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Get Fired Up! Must-Have Grilling Tools

Lumatongs

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Long-handled, spring-loaded tongs are essential for handling the food, all of our grill experts agree. Steven Raichlen, author of the award-winning Barbecue Bible, recommends Lumatongs. At 18 inches, they’re the longest on the market (which means your hands will be as far as possible from the heat), and, for the serious griller, they have a flashlight in one arm so you can see what you’re grilling at night. ($18; bbqguys.com)

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Photo: Lumatongs

Dexter-Russell Steak Turner

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“A big, heavy-duty spatula is the best tool for rearranging or removing larger cuts of meat from the grill,” says Chris Lilly, chef and partner at Big Bob Gibson Barb-B-Q in Decatur, AL. This Dexter-Russell spatula is so hefty, you can use use it to adjust or remove hot grill grates without risk of burning yourself. ($28; wasserstrom.com)

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Oxo Good Grips Fish Turner

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If you’re questioning why we have more than one spatula listed, well, how do you feel when your man asks why you have so many pairs of shoes? “A flexible, lighter weight spatula is perfect for fish, vegetables, and smaller cuts of meat,” says Lilly. (Meaning you should use it when making any of these 15 Delish Fish Tacos from Food Bloggers.) ($13; oxo.com)

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Raichlen Grill Gloves

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When you have a five-pound bird cooking inside a heavy pan, you want to be able to pull the whole thing off the grill and be pretty confident you’re not going to drop it while holding the corners with just those little pot holders and your fingers. Enter grill gloves, which are insulated and long enough that you can practically cradle a pan fresh off the grill without worrying about burns. ($23; homedepot.com)

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Traeger Pizza Grilling Kit

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Grilling pizza takes the already mouth-watering dish to the next level (nothing beats smokey crust). But, just like a pizza stone helps you slide the pie in and out of the oven, you could use some help getting a huge pizza off the grill. Danielle “Diva Q” Bennett, pitmaster and host of Travel Channel’s BBQ Crawl, recommends Traeger’s pizza kit, which includes a ceramic pizza stone, a stainless steel cutter, and stainless steel server. ($60; traegergrills.com)

(You have the tools, but still need the recipe? Try our Char-Grilled Baby Summer Squash Pizza or Grilled Caramelized-Onion Pizza with Rosemary, Olives, and Prosciutto.)

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Raichlen Grill Brush

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As every good cook knows, the post-feast cleanup is just as important as the making of the meal. Raichlen’s grill brush is 30 inches long, giving you great leverage to use those stainless steel bristles to scrub the grill while the grate is still hot. ($22; homedepot.com)

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UniFlame Scissor Tongs

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A grill should be used like a stovetop—just like how each burner has customizable heat, you can move the coals to concentrate the flame on one part of the grill more than the other. “These tongs are great for moving your embers and hot coals around to create different cooking areas on your grill,” says Anya Fernald, co-founder and CEO of Belcampo Meat Co., a farm and butcher shop in northern California. ($23; walmart.com)

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Thermopen Meat Thermometer

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When three grill masters recommend the same product, you know it’s a winner—even if it's almost $100. Raichlen, Bennett, and Fernald all love this brand because of its quick read and foldable design, making it easy to tuck into your apron pocket. Plus, it comes in pink to make the grill a little more girly, Fernald adds. ($96; thermoworks.com)

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Traeger Remote Probe Thermometer

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You can grill burgers in under 10 minutes, but smoking meat takes a heck of a lot longer—way more time than you want to keep running out to check the thermometer for. Luckily, a remote thermometer (like Traeger’s, which is Bennett’s favorite) allows you to pop the probe in at the beginning of your grill sesh and monitor it from the comfort of your couch. ($70; traegergrills.com)

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Frogmats Non Stick Grill Mat

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Anyone who has grilled knows the pain of having the bottom half your veggie burger or fish fillet stick to the grate (even more sad if it's one of these Crazy-Good Burger Recipes for a Vegetarian Cookout). Bennett recommends these mats that lay directly on the grate but allow the spatula to slide between it and the food without compromising your fare. ($9; atbbq.com)

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Char-Broil Smoker Box

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Want the taste of smoking but can’t give up the convenience of gas? You can fill a smoker box with your favourite wood chips and pop it right on your gas grill. Bennett likes Char-Broil. ($15; char-broil.com) (Try it with these 10 Fruit-Centric Grill Recipes for a Sweeter Cookout.)

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Ted Reader's Grilling Planks

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Cedar and maple planks help infuse your fish, poultry, or meat with an extra flavour. Bennett likes Ted Reader’s untreated wood. A lot of people like to soak their wood planks in wine too, giving the meat a double umph. Since Reader's planks are only available in Canada, you can score a similar flavor with Weber's grilling planks ($10; homedepot.com). Place the plank on your grill grate and pop your entrée of choice right on top.

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Lodge Pro-Grid Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle

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Score the crisp of a cast iron with the flavor of grill by cooking on this griddle and grill. Bennett likes Lodge’s Pro-Grid because it does double duty—one side is a grill to allow the juices from your meat to drip down as they cook without scorching like they might directly on the grate, while the other is a flat griddle (you could grill pancakes!). This accessory is safe for stove tops and the oven, so it’ll save space in your kitchen. ($75; lodgemfg.com)

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Weber Charcoal Chimney

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People opt for gas grills because all it takes to start a flame is the turn of a nob. But since nothing beats the smokey taste from a charcoal grill, enter the charcoal chimney. “It’s the most effective and inexpensive way to start a fire if you're using a charcoal grill,” says Lilly. ($18; weber.com)

Photo: Weber