If you are one of the many people who are joining the growing army of barbecue enthusiasts who want to smoke their own meat and foods at home, then you have probably already chosen the best smoker or grill for your needs.
But have you considered what types of smoker accessories you will need to use your smoker and to prepare delicious meals with it?
Here are the essential smoker accessories which you should invest in if you want to get the most of your smoker.
A reliable wireless meat thermometer
A good meat thermometer is a first and most important accessory to buy if you want to prepare the perfect low and slow barbecues, grilled, smoked, or cooked meat.
Even if your smoker is fitted with a built-in thermometer, it is still important to invest in a good quality smoker because the pre-integrated ones are, unfortunately, quite often inaccurate.
The best thermometer to invest in is a premium quality dual-probe BBQ thermometer, which will measure the temperature inside the smoker as well as the internal temperature of the meat – all in one.
Buying a thermometer with wireless functionality is a good idea if you don’t want to be babysitting and tending the smoker at all times. With a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi-enabled thermometer, you can keep an eye on the doneness of your meat and on the consistency of the temperature in the smoker from your phone or another smart device. Best of all, you can do it without getting up from the couch, and many of the smart thermometers will send you notifications to your phone when the temperature of the meat reaches the desired level or if the temperature in the cooker becomes too low or too high.
It is essential to monitor the consistency of the temperature of the smoker if you are using it for low and slow cooking.
The temperature of the meat is also crucial if you want to achieve perfect doneness.
Here are the best thermometers for smokers for 2021.
This is a high-end BBQ thermometer that is suitable for serious pitmasters and barbecue teams.
It is accurate, has reliable Wi-Fi connectivity, two probes and two channels, and a receiver that will display the temperature of the meat and the smoker simultaneously.
It can be paired to multiple receivers so that the entire BBQ team can monitor the temperatures.
If you are not willing to break the bank for a professional-grade thermometer, then this one is another excellent, budget-friendly option.
It is affordable and precise and will allow you to keep an eye on your meat’s temperature
It is easy to program and has a wireless receiver with a 300-foot range.
The temperature range of the thermometer is from 32 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit (±1.5 degrees).
A pair of BBQ gloves
You will need protective extreme heat-resistant gloves if you want to stay away from burns while preparing your smoked meat.
Keep in mind that when working with a smoker, you can get burnt by the hot sparks and the flames and even by the food.
With a good pair of BBQ gloves that will keep your hands and arms from burning, you can safely enjoy working with your smoker.
You should pick gloves that are protective and yet provide dexterity so that you can toggle the settings and handle the food without dropping it.
The best gloves for BBQ and smokers for 2021 you can buy are the Grill Heat Aid BBQ Gloves.
They offer protection from extreme heat and temperatures of up to 1472 degrees Fahrenheit.
The gloves are offered in different size options and provide a snug fit, so you can handle everything comfortably without the gloves slipping off.
They offer a superb grip thanks to the silicone strips so that you can hold those pans, trays, and everything else without slippage.
These excellent BBQ gloves are also cut-resistant and are suitable not only for cooking but also for welding, woodworking, and more.
A charcoal chimney starter
With a suitable chimney starter, you can quickly, safely, and evenly light the charcoal.
This simple smoker accessory is actually pretty ingenious. All you need to do is pour in the charcoal, add several scrunched-up pieces of paper or paper towels with some oil, and light it up.
It eliminates the need to use lighter fluid and makes lighting up the grill or smoker a breeze.
Our top pick for the best charcoal chimney starter for 2021 is the Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter.
It is easy to use in three simple steps – fill, light, and pour. It is the fastest and easiest method for evenly lighting up charcoal and takes only about 25-30 minutes.
A BBQ grill brush
If you are serious about smoking your own meat in your backyard, then you are probably ready to spend hundreds and even more dollars on a premium smoker and grill like a Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill. So, if you are ready to make such an investment, it makes sense to properly clean and maintain it as well.
The easiest way to ensure that your grill and smoker are clean and work properly is to clean the grate after every use with a suitable grill brush. This will make your life easier, as the grill is much easier to clean right after the cook than days or weeks after it. You will also ensure that it is ready for the next low and slow or grilling session without the need to spend time cleaning your cooking area first.
We recommend the Kona Clean Bristle-Free Barbecue Brush as the best grill brush you can buy in 2021. It has no wire brittles, which can fall off and accidentally end up in your food. The brush has a long handle so you can stay protected from the hot surface of the grill, and its scrubbing surface is 6 inches wide, so you can clean up even the largest grill faster and with less effort.
This excellent grill brush can be used on all kinds of grill surfaces, including ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, carbon steel, and cast iron. It is safe to use on gas, charcoal, and infrared grills.
When you are using the smoker or grill, chances are that you will be handling very hot and, in many cases, very large cuts of meat. A good pair of grill tongs can make the task of flipping over the steaks and other meats around with minimal effort and without burning your hands and arms.
If you already have a premium barbecue set like the Cuisinart Bamboo Tool Set, then you already have tongs, but if you are new to grilling and smoking, we recommend buying the best grill tongs for 2021 – the GrillHogs 16-inch Barbecue Tongs.
They are sturdy, ergonomic, and will last for years thanks to their stainless steel body and smooth and resilient oak wood handles.
You can buy the grill tons in all sizes starting from 9 inches, or buy a complete set of these excellent smoker accessories, which include 3 different-sized tongs. With several pairs of tongs, you can use one of them for moving the food on the grill and the other for moving the charcoal.
An instant-read meat thermometer
Yes, we already recommended the wireless meat thermometer as one of the most important smoker accessories. But this type of thermometer is suitable for slow and low smoking and grilling, which requires the maintenance of a constant temperature in the smoker for long hours, and monitoring of the meat for long hours.
On the other hand, an instant meat thermometer will allow you to check the temperature of the meat at any moment during the smoking, grilling, or barbecuing process.
It is easy to use and will provide you with an instant and precise temperature reading. This is especially important when searing or grilling steaks where every single degree matters for the doneness of the meat.
You can use it for low and slow smoking as well if you want to check the temperature at different parts of the brisket or other large pieces of meat.
Our suggestion for the best instant meat thermometer for 2021 is the Thermapen Mk4 by TermoWorks.
It may be on the higher end when it comes to price, but the Thermapen Mk4 is a super-fast, waterproof, accurate, and easy to use a meat thermometer.
The screen flips according to the side you are holding it and has a backlight so you can view it easily, even in low light conditions.
A basting mop
Some low and slow recipes, like slow-smoked brisket, ribs, and other cuts of meat, require the use of a mop to baste the meat with the preferred mop sauce. Unlike marinade, which can be applied with a brush, a basting mop can absorb thinner sauces (known as mop sauces) and is easy to use to apply the sauce every other hour during slow smoking.
These mops have long handles to keep the hands and arms protected from the heat and are very useful for the quick and safe application of the mop sauce over large pieces of meat.
Our top pick for the best basting mop for slow-smoking meat is the GrillHoggs BBQ Basting Mop.
It has an 18-inch long wooden handle and an absorbent head, which can be used for basting and glazing the meat and poultry.
A butcher block
You may wonder why you will need a butcher block when you already have a great cutting board at home. But the truth is that if you are planning on slow and slow smoking of large cuts of meat like brisket, you will need something larger and sturdier than the standard kitchen cutting board.
Our top selection for the best butcher block for 2021 is the SoulFino Bamboo Butcher Block.
It has a large size of 17 x 13 x 1.5 inches, so it can fit an entire brisket. It is also thick enough to withstand the cutting and chopping of large pieces of meat.
There are nifty grooves along its edges which help keep the juices from the meat on the board rather than on the countertop or around the kitchen.
The bamboo block has been pretreated and is ready to use out of the box.
A boning knife
A good, sharp, and safe boning knife will become your best smoker accessory once you start handling your meat, boning it, trimming it, and prepping it for smoking or grilling.
It has a specific blade shape and needs to be super sharp and hold an edge if you want to safely use it and do a good job when tidying up and prepping your meat cuts.
Our recommendation for the top best boning knife for 2021 is the Dexter-Russell Boning Knife.
This top-rated boning knife is inexpensive and has a very sharp 6-inch blade of high carbon steel, which holds an edge very well.
The Grip-Tex handle will ensure that your knife stays safely in your hand during use and won’t slip and injure you or someone else.
It is sealed all around the blade so that the knife is easy to clean and will stay safe and sanitary at all times.
If you are planning on slow smoking a large batch of ribs at a time, then you will definitely need a rib rack or several of them.
These affordable smoker accessories will allow you to grill or smoke much more ribs than you normally would.
A rib rack is especially suitable for people who own small-sized smokers or smokers with limited depth or width to fit whole rib racks.
We picked the Sorbus Non-Stick Rib Rack as our top pick for 2021. You can buy each of these racks at a reasonable price. Each one can fit 4 racks of ribs vertically and maintain a very small footprint on the grill or cooking area while you are smoking and cooking a lot of other foods.
While having a load of smoker accessories won’t necessarily turn you into a pitmaster and BBQ champion, but having some or all of these items can make your smoking experience easier, safer, and more efficient. And more importantly, they can help you cook tastier food as well.