust us: Once your guests have gotten to their second round of drinks, you'll be happy you left your prized barware in the house.

Hudson Rocks Unbreakable 10 Oz. Glasses, $75 for six

Utensil Caddy

Even your disposable forks and knives deserve a stylish place to call home.

Wood and Metal Flatware Caddy, $25

Fire Extinguisher

You know, just in case.

Multi-Purpose Fire Extinguisher, $40