We might not be renowned for our ability to evenly apply sun screen or our chic summer style, but when the sun comes out there’s one thing we Brits know how to do – and that’s BBQ. So if you’re looking to turn yours up a notch, we’ve found just the tools to help you.
1. John Lewis BBQ Meat Thermometers: £12, johnlewis.com
Avoid causing a nasty bout of food poisoning without having to cut every sausage in half to check with these clever stainless steel thermometers. Stick the relevant one – beef, lamb, chicken and pork all included – into your cut and the dial will tell you whether it’s done, with a ‘rare’, ‘medium’ and ‘well-done’ indicator for steaks.
2. Jack Daniels Smoking Chips: £6, diy.com
Meat, smoke and whisky make something of a holy trinity. These wood chips are made from genuine Jack Daniel's aging barrels, which are made from oak and, naturally, soaked in whisky, so will infuse your joint with a gentle woody boozy flavour when used in a smoker or grill.
3. Weber Burger Press: £6.50, calor.co.uk
Weber is one of our most trusted brands when it comes to grill kit. Make your own burgers perfectly spherical and professional-looking every time with this press. Choose between ¼ or ½ lb (though really, who are we kidding?) and the handle detaches so it’s easy to clean.
4. BBQ Bear Paws: £14.99, firebox.com
There’s something pretty primordial about charring chunks of meat over hot coals, but if you really want to unleash your inner animal, these will do nicely. They’re heat-resistant, so ideal for man-handling hot meat while carving and for making the perfect pulled pork, but equally great for winning wolverine impressions.
5. Bar-Be-Quick Dual Oak Wood Smoking Papers: £5, wilko.com
These are a great way to get that smoked woody flavour if you use a gas or coals-only barbecue, or even if you’re cooking in the oven because it’s raining. Soak the sheets in water, or even wine or beer (great for moist chicken), then wrap around your food of choice and pop on the barbie to cook and infuse. They’re available in either beech or oak, both of which burn slowly for a medium smoky flavour, but we’d recommend using the slightly lighter beech for seafood and poultry.
6. Suck UK BBQ Apron Guide: £15.00, debenhams.com
This apron from the novelty gift brand doubles up as a handy instruction manual with useful cooking times for various meats and nifty barbecue tips, so you needn’t smear your cookbook or smartphone with meat grease when you’ve got a question. All the information is upside down on the bottom half of the apron, so it’s the right way up when you’re wearing it.
7. Landmann Bamboo BBQ Tool Set: £22.49, ocado.com
Impress your guests with this serious 18-piece tool set (you might not know what they’re all for, but your guests don’t need to know that). It includes a basting brush, barbecue fork, tongs, turner, knife, cleaning brush, skewers and cob-holders, all brilliant quality in stainless steel with bamboo handles and tucked away in a neat carry case.
8. Spicentice World BBQ Selection Set: £14.99, notonthehighstreet.com
Spice up your BBQ (and save yourself some time) with this sizzling selection of flavours from around the world with three chicken spice mixes – Jamaican jerk, peri-peri and Cajun – and two rubs: barbecue and chipotle. They’re natural and allergen-free and each pot serves four, so there’ll be plenty to go round.
9. Jamie's Food Tube: The BBQ Book by DJ BBQ: £5.59, amazon.co.uk
When we’re brandishing the BBQ tongs there are very few people we’ll allow to intervene, but in Jamie Oliver and Food Tube’s DJ BBQ (aka Christian Stevenson of the popular Bar-B-Q Shack in Brighton) we trust. This bright and funny book is a great purchase, whether you’re new to the scene or consider yourself a well-seasoned barbecue king. It contains over 50 recipes, each with a picture, broken down into five chapters: ‘party time’, ‘quick-fire grills’ and ‘slow and low’, plus ‘sides and salads’ and ‘rubs, dips, salsas and sauces’ – because the barbecue isn’t all about the meat, you know.
10. Weber Marinade Jar: £12.99, johnlewis.com
Another great piece of kit from the kitchenware brand, this silicone basting brush is perfect for marinating your meat without leaving stray bristles behind. The lid of the jar is built into the handle so you can easily stand it upright when you need your hands free. Twist and lock the lid when you’re not using to prevent any spills.
If you’re ready for a new taste sensation, Jack Daniel's’ whisky-infused wood chips and Jamie’s BBQ Book are an inexpensive way to kick it up a notch. If you want to take your kit to the next level, invest in some Landmann tools and John Lewis’s meat thermometers. We can’t believe we’ve come this far without them, to be honest.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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