You bought a grill, extra-long tongs and a bag of charcoal. What followed was the slow realization that your out-of-the-box setup is limited. The grates create flare-ups, the coals take too long to light and you’ve burned off every hair on your forearm. Sound familiar? Then this guide is for you.
FireBoard Snap-On Blower
Temperature is paramount when it comes to cooking with wood or charcoal, and for those natural fuel sources, airflow is king. Feeding more air into a bed of coals generates more heat, bottlenecking airflow creates a lower heat environment. FireBoard’s snap-on blower fits directly into most ventilation holes and turns airflow regulation from an art to a science.
ThermoWorks IR Gun
Utah-based ThermoWorks might be the most trusted name in temperature telling. Its infrared temperature-tracking gun is less popular than its industry-standard thermometers, but it’s nearly as essential. Fire it at the grates to track when you’re building enough heat to properly sear a steak.
Pizzacraft 7-Inch Square Mini Pizza Stones
Up your pizza-making game with pizza stones. This grill upgrade ensures even heating on pizza crusts and other baked goods. You’ll get perfectly crisp crusts on your homemade pies, leftover slices and frozen pizzas.
GrillGrates Upgraded Grates
Endorsed as the “best thing to happen to gas grills and pellet smokers since salt and pepper” by the grill testers at Amazing Ribs, these cast-aluminum grates are rust-resistant and distribute heat more evenly across whatever you’re grilling.
G&F Welder’s Gloves
Oven mitts are poor stand-ins for grill-safe gloves, and most grill-safe gloves suck. Instead, get welder’s gloves — they go further up your arm, are safer at higher heat levels and allow your fingers freer movement.
Auber Instruments Wi-Fi Controller
Designed for professional pitmasters to use on overnight smokes, Auber Instruments’ grill controller is only for the most serious of home smokers. Just plug a probe into your meat and another at fire level, set your desired internal temperature for the meat and the temperature you want to smoke at. The controller does the rest, automatically adjusting airflow and air speed at coal level and feeding all cook data into an app on your phone.
Sage Owl Brass Grill Scraper
Still using bristly wire brushes to clean your grates? You should stop, unless you like putting indigestible metal in your guest’s burger. Instead, get a simple, cheap, hard-wearing universal grill scraper from Sage Owl, which come in various brass and stainless steel finishes.
Looftlighter Fire Starter
The first step to getting coals lit more quickly is buying a chimney. The second: a Looflighter. What looks like an overcharged hair curler can set stone cold charcoal ablaze in 60 seconds or less. You’ll never need to use instant-light charcoal again.
Steven Raichlen Cast-Iron Plancha
Planchas are hotter and heavier than griddles and one of Francis Mallmann’s favored ways of grilling. Use one to grill foods that would otherwise fall between or stick to the grates — like vegetables, whole fish and shrimp.
Fogo Lump Coal
Some people believe pre-cut charcoal is better than coal because every piece will be the same size, lending to more even heat distribution over your fire. But thanks to a more dense make up and larger size, lump coal is capable of reaching higher temperatures and burning for longer than regular charcoal. Give it a try.
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