What utensils are needed for proper barbecuing?

What utensils are needed for proper barbecuing?

Barbecue utensils come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and utilities.  They also come individually or in kits.  For a beginning griller, the kits are nice as they usually provide the owner with several utensils in some sort of carrying case.  For a seasoned chef, they may look for individual products to meet a new need, or replace an old tool.  Make sure any utensil you choose is at least 12 inches long.  Open flame grills become extremely hot, and can be unbearable to cook on if your hands are becoming too hot.

There are certain essential tools that anyone who barbecues should have.  These handful of utensils will provide the best experience and provide the proper way to cook on and maintain your grill.

The essential barbecue tools

  • Tongs
  • Fork
  • Spatula
  • Basting brush
  • Meat Claws
  • Cleaning tools


Tongs are great tools when it comes to grilling.  They can grab just about anything, and easily hold onto it and transfer it to the plate.  There two types of tongs that are usually available for grilling and they are the scissor type and the gripping type.  The scissor tongs get their name because they look like a pair of scissors, while the gripper tongs usually have “teeth” which grab into the meat.  The grippers will hold onto meat better, but can sometimes puncture the meat and allow the juices to escape.


The fork is not really a single use tool.  Just like the teeth on the tongs, in order to use the fork you have to poke holes in the meat.  Barbecue forks are usually only good for large slabs of heavy meat in addition with the tongs.


Spatulas are one of the most used tools when grilling.  Whether it’s flipping burgers, fish, or chicken breasts, the spatula will do most jobs without tearing up the meat.

Basting brush

Basting brushes, or mop brushes as their sometimes called, are great a great accessory for any barbecuing fan.  Basting brushes are used to add barbecue sauce directly to meat as it’s cooking on the grill.  Basting can add a flavorful coating to many meats, and thinner sauces can actually penetrate meat and keep it moist.  Silicon brushes have become the new favorite among many cooks as they’re easier to clean and hold a lot more sauce.  Slanted brushes are great as they can easily reach the meat in the back of the grill.

Meat claws

Meat claws were traditionally designed for large hunks of meat, like pork, to easily pull it apart and save the cook lots of time.  Another great feature meat claws can be used for is moving large pieces of protein.  When the slab is so heavy, sticking a meat claw into each end can make lifting and carrying it so much easier.  It will leave holes in the meat, but it could be the only viable option for carrying it.

Cleaning tools

A much overlooked tool by many, they could be the most important barbecue tool to own.  When grilling, fat releases from the meat, sticking to the metal grates in the grill.  Also, bits of food can stick to the grate, eventually burning and causing a film to form on the grate.  Without proper cleaning, these build ups can stick to the new meat and cause an undesirable taste.  Wire brushes work great as they will remove the majority of the particles left on the grill.  If there is any remaining debris, use warm, soapy water and steel wool to remove it.  There are a large selection of cleaning options available, but a good wire brush can be all that’s needed.

While there are a large number of barbecue utensils available on the market, sometimes less can be more.  Purchasing a proper utensil kit with tongs, a spatula, a basting brush and fork, will get you through any grilling adventure.  If you’re looking to smoke or grill large slabs of meat, investing in some meat claws is smart.  Finally, complete your collection with a durable wire grill brush and your utensil set will be complete.

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