For most people, BBQ season begins in May and continues through September. For those out there who are hardcore BBQ enthusiasts, the season might be all-year-round (we've all seen the memes about snowstorm BBQs). Regardless of which kind of barbecue fanatic you are, doesn't it feel good to be prepared for the season with a full arsenal of barbecue tools at the ready? If this sounds like you, then chances are, you're probably in the right place.

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No good smoker or grill season can start without the essentials and with so much cooking equipment coming out year after year, it can be a challenge to determine what a grillmaster actually needs and what they don't need. Fear not, anxious grillers - we've got a guide that will bring you right to summer's doorstep as far as what's needed and what can probably be skipped. If you're looking to up your game this summer and take on all of those intimidating seafood recipes or explore the world of steak, we've got you covered.

Wireless Meat Thermometer

Grilling meat can be tricky in the sense that unlike cooking something in the oven or on the stovetop, a grill doesn't remain at a consistent temperature. There will almost always be hot and cold spots which can affect the uniformity of cooking; thus, a meat thermometer is always a good thing to have on-hand. This way, different parts of the meat can be checked for doneness and there's no issue when it comes to pulling off a chop to let it rest - when you temp it, you'll know.

Charcoal Chimney Fire Starter

Charcoal chimney starters are something that every grillmaster seems to have an opinion on. While some people don't mind relying on lighter fluid and have the patience to wait for every single coal to (slowly) come up to the same temperature, a charcoal chimney takes all the guesswork and uncertainty out of that equation. It holds a good number of coals and can be lit easily thanks to a bit of oil and some newspaper, and takes care of all the lighting work so that you don't need to fuss with it. Plus, it ensures an even temperature all around.

Bristle-Free Grill Brush

We've all heard the horror stories of metal bristles getting stuck in food before. A good way to avoid that, if you're not keen on using ball-up aluminum foil and tongs to scrape your grill grates, is by getting a bristle-free grill brush. They do exist and while they can be more expensive than your average grill brush, they'll last longer and won't come with the potential health risk.

BBQ Tongs That Won't Let You Down

We've all been there - there's just that one pair of tongs that somehow always seems slippery or isn't beastly enough to get the job done. Or, perhaps your current pair of tongs is too small and allows your hand to take the brunt of the grill heat. Whatever the case might be, do yourself a favor and invest in a pair of good, grippy tongs that won't let you - or your food - down.

Basting Mop Or Brush

Nothing works better to soak up all of that good BBQ sauce or marinade than a thick, dense basting mop. This is practically a necessity when it comes to cooking any and all meats that are flavored and if you're wondering, yes - a brush will do just fine, as well. As long as it has enough volume to hold whatever you're cooking with, it's good to go.

Good Knife Set For Trimming

Particularly for trimming meats such as ribs, steak, and fish, a good knife set is always a great thing to have on-hand. A sharp knife will allow grillmasters to cut around unnecessary fat, trim off undesirable pieces, and cut portions into, well, smaller portions. A good knife set is a great thing for anyone to have who's an avid cook, so there's that, too.

Wooden Butcher Block For Carving And Serving

Nothing makes more of a statement than carrying a butcher block full of meat to a table. When looking for one, be sure to find a butcher block that has a divet around the outside so that any potential juice leakage can pool on the board, rather than over it. This makes a statement but is also helpful when it comes time to cut meat or stack vegetables next to it to carry to the table.

Grill Basket For Veggie Lovers

Okay okay, a grill basket might not seem like a necessity... until you try to turn ten pieces of asparagus in a row and five of them fall through the grill grates. Nowadays, you can find grill baskets that offer all kinds of aerated openings, meaning all of that good grilled, smoky flavor gets through just fine, without having to serve ash-covered vegetables.

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