If you know a griller or pitmaster, here are the tools and toys they want. All of them are award winners. Remember our reviews and ratings are unbiased because we don't sell anything (other than memberships in our Pitmaster Club), and our advertising is sold by third parties, so we are free to be brutally honest. Click the links to read our full reviews. We've given you an idea of each gift's price but you can find the latest pricing with online retailers linked from our reviews. All of the following grill tools have earned our Best Value Gold Medal. Click here to read the criteria for our Best Value Awards.
Mataki LED Headlamp - No Sunlight, No Problem
Light up the night with the Mataki LED headlamp. It's small in size with eight LED bulbs that make nighttime cooking, cutting, and beverage opening so much easier.
G&F Suede Welder's Gloves - Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves
If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welders gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned.
Mr Bar-B-Q Stainless Steel Mesh Roasting Pan - Like A Frying Pan For Your Grill
This grill topper makes it a cinch to grill and smoke small foods like sliced onions and peppers without them falling through the grate. Don't want to bother with skewers? Use the pan to grill shrimp and cubes of steak, pork and chicken, too.
Mo's Smoking Pouch - The Easy Way to Add Smoke on a Gas Grill
It looks like a silver mailing envelope and works like a charm. Just fill this smoking pouch with wood chips or wood pellets and stick it in your gas grill for plenty of steady, long-lasting smoke. The fine mesh 304 stainless steel limits the airflow into the pouch so the wood smolders slowly and never bursts into flame.
$21 to $49
Our Very Own Book: "Meathead: The Science Of Great Barbecue And Grilling" By Meathead Goldwyn and Greg Blonder, PhD ($21.08)
Give your foodie friends this New York Times Best Seller, Order my New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling". Named one of "22 Essential Cookbooks for Every Kitchen" By SeriousEats.com. Named one of "25 Favorite Cookbooks of All Time" By Christopher Kimball's Milk Street. Named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living magazine. Named "Best Cookbooks Of The Year" By Chicago Tribune, BBC, Wired, Epicurious, Leite's Culinaria, and others. 400 pages, half of which are the ultimate outdoor cooking textbook explaining what is heat, what is smoke, how they react with food, meat science, and how grills and smokers work. Along the way we bust scores of BBQ myths. The second half has more than 100 well tested recipes that put the concepts to work.
Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs - 20" Barbecue Tongs With A Mechanical Advantage
Our favorite tongs for all things barbecue. Strength is their main strength. Constructed with rugged 1/8" aluminum, these tongs have a scissor-like design, making them strong enough to lift not only big steaks and whole packer briskets but even flaming hot logs. They're also dishwasher safe.
ThermoWorks ThermoPop - The Best Instant Read Thermometer At This Price
Nothing will improve your cooking faster than a good digital thermometer. You can't rely on that dial thermometer in your drawer. It is sloooooow and inaccurate. Only a good digital thermometer will prevent you from over or undercooking food. This popular, colorful device is a high-performance, low-cost, rapid-read, handheld thermometer for food usage. The rotating display makes it easy to read from any angle.
OXO Spring-Loaded Poultry Shears - Easily Cuts Though Chicken Bones
Sturdy scissors make it so much easier to cut the backbone out of a chicken. Keep them nearby and you'll reach for these shears to open packages, slice pizza, and snip herbs, too. The soft-grip handle makes them comfortable, and the stainless steel blades make them dishwasher safe. They come apart at the hinge, so you can get them really clean.
Wolf Claws Wear Wolf - For More Than Just Pulling Pork
These claws are essential for pulling pork fast and easy. And they help you lift big roasts from your cooker, including hot briskets, hams, and whole turkeys. You can even use them to toss salads. Made from thick, food-grade nylon/plastic, the claws are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Weber Smokey Joe - A Smaller Version Of The Grill That Made Weber Famous
If you need a small portable charcoal grill for a few steaks, or for hamburgers and hot dogs at the game, Weber's Smokey Joe is hard to beat. The porcelain enameled coating prevents rust and fading, and it cooks very much like its bigger sibling, the Weber kettle grill.
$50 to $199
Slow 'N Sear - The Best Accessory for Your Kettle Grill
The single best accessory for the Weber Kettle makes it a better searing machine and converts it into a superb smoker at the same time. It holds the charcoal off to one side and puts a water barrier between it and the indirect zone. Truly innovative and truly amazing.
It's a 16 gauge 304 stainless steel charcoal basket with a built-in water reservoir that pides your kettle grill into two very distinct heat zones for direct cooking, indirect cooking, and low temperature smoking. For about $90, it converts a standard Weber Kettle grill into a much more versatile cooker capable of turning out high quality smoked ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey, salmon, and more.
GrillGrates Turns Your Plain Old Gas Grill Into An Infrared Grill
An absolute must for gas grills, this extruded aluminum surface can set right on top of your cooking grate to amplify heat by turning it into an infrared grill, prevent flare-ups, kill hotspots, and more. Also amps up charcoal grills and pellet smokers.
The Story Of American BBQ Can Be Told By These Benchmark Regional Sauces
To most of us, barbecue sauce is red and sweet. To those who would rather lunch in the back of a shack than under the golden arches, barbecue sauce comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors tied to its area of origin. Here is a 12 pack of authentic sauces from the barbecue capitals of Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas City, Western Kentucky, and more, benchmarks of their home town, selected by Meathead and sold by a specialty sauce company.
CanCooker Original - Cooking For 20 People Is Almost Never This Easy
Stack it all in a big pot and cook it. That's how the CanCooker Original works. Simple and lightweight, this low-priced cooker feeds a crowd from any heat source, whether it's a campfire or portable gas burner. Just load it up with seasoned corn, potatoes, crabs, shrimp, crawfish, sausage, or whatever else you like and let it steam cook in the can. The silicone gasket in the lid creates a tight fit and a simple valve releases excess steam. An optional stainless steel grate keeps food from burning on the bottom.
John Boos Reversible Cutting Board with Juice Groove and Pan - The Ultimate Cutting Board
Durable and good looking Boos cutting boards have been a chef favorite for more than 125 years. At more than 2" thick, this board also has grooves and a juice pan to collect all the precious juices from your roasted and barbecue meats. No fuss, no muss. Grill roast a turkey or prime rib and the juices collect in the removable juice pan so you can easily pour them back over the meat, make a board sauce, or add the flavorful juices to gravy.
Joule: Sous Vide by ChefSteps - You just MUST try Sous-Vide-Que
Sous vide is a foolproof method that guarantees you will never overcook or undercook, and that you will always have tender and juicy food. If you use a grill or smoker with sous vide will you amp it up to 11. There are a number of sous vide devices on the market, but Joule is clearly the best.
Maintaining a steady temperature is a key to good cooking. Immersion circulators make it a cinch, and the ChefSteps model is nice and compact. The Joule: Sous Vide by ChefSteps cooks food at a specific temperature to your desired doneness. You can then sear it on the grill or add barbecue smoke in a process we like to call "sous vide que." The Joule: Sous Vide by ChefSteps companion app (free!) has step by step instructions and recipes so you can make everything from sous vide soft-cooked eggs to sous vide smoked brisket. It's small enough to fit in a drawer, powerful enough to create big flavors, and a great addition to your kitchen arsenal.
$200 and up
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24" Propane Gas Smoker - A Compact Propane Smoker That Turns Out Delicious Food
A gas smoker is so simple to operate, that's why so many top flight BBQ joints now use them. Check out the solid construction, wide temperature range and 24" wide capacity of this Smoke Vault. Dial it down to 160°F for smoking cheese, or crank to 400°F for crisping turkey skin. It is the only residential gas smoker we know of that can be used with a natural gas line.
This cabinet style smoker holds steady temperatures as high as 400ºF and as low as 160ºF. Push button ignition, a heavy-gauge steel wood chip tray, and a steel water pan all make it simple to smoke ribs, pork shoulder, brisket, salmon, a whole turkey, and even baked pies.
Pit Barrel Cooker, The Inexpensive Smoker That Beats The Big Boys And Has A Cult Following ($299)
Our readers are in love with this inexpensive, easy to use charcoal smoker. Delivered to your door for $299, no assembly needed, it beats anything in this price range hands down! Cook flat on a grate or hang meats from rods at the top. Pizza, brisket, turkey and you can hang eight full slabs of ribs in this magic drum and everything comes out great!
Kamado Joe ClassicJoe - A Heavy Duty Cooker At A Nice Price
The versatile ClassicJoe from Kamado Joe is a grill, smoker, and oven all in one. Its "pide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System" allows you to cook food at multiple levels, and a newly designed air lift hinge reduces the dome weight, making it easy to lift the lid. Like other kamados, the Kamado Joe is durable and built to last, but the price is a little easier on the wallet.
Traeger Timberline 850 - Set It, Forget It, Smoke It
With three stainless steel cooking grates and 850 square inches of total smoking space, the Timberline 850 holds plenty of food. It also holds a steady temperature thanks to its double-wall stainless steel interior and airtight lid gasket. With the Traeger companion app (free!) you can set timers, adjust the smoke, and change temperatures from a low 165°F to a high 500°F, all from your phone while you're on the couch or even across town. Traeger pioneered pellet grills and has delivered yet another perfect marriage of performance and convenience.
Karubecue KBQ C-60/SS BBQ Smoker Pit - A True Stickburner Without The Headaches And Heartaches
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. Its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. If you are looking for a fantastic stick burner, look no further.