Buying a grill is like buying a car. You can get the make, model, and color you want, but then you’ll probably upgrade with additional features. For a vehicle, perhaps you’d want the heated seats or 360-degree camera system; for a grill, your premium features may be an integrated rotisserie or special grates to maximize your BBQ skills. Whether you’re partial to kamado ceramic grills or a classic gas grill, there are plenty of deluxe upgrades worth the investment. Here are some to consider:
To keep your grill looking — and cooking — its best, you need to protect it from the elements. Look for a cover in a durable fabric such as vinyl; certain brands also make custom covers to fit their particular grills. Your grill will look pristine and you’ll get more use out of it when it’s not exposed to sun, rain, wind, or dirt.
Want to cook small veggies, pancakes, fried eggs, or other hard-to-BBQ foods? Simply replace one of your grates with a drop-in griddle, which provides a smooth grilling surface. These griddles are typically made of stainless steel, cast iron, or porcelain-enamel that can withstand high heat and heavy use.
You don’t need to go to the grocery store for a precooked chicken anymore, thanks to these handy kits. There should be a spit rod for the chicken, a motor that turns the rod, and spit forks to help brace the bird in place. You get the ease and deliciousness of rotisserie chicken in your own backyard. If you’re a vegetarian, use a rotisserie grill basket to roast bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and other veggies.
There’s nothing like the succulent taste of smoked food, but in the past it’s been out of reach for people who own gas grills. That’s not the case anymore thanks to smoker boxes. Fill a box with hardwood chips and place it under your grill grates to create that signature smoky flavor.
Smoker Steamer Insert
When used with a smoker box, these steamer baskets impart wonderful flavor and juiciness, even to delicate foods such as shrimp or asparagus. A liquid tray can hold water, beer, juice, or other liquids for an added flavor kick.
Ready to heat things up? Swap out a burner on your gas grill for this infrared-powered version, which creates a high heat that perfectly sears meats and vegetables. Infrared burners can reach scorching temperatures well above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, yet they need only a few minutes to fully preheat.
Reduce the risk of flare-ups when you BBQ with this internal component, which acts as a barrier between the grill’s burners and the cooking surface. It also keeps your burners in good shape because it prevents dripping sauces from reaching them, and it creates even heat across the grill. Flame tamers are usually made out of ceramic, stainless steel, or porcelain-coated steel. They also come in burner-width and full-width versions.
Up the ante on your BBQ game with these panels that fit over your normal grill grates. They amplify what a grill does best by eliminating hot or cold spots, decreasing flare-ups, and intensifying heat. The ideal grill panels boast a raised design where juices can fall into the in-between crevices and be steamed back into the food.
In this case, BYOB stands for “bring your own BBQ.” This is the perfect solution for tailgating, camping, parties, or grillers who like to move around the backyard. Small grills can go anywhere on these stands or carts, many of which easily fold and unfold, plus they keep your grill securely locked in place for your safety.
Pizza Oven Kit
You may not have been born in Naples, but no one will know that once they get a taste of your wood-fired pizzas. This ingenious kit contains a metal sleeve that sits on top of your charcoal grill, with an opening to slide the pizza in and out; pop the grill lid on top of it, and you’ve got yourself a pizza oven. Find a kit with pizza peels and stones to make the process even easier.
You want your BBQ to look as good as it tastes, and there’s nothing like those telltale sear marks to get your mouth watering. They’re easy to achieve with a cast iron sear grate that retains heat without drying out your food. Nonstick surfaces also make for fast cleanup.
Drip Tray Liners
A hot drip tray and grease from cooking meat make for a dangerous combination. You can greatly reduce the chance of a grease fire with a screened guard that nestles in the drip tray for an extra layer of protection. (Bonus: It makes cleaning your drip tray easier, too.)
Grilling outdoors can be challenging in less-than-ideal weather conditions. When the wind picks up, however, you don’t have to pack up your grill — just use a wind guard that shields it from gusts that interfere with your BBQ.
Expand your cooking capability outdoors with a side burner that attaches to your grill. Powered by its own propane tank, it can function as a griddle or even as a stove in case you need to boil or sauté part of your meal.
Another option for increasing your grill’s space (and its efficiency) is attaching shelves to either side of it. Shelves are a convenient place to keep serving plates, condiments, grilling accessories, and all your food prep ingredients so you don’t have to constantly run back and forth to your indoor kitchen. Some shelves even have cutting board inserts! When you’re done grilling, keep your utensils and accessories nearby inside a storage container that can be bolted to the side of your grill.
These are just some of the many ways you can upgrade your grill. Choose one or two of these innovative add-ons to start with, and take your newly enhanced grill for a spin. You may decide to add more amenities, customizing your grill like some people customize their cars. Once you upgrade your grill, you’ll be amazed at how tasty the results will be.