When the whiff of barbecue lingers in the air, you know the season for outdoor cooking and al fresco eating has arrived.
Barbecuing is a failsafe way to give your food that sweet, smoky flavour synonymous with cooking over charcoal. Chargrilling can also enhance meat and veg by caramelising their sugars and creating a criss-crossed appearance.
The possibilities for prepping delicious dinners are endless, from sides like buttery baked corn on the cob, sizzling seafood including these fiery prawn and pepper skewers or for something sweet after, try our barbecued banoffee splits. It helps to have the right quiver of barbecue equipment.
We’ve given our tried-and-tested favourite bits of barbecue kit ‘best for’ labels below, having cooked a variety of ingredients on the barbecue to test them, including halloumi, burgers, spatchcock chicken and individual chicken pieces. The rest are products we rate highly for their quality and price.
Food expert Barney Desmazery also shares his top 10 barbecuing tips. Whether you’re cooking on gas or over charcoal, discover our selection of the best barbecue tools, gadgets and accessories to help you get the most out of your outdoor grill
Looking for a new barbecue? Visit our reviews section to find round-ups of the best charcoal barbecues, best portable barbecues and best gas barbecues. Plus we've brought together our picks of the best outdoor tableware.
KitchenCraft cast iron grill press
Best for searing meat
Grill presses are a lot easier to use than a spatula for pressing meat like burgers and steaks whilst they cook over a barbecue. The result should be evenly seared meat that's packed with barbecue flavour. This grill press by KitchenCraft has a good surface area and being cast iron, can be heated on the barbecue to sear the meat from above whilst the meat cooks below.
Tramontina BBQ tools pack of three
Best BBQ tool essentials
The Tramontina pack of three barbecue tools are impressively sturdy. Firstly, they’re long, allowing you to manage what’s cooking without having your hands too close to the hot grill. Wooden handles work particularly well here because they don’t conduct heat. A good pair of tongs are also crucial, plus the flipper has a sharp serrated edge which comes in handy for splitting ingredients in two to check if they’re done. Nothing fancy, just three really useful tools for a good price.
OXO Good Grips silicone tongs
Best tongs to use on a barbecue
These tongs are really well-designed – the rubberised handles are easy to grip and the flat silicone tips are slightly flexible so they can be used as a spatula to flip food. They're ideal for burgers but really come into their own when having to turn fish or vegetable slices.
Meat shredding claws
Best for making pulled pork
These neat meat shredders are ideal for pulling apart pork or chicken – perhaps at a barbecue or just generally in the kitchen. There’s nothing quite so therapeutic as putting these claws to use, and they'll save the juices going all over your hands.
Broil King extra wide cleaning brush
Best barbecue cleaning tool
Cleaning your barbie whilst it’s still warm can make the process of removing stubborn grease or sticky juices a little easier to shift. To do so, a hard-wearing brush for determined scrubbing that has a long handle is one of the safest ways to go about it. The Broil King brush has both these qualities allowing you to put pressure on the brush for scrubbing but keep a safe distance from the grill. Width-wise, you can scrub multiple grill bars at once making the whole job faster. When tested, the barbecue looked like new.
Thermapen meat thermometer
Best barbecue gadget for health and safety
An absolute essential for safe barbecuing, a meat thermometer will help ensure your meat is cooked evenly but most importantly, fully. This one by Thermapen is a tried-and-tested favourite that’s never let us down.
Best BBQ gadgets
Weber kebab set
Best grill set for making kebabs
Skewers can be fiddly to turn over on a hot barbecue, but this wire rack keeps them at an even distance from each other and the coals and makes turning easy. Its sturdy construction means it stays put on the grill, while plated stainless steel provides great heat distribution and it's easy to clean. The rack itself is a little heavy, so we advise against using it on a lightweight grill. Comes with six skewers and fits 18in charcoal grills or larger.
Jamie Oliver non-stick chicken roasters
Best for beer can chicken
Cooking chicken on a beer can is an Aussie trick for achieving a beautifully cooked chicken over coals; steamed from the inside and roasted on the outside. Slightly more engineered but just as simple to use, barbecue chicken roasters are great bits of kit, not half because they catch all the juices released by the chicken as it cooks – the makings of a great gravy.
Weber chimney starter
Best for getting your barbecue up to temperature
Chimney starters offer quick and reliable means of lighting your barbecue charcoal. The design allows air to circulate below and feed the coals oxygen to really get them going. This chimney starter by Weber has two handles to help you tip the hot coals into your grill. But remember to always use gloves when doing so.
Galileo wooden handle BBQ grill basket
Best for barbecuing fish
Fish are famously tricky to cook on a traditional barbecue. As the flesh becomes tender the skin starts to stick on the grills and you watch as the delicious meat is lost to the coals below. A fish cage can help you out with this. One with a long handle and wooden gripper will allow you to turn and baste the fish without the handle overheating and being too hot to touch.
Thank you to BBCgoodfood