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Grill Accessories

Our new Weber arrived this week and we're going to break it in this weekend, finally! I've been spending weeks thinking about all the different things that I would like to try on the grill.

Before I go out and buy a slew of useless gadgets, I'm wondering if any of those accessories, like grill baskets or skillets, are necessary and worthwhile for things like grilled vegetables. In a thread on the Home Cooking board, someone mentioned a grill basket for french fries, which is what prompted me to wonder if these things are useful.

I saw a few different things on WS and BBB websites and I'm sure there are more...



Any tips? Thanks!

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  1. I've found a flexible grill basket (like the one on the WS page) to be useful for grilling fish and large veggies. If you are going to be doing a lot of small veggies, you might want to get a perforated grill wok-I usually just use metal skewers.

    I would definately avoid those stupid giant grilling tools (spatula, tongs); I've found them completely worthless. A normal set of spring loaded tongs and spatula is all you'll probably need. If you Weber is charcoal, get the Weber chimney starter, much better than other brands and quite inexpensive.

    Quite edit-in general I avoid very specialized tools for the grill and kitchen. Sure you could buy a basket designed specifically for corn, but why not just put it directly on the grill-that's what the grates are for!

    1. A grill basket is really good for grilling asparagus. No falling through the grate and easy to turn all at once.

      1. Thanks. I was mostly thinking for fish, and things like vegetables that will fall through the grates. That WS corn holder is so silly!

        1. Grill basket is good for fish. I do a lot of my vegetables right on the grill- but I guess the basket would work, too. I do have the large tongs, long handled "flipper" as well as a sauce brush with a long handle. I was able to buy them for about $2.00 each, so could not pass them up.

          1. I do the french fries (and veggies and all sorts of other stuff) in the Williams-Sonoma vertical roaster which I got on clearance for under $10. I have found it much easier to cook veggies since I can just pile them in and stir them around as if they were in a pot.

            I feel like most grilling accessories are a bit gimmicky, but here's a few that I consistently keep using.

            I really like long-handled grilling tools. Your normal tools will definitely work just fine, but sometimes when I have to spend a more than a few minutes working over the hot grill it's nice to not have my armhair singeing off :-)

            If it's a gas grill a smoker box is nice to have.

            If you make a lot of ribs, a rib rack can help maximize use of the space

            Some good skewers

            1. A simple pair of 18 or 20 inch heavy stainless tongs, a real grill spatula (normal size handle but 10 inch long blade, short order cook tool), and a perforated wok. The wok is great for veggies and shrimp and other samll things likely to fall through the grill, easy to toss the whole batch with a flip of the wrist. Add a good grill brush and you are good to go.

              1. I use the Weber grill pan for veggies and fish all the time.

                  1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                    Isn't that just a glorified fork? Why poke your meat instead of gently flipping it with tongs?

                  2. Instead of a grill basket, you might also look at grills with small apertures that fit on top of the main grill. It took me an hour searching on the Web to find them, but I finally discovered they are called grill toppers,

                    1. I think most of these posters are spot on. Avoid the big, unwieldy barbecue only tools. They don't work nearly as well as the spatulas and tongs you can find in any kitchen supply store. You'll need a brush to clean your grill. I also like having a smaller grate to put on top so stuff doesn't fall through the Weber grate. If you plan to barbecue any chicken or turkey (you really should, and brine them first), you might want a poultry rack. Other than that, nothing special. The baskets can be good for fish and veggies, though

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: chuckl

                        While the giant BBQ tools look dorky, I have learned that they have a place . I recently upgraded to a Weber Genesis, which had a much deeper cooking area and burned about 150 degrees hotter than my old grill . Using my regular kitchen spatula to turn stuff in the back was VERY hot on the arms . Using a long handled spatula I had picked up for $2 on closeout at some store was a world of difference better . Try a regular one first , but don't dismiss the larger ones out of hand .

                        1. re: Msample

                          Yup- I like the longer handle, too. Like you, I picked them up cheaply at the Christmas Tree Shop- a local strore that sells all kind of "stuff" for next to nothing.

                          1. re: Msample

                            Just last night I went to grill a steak and both my long spatula and tongs were in the running dishwasher.

                            "No big deal - I'll just use my regular tongs."

                            Not only is it rather unpleasant being so close to such high heat, but I got a nice burn when I brushed the upper grill with my hand when flipping it.

                            The bottle opener on the end of the spatula is pretty handy sometimes, too. :-)

                            1. re: jzerocsk

                              I didn't realize the bottle opener was at the end of the spatula until it was pointed out to me. DUH!

                            2. re: Msample

                              I will add that the key to USEFUL tools for outdoor cooking lies in the way that the length is extended/size added.

                              I have a spatula that is about 15" in total length with a blade that is about 6" wide -- ideal for turning fish & bigger burgers, all SS, though not exceedingly heavy. Much better than a fancier spatula that is heavier.

                              I have pair of old relatively inexpensive tongs from Edward Don, when they made their own brand in the USA, not the cheapie Chinese Vollraths they sell now . They are about 16" long and the spring action is fairly light and the heads are very bowl shaped. I much prefer them to other more expensive tongs with heavier springs that tire out my hands. Great for steaks, veggies and an all around "second hand".

                              I have a huge Dexter Russell 8x5 shorthandled grillman's turner that is great for holding several pieces of food between turns and/or repositioning food. It is also the perfect tool to scape off the cooking surface. I got the idea from a guy that runs a catering/cook out business and he uses what is probably a small steel pizza peel for his enormous tow-behind grill/smoker. http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail....

                              Reaching over a hot grill can be made a lot safer & more pleasant by tools that are appropriate for the task.

                          2. Thanks for all the tips. On Saturday I went to BBB mostly to pick up a brush for cleaning the grill. I also got one of those grills skillet things mostly because it was only $6.00 and I figured it would come in handy for fish or vegetables. Then I looked for a long-handled spatula type of things, but they didn't have any there so I'll have to find one elsewhere. I did, however, get a pair of long tongs (I think 16") which I used on Saturday and Sunday. Those came in very handy, because last night, when the long tongs were in the dishwasher, I used the shorter 12" tongs to turn the chicken, and immediately realized why you need the longer ones! Man does that grill get hot! Didn't burn myself, but I thing my arm turned several shades of red for a few minutes.

                            And for our trial on the grill on Saturday night, some friends came over and brought us a housewarming gift -- some grilling accessories! Nice skewers, a flat grill topper for fish/veggies, and some food tents to keep the bugs off the food.

                            So now we've had grilled steak on Saturday, hamburgers/hotdogs on Sunday, and chicken on Monday. I'm in love with our new "toy"!

                            1. I highly recommend a pair of welding gloves. Especially with a charcoal grill, they are a must when setting up the coals, but even with a gas grill, they allow you to get your hands right over the fire and use the shorter tongs/spatulas (which I think give you better leverage and control than their longer-handled counterparts).

                              1. An EZQue rotisserie is the best I've found. You will be rotissing chickens with great regularity!