Your BBQ Wish List

There's nothing quite like the sizzle of the grill come summertime. But if you don't already consider yourself an outdoor-cooking aficionado, figuring it all out can be intimidating. Here, find everything you'll need to get started, from beginner grills to chef-approved sauces.

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The Grills

It's time to get your first grill. Don't overthink it. (Cooking outside is a lot like cooking inside—but much more fun.) If you previously shopped around for one, and came across the Lynx 36-incher with built-in rotisserie and infrared burners, only to be scared away—thanks to the price and technical jargon—there's a nice array of smaller options to help ease you into the grilling fold. And if you already have a grill, having a portable version certainly doesn't hurt.

Zack the Grill, $179, zack.pr-ide.de.
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 It doesn't get simpler than this laser-cut grill from Berlin, which can be built without any screws or additional parts.

Blue Portable Charcoal Grill by Mon Oncle, $375, gracioushome.com.

When it's not in action, this tabletop grill looks like a vintage briefcase. But once you fire it up, you'll see why it's such a great investment. 

Portable BBQ Suitcase, $85, kikkerland.com.
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So Kikkerland's take on the BBQ suitcase doesn't come with the charming vintage feel, but it's equally as convenient when you're cooking for two.

CGG-306, $200, cuisinart.com.

Cuisinart's "Chef's Style Stainless Tabletop Grill" includes two stainless steel burners, adjustable knobs, and an integrated lid thermometer. You might never feel the need to upgrade from this compact, professional-grade grill. 

The Gear

Barbecue and grilling gear can go from practical to downright ridiculous in no time flat. (Don't believe us? Do a quick Google search for "tactical chef apron.") Here, we've sorted through those frivolous outdoor accessories to bring you the essentials. 

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Instead of purchasing your tools piece by piece, buy a solid set like this one. The six-piece collection includes the bare necessities—tongs, spatulas, gloves—along with a few additional bonuses like a marinade injector, chicken roaster, and barbecue sauce mop.

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If you plan to grill more delicate items like whole fish, pizza, or shrimp, a grill pan will make your life a lot easier. They also prevent smaller cuts of vegetables from falling through the grate.

Alder Grilling Wraps, $10, wildwoodgrilling.com.
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Another trick for imparting grilled flavor without the risk of overcooking and drying out fragile food is to pick up Alder wraps. They'll allow you to infuse that delicate, smoky flavor into your meal without having to chance any direct exposure to the flame.

iGrill by iDevices, $100, store.weber.com.

Yes, Bluetooth technology even exists for grilling! A bit excessive? Actually, no. Using a precision thermometer is a surefire way to ensure you don't over- or under-cook your meat. (This is especially handy when you're trying to recreate those precise, low-and-slow barbecue recipes.)

The Goods

If you need an extra boost of confidence at your cookout, there's no shame in taking a few shortcuts. But we're not talking mass-market marinades; instead, look to your favorite chefs who've bottled or packaged their tried-and-true grilling secrets. And because the quality of your meat is of paramount importance, we've included reputable online sources for that, too.

Gunpowder Finishing Salt, $15, redbeardmerch.com.

As the chef behind two of Georgia's hottest restaurants—Gunshow and Revival—plus a whole-hog BBQ concept, Terminus City, chef Kevin Gillespie knows his way around the fire. His "Gunpowder Finishing Salt" is a fantastic alternative to overwhelming dry rubs. The blend of Hawaiian volcanic salt, chipotle, sumac, and more makes for an amazing finish on anything coming off the grill.

Alabama White Bar-B-Que Sauce, $7, martinsbbqjoint.com.
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White BBQ sauce is a Northern Alabama speciality, which chef Pat Martin of Martin's BBQ Joint in Tennessee and West Virginia loves to liberally slather onto any and all chicken or turkey dishes.

Franklin Barbecue Texas-Style BBQ Sauce, $4, heb.com.

With a notorious line that starts forming around 5 a.m. (the line even has its own Twitter account), Austin's Franklin Barbecue is doing something right. Is it the country's best? That's not a debate we're getting ourselves into—but we will happily buy their BBQ sauce and worry about it later.

Hugh Acheson's Curated Steak Box, $239, snakeriverfarms.com.

Not sure what steak to buy? Let an award-winning chef choose for you. Athens, Georgia-based chef Hugh Acheson curated a steak box for Idaho's Snake River Farms, which includes four steaks, a Lodge skillet, Jacobsen finishing salt, and a handy cooking guide.

Grilling Kit, $85, olympiaprovisions.com.

Olympia Provisions in Portland, Oregon, makes some of the country's finest sausage and charcuterie. And now you can have their fresh sausages ready for the grill, delivered straight to your door. Their summer grilling kit also comes with jars of small-batch mustard and relish, so it's your one-stop shop for all minced meat needs.

Know someone firing up the grill this weekend? Share this list of must-haves with them!

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