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There are a wide variety of nice tools you can get to help with your grilling. Some are necessary, some are simply helpful, but all will make your life easier.
You can buy a lot of these separately, for sure, but it’s often far more cost efficient to buy them as a set unless you need some very specialized variant of something you can’t usually get as part of a set; some kind of fancy spatula, or knife, or whatever.
Still, not all tool sets are created equal. They might have different tools in them you don’t need and lack one you do, or just are lacking in overall quality of materials. Over the course of this article I’ll be breaking down the different kinds of things you usually find in a BBQ tool set like this, what you should look for in them, and break down a list of my favorite options.
Here are the best grilling tool sets you can buy:
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11 Best BBQ & Grill Tool Sets (2020 Reviews)
This is an excellent barbeque tool set, both in terms of the variety and quality of the individual pieces within it.
It’s all contained in quite a good steel case which latches and provides a convenient way to store these tools out of the way and travel with them wherever you want to go.
The two most interesting features are the spatula and meat fork.
Let’s start with the spatula. It is perfectly sized, thickly constructed of stainless steel, and has an included bottle opener, which is nice. The front edge is nicely beveled to give it extra sharpness; this it good for both light slicing and getting up under whatever you need to flip. Meanwhile the left edge is serrated, giving you a great cutting edge for certain kinds of foods.
The fork is even more interesting, working well as a standard meat fork, of course, but also doubles as a meat probe, with a pair of durable probes. The controls are located conveniently on the handle, and makes it very easy to quickly test the internal temperature of what you’re cooking and then transfer it directly to a plate.
The rest of the components are more standard, but well made. You have a good basting brush, a set of 8 corn cob handles, some nice grippy tongs, a set of 5 simplistic skewers, and a grill brush which even comes with a replacement brush head.
For the price, it’s perfect, and a set I highly recommend even if you only need about half of these components.
This is a noticeably cheaper version of the set above, though the fact that it costs roughly half of what our winner does makes this forgivable.
What you get out of its is…okay, but everything is just a bit subpar. The spatula is thin, with huge and unwieldy serrations on the side, and the tongs are just a bit too thin, making them awkward to use until properly stretched out over time. The skewers are very long and thin though, making it easy to skewer huge amounts of food with them, which is nice.
The grill brush is good, with a great scraper on it, and a good replacement head as well. The corn cob skewers are functionally identical to our winners’, which is nice, and the carrying case is nicely long and thin this time.
Overall this set is not nearly the greatest around, but for the price you really can’t complain too much about what you get.
This grill tool set is smaller than the others, but that means it can focus on making each of its 4 elements as great as possible.
The tings are one of the big standouts here, with great flexibility, extremely comfortable handles, and a super thick heavy duty stainless steel construction.
The spatula and fork and likewise excellent. The fork is super thick with a nice notch where the forks meet the stalk of the handle, giving you a good amount of grippy-ness and the strength to lift even very heavy meats. The spatula is a bit longer than usual, but wide enough to be great, and thick enough to flip anything you want. The bottle opener is also a nice touch.
The basting brush, besides the thick construction, is really nothing special; just well made and sturdy.
Altogether this set commands a pretty high price, but for what they tout as “the last pair of tongs you’ll ever need” it’s not bad at all, with a lifetime replacement guarantee if they break, and excellent durability overall.
If you’re looking for just an all around good set of tools with no gimmicks and no fancy extras, you cannot go wrong with this set. As they say, it is “everything you need and nothing you don’t”, making it the perfect minimalist tool set.
Much like the Alpha Grillers set above, this one is a more limited set, with only 3 pieces this time. The idea is, again, to concentrate on making these 3 pieces better for the price. The idea is sound, but the results are mixed.
Each of these pieces is pretty good, to be sure, but not excellent. The spatula is the best one for sure, the absolute perfect size; a 3.8” x ~6” spatula head with a nicely comfortable, long, and thick handle.
The tongs and fork are good, but nothing is extremely impressive. The fork’s tines are nicely curved, which makes it easier to grip food, but not so much as to be notable.
Basically, each of these 3 pieces is good, but not great, and while the price is good, it’s not much less expensive than the Alpha Grillers set above, which I find to be vastly more worth the price, with better construction and a lifetime of use ahead of them.
This is similar to our winner in a lot of ways. It’s better in some, but worse in others, making it a bit of a mixed bag.
The spatula is top notch, with a huge wide area and a bottle opener. One side has a finely serrated edge and the other a rough one; great for hacking between ribs and such to check how soft they’ve gotten once cooked. The fork is extremely thick and easy to grip onto and flip whatever you need to, though is a bit too wide to be comfortable to hold.
That’s really a running theme with this set: everything is extremely thick and uncomfortable to hold. I’m not sure why they were made this way,, but it especially affects the tongs, which are basically unusable.
The rest of the bits are pretty all right though, with the thick construction aiding how easy it is to use the corn cob skewers, as an example. The basting brush is good, the skewers are as good as any dedicated skewers you could find, and the salt and pepper shakers are good.
Unfortunately the brush is, frankly, complete trash. Short, plastic, shoddily constructed; it’s absolutely terrible.
Overall this is a bit of a mixed bag, but not completely terrible for the price.
This is the widest ranging set we’ve looked at so far, with a variety of interesting features.
It has everything the 20+ piece sets consider standard: tongs, fork, spatula, skewers, corn cob holders, and grill brush.
This one also includes the nice salt and pepper shakers the Romanticist set above has, and comes with a pair of basting syringes, a meat thermometer, and a knife.
Of these, the spatula is one of the more standout features. It’s got a good size, is sharpened at the tip, serrated (finely) on the left, and has a coarse serration on the right side, with a bottle opener. It’s comfortable in the hand and quite nice to use.
The meat thermometer is also quite good, if simple, one of Grilljoy’s actual models that works well as a spot thermometer.
The knife is…interesting. It has a very, very long handle which seems a bit awkward, but the blade is good; not stellar (it’s no high carbon stainless masterpiece of a knife by any means), but as something you get “free” with this set, it’s pretty good.
Everything here is well made and it comes in at a very reasonable price, with a convenient carrying case. I prefer this in all ways over the Romanticist 20 piece set above.
If you’re starting completely from zero, this is a great set. It includes a lot of useful items that I assume most people just have around the house, but are nice to have if you don’t have them for whatever reason.
These items are, honestly, not the best. The scissors are fine, but they’re exactly the same as kitchen shears you can get from a dollar store, and the oven mitt and grill brushes are in the same boat; cheap and poorly made. Still, they’re serviceable.
The other elements are better though. Both of the knives (the meat knife and smaller knife) and forks (large 2 tined fork and smaller 3 tined fork) are good, though the smaller versions have weird thick handles that are a bit uncomfortable.
The spatula is great, with everything we look for. Sharp on every end, with a rough serrated side and fine serrated side, the knives all have good edges to them, forks are sturdy and well made, the skewers work great, and even the tongs are good.
For the asking price though…you could just get a set for a bit cheaper that lacks the crappy mitt, shears, and grill brush and save yourself about $5 and not miss a thing. There’s not much really special about this set.
This is an interesting set from Cuisinart. It has some of the standard bits you’d look for, but also some weird features to it.
A lot of this set is taken up by burger flags, which are neat, but not something I really look for. The corn cob holders are weird and flat, very uncomfortable to hold.
On the better side, the spatula is nice, with a nice wide head and slightly ovoid shape. The fork is okay, but has weirdly spaced tines, and the tongs are quite good.
The basting brush is one of the more interesting features here, which has both a standard silicone head option in two different colors, and the choice of a mop-like brush with a cloth tip for other purposes. The skewers are excellent though, with good ring handles and a nice sharp tip.
Everything else is nice to have,, from the grill glove to the bottle opener, but unfortunately it’s difficult to justify the price.
This is one of the better sets out there, especially for its relatively low price. It comes with everything you could want here. You’ve got the nice stainless steel corn cob holders, very well constructed core items (except the tongs, so many of these grill set tongs are super wide and uncomfortable), and a few less standard features.
The weird ones here are an apron, and oven mitt, and my personal favorite: the meat claws.
Meat claws are one of my favorite barbeque tools, and if you don’t own a good set already, this set might be worth getting just for these. The claws are well made, easy to hold, and razor sharp. You could buy a good pair of these claws alone for the price of this whole set, so you’re getting a pretty good deal here.
Everything else is…okay. It’s got a good knife, a decent spatula, and a great grill brush, which I excellent value for what you’re paying to get these quite good grill claws.
This is a great budget option. Let’s get the main draw out of the way first: it comes with a soft cooler that also acts as your carrying case for the barbeque tools. This is nice, and it’s not a bad cooler at all. It has a good capacity, holding (as pictured) 15 cans, though you probably would want to just jam a 12 pack in there and some ice.
The tools themselves are pretty good, being made of a durable stainless steel with a comfortable, grippy, moisture wicking handle. It comes with everything you need to make a good barbeque with none of the fluff, and even comes with normal sized utensils for eating it and a multipurpose corkscrew and bottle opener (which in my experience, you can never have too many of around).
Overall this set is cheap, useful, and is an excellent grill set for travel and camping especially. Instead of a hard case you put separately, you just carry everything you need (drinks and utensils, or maybe even the food you’re going to cook) in one convenient place. This is the perfect picnicking grill set.
This is a great decorative set that also has excellent performance.
The tools are solid stainless steel, with very nice, comfortable wooden handles. The set has a wide variety of tools that work well, look nice, and give you everything you need with very little of the chaff. The spatula is exactly what we look for, with a good sized head, sharp on each of the edges in different ways, and everything else is similarly well made.
The knife especially deserves a shoutout, with a very nice blade for carving through meat on your grill.
Everything is overall just extremely well made, and that’s the strength of this set. The price is surprisingly low given the quality of these bits, and in terms of aesthetics these are hands down the best tools on this list. If you like having tools that look nice without skimping on performance and can double as a decorative item, these are the perfect fit, and you don’t need to break the bank for it.
Most of these grill sets are great, largely because most of them are the same, or nearly so, both in terms of quality and in assortment. So, the biggest determiners of whether you should get one of these particular sets is going to come down to a combination of the price, and any unique features.
In terms of the “standard” assortment of tools, I’ll stand by our winner: Cuisinart’s deluxe package, with close seconds and thirds being Grilljoy’s 30 piece set with the nice wood handles, and the Alpha Grillers set, which is limited but has extremely high quality component parts.
The only set I’d say avoid is the Romanticist 20 piece set, which is just…awkward, being way too thick to comfortably hold and use. An absolutely baffling design choice.
Everything else comes down to your budget and preferences, whether you value a cooler, meat claws, nice handles, or whatever you choose to focus on.
What Should I Look For in a BBQ Tool Set?
Choosing what to look for in a grill set is a bit complex, because there is a huge variety of items that can go into any given one. So first, let’s break down the things you can expect to find in a BBQ tools set.
Found In Every Set
In every single one of these sets you’re going to find three things: a set of tongs, a spatula, and a meat fork.
Your spatula should have a wide head, but not too wide. Something along the lines of 4 inches wide by 6 to 8 inches thick on average. The front edge should be beveled and sharp, for light slicing and getting under whatever you’re flipping more easily. A good pair of serrated edges are also always welcome, with a finely serrated edge on one side and a coarse edge on the other being common.
Your fork should be relatively long (a little over a foot at least) with tines that curve slightly, either outward, upward, or both. This helps it grips onto whatever you’re lifting, and reduces the chance that the tines bend or let whatever you’re jabbing them into slide off.
Your tongs need to be comfortable, tight (but not too tight, maybe an inch or so of natural gap), and have fairly slim handles for easy use. If you are specifically looking for quality grilling tongs, you can find this page useful.
All of the above should be made of a good quality stainless steel, with a layer of wood, rubber, or some other comfort grip handle on it optional, but nice to have.
A lot of sets are going to give you a grill brush, corn cob holders, a basting brush, and a meat thermometer.
Your grill brush should be fairly long, with stiff bristles. None of the ones you’re going to get from these sets are going to be top of the line brushes, but they should still have those solid bristles and a good scraper or there’s no point in even having it. A replacement head for when one gets worn out is also a nice (and common to find) plus.
Corn cob skewers are simple; they should be stainless steel with sharp points and a comfortable grip.
A basting brush should also be fairly long, but the material of the handle doesn’t much matter. The head should usually be silicone, and replacement heads or multiple brushes are always a nice extra. Replaceable heads in different materials are also good, but very rare to find.
This is really a catchall for any of the weird items that a set might include. No matter what these are, they are pretty much to be considered extras, while the previous two categories are “expected”.
Some of these extras can be great (like stainless steel straws, a cutting board, or meat claws), but they need to be factored in after you’ve already decided that the basic quality of the expected items (tongs, spatula, fork) meets your own specifications.
Stainless steel is by far the most common construction material for any half decent barbeque tools, and that’s for good reason. It’s a strong material and results in long lasting and durable tools.
You want to make sure their grips fit the hand comfortably and the designs are reasonable; nothing too thick, thin, or otherwise weird looking. You can tell pretty easily when design has been skimped on and things just look cheaply made.
You’re generally looking for something in the $30 range, and no more. If it costs anything more than that, it had better be something truly exceptional.