11 Outdoor Cooking Upgrades for Grilling Outside This Summer

Your cookout can be as simple or elaborate as you make it. If gear gets you excited about grilling, give these high- and low-tech tools a try.

This summer things are a little different for everyone, but for those with outdoor space it's even more of a premium. Get the most out of your backyard or patio with new and top-of-the-line grilling gear to delight even the most serious barbecue fanatics. From the crowd-pleasers (when we're allowed in crowds again) to the functional mainstays, these are the best new tools for grilling outside. You'll find yourself using this gear for many summers to come.

Fireflower Firepit

Outdoor Grilling | The Fireflower

Our senior food editor Mary-Frances Heck has the perfect backyard grilling feature. "This summer, my go-to party trick is showing up with the Fireflower. This flat-pack portable firepit comes together in seconds, thanks to the genius of architect and designer David Grisham. Simply slide the notched pieces together and voilà! It's the perfect foundation for a campfire, whether you plan to roast marshmallows or just keep warm after enjoying a sunset on the beach. The pit can even turn into a full-on grill thanks to a grate that conveniently fits into the assembled base." (From $199, fireflower-usa.com)

The Fireflower Grill
Victor Protasio

Char-Broil Half-Time Charcoal Starter

Outdoor Grilling | Half-Time Charcoal Starter

In a hurry? This generously vented chimney cuts lump charcoal heating time in half. ($15, charbroil.com)

Espresso Set

Outdoor Grilling | Miniespresso
GSI Outdoors

Don't let cooking out keep you from a good cup of joe. GSI's stainless steel Mini Espresso Set takes seconds to assemble and makes a strong cup of coffee in less than three minutes over your chosen heat source—grill, camp stove, or (when you're not roughing it) stovetop. It's perfect for when you're social distancing out at a camp site. ($50, gsioutdoors.com)

Hero Grill

Outdoor Grilling | Hero Grill
Fire & Flavor

With its grab-and-go case and biodegradable charcoal pod, the laptop-size Hero Grill is smartly designed to deliver 60 minutes of grilling action, perfect for picnics, camping, or tailgating (when it's safe to do that again). Meat and matches not included. ($100, fireandflavor.com)

Kojin Grill

Outdoor Grilling | Kojin Grill
Snow Peak

Just because you're away from home doesn't mean you can't still have incredible smoked meats. Lightweight and versatile, Snow Peak's Kojin Grill has an adjustable charcoal tray and grilling rack that makes it ideal for direct-heat cooking, smoking, and roasting on your next adventure. ($730, snowpeak.com)

Kona Safe/Clean Bristle-Free Grill Brush

Expert Grilling Tools | Grill Brush

With no meltable parts, this brush removes every fleck from the grill to help reduce sticking. For the amount of use your grill is going to get in the months to come, this is a worthy investment. ($19, wayfair.com)

Thermoworks Smoke 2-Channel Alarm

Outdoor Grilling

This wireless probe lets you monitor temperature from 300 feet away and multitask with confidence. Perfect for meat smoking projects while you get things done around the house or kick back waiting for everything to be ready. ($99, thermoworks.com)

Kudu Grilling Tongs

Outdoor Grilling | Grill Tongs

These telescoping tongs keep you far from the blaze while allowing a precise grip on everything from cherry tomatoes to rib eyes. ($34, kudugrills.com)

Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe Grill Insert

Outdoor Grilling | Slow n Sear
SnS Grills

Slip this into your kettle grill to create customizable zones for indirect slow cooking, baking, turbo-searing, and more. ($100, snsgrills.com)

Weber Genesis Gas Grill

Outdoor Grilling | Weber Genesis Grill
The Home Depot

Food & Wine Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis has a go-to for his own grilling routine. "For me, it's not gas versus charcoal; it's Monday night versus Saturday night," he says , "On the weekend, I love nothing more than cooking over coals, using smoke to build flavor. But on weeknights, when the chips are down and I need to get dinner on the table for my family or friends, I want the speed and convenience of my Weber Genesis gas grill. I think of it as the Swiss Army knife of outdoor stoves. There's always a cast-iron skillet on the side burner, and I keep a Lodge griddle ($30, homedepot.com) on the grates as a plancha. It's super multifunctional and offers a high-BTU lift when I'm in the weeds." ($800, homedepot.com)

Delta by Ñuke Ultimate Grill

Outdoor Grilling | Gaucho Grill
BBQ Guys

Inspired by Argentine-style gaucho grills, the Delta by Ñuke includes a separate firebox for burning down wood, nearly four square feet of cooking area lined with heat-refracting brick, and an adjustable grilling grate. This is the ultimate investment your family is hoping for. ($1,299, bbqguys.com)

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