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There are so many barbecue accessories on the market today it can be bewildering and overwhelming. What do I buy? How much does it cost? Does it even work? How long will it last? If you have a large budget, then by all means, fill up your garage shelves with your new barbecue accessories and tools and have a blast! But as a backyard barbecue enthusiast who is just starting out, you can keep the list of must-have barbecue accessories and tools to a minimum and keep the costs under control. These six accessories will help ensure that your barbecue game is The 3 E’s: efficient, effective, and easy. I have added a link for each accessory so you can find it and price it out. So fire up the grill, relax, enjoy yourself, and pleasantly look forward to digging into the fruits (meat!) of your hard-earned barbecue efforts.

1. Barbecue Chimney Fire Starter –

This barbecue chimney fire starter is the greatest invention ever for starting your barbecue fire! Simply place newspaper in the bottom, fill your chimney up with charcoal, place it on your grill grate, and light the newspaper on fire. There is no need for nasty lighter fluid or the fire going out before it even gets started, and no more frustration. When you look down the chimney fire starter, and you see red coals and flame, then your charcoal is ready. Easy−first  time, every time!

2. Meat Thermometer –

How do I know when my meat is finished and ready to come off the grill? This question has been asked since man first threw some meat on the fire. You can poke and prod the meat and guess what the inside of the meat looks like, and there are a few reliable methods to do this. But the only real way to know when your meat is ready to come off the grill is to take the internal temperature of the meat with a meat thermometer. A regular meat thermometer will do just fine for quick grilling jobs, and a wireless probe meat thermometer will do the job for longer cooking periods. Also, a reliable temperature chart is always a great item to have on hand for a quick reference guide.

3. Tongs and Grill Brush –

OK, this is a two-for-one and seems pretty obvious, but essential. You can’t grill without a pair of tongs in your hand. Not only will you move your meat around the grill with it, but it comes in very handy when adding more charcoal or wood to your grill and moving your hot coals to create even heat and smoke flow. Your grill brush is very essential as well. When you fire up your grill, let the gunk and leftover grease from the previous grilling burn off and turn to ash. Then, simply use your grill brush to scrape the ash off. This will become your grill grate cleaning routine, and what could be an easier way to clean your grill grate?

4. Aluminum Drip Pan –

A throw-away aluminum drip pan (or two lined up side by side) is such an easy and convenient way to avoid having to clean up any spills and grease that drips off your meat onto the ash rack or bottom of your grill. And, when your grill cools, this is such a gooey, ugly mess to clean up. A drip pan collects all the gunk, and you just chuck the whole thing out when you’re finished grilling. DO THIS! Believe me. I’ve learned the hard way! Also, adding an inch or two of water to the drip ban helps keep the barbecue moist and humid, thus helping to add another level of tenderness to your meat.

5. Wire Oven Rack –

Placing your meat on the wire oven rack ensures that the meat will not sag into and between the grill grates, and it’s much easier to move the meat around and on and off the grill. This is especially helpful for smaller meats such as sausage or chicken wings. An additional benefit to using a wire oven rack is when clean-up comes around, and it always does! You can also clean the wire oven rack in your kitchen sink or place it in your dishwasher. Thus, your barbecue grill grate will stay cleaner and will require less cleaning with your grill brush.

6. Spray Bottle –

This spray bottle grilling tool is indispensable whether you are grilling with charcoal or smoking with wood chunks or chips. You can control the inevitable flare-ups with water in your spray bottle. And if you want to add more smoke to your meats, add a couple of spritzes of water to your wood chunks or chips. And have a second spray bottle filled with apple juice to spray on your ribs for that final luscious flavoring and glossiness.

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About Keith Morrison

Chef Keith has been a cook, restaurateur, and food writer for nearly 50 years. Since graduating of culinary school, Keith has completed classes at the world famous Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and has been a chef, manager, owner, consultant and recipe developer for dozens of restaurants and catering companies.

One of Keith's many cooking loves is BBQ in general and the Offset Smoker in particular. Keith has participated in competition BBQ for many years.

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