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The cooking starts in the kitchen so the first items on the list are for prep.  

  • If you don't already have a good knife set- These are the ones to start with:

    • A Boning Knife:  Silverskin is the bane of my prep work.  If you buy a whole packer brisket you will have to trim it.  Rib's will have the silverskin on the back that need trimmed as well.

    • Paring Knife/Petty Knife:  Also used for silver skin and other delicut cuts.

    • Chefs Knife: A go to knife for many purposes.  It won't have the precision of a Boning knife, or the chopping power of a Cleaver( It will cut thru wing tips just fine when making King Wings) and it won't slice as nice as a carving knife.

  • Gloves: Latex disposable

  • Meat Injector

  • Brine Bucket: Check out the briner.  I currently use a Fire House Subs Pickle Pail.  $5 and it goes to support Firefighters.

  • Butchers Twine

  • Peach Paper

  • Spice Shaker: If you make your own rubs these come in handy.  Ever use a left over spice container and the flap opens up dumping out all of your spice?  


You can't cook without flame. Check out these items for getting the grill going.

  • Head over to the Fuel page for the fire starters.  My recommendation for lighting lump charcoal is Tumbleweeds.

  • Matches: The Old Fashioned Way.

  • Multipurpose Lighter: I would venture to guess and say these are probably the most common way to start a fire. 

  • Torch Lighter: These have lots of uses around the house and kitchen.

  • Electric Plasma Lighter:  Welcome to the party pal! These have come a long way from matches.

Die Hard is a Christmas Movie.  It's a great thing Bruce Willis's Zippo didn't run out of fuel.


Now that the flame is going let's get cooking!

  • BBQ Utensils: If you don't already have a set the must haves are good tongs and a long spatula.

  • Thermometers and Probes: If you can see in my junk drawer I've gone through a few.

  • Cast Iron:  Just like grandma used to cook on.  These have become trendy.  They really are a must have for the grill.


Maintaining the cook and the finished product.

  • Basting Brush and Spray Bottles: Keep it moist!

  • Resting Meat: Coolers and other products.

  • Cutting Board:

  • Apron and Chefs Coat: (Probably could go under prep)


Clean up and storage.

  • Grill Brush

  • Ash Vacuum

  • Storage Container

Good value brand- Mercer Culinary

Better (aka my bucket list)- Wusthof

Latex Gloves Food Safe

Grease Monkey Washable Reusable

Heat Resistant Gloves

Ultimate Knife Guide Jamie Oliver

For the heat resistant gloves you can see my one lonely red glove that will soon need to be replaced.  These things get tore up.  Grill Team Six gloves will donate $1 to a non profit military foundation. So they will be my next replacement pair.  The Grease Monkey gloves are recommended by Kamado Guru John Setzler.  If you search for different brands on Amazon you will see a lot of the reviews stating they give off odors.  I have a brand that I was supplied with from work and they do smell.  It's probably the nitrile and after a while they will air out. The Grease Monkey's are next on my list to buy when I wear out my current ones(I don't use them for cooking, just the latex and the gloves).  I have a pair similar to the Artisan Grillers that was also supplied by work. These are big and bulky and I really only use them when placing the charcoal basket in the Pit Barrel Cooker

Meat Injector

Don't buy the plastic injector you see in the grocery store.  That was my first injector experience resulting in the pressure popping the needle off and liquid going everywhere but inside the meat... also inject before you rub.  It was so useless it went right in the garbage and didn't make the junk drawer.  Get a nice metal one. Mangiate on the left offers a lifetime warranty.  

The best! SpitJack is backed by a one year warranty!  This is one to add to the bucket list. 

Brine Bucket

Firehouse subs brine bucket

Butchers Twine

The Briner

The firehouse subs pickle bucket is $5 bucks and goes towards a good cause. It's cheaper than Lowes or Home Depot as long as you like the pickle smell...

The Briner is on my bucket list. It has inserts to keep the meat submerged in the brine as well as mesurements.  $75 bucks with shipping is steep.

Peach Paper

Butchers Twine comes in handy almost as much as paracord does! Except you can't cook with paracord.  

This twine is 100% cotton and made in the USA.  With 1200 feet of twine you will have plenty to spare

Spice Shaker

This Butchers wrap aka peach paper is made in the USA.  100% Food Grade and comes in 18" or 24" which is large enough to wrap a full packer brisket in.  With a Dry Brine or Dry Rub and letting it sit in the fridge overnight, I always cover it in butcher paper.  

There are plenty of fancy stainless steel shakers labeled specifically for BBQ but those can rust and with an adjustable lid most only have one location for dispensing the rub.  If your rub is brown sugar based it will likely clump.  These Dredge Shakers have 3 different style lids to choose from and this 2-pack is cheap enough not to worry if they need to be replaced.


Diamond Brand Long Reach Matches

Everyone should carry matches in the house.  You never know when you will need them.  They aren't just for lighting candles and grills.  They are useful as backups as a traditional fire starter.  They should be kept in an emergency kit as well.  These long reach ones will ensure you can get the flame in those hard to reach spots without worrying about getting burned.

BiC MultiPurpose Lighters

Multipurpose lighters are a pretty common way to get the fire started but don't get burned by running out of gas and not be able to get the flame lit on your next cook!  Buy the 4 pack and have spares.  Just remember to order more when you are down to your last one. 

Bernz-O-matic Micro Flame Butane Torch Kit

I originally got mine for replacing the blades in my two piece hockey sticks.  I don't normally use it to light my charcoal but if you go on the web you can see some people do.  I've had mine for years and I can use it if I'm out of other options.  I figured it's worth an honorable mention.  It is a useful tool to have around.

ZeroDark Flex Electric Plasma Ligter

zerodark lighter.jpg

There are a lot of brands out there for electric lighters and ordering from Amazon be sure to check where it's coming from.  These guys offer a limited lifetime warranty and 100% US based customer service.  One charge can hold 500 lights. 

Maybe if the Winchester brothers bought this arc insert for their Zippo lighter they would have never needed to worry about wind, fuel, or spark.  I can't count how many episodes the boys just couldn't seem to get a flame going.  John McLane is lucky he only had to use it in the vent.

Wincherster Brothers Supernatural

Char-Broil 3 Piece Aspire Grill Set

Wustof BBQ Set Cook's Tools

I never use my grill fork.... ever.  I honestly use my fish spatulas more than my Char-Broil one.  It's been a good starter set.  The Wustof set is definitely on the bucket list.

3 Pack Fish Spatulas

Wusthof Slotted Spatula

I bought a three pack.  I'm not sure of the brand because they aren't labeled.  I know they are off brand and have held up well with some stains on them.  No rust.  If you don't have a fish spatula or slotted spatula it is a must have for any chef.

Inkbird IBT-4 Temperature Controller

Inkbird with wifi Temperature Controller

If you look in my junk drawer you will see two old brands.  Both were fairly cheap and didn't last long.  I read a few reviews on the Inkbird and it has been great.  It comes with an app as well.  I got the bluetooth version but the wifi would be great for beer runs.

Kizen Instant Read Thermometer 

Inkbird Instant Read Thermometer

I went with the Kizen in orange.  It's kicked the bucket after a year.  I'm hoping its the battery.  If its dead I'm going with the Inbird.  It's listed as waterproof but did I mention the inkbirds are rechargeable and don't require batteries?  Just like fuel for lighters I seem to always run out.

I use this as a drip pan and or water pan for low and slow cooks.  A Kamado doesn't traditionally need a water pan, however this will keep the juices from buning on the heat deflector.

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron 21 Piece Set

Lodge is great.  The handle does take up some room on the Kamado. I did get the Bruntmor enameled cast iron set and mine may have arrived with a couple of chips in the enameled paint on the outside.  But if I was buying Le Creuset I would have spent a small fortune, in my opinion you are getting a lot of value for the money.

Lodge Cast Iron Cook-it-all kit

Le Creuset 16 piece enameled Cast Iron Set

The Lodge cook it all will solve a few needs.  It provides a griddle plate and searing plate as well as a wok or skillet.  Check out Stargazer Cast Iron for a higher end skillet.

Char-Broil Aspire Basting Brush

32 oz spray bottle made in the USA 

Char-Broil is a name brand and it comes with its own little saucepan.  The spray bottles are made in the USA and made out of PET plastic.

Igloo Latitude Cooler

Reynolds Food Service Foil Sheets

When cooking low and slow pork, brisket etc, it's good to wrap the meat in butchers paper, towels then store it in a cooler.  It will hold temp for a few hours this way.  I also tent smaller cuts such as steaks with foil sheets when resting. 

Igloo Latitude Cooler with a Brisket Resting

Extra Large Cutting Board

John Boos Butcher Block Cutting Board

These items can fall under prep as well.  I do have a large plastic one for veggies and such.  But for serving a brisket I prefer the wooden cutting board.  Bucket List item- John Boos it's also made in the U.S.A

I use a different brand of claws but when shredding I can get meat on my hands. With just latex gloves on it can be really hot and burn. It's not much of an issue if you use the Grease Monkey style gloves.  I'm going to give the rakes a try next.  However the claws do make me feel kinda like Wolverine. 

Chef's Coat by Chefsware

Hudson's Durable Goods Apron

These items can and should also fall under prep.  I don't know how many shirts I've ruined from grease splatter, drippings, sparks, etc.  Invest in one or both of these to save the T-Shirts and potentially protect yourself. If you have a uniform store nearby go try one out.

Bucket list cooler:

The Kong Cooler 50qt.  Check out the video to see how it stays cool under pressure vs. other brands.  YETI is #1 is a popular choice bit Kong is king.

Char-Broil Grill Brush

Libman Dust Pan with Broom

I own the Char-Broil grill brush it's been very good to me and I do recommend it.  I actually had forgotten the brush can be replaced until pulling it back up on Amazon for the link.  I've read some reviews with the metal brushes they can leave tiny metal slivers on the grill.  Not sure how true that is but this one has soft bristles.  For the inside I use the Libman Dust Pan and whisk broom. The handle is a little long so it can reach the bottom but certain angles it will hit the other side of the firebox. 

Kamado Joe Classic II

Bucket List Item-WPPO LLC 18V Rechargeable Ash Vacuum with Bonus Vac Value Pac.  It's like a shop vac made for ash!  The metal hose will protect against a leftover hot ember and the blower feature can stoke the fire. 


I store my charcoal and other BBQ supplies in a Husky container.  Charcoal absorbs moisture and odors and I store mine in my garage.  In the garage we have a vehicle, lawn mower and gasoline stored in there.  Maybe I'm paranoid as far as absorbing the gas fumes.  Having the storage container it's also out of sight out of mind.  Jealous Devil lump charcoal has a resealable bag that will help protect the charcoal against moisture.

Accessories: News

This is my BBQ "junk" drawer.  Most of it is now literal junk.  I have 3 thermometers, 2 of which only 1 probe sensor works... 

Get the essentials and buy the right ones the first time.

(sorry about the poor quality picture... as I said I'm not a professional)

This page is best viewed on the desktop.  Check out the blog for the breakdown of the items!

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