July 20th 2012

Must-have tools for the barbecue

Now that we’re in the heat of summer, we’re in the midst of barbecue season. Slapping steaks on the grill is a favourite among many, and having the right tools to take care of your outdoor cuisine is essential for getting the job done as deliciously as possible.

Here are the must-have tools for every barbecuer, whether you’re giving it a try for the for time or are a seasoned pro double checking your arsenal.


Heavy iron tongs are a key ingredient to outdoor cooking. They can be used for picking up hot grates and moving coals, and the long handle designed for BBQs is helpful so you don’t get burned. You should also get a pair of stainless steel tongs for the foodstuffs, ones that are light weight and easy to squeeze.

Metal Spatula

Essential for flipping but large enough to flip something big (think a slab of fish), a large bladed metal spatula with a bent handle is a must-have. You can find them everywhere and anywhere, and they are cheap enough that you can pick up a few different sizes.


First brush up is a pastry brush (or a basting brush), needed for oiling the surfaces before you grill. Get a second one of these for basting foods with your sweet and savory marinades and sauces. If you barbecue often, you might want to keep a few on hand, especially because sometimes flavors (such as strong garlic) won’t wash out, or if you want to keep the meat and veggie ones separate.


There are basic wooden skewers, longer lasting metal ones, and loads with fancy handles bends, and designs. Long metal skewers should have a blade that is flat, which will help keep items intact when you flip them over. There are also ones with heat-resistant handles. When it comes to wooden skewers, bear in mind they will burn and can’t be reused, but clean up is a breeze.


Get a good quality, working thermometer with a high level of accuracy–one for the barbecue itself, and one for the meat, too.

Wire Brush

Wire brushes help for cleaning everything off of the grate once you finish making your food. It’s best to do this right after, when it is still hot and the foods haven’t dried on. Since you’ll be replacing this often, getting a cheap one is the way to go.


Picking up hot stuff from the grill with bare hands isn’t, obviously, recommended, so having mitts or gloves on hand is key. For barbecuing, we recommend getting fireproof grilling mitts or gloves, which would let you pick up hot metal without burning your hands, and also won’t catch on fire if the flames attack them.


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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.