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Grill baskets are interesting little gadgets. In many ways they serve the same purpose as a grill mat, allowing you to cook smaller foods like vegetables easily, without having to worry about them falling through more standard grill grates.
Unlike grill mats though, baskets serve much better as a long term reusable option. Grill mats give out quickly and can be fiddly to work with, though are perfect for cooking some kinds of foods on.
But grill baskets are a bit different; there are some pros and cons to look out for, and several different varieties.
So let’s take a look at the various kinds of grill basket, what makes each good.
Our Top Choice...
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Top 9 Best Grill Baskets Reviews in 2021
1. Grillaholics Heavy Duty Grill Basket
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 13” x 12” x 2.25” inches
Weight: 2 pounds
This is a great grill basket. It’s large, sturdy, well constructed, and has the perfect shape for this kind of basket.
The idea here is to maximize physical contact with the grill, leading to this wider, but somewhat shallower shape. You get a whole lot of heat contact with whatever you put in it, and it cooks well, with excellent all around ventilation (top, bottom, and sides).
The handles are convenient, and made entirely of stainless steel. This provides durable and a surprising amount of heat resistance; they’re safe to touch not too long after taking off the heat, since they’re thin enough to bleed it off fairly quick.
I especially like the triple reinforced corner; it does well without adding a ton of extra bulk, with the corners overlapping each other and a simple extra bit of plating for reinforcement.
2. Weber Deluxe Grilling Basket
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 13.8” x 11.8” x 2.25” inches
Weight: 1.1 pounds
This is another take similar to the Grillaholics basket above, but taking an even shallower and wider approach, with a different take on ventilation as well. The grates are tighter, making it easier to hold the juices of certain things in it (like mushrooms!) for a bit longer in order for flavors to mingle properly.
The handles are nice, thick, and sturdy while being able to bleed heat easily due to their construction.
It’s the corners themselves that really seal this as being worse than our winner, however. Everything else is either equal or different, but not worse, but the corners are not only not reinforced, but are separated from each other by a pretty wide margin, and that’s going to affect the structural integrity in the long run, making this twist and bend over time as the heat warps it ever so slightly with each use.
Given the price (which is roughly the same as our winner), it is then hard to recommend this otherwise pretty good basket.
3. ACMETOP BBQ Grill Basket, Stainless Steel Grilling Basket
Material: Stainless steel (non-stick treated).
Dimensions: 2.6” x 8.2” grill basket.
11.2” handle (4.6” wooden insert for grip).
This grill basket is there to give you the perfect clamp for more squirrely foods, like chicken wings, fish, or yeah, even squirrel or rabbit (which can often be slick and slim enough to be a problem handling).
The basket is well made; lightweight but solidly constructed, with an excellent stainless steel construction and a nice, thick wooden insert in the handle for extra grip and heat resistance.
The basket is quite spacious inside, able to hold three good sized steaks, a large number of chicken wings, or a variable number of fish, depending on how big they are (maybe 3 decent sized bass or trout, or a good 6 or so salmon fillets).
All in all it’s a great basket, at a good price. It’s not as good at cooking vegetables as other grill baskets (most get too mushy for this kind of thing, though you could cook some absolutely perfect asparagus using this).
The locking grate is the final nice feature to mention; it keeps everything secure in there, and lets you easily flip whatever you want perfectly every time.
4. Vencino 3 Pack Grill Basket Set
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: Large: 13.7” x 11.8” x 2.4”
Small: 9.7” x 8” x 1.6”
Individually, each of these grill baskets is just kind of okay, but as a collection it’s quite nice to have, coming in at about the same price as our winner for the three baskets together.
The baskets are well made and sturdy, constructed for stainless steel. The handles are basic, but good, and give excellent hand holds for gripping the basket without burning yourself, as they cool off very quickly.
The holes are well done and allow for excellent ventilation, maximizing smokiness for anything in the basket while allowing any unwanted juices to drain away; though this can allow for some of the juices you might want to keep to run off as well.
Each of the three baskets is wide and shallow (for their size) to allow for maximum heat dispersal, giving you an even heating and fast cooking steel surface.
The double reinforced corners are nice, though not as good as the triple reinforced variant the Grillaholics grill basket has; this leaves them less prone to warping, than others, but with less impact resistance than the triple reinforced ones have.
5. Penobon Fish Grilling Basket
Material: Stainless steel (430 food grade)
Dimensions: 12.99” x 8.66 “, 6.69” handle.
Weight: 16.22 ounce (just over 1 lbs) weight.
While made and marketed specifically for grilling fish, this basket works really well for quite a lot of things.
The construction is good, with perfectly spaced grating that allows plenty of air and heat to flow through, evenly cooking whatever you put there and giving them some quite nice grill marks.
It holds quite a few good sized fish, several steaks, and whatever else you might want to put into it. Most vegetables are fairly unsuited for this, but the stiffer vegetables cook well on the grill; things like asparagus and celery which hold their shape well even after being cooked.
The handle is comfortable wood, and easy to pull out and flip however you want, with the handy locking grate keeping everything tightly held within its confines no matter how you twist and turn it around.
The price is quite good, especially when it comes with a handy storage bag and nice, well made stainless steel basting brush. It’s even larger than the Acmetop model, making it an excellent pick for this kind of grill basket.
6. Outset 76182 Chef's Jumbo Outdoor Grill Basket
Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 11.75” diameter x 4.2", 11.5” handle.
Weight: 2.75 lbs.
This is a great basket with a design similar to a standard cookpot for your stove,
The deepness of it combined with the flat bottom allows it to cook foods evenly but quickly, infusing them with smoky flavor easily while keeping them secure inside.
The handle design is great, giving you plenty of gripping room to grab the pot however you need to and move it however you like while it’s on the heat, with gloves on of course. It also acts as a lock for the grill basket’s cage-like structure, giving you the ability to easily and safely toss vegetables as you need to.
The material is a good stainless steel with a safe non-stick coating, though those tend to deteriorate pretty quick between fire and grease, so watch out for that.
Overall I like the design, but the quality of this particular basket in terms of construction is a bit questionable. Though it is interesting to think of grilling popcorn in something like this.
7. Extreme Salmon Grill Basket
Material: Stainless Steel
Shallow basket: 11.6” diameter x 2.16”
Deep basket: 11.8” diameter x 3.34”
Handle length 9.6”
This is a basket set with a really interesting design. It’s comprised of two very well made stainless steel baskets with a tight woven mesh, and a handle.
The baskets themselves are top notch and truly excellent in quality. The mesh is perfect for smaller vegetables and ones that mush when cooked, like peppers and broccoli, letting you safely cook them without worrying about them draining all the good flavor through the holes or even falling through larger grates or slits.
You get your choice of 2 baskets for various purposes: a deep one and a shallow one. This isn’t just a matter of large and small baskets, but one of utility; the shallower basket is better for cooking things faster, while the deeper one draws a bit more of the heat away from the bottom, allowing slower cooking vegetables (like potatoes and carrots) to cook thoroughly without getting scorched.
The handle is the real clincher here, taking these from a mere pair of well made but ultimately not unique mesh baskets to something more interesting. It lets you snap it onto either basket at will, and use them almost like a skillet for your grill, being easily removed and shaken from a safe distance.
For the price these baskets are a really great addition to your cooking utensil collection.
While the Grillaholics heavy duty grill basket is in many ways my favorite (it exemplifies what to look for in a basic grill basket), there are quite a few good alternatives here. The Extreme Salmon one really stands out as well, in terms of both uniqueness and convenience, combined with excellent construction.
The Penobon fish grill basket is also a great option, as is the similar Acmetop option; both are equally good in different ways.
The only option I’d say to avoid is the Weber Deluxe grill basket. Unfortunately it falls flat compared to its competition, even though in a vacuum it’s quite good and well made. The lack of durability in the corners really does it in.
Any of the other options though are perfect for various purposes; just choose the one that fits what you need next.
How Do I Pick The Best Grill Basket?
Picking a grill basket entirely depends on your uses for it. Are you planning to cook more vegetables? What kind? Do you want something that also works for meats? How big and what shape is your grill? And so on. So let’s start by breaking down the types of grill basket:
Types of Grill Baskets
There are 3 basic types of grill baskets: open mesh types, true closed baskets, and thin ones made for fish.
Open mesh baskets are squared or rounded steel baskets with no lid or other closing element to it. They essentially just act as a partially wind broken platform to contain your vegetables or whatever that can sit right on top of your grill.
Usually the focus is on versatility rather than any specialized ability, which means it’s going to be okay at everything, but perfect at nothing.
For most grillers this is fine, but if you plan to use a grill basket for something more specialized, you’ll want to get one of the other variants.
These are a bit like cookpots for your grill, and you can use them almost identically to a saucepan or some other kind of pot…except that you can’t boil anything in them of course.
These are made of stainless steel as well, and are a finer mesh than is usually found in the open options, though not always.
These are excellent for vegetables (way better than the open mesh ones) but aren’t very good at cooking meat, or at least not ones that need a flat surface and a sear. Shrimp works fine, steaks not so much.
While I say fish basket, they can really be used for a variety of other things. These work by giving you a thin, contained basket that can securely hold whatever you put in them, keeping them in place and making them very easy to flip and maneuver.
These are essentially the opposite of the closed baskets; excellent for meats of all kinds (from fish to shrimp to steaks and everything in between) but aren’t super good for vegetables, beyond the stiffer ones. Anything that gets too soft when cooked isn’t a good fit.
After picking the type, the main thing to look at is the construction.
You want the basket to be made of stainless steel (food grade, and non-stick if it has a good coating), and sturdily constructed. For open mesh types this in particular means to look at how reinforced the corners are; warping isn’t something you want.
For the other types, this varies significantly, but it’s easy to tell if a basket isn’t well made; just take a look at the welds on it and whether it seems like it’s going to fall apart too fast.
You’re looking to pay somewhere between $20 and $30 for a grill basket, and no more. Even for the best basket, any more than that for a single one is way overpriced.