Essential Equipment

The Stainless Steel Rib Rack ($35) optimizes space inside the grill. Four slabs of ribs can rest side by side at a 90-degree angle to the grate, which facilitates even cooking by allowing heat to circulate all around the meat.Brenda Weaver
The Rapidfire Chimney Starter ($18) is the perfect tool for lighting charcoal quickly and efficiently. To use, place balled newspaper in the bottom compartment; fill with coals. Set fire to paper, and let the coals burn until ashy.Brenda Weaver
For basting meats with sticky sauces, a dishwasher-safe silicone brush like the Grill Friends Super Silicone Angled BBQ Basting Brush ($10) is easier to clean than a nonsynthetic brush.Brenda Weaver
Bear Paws Meat Handlers ($13) have sharp "claws" that are invaluable for shredding and pulling pork, stabbing and lifting large cuts of meat, and stabilizing a roast while carvingmdash;all without burning your hands.Brenda Weaver
Using tongs to handle big hunks of meat can leave an imprint or tear the flesh, whereas the Pig Tail Food Flipper ($25), with its sharp, curved tip, acts as a hook to shift large cuts of meat gracefully, leaving minimal marks.Brenda Weaver
Injected like a needle into the meat, the Splash-Proof Super-Fast Ther-mapen ($90) takes an extremely accurate and quick temperature. The speedy reading means less heat escapes from the grill or smoker while the lid is lifted.Brenda Weaver
It's important to keep the grates of your grill, smoker, or pit clean; buildup can cause uneven heat and create acrid smoke and unpleasant flavors. The restaurant-grade Texas Jr. Grill Brush ($40), with a long handle and stainless steel bristles, is particularly durable.Brenda Weaver
When applying a rub, it's important to distribute the seasoning uniformly across the surface of the meat. The Cambro Cam-wear Spice Shaker ($6)--which comes with several lids, with holes ranging from tiny to large--coats evenly and is dishwasher-safe.Brenda Weaver
A food-safe plastic spray bottle (about $4) that creates a strong and even mist is best for spraying meats to keep them moist while cooking. If you like to season your spraying liquid with herbs or spices, buy a bottle with a wider nozzle that won't easily clog.Brenda Weaver
The Cajun Injector Deluxe Marinade Injector ($10) is a high-quality tool that won't break when the needle is injected into a dense cut of meat. The plunger works smoothly and doesn't come apart like cheaper models do. It also disassembles easily for cleaning.Brenda Weaver
Kinco Foam Lined Orange PVC Gloves ($5) are made from a durable synthetic material that's hard to puncture and ensures a good grip, even when handling oily items. They give hands a small amount of heat protection and are ideal for handling slippery, sauced meats.Brenda Weaver
Tongs are extensions of the hands and are essential for picking up and turning foods and other objects that are too hot to touch. Edlund's 16″ tongs ($13) are particularly good for shifting smaller items like chicken or ribs and for moving coals and manipulating grates.Brenda Weaver