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Shopping for gifts can be a challenge. Even if you’re shopping for the person you know best, finding something that is going to be fun, useful and actually enjoyed, takes some serious effort. What can be even harder is finding those small gifts, the “stocking stuffers” of sorts.
If you’re buying for the guy or gal in your life that loves to create delicious meals over the grill or smoker, there really is an endless list of small items that you can stuff a stocking with or use to complement a larger gift. We think that the bigger problem, when it comes to finding small gifts for the grill master, is the number of cool options that are out there.
To help you get started, let’s examine the different categories of gifts that are out there, so you can begin narrowing your thoughts on the items that you want to consider.
Gifts By Categories
- Wearables – There are lots of great wearables for under $20 that your neighborhood grill master will love. This includes things like aprons, leather smoker gloves, latex or nitrile gloves, hats, and hot mitts. These are all really handy to have, and help protect hands, head and clothes while at the grill.
- Grill Accessories – We consider things like coal starters, coal shovels and grilling baskets to be grill accessories. There are lots of handy add-ons that will make working the grill easier and more enjoyable for your favorite griller.
- Tools – Does your grill master love to use one particular tool so much that they’re always buying another? Skip the pricey sets of grilling tools and buy them individually. This is a great way to eliminate the extra tools that no one ever seems to use. Other tools that are great? Grill brushes, meat shredders, utility knives and other small items that you might not have thought about, but are really handy.
- Food Prep – Your grill master will love to have their own set of prep trays, or maybe a smoker mop and bucket. Even clean 5-gallon buckets are a great gift for the avid grill master, they are perfect for marinating larger cuts of meat.
- Tech – Who doesn’t love a little bit of tech to fancy up, really any activity? If you’re shopping for an outdoor chef that loves to tinker with a bit of tech, there’s things like digital thermometer, heat guns, headlamps, Bluetooth speakers, digital scales, and timers. These all make grilling easier and maybe just a little more fun.
So, now that we’ve given you some thoughts and ideas on the kinds of gifts you can buy for your favorite grill master, here’s our list of the best grilling gifts for under $20.
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
10 Best Grilling Gifts Under $20 Reviews
1. Napoleon Apron
An apron is one of those grilling tools that you don’t realize are a necessity, until you spill barbecue sauce or marinade on your shirt, during a big party. Aprons save your clothes and ensure that you don’t have to abandon your guests, to change your clothes.
Our favorite grilling apron comes from Napoleon. This simple and attractive apron is perfect for the guy or gal that wants to get down and dirty when they’re grilling or smoking.
We love that this apron is really soft and movable. Other aprons we considered were not as comfortable to wear, and were more of a hindrance than a help. This apron has a nice long neck strap that makes it perfect for grilling masters of all shapes and sizes. The nice deep pockets of this apron are super handy. We found that the pocket was large enough to hold towels, gloves, our thermometer and even a set of tongs. We didn’t feel like we had to keep going back to the kitchen for the things we needed, thanks to the oversized pocket.
A couple of things to keep in mind. First, if you’re shopping for a person that is smaller in stature, the neck strap can be a bit long. We found that it could easily be tied up, but some people may find that annoying. We do wish that this apron came with a more adjustable neck strap. Second, while we do love the soft, comfortable feel of the 100% cotton construction of this apron, do be aware that it does wrinkle like crazy when it’s washed. We’d recommend hang drying this apron, instead of throwing it in the dryer. This seemed to help with the wrinkles.
2. Charcoal Companion Barbecue Pit Mitt
Does your favorite grill master use an old-fashioned natural bristle basting brush? Does that same brush leave little bristles all over the foods you’re trying to enjoy? We know, some grill masters love the tried and true tools, but sometimes it takes a great gift to change their mind.
The Napoleon silicone basting brush is a really great gift for the backyard chef that needs a tool upgrade. Silicone is such a durable and versatile material, and we’re seeing it more and more in grilling tools and equipment.
The Napoleon Pro basting brush is a durable, attractive and more hygienic option for applying sauces and basting meats on the grill. This silicone basting brush has a nice, long stainless steel handle, which looks great and thanks to an ergonomic shape is comfortable to hold.
The silicone brush does an exceptional job of holding sauces and marinades. We found that it worked as well as some barbeque mops at distributing sauces. Also, it doesn’t leave behind bristles, which can make a perfect piece of meat, seem less appetizing.
When grilling season is done, this silicone brush can move inside and works great for buttering bread, or basting roasted meats as well.
The Napoleon Pro basting brush cleans up easily. Simply rinse off in the sink, or toss in the dishwasher. Keep an eye on the connection between the brush and handle, we did note that if the brush isn’t well dried, some rust can build up here.
3. Napoleon Pro Silicone Basting Brush
Grilling is dirty work; all those delicious juices leave a residue that can harden into a nasty gunk on your grill grates, and leave your grill unclean (and unsafe to use).
That’s what grill brushes are for, giving you massive scrubbing power, especially for the better options on the market. Their hard bristles excel at scrubbing off that hardened gunk left behind by long smoking sessions (or just neglect), and can even work while your grill is heated up for easier cleaning.
Grill brushes need to be sturdy above all else. You want them to last you a good long while. A long handle is also a must, but not too long; about a foot and a half at most. This keeps your hands away from the heat and protects them from damage. Warranties of course are always nice to have, but grill brushes overall are a simple and cheap item, so it’s not even a necessary factor.
Our pick, the Kona grill brush meets those two main criteria (plus the warranty) with an added bonus: it has no bristles to fall out. This increases both durability and effectiveness, as it doesn’t deteriorate as much (or even in the same way) over time, and gives all around cleaning potential instead of straight down pressure only.
4. Napoleon Pro Spatula
In our intro, we encouraged you to skip giving a pricy set of barbeque tools, and just go for the items that your favorite grill master uses the most. The Napoleon Pro spatula is one of those items. It’s also a great tool that has multiple uses, and can help your grill master to eliminate old, over used tools.
The Napoleon Pro series of grilling tools are all made from heavy duty stainless steel. These tools are made to last your grill master a long time, while also being highly functional and comfortable to use. The Napoleon Pro spatula is over sized and is a great replacement for plastic or lower quality grilling tools.
One of the problems with other grill tools is poor construction and less than quality materials. This leads to tools to rust and lose their performance. The Napoleon Pro spatula won’t rust, and is made to last for years.
We really liked the serrated edge on this spatula. It allowed us to slice through meats, without getting a knife dirty. We could easily check the temperature of our steak, or chicken and never needed a second tool. The front edge of the oversized spatula head is thinner than the rest of the spatula. This allows for easier scooping of foods from the grill grates or griddle surface.
We did find that this spatula was a bit slick to handle, especially with wet hands. Our one complaint is that it would be nice if this tool had a bit better grip.
5. Napoleon Stainless Steel Auto Locking Tong
Here’s another great tool to help your favorite grill master get rid of those cheaper, overused grilling tools. While some grilling experts swear by the spatula, most grilling enthusiasts will tell you that a good set of tongs can easily replace the spatula for many grilling tasks.
When it comes to shopping for a good set of tongs, one of the features that we think is important is a good locking mechanism. This keeps the tongs closed and in control. We’ve all seen the moment when a cheap set of tongs, flings open and sends food flying. This can be a real grilling disaster, food on the ground and sauce splattered everywhere.
Napoleon realized that the grilling experience for many would be significantly improved with a great pair of grilling tongs. So, they came up with this set of stainless steel, auto-locking tongs. These tongs are made for grilling, so the ones in the kitchen can stay there. They are longer than kitchen tongs, so they keep hands further away from the heat of the grill. They aren’t so long however, that they are awkward for smaller hands to use.
We really like the rubberized grip on these tongs, they make using them more secure, and add comfort to the product. The Napoleon grill tongs have a nice scalloped edge, so they hold food securely. The tong ends are also sturdy, but thin enough to handle smaller food items.
The locking function of these tongs allow the arms to be locked together when they are in storage, or to keep them out of the way while cooking. The loop on the locking mechanism can be used for quick release of the tongs, or for hanging them from the grill.
6. Charcoal Companion Cast Iron Rectangular Grill Press
Steaks and burgers are made just a little bit better when the right tools are used. Whether your grill master loves his barbecue or is the master of the flat-top, one tool that comes in handy, but isn’t often considered is the grill press.
Grill presses are heavy, tools that are made to keep grilled foods flat to the grill, so they cook evenly. They are also great for keeping hamburgers from becoming too thick.
The Charcoal Companion cast iron grill press is a great gift option if your grill master seems to have all the other tools. This grill press has a robust handle and is perfectly weighted for pressing burgers, but also creates delicious, crispy bacon on the flat top. We like that this grill press isn’t just a plain, flat piece of cast iron. It has a ridged pattern on the bottom that makes great grill marks on steaks, chicken, burgers or other grilled delights.
We thought that the size of this grill press was also very useful. It is long enough to press two quarter pound hamburger patties at the same time. This saves time, and effort, and honestly makes for a more consistently cooked burger.
7. Charcoal Companion Skewer Express Easy Kabob Loader
If you want to make the prep time for your home’s grill master, faster, then you’ll want to consider products that create simplicity and ease. Give your favorite griller time saving tools that actually work, instead of being a gimmick.
One of the most time consuming tasks for any outdoor chef is stacking food on skewers. Sure, it’s not a hard task, and it can be completed while enjoying a cold beverage, but it’s tedious and if there’s other things to be done, it can be a pain.
Charcoal Companion has come up with a great solution to the boring, tedious task of filling kabob skewers. Their Skewer Express, easy kabob loader is a really great gift idea for the grill master that wants to have just a bit more time to relax, and spend less time prepping.
This handy tool has two plastic trays that you fill with your favorite meats and veggies. The trays snap together, with small holes at the end of each channel. These holes are the perfect size for the kabob skewers. Just slide the skewer through the holes, and through your favorite foods. Release the trays, and what’s left is six, perfect kabobs.
This handy tool is dishwasher safe for even more convenience. It can also be used to make dessert kabobs filled with fruits, marshmallows and chocolates.
8. Charcoal Companion Stainless Smoker Box with Lid
If adding a smoker to the backyard kitchen isn’t in the family budget, but your grill master wants to make delicious smoked meats, they’re going to need a smoker box. A smoker box is a handy, and affordable tool that turns any grill into a smoker. There’s little work and the results are pretty good, especially if you don’t have a few hundred extra dollars to commit to a smoker for your favorite grill master.
The Charcoal Companion stainless steel smoker box, is our preference for turning a grill into a smoker. This smoker box is made from a good quality stainless steel, and is large enough to hold a good quantity of wood chips. This smoker box is also very easy to use. Simply soak the preferred wood chips in water, add to the box, and set on the grill. As the chips heat, they will begin to smoke. This will give foods in the grill that delicious, smoky flavor that we all love from a smoker.
We will admit that this isn’t quite the same as using a smoker for meat. However, it is a good alternative if you’re on a budget but want a handy gift for the griller in your life.
9. Charcoal Companion Flip-Tip Digital Thermometer
While there are lots of ways to determine the internal temperature of meats, we think that the best and frankly safest way to measure temperature is with a good thermometer. A quality thermometer can help a new grill master up their game, and start preparing perfectly cooked meats, every time they hit the grill.
Digital thermometers are quickly replacing the old-school analog dial thermometers for measuring food temperatures. There are lots of digital options out there. Some are good, some leave something to be desired. Knowing that this is a really important grilling tool, we looked at a few options, and found that the Charcoal Companion flip-tip digital thermometer was our preferred product.
First, you need to know that this thermometer is quite accurate, so there’s no questioning if it’s giving good information. Second, the range of temperatures of this thermometer is great. Maybe larger than most grill masters need, but it can be used for other kitchen tasks as well. Third, we really like that the tip of this thermometer flips to a variety of angles, and then folds down for safe storage. This thermometer can easily be carried in a pocket, without causing injury.
One of the biggest problems with analog thermometers is that they take a long time to settle on a temperature. The Charcoal Companion flip-tip thermometer gives an accurate measurement in about 6 seconds. This is great for keeping heat in the grill while also practicing good cooking skills.
10. Napoleon Industrial Stainless Steel Grill Brush
Did you know that optometrists see more patients with eye injuries during the summer grilling months, than any other time of the year? We found this to be a surprising fact. What’s even more surprising about that fact, is the cause of these eye injuries. Believe it or not, the cause is worn out or poorly cared for grill brushes.
You see, grill brushes, like really any other kind of brush, will start to lose its bristles as it ages. This becomes especially true if the plastic or wood around the bristles is weathered and old. When the brush is used to clean grill grates, the bristles can fall out, and if you’re unlucky, end up in your eye.
Grilling is a fun, outdoor experience, a new Napoleon Industrial stainless steel grill brush will keep your favorite grill master safe, and the weekend grilling experience safe.
We like that this grill brush is made from heavy duty plastic that is made to handle a range of weather and cooking conditions. The thick, heavy duty bristles make quick work of just about any grill mess. Flip the brush over, and use the steel scraper for removing foods stuck on the grates.
We thought that his grill brush did a great job of cleaning grill grates. One thing to point out however, this brush and scraper is made for stainless steel cooking grates. For ceramic or cast iron grates, a different grill brush would be best.
When it comes to buying gifts for your favorite grill master, you really don’t have to spend a ton of money to find great items. For less than $20 you can get a whole range of cool tools, accessories and wearables that your grill master will love.
We’ve given you our list of the best options, along with some helpful shopping categories that we hope will guide you to the perfect gift for the grilling enthusiast you’re shopping for.
Check out also our review about BBQ lighters and picnic blanket, the must-have accessory for an outdoor trip.