Her four surprising picks prove you don't need fancy gear for the best results.

By Elisabeth Sherman
Updated December 26, 2019
Cole Saladino

Anyone serious about grilling will cook a lot of meat at any time of year—whether that means burgers on paper plates in the backyard or searing steaks for a dinner party. You’ve probably already got your grill set up, but if you're sorting through old grilling gear, trying to figure out what to use this season, we've got you covered. Or rather, Angie Mar, the queen of meat herself, does.

The chef and owner of one of the most celebrated steakhouses in New York City, the Beatrice Inn, and a 2017 Food & Wine Best New Chef, Mar is known for her meat dishes (see: Dry-Aged Ribeyes with Burgundy Truffle Sauce). Instead of digging through drawers cluttered with all sorts of thermometers, tongs, brushes, spatulas, and forks that you’ll never use, follow Mar's advice and equip yourself with a few key tools.

Her advice? Keep it simple—you don’t need much to make delicious meals. Most importantly, remember that a fancy tool is not a replacement for working hard in the kitchen. Instead, you should get to know different cuts of meat so that, as Mar puts it, “you can learn how to cook off of instinct.”

Here are her four picks for tools that will serve you well if you want to become a meat master.

Cake Tester


Mar uses a cake tester to check the temperature of the meat. If you'd rather not go by touch, try a great kitchen thermometer.

OXO Cake Tester, $9 at amazon.com
Waterproof Instant Read Kitchen Thermometer, $28 at amazon.com

Cast Iron Pan

Courtesy of Walmart

To get the best sear on a steak, a cast iron skillet is a necessity. Mar’s preferred brands are Staub and Lodge.

Lodge Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, $15 at amazon.com
Staub Cast Iron Fry Pan, $200 at amazon.com



16-Inch Stainless Steel Tongs, $5 on amazon.com

Wire Resting Rack


Stainless Steel Wire Cooling and Roasting Rack, $14 on amazon.com