The 22 Best Barbecue and Grilling Gifts of 2023

Our top picks include a how-to book, spice rub, essential tools, and more.

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Best Barbecue and Grilling Gifts
Courtesy of Amazon

Picking gifts for a grilling enthusiast is less complicated than picking kitchen gifts. You don't need to balance practicality with design and consider whether there is counter space for the present or whether it matches the decor. Plus, it is a rare griller who doesn't welcome new toys with open arms. But gone are the days when grilling supplies started and ended with a grill and some extra-long utensils. The variety and complexity of grilling accessories, and grills themselves, have expanded exponentially in the past several years.

Whether it's the best grilling book, the best pulled pork rub, or a new grill or smoker (if not a combination of both), our top picks across multiple categories will help you navigate the world of outdoor cooking. These tools and niceties can help the griller in your life live the best version of theirs – when cooking, anyway. See our full list of the best barbecue and grilling gifts below.

Our Top Picks

Best Grilling Book: How To Grill Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Flame-Cooked Food

How To Grill Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Flame-Cooked Food
Courtesy of Amazon

Mark Bittman's book is a slightly older title for our list, but it stands on its merits. He gives equal time to gas, charcoal, meats, and vegetables with variations in flavor profiles, sauces, and techniques. The complexity ranges from beginner recipes to those better suited for advanced cooks, with each providing insights for all skill levels.

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Pulled Pork Rub: Tank's Ultra Premium BBQ Rub

Tank's Ultra Premium BBQ Rub
Courtesy of Holy City Hogs

From South Carolina's Low Country, this small-batch rub, crafted by a frequent Memphis in May team competitor whose main gig happens to be raising heritage-breed pigs, serves as a prime example of "less is more" when used correctly. It's a simple mixture of sugar, salt, red and black pepper, paprika, and cumin, all rounded with a little MSG. Designed to accent and highlight the meat, which is the essence of good barbecue, Tank's Ultra Premium does that and then some without fighting for attention over the flavor of good pork.

Price at time of publish: $12

Best Grilling Apron: Hudson Durable Goods Professional Grade Chef Apron

Hudson Durable Goods Professional Grade Chef Apron
Courtesy of Amazon

I'm a hard sell on aprons, especially for grilling. A grilling apron must be thick enough to protect your torso from heat yet light enough to allow you to move and not feel overheated. After that, pockets are a must for holding tools or supplies, and I cannot abide by a loop-neck strap – it has to be a cross-back design to prevent irritation when things get sweaty. The Hudson checks all those boxes at a reasonable price. The fact that it's machine washable just adds to its value.

Price at time of publish: $50

Best Grill Gloves: Semboh Extreme Heat-Resistant BBQ Gloves

Semboh Extreme Heat-Resistant BBQ Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

The Semboh glove's three-layer construction keeps the heat at bay while providing a full range of finger motion with an over-the-wrist design that prevents burns and cuts. The outer layer is thick silicon with a non-slip grip. Under that is aramid, the same material used in fire fighting PPE. Under all that protection is a breathable, machine-washable cotton-poly blend that keeps your hands from sweating and makes cleaning easy.

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Grill Basket: Lodge Dual Handle Grill Basket

Lodge Dual Handle Grill Basket
Courtesy of Amazon

Grilling baskets can be great tools for cooking small items that would otherwise fall through the grill grates, but when misused, they can be the perpetrators of crimes against food. The most important thing to look for in a grill basket or pan is the amount of surface area that the food can be in direct contact with the pan. If food piles up in the basket, it doesn't pick up the charred flavor you want from grilling; it just steams. This Lodge grill basket has more than adequate grill-contact space with molded holes, allowing even more char flavor to develop. Molded handles make moving the pan more manageable, and it comes pre-seasoned and ready to use.

Price at time of publish: $44

Best Wood Pellets: Bear Mountain Oak BBQ Wood Pellets

Bear Mountain Oak BBQ Wood Pellets
Courtesy of Amazon

Clean burning and versatile, the Bear Mountain pellets are a mix of red and white oak that produces a rich smoke flavor. While Bear Mountain sells several varieties, oak goes with everything. These pellets are potent enough to pair with beef, but when judiciously applied, they're subtle enough for delicate foods like cheeses.

Price at time of publish: $48

Best Pizza Stone for the Grill: The Original Baking Steel

The Original Baking Steel
Courtesy of Amazon

Our pick for the best pizza stone isn't stone. The two most common issues with stones are dropping or banging them on something, and they break, or they get washed and trap water in the porous rock, causing them to crack when heated. The Baking Steel is immune to both issues due to its construction of 1/4-inch steel. It also heats faster than stone on the grill, and it's best used for thin-crust pizza dough due to the fast cooking from its heat absorption.

Price at time of publish: $129

Best Wooden Carving Board: JK Adams Maple Carving Board

JK Adams Maple Carving Board
Courtesy of Amazon

Cutting and carving boards are not the same. Cutting boards are for slicing, dicing, chopping, and the like. Carving is much messier, and these boards typically feature channels to handle the grease and juice runoff from carving a cooked piece of meat or a cooked bird. Size matters, as wrestling a hot bit of meat or poultry on a too-small board is comical for your guests to watch but aggravating to you. At 14 by 20 inches, this board provides both the size and the channels to make the task more enjoyable for you. Wood is an excellent surface for your knives, as it is not as dulling as plastic, but it requires special cleaning and maintenance to maintain the board.

Price at time of publish: $110

Best Carving Knife: Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Long Slicing Knife

Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Long Slicing Knife
Courtesy of Amazon

This carving knife's high-carbon stainless steel blade keeps a fine edge with minimal work. The classic black handle, featuring a through-tang, riveted design, is easily recognized. Since carving comes at the end of cooking, when you're ready to show off your prowess and the results of your hard work, you deserve a knife that makes a bold statement.

Best Boning Knife: Victorinox Swiss Army 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife
Courtesy of Amazon

A good knife need not be pretty or expensive. It's a functional tool that has a job to do, and the Victorinox does that quite well. Its blade has the strength and flexibility to handle boning, jointing, and any other tasks you'd throw at it. With a high-carbon stainless blade and ergonomic handle, this knife takes and holds an edge and fits well in the hand, which are the most important factors in a knife.

Price at time of publish: $32

Best Butcher's Knife: Victorinox Curved Cimeter 10-Inch Blade

Victorinox Curved Cimeter 10-Inch Blade
Courtesy of Amazon

When cutting meat before cooking, you need a strong-bladed knife that will allow you to make straight cuts, with some flexibility to account for joints and bones. The Victorinox does this well with an easy-to-sharpen blade that holds an edge for some time as well as a handle that won't slip or cramp your hand while using it.

Price at time of publish: $70

Best Grill Thermometer: ThermoWorks Thermapen One

ThermoWorks Thermapen One
Courtesy of Amazon

I'm convinced that this is the best probe thermometer on the consumer market. When cooking poultry or burgers, the Thermapen One gives a reading in approximately one second with an accuracy of half a degree Fahrenheit. It's equally suited for home and commercial use, and it will stand up to drops and submersion in water.

Price at time of publish: $99

Best Grill Pan: Le Creuset Signature Square Skillet Grill

Le Creuset Signature Square Skillet Grill
Courtesy of Amazon

The Le Creuset grill pan is a great choice for moving the grilling inside. Its enameled cast iron construction will make this an heirloom piece for your kitchen that is both functional and visually appealing. We like the size of the grilling ribs that allow for good sear and grill marks while channeling away any grease or liquid. The sides are high enough to minimize spatters and have molded spouts for pouring off any accumulated grease at cleanup time.

Price at time of publish: $207

Best Grilling Tool Set: Cuisinart Deluxe Grill Set

Cuisinart Deluxe Grill Set
Courtesy of Amazon

It's not only the quantity of tools included in this set; the quality and design make this kit stand out. The tongs and spatula designs allow dexterity despite the elongated handles that keep your hands from the flames. The fork doubles as a meat thermometer and some nice extras like skewers and corn holders round the set out.

Price at time of publish: $60

Best Grill Light: Permasteel PA-12002 Grill Light

Permasteel PA-12002 Grill Light
Courtesy of Amazon

Grilling doesn't have to stop when the sun goes down; good grill lights make the job easier and safer in low-light conditions. The magnetic base of the Permasteel lights will stick to almost any metal surface, and the gooseneck allows you to aim the light in any direction without changing the base's location. Sold in a set of two, the cluster of 9 LED lights gives ample light in almost any situation.

Price at time of publish: $26

Best Barbecue/Grill Lighter: Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter
Courtesy of Amazon

Looking at the typical charcoal starter, it's just an aluminum tube, right? Not so fast. The folks at Weber kept airflow at the top of their mind when designing this starter to get your charcoal burning quickly. From the air holes at the bottom for the quick lighting of paper or lighter blocks, which then hits the conical base that holds the charcoal, forming an updraft that ignites your charcoal quickly and cleanly, the seemingly simple design gets you to grilling sooner than its competitors.

Price at time of publish: $28

Best Camping Grill: Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
Courtesy of Walmart

The Petit Gourmet is lightweight with a small footprint that makes it easy to stow and transport. Size can be deceiving, as the grill generates 5,500 BTUS for a cooking area of 145 square inches, which is suitable for a group of three to four people. Its heating capacity, cooking area for such a small grill, and easy setup and teardown make this an excellent grill for camping.

Price at time of publish: $150

Best Portable Grill: Weber Q1200 Gas Grill

Weber Q1200 Gas Grill
Courtesy of Amazon

The Q1200 is almost everything you could ask for in a larger grill in a portable form. Its circular tube burner tube heats quickly and stays hot. The porcelain enamel cast iron grates add toughness and longevity to the grill's life. That enamel also means that the Weber can handle most cookout foods with aplomb but is equally up to delicate tasks like cooking fish without sticking or flaking.

Price at time of publish: $287

Best Grill Brush: Grill Art Grill Brush and Scraper

Grill Art Grill Brush and Scraper
Courtesy of Amazon

Most old school grill brushes shared the same design: a square head with some steel bristles sticking out of it. That presents two problems. First, the head won't fit into tight spaces to clean all of your grill's cooking surfaces. Second, the bristles tend to fall off, posing a danger. The Grill Art brush has a rectangular head with tightly wound bristles that allow you to get into hard-to-reach places and minimize bristle loss. With each stroke, three rows of bristles triple the cleaning power and wrap around the grates for 360º cleaning. The non-slip grip and long handle keep your hands away from the heat, and two rigid scraper heads help with chipping away at burnt-on deposits.

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Smoker: Lang 36-inch Original Patio Smoker

Lang 36-inch Original Patio Smoker
Courtesy of Lang BBQ Smokers

This is a gift best reserved for someone you really like, who really likes smoking foods. The price tag is high, but the design and quality match it. Starting with 1/4-inch welded steel, this smoker features an offset firebox and a reverse-flow design. The reverse-flow works like a convection oven, drawing heated air and smoke from the firebox across the length of the smoke chamber and then back again before exiting the smoke stack. For the barbecue enthusiast in your life that is ready to up their game to a "stick burner," you cannot go wrong with the Lang.

Price at time of publish: $2,195

Best Pellet Grill: Weber SmokeFire EX4

Weber SmokeFire EX4
Courtesy of Amazon

The EX4 is a medium-capacity smoker grill that scores top marks for easy setup, cleaning, heating times, and heat retention. It also features one of the best app connectivity options on the market. Multiple probes can monitor various pieces of food simultaneously, making your cooking experience a set-it-and-forget-it process, should you wish. Several presets will prompt you when the grill is at the proper temperature to add food, when to flip it, and when to remove it.

Price at time of publish: $287

Best Flat Top Grill: Camp Chef Flat Top 600

Camp Chef Flat Top 600
Courtesy of Amazon

The Camp Chef is a big, burly flat top grill (or griddle, if you want to stand on properties) that generates 48,000 BTUs per hour. It features 604 square inches of cooking area, which is large enough to cook for eight people at once, should the mood strike. In addition to the flat grill that is more than suitable for pancakes, eggs, burgers, and the like, the griddle top is removable, and underneath are cast iron grates that convert your flat top into a char grill in a matter of minutes.

Price at time of publish: $446

Our Expertise

Greg Baker is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, and food writer with decades of experience in the food industry. His written work appears in Food & Wine, Food Republic, and other publications.

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