Grilling isn't something you want to overcomplicate with too many gadgets or gimmicks, but a few well-chosen accessories can sometimes make grilling easier and more enjoyable. Here are a few options to consider if you're looking to expand your BBQ gear beyond the basics.
Never overcook a steak or undercook chicken again, with the Meater wireless meat thermometer. It's stored in a chic wood case that doubles as a charger, so it's always ready to go. The app is easy to use and comes with presets based on the type of meat you are grilling and how you like it cooked. Connect via Bluetooth or Wifi, the Meater has you covered.
Theis a high-powered cooling fan that's attached to a clamp by a gooseneck. Its creators claim it will help you with the time-consuming task of lighting a charcoal fire. The Dragon recharges via USB port, meaning you can use the household chargers you probably already own. The fan has a multi-level speed control, so you could use it to light other fires in your life, like your fireplace. But the big sell is that it supposedly can light a charcoal barbecue in under 10 minutes.
A traditional charcoal chimney starter is pretty speedy, but doesn't have the cool little tricks and applications of BBQ Dragon.
Theis designed to clean the surface of your grill with the power of steam. You simply fill the Grill Daddy with water, then fire up your grill. As you run the Grill Daddy across the BBQ grates it will release a measured amount of water that turns to grease-melting steam the instant it touches your preheated grill. The patented Grill Daddy is made from high-temperature heat-resistant ABS plastic and the brush heads are dishwasher-safe and safe to use on stainless steel, ceramic, and iron grills.
Nobody likes to clean all that charred gunk off the grill. So it was probably inevitable that someone would build a robot to do it for you.
A grill-cleaning robot that does the messy, post-grill cleanup,has three replaceable wire brushes and three motors under a shiny hood. Controlled by a CPU chip and sensors, the unit is completely autonomous and runs on rechargeable batteries. Grillbot also has a timer and an alarm so you can set it up post-grill and run it for as long as you need without having to keep an eye on it, and the alarm will let you know when it's finished or if the unit is overheating—though you need to keep the grill lid closed so the bot doesn't plummet off the edge. The brushes can even be popped out and cleaned in your dishwasher.
If you regularly find yourself needing to keep an eye on some late night burgers, consider adding something like this purpose-built grill light from Cuisinart instead of fumbling with a flashlight. It'll easily attach to most grill handles and packs nine LEDs in an expandable design to illuminate your entire grill.
As Cuisinart notes, however, it's not waterproof, so you'll want to make sure you keep it covered or bring it inside when you're finished.
There's no shortage of tools and gadgets that promise to make quick work of a messy grill, but one you may not have considered is one of the simplest. The Great Scrape's Woody Paddle is just that: a wooden paddle. The trick is to first use it on high heat to form grooves that match your grill. From then on you'll have a scraper perfectly tailored to your grill and no worry about wire bristles being left behind after cleaning.
You can always cook a pizza by throwing one right on the grill, but if you really want to step things up you'll need a separate pizza oven to complement your BBQ. That can quickly turn into an expensive proposition, but this fairly affordable one from Uuni gets high marks from , which found it to be compact and portable but still able to deliver the high temperatures needed for great wood-fired pizzas. That's done with wood pellets, which require a bit more practice and work than a gas-powered oven, but the results aren't likely to disappoint anyone.
For an even more affordable option that's also a bit more foolproof, the propane-fueled Pizzacraft PizzaQue () is another well-reviewed standalone pizza oven that's worth a look.
An $80 tool to light a charcoal grill isn't going to be for everybody, but the Looftlighter is an option if you're looking for an alternative to a chimney starter that doesn't involve lighter fluid. It works simply by producing a jet of hot air, which the company promises will get a fire started in about 60 seconds. A slight downside: it needs to be plugged in, so you may also need an extension cord depending on your grill placement.
If you have a gas grill, chances are you've run out of propane at an inopportune moment at least once or twice. While the best solution is to always keep a spare tank on hand, a propane tank gauge can still come in handy and save you some headaches. This one from Gaswatch goes a step beyond standard gauges by adding Bluetooth connectivity that'll let you check the propane level from your smartphone and sound an alarm when it's low.
The ThermoPro provides accurate temperature in seconds and monitors your meal's internal temperature, so it's cooked just to your liking. Use as celsius or fahrenheit and to clean just wipe it off with a soapy sponge and rinse with hot water to help prevent cross-contamination.
Turn your outdoor grill into a pizza oven with this high-heat nonstick pizza pan from Williams-Sonoma. The PFOA-free nonstick surface is safe for temperatures up to 660°F and the perforated design absorbs and transfers heat to prevent your crust from burning. If you've got a bit more grill space, you can try their which brings you even closer to a true brick-oven style pizza.