A good builder never blames their tools. Likewise, a great griller never blames the tools that they’ve got—at least while you’re grilling. Afterwards, definitely invest in new tools. Grilling tools storage and maintenance is essential to the art of grilling. In this post, we’re going to talk tools.


Let’s talk about grilling tools storage, maintenance, and use. Plus—what tools should you purchase in the first place?

Essential Grill Accessories

We have a complete set of baskets and ash cans that you can pick out based on your grill. It makes getting your essential grilling equipment fast and easy. If you don’t have a grill yet: start with our “which charcoal grill is best for you” post.

Lighter and Chimney

Even if you’re a seasoned grilling veteran, you’re going to start your charcoal in a chimney. It’s the fastest way to get the coals hot and light the whole grill. Chimneys usually stack coals on top of each other, with some paper at the bottom, so that you can light them quickly. Vents facilitate air flow throughout the stack. You can certainly use matches or a traditional lighter, but we love the JJ George Grill Torch. It’s the fastest way to get the whole batch of charcoal going and get to grilling.

Kick Ash Basket and Can

The original kick ash basket is a great way to store and clean coals quickly from the bottom of your grill. You can shake out the ash, add coals, and relight to start the grill the next time.


The basket holds your coals so that you can shake it out, tossing the loose ash down to the can. The Kick Ash Can® aligns perfectly with the vent hole at the bottom, collecting ash as you grill to make ash removal really easy. If you cook slowly and the bigger lumps of coal still are left, the basket holds the coal so that you can use it for the next grill.



Tools for Moving and Finishing Meat

BBQ Grilling Tools

You can easily find lists of 10 or even 30 essential BBQ grilling tools! An experienced griller will only need a few choice tools. A great spatula and pair of tongs are non-negotiable. The tongs are perfect for moving most smaller, uneven cuts of meat. A spatula is really only necessary for giving burgers a clean flip, or maneuvering smaller steaks.


When considering grilling tools storage, keep in mind that you need something that allows the tools to dry and the air to circulate. Rust or grime buildup on tools is a non-starter for your next BBQ backyard party. Cleaning thoroughly is important—then stash them in a dedicated toolbox or drawer. If you store them inside, you can keep them in a container with all your grilling gear.

Heat Resistant Gloves

Call us partial, but we love the Kick Ash Heat Resistant Gloves. When things flare up and when the grill gets upwards of 500 degrees, it’s going to be way too hot to maneuver anything without the gloves. Luckily, we’ve got a kick ash pair perfect for handling meats at high temperatures. It makes moving things to storage easier as well!

Meat Thermometer

Temperature and thickness will vary with every trip to the grill. The only really good way to tell when your meat is done without poking and slicing the juices out of it is to slip in a meat thermometer. Chicken, especially, really needs to get up to 165 degrees to be safe. Beef has a much wider range of perfection.

Is a Grilling Tools Set a Good Idea?

If you’re starting from scratch, there are some great grilling tools sets that you can get which come with all the supplies that you’ll need to get grilling. Remember, you’ll need a high-quality pair of tongs, and maybe a spatula (helpful for flipping) and a two-pronged fork. Obviously, people will try to sell you anything that you’re willing to buy. That means plenty of odd BBQ utensils that you aren’t really going to use. Keep it simple.


Tools for Cleaning Your Grill

Grill Brush

A solid, stiff wire brush is essential for keeping your grates clean from debris and ashy buildup. You want char marks on your meat. You do not want dirty grime marks from a grill that wasn’t cleaned all the way.


A good grilling brush has steel bristles which can take on iron and steel grates. You might also select a brush with a wedge on the back, which can help break off any tougher chunks of dirt.


Still, grill brushes have come a long way since the early days of big steel toothbrush-like brushes. Wood brushes are becoming more popular, as a safe way to clean your grill without losing bristles into the grill or even into the food. A wood paddle scraper will clean safely, if not as quickly. We really love the Juniper Scraper!


360 grill brushes are also available, that have bristles that roll or bristles that are designed in spherical shapes. These shapes help you get to the sides and even the underside of the grates, cleaning more completely. Finally, you can get cleaning bricks, which allow you to scrub fast and hard to shine up your grates—great before putting it into storage.


Cleaning is really important because the residue on your grill can contain carcinogens or bacteria left on the grates from old food and ash. Make sure to invest in one or two cleaning solutions that you really like, and use them before every grilling session.


Did you know that you can actually clean a grill brush using another grill brush? Soak the dirty brush in warm water and soap, and gently brush the bristles against each other to remove the grime from the brush. If your brush is going into storage for a long time, give it a good clean first.

Cleaning Your Utensils

As your tongs, fork, and spatula take on the grease and grime of the grill, they become increasingly hard to clean. Invest in a quality grease-cutting dish soap that you can use to soak the utensils once you’re done. A bowl of hot water and a few squeezes of soap will cut through the tougher parts of the grease before you wipe things down. Keep the bowl close to your grill, and toss the utensils into the water and soap while they’re still warm for easy cleaning.


A good grease-cutting soap is also perfect for soaking grates that have built up dirt and grime over time. Always clean your utensils before putting them into storage!


BBQ Tools and Accessories for Cooking

Skewers are a great way to load up your grill game with vegetables and fruits, in addition to perfectly cooked meats. You won’t be able to make these delicious steak kebabs with red wine vinegar and honey if you don’t have a good set of skewers to poke through!


A well stocked arsenal of seasonings makes cooking more exciting. Most seasonings have a long shelf life, so you can consider them a tool.


On a practical level, if you often make corn and struggle to get it to rest at the right angles to cook evenly, there are corn grilling racks that lift the corn slightly off the grill so that you can turn it easily with a pair of tongs. If you’ve been tired of eating corn that has two perfectly crispy streaks and a lot of bright yellow, it’s a great solution.


A trick for keeping chicken moist while it cooks slowly is to baste it on the grill. Basting sets can also be a good way to deliver new flavors, marinades, and juices to your meat while it cooks.


If you’ve been looking for a bit more flash from your grill, there’s a motorized steam cleaning grill brush—which is all for show.