10 Grilling Tools That Everyone Should Own

If America had a national food category, it's safe to say that it would be barbecue and grilling. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, an organization that collects industry statistics and identifies trends, the country's passion for live-fire cooking is so strong that we purchased nearly 14 million grills in 2014 alone — and that means that we'll be purchasing just as many (if not more) gadgets and tools to go along with all of those smokers, barbecues, and outdoor grills.

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As the editor of Kingsford.com and the recently launched BBQ and grilling site Grillocracy, I frequently travel around the country and can attest to the fact that all you have to do to start a lively conversation with virtually any stranger is bring up the topic of barbecuing and grilling. The nuances that define outdoor cooking in various regions of the United States — tangy vinegar-based sauces in North Carolina, mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce in Alabama, or dry-rubbed ribs in Memphis and beef brisket in Texas, for example — are always a topic for friendly debate, and the holy trinity (smoke, fire, and food) is the universal truth in which all committed live-fire cooks believe.

For die-hards like me, firing up the smoker or grill isn't limited to the warm days of spring and summer (it's not uncommon to find me flipping steaks or tending to a smoked pork butt in the middle of torrential rainstorms or blinding snow), but for most of us, peak grilling season is just getting underway. If you want to succeed in your outdoor cooking adventures, you're going to need a few tools of the trade. Here are 10 grilling tools that will help you make the most out of grilling season.

Aluminum Foilsimple grate cleaner

Certainly the cheapest accessory for the grill, heavy-duty foil can be used as a makeshift smoker box (simply wrap wood chips in foil, poke a few holes, and place it directly above the heat source), foil packets for fish or vegetables, a cover for grill side tables to ensure quick cleanup, or a (when balled up and held with long handled tongs).

Apronapron Memphis Adjustable Apron

Grilling's a dirty job, but we all love to do it. That doesn't mean that you have to ruin your favorite T-shirt and shorts with sauce and grease stains, though. A good-quality (like the from Chef Works) will not only keep you clean at the grill, but you'll look like a pro, too!

Orginally published on April 16, 2015