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Best Smoker Accessories + The Most Over-Rated!

MEAT THERMOMETER

MEATER 2 Plus
MEATER 2 PLUS
4.8/5

BONING KNIFE

DALSTRONG 8 Inch Boning Knife
Dalstrong
5/5

CUTTING BOARD

Greener Chef XXXL Bamboo Cutting Board
Greener Chef 3XL
4.7/5

GRATE CLEANER

Easy Function Wood Grill Scraper
Easy Function
4.9/5

BBQ GLOVES

Steven Raichlen Long Suede Grill Gloves
Steven Raichlen
5/5

BUTCHERS PAPER

Bryco Butchers Paper
Bryco
4.9/5

There’s a heap of ‘must-have’ barbecue accessories. A lot of them pretty gimmicky too.

Here at Burning Brisket, we ain’t into the smoke and mirrors. We believe you can get great smoked meat by keeping it simple and straightforward. And, good news for your wallet, that means keeping the accessories basic and effective too.

So, what do you really need to make smoking easy?

This is our list of the best smoker accessories out there.

You might not need all of them, depending on what you’re cooking and what type of smoker you’re using. But, these are all solid essentials that you won’t just use once, you’ll be reaching for time and time again.

Scroll to the bottom to read our list of the most over-rated, unnecessary smoker accessories so you know what not to buy as well!

And, if you’re gift shopping, check out these unique bbq gift ideas that aren’t gloves!

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How We Assessed the Best Smoker Accessories

We personally own and use every single one of the must-have accessories we’ve listed here.

Some, like the wireless meat thermometer, we use for every single cook we do on absolutely any barbecue. Others, like the rib rack, we only use when we’re cooking on or testing a smaller type of smoker.

But, these are items we genuinely use.

As for the specific brands and models we’ve recommended, these are our favorite products in each category. We’ve used them not just once or twice but many times over at least a few months to be able to confidently recommend them to you and comment on their quality and longevity.

Table of Contents

The Best Smoker Accessories: Our Top Choices

Don’t waste your cash on something that’s a piece of cr** or you just won’t use. These are our go-to accessories that you will actually use time and time again.

Wireless Meat Thermometer

ThermoPro Twin TempSpike Review with thermometer in chicken

Smoking meat without a meat thermometer really is like going in blind. It’s not only important that you hit an internal temperature that makes the food safe to eat, it’s also nice to not overcook it and end up with a dried out hunk that somewhat resembles jerky.

The solution? A wireless meat thermometer.

Yes, you can use a cheaper, instant-read one (and, if that’s what you’re looking for, here’s our favorites).

But, you’ll have to open the lid, letting out that heat and smoke to get a reading. So, investing in a wireless one that might even link up to your phone for updates wherever you go is not only easier, it’s going to get you better results too.

Some pellet smokers come with meat probes that hook up to their control boards. If yours has one, great! They’re awesome. And, as long as you’re not cooking more cuts than you’ve got probes for, you can tick this accessory off your list.

But, if you’re smoking on pretty much any other type of smoker, grab yourself one! Save yourself the headache of eyeballing it and you’ll take one huge step towards better results too.

These are a sample of our best rated wireless meat thermometers.

Meater 2 Plus

BEST OVERALL
  • 100% wire-free
  • Suitable for low & high heats
  • Gives 4 internal & 1 ambient temperature reading
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Bluetooth connection to smartphone

ThermoPro TP20

BEST VALUE
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes with 2 probes
  • Long range
  • Wireless receiver

Meater Block

BEST MULTI-PROBE
  • No wires
  • 4 probes all monitor internal & ambient temperatures
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Boning Knife

When you’re trimming up meat to go on the barbecue, it’s so much easier and faster with a sharp knife! And, the type I always prefer is a boning knife.

With a thin, sharp blade, it’s easy to get it under pork skin, trim away fat without cutting extra off, or, tidy up a rack of ribs.

They’re also not super expensive (depending on which brand you go for). And, it’s best to have a knife that’s solely for meat instead of blunting it on everything else.

Mercer Culinary Ultimate Curved Boning Knife

BEST OVERALL
  • Inexpensive
  • Razor-sharp Japanese steel
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Victorinox Swiss Army Pro Curved Boning Knife

BEST VALUE
  • Great value for money
  • Non-slip grip
  • Lifetime guarantee

DALSTRONG 8 Inch Gladiator Boning Knife

BEST HIGH QUALITY
  • Longer 8 inch blade is great for larger cuts
  • High-carbon German steel
  • Award-winning design

Large Butchers Block

Sliced brisket smoked on the Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560

It’s the most expensive thing on this list. But, if you’ve ever tried trimming a whole brisket, spicing a rack of ribs, or pulling pork on a regularly sized chopping board?!?

If you’re cooking large, you need a good quality, large base to start with. And, an extra large butchers block isn’t just handy for trimming. You can also use it to slice finished meat, and serve stuff right to the table.

We’ve included a few different price points to fit your budget.

SoulFino Bamboo Butcher Block

BEST VALUE
  • Extra deep juice groove to reduce mess
  • Built-in handles make it easy to pick up
  • Limited guarantee

Greener Chef XXXL Bamboo Cutting Board

BEST ECO-FRIENDLY
  • SUPER large size
  • Juice groove with pour spurt
  • Lightweight, eco-friendly bamboo

Mevell Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

BEST LOOKING
  • High-quality, durable Canadian wood
  • Softer than bamboo to keep knives sharp longer
  • Juice groove reduces mess

Extra Long Tongs

Enjoy not getting burnt hands? A set of extra long barbecue tongs are essential for smoking.

Tongs are hands down, the easiest tool for lifting large pieces of meat. But, you need ones that are strong enough to handle the weight, and, long enough that your hands are far enough away from the heat.

And, if you’re using charcoal, get two! Extra long tongs are great for moving and turning hot coals easily. But, you’ll want a dedicated pair so you’re not then getting charcoal all over your meat, or having to wash them between uses.

Weber BBQ Tongs

BEST QUALITY
  • Stainless steel
  • Extra strong and extra long
  • Unique tip design holds meat firmly

Grille Perfect Extra Long Stainless Steel Tongs

BEST SPIKED
  • Good lifting grip
  • 1/32″ thick stainless steel
  • 16″ long

OXO Good Grips 16" Stainless Steel Tongs

BEST COMFY
  • Strong brushed stainless steel
  • Comfortable grip
  • 16″ long

Charcoal Chimney

I know one guy who’s sole method of lighting charcoal is to throw a whole bag, unwrapped on the bbq and light it. But, that’s not the best technique out there. And, it’s not the most economical either.

But, trying to light charcoal without a chimney starter is practically impossible unless you literally douse the charcoal in chemicals to get it going. So, if that doesn’t sound right to you, invest in one of these!

You simply pour in as much charcoal as you’d like, add a couple of natural fire-starters, or use newspaper underneath the chimney, light and let it do it’s thing. Your charcoal should be good to go in about 20 minutes and then you can pour it into your smoker and done. It’s that simple.

An absolute essential for charcoal smoking unless you want to go an electric charcoal starter.

Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter

BEST DURABLE
  • Durable
  • Cone-shaped grate helps get coals going
  • Comfortable handle with heat shield

Kingsford Quick Start Charcoal Chimney Starter

BEST TRIED & TRUE
  • Durable rust-resistant zinc steel
  • Heat shield keeps hands cool
  • Large capacity

Oklahoma Joe's Half-Time Charcoal Starter XL

BEST XL
  • Lights even faster than regular chimney
  • XL size perfect for lump charcoal
  • Stainless steel

High-Heat Barbecue Gloves

Either as an alternative to extra long tongs, or to use as well, a good quality pair of high-heat resistant gloves is another accessory we use every smoke.

Use them to pick up meat without damaging the bark, move coals around with your hands alone, or lift hot grates in and out without any struggle, gloves just make things less awkward! But, you’ve got to make sure they’re actually rated high enough to protect your hands. These are our favorites…

Steven Raichlen Extra Long Suede Grill Gloves

BEST NATURAL
  • Natural suede for non-rubber option
  • 18″ sleeve length protects arms
  • Comfortable and soft fabric makes for easy movement

RAPICCA BBQ Gloves 17 Inches

BEST LONG
  • Insulated, non-slip, food-grade neoprene rubber
  • Water, fire & stain resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Long enough to protect arms

Jolly Green Ekogrips BBQ Gloves

BEST WASHABLE
  • Heat resistant up to 425°F
  • BPA free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Just pick up your meat directly with these

Aluminum Foil or Butchers Paper

Racks Loaded Up on the Masterbuilt 40 Inch Digital Electric Smoker

Whether you’re using it to wrap meat, cover it to keep it warm, or, line a drip pan for easy cleaning, aluminum foil is hot property in any barbecue enthusiasts home. That is unless you’re keen on following Aaron Franklin’s wrapping technique of using butcher’s paper for better bark.

Regardless, you’re going to need one, or both of these things.

And, no, regular aluminum foil probably won’t cut it. When it comes to smoking or lining a huge pellet smoker drip tray, you’ll want the thicker, heavy-duty stuff. And, extra-wide will make things a whole heap easier too.

We personally use aluminum with paper underneath it for pork and paper for everything else. That’s what works best for us.

Reynolds Wrap Pitmaster's Choice Aluminum Foil

BEST HEAVY-DUTY
  • Extra wide
  • Highly resistant to tears and punctures
  • Made in the USA

Bryco Goods Butcher Paper

BEST VALUE
  • All natural – unbleached, unwaxed, uncoated
  • Strong and durable
  • Made in the USA

Bbq Butler Pink Butcher Paper

BEST LOOKING
  • Food safe
  • Durable – won’t rip after getting wet from juices
  • Looks good

Basting Brush, Mop or Spritzer Bottle

Keeping your meat moist and flavorful goes a long way to cooking great barbecue. And, most recipes call for you to baste or spritz your meat regularly throughout your cook.

So, what’s best to use?

For thicker sauces, we like silicone brushes that won’t suck it all up. But, for thinner sauces, we find silicone just won’t transfer enough and a cotton mop head will do a much better job. Or, for plain water or vinegar-based mixtures, a spritzer bottle means you don’t have to clean messy brushes.

Grab what you need for the baste type that you prefer. Or, you might like to try a couple. They’re all fairly cheap and sometimes it’s a bit of personal preference.

GRILLHOGS Silicone Sauce Basting Brush

BEST BRUSH
  • Ideal for loading up sauces
  • Durable stainless steel handle
  • Comes with 2 different sizes
  • Dishwasher safe

GRILLHOGS BBQ Basting Mop with Wooden Handle

BEST MOP
  • Perfect for applying thinner mixtures
  • Long handle keeps you away from the heat
  • Comes with 2 replaceable heads
  • Machine washable

BAR5F BPA-Free, Food-Grade Plastic Spray Bottles

BEST SPRAYER
  • Food safe
  • Adjustable nozzle
  • Pack of 2 – keep one for water and the other for vinegar bases
  • BPA free

Pen and Paper

You won’t normally see this suggested as one of the best smoker accessories. But, recording what you did this time so you can do the same, or refine your process for next time is probably THE most important thing you can do to get better at barbecue.

And, you’ve probably already got a pen and some spare paper lying about.

If not, or you want a special place to keep all your smoker related stuff, dedicated pitmaster journals are cheap, pretty much guide you through what you should be paying attention to, and, makes a good gift as well.

Hardcore Carnivore Pitmaster Log Book

BEST HARDCOVER
  • Tear resistant, blood, grease and sweat-proof
  • 50 blank templates
  • Faux leather hardcover

The Barbecue Smoker's Journal

BEST PORTABLE
  • 54 log sheets
  • Smaller, portable size
  • Page numbers for cross-referencing

All My BBQ Shit BBQ Journal

BEST SOFT COVER
  • Holds 54 records
  • 2 page layout
  • Lots of prompts to remind you what to write down

Rib Rack

Ribs take up a LOT of space on a smoker. It’s not an issue if you’re cooking up one rack for your family. But, everyone loves ribs so they’re a great thing to smoke for entertaining. If only you had enough space that is…

Your solution? A rib rack.

One of these will usually stack about 4 racks of ribs upright. There’s good airflow between the racks so they still get really smoky, and, they don’t impact the cook time. Basically, they just save you money and time because you can cook more at once.

Sorbus Porcelain-Coated Rib Rack

BEST 4-RACK
  • Fits 4 racks
  • Non-stick, durable steel
  • Fits most smokers

SOLIGT Extra Long 304 Stainless Steel Rib Rack

BEST EXTRA LONG
  • Premium stainless steel
  • Holds 3, extra-long rib racks
  • Money-back guarantee

Dracarys BBQ Rib Rack For Larger Smokers

BEST WIDE
  • 304 grade stainless steel
  • Larger gap between racks
  • Easy to clean

Grill Cleaning Brush

Cleaning your smoker grates is kind of like stretching after a good bench session. Everyone knows you should do it but you’ve already got the goods so it’s low priority.

But, grill cleaning brushes are cheap and actually make the job a whole lot easier. They’re a worthwhile purchase, will last a long time, and, help your grates stay in better condition.

When buying a tool to help clean your grates, avoid ones with wire bristles. They can damage your grates, break off, hang around and then get eaten along with your next meal. Sponges also just fill with junk, break off and become a huge mess quickly so avoid those too.

If you want to learn more about what NOT to buy, check out our review of the best grill brushes.

But, for the quick version, here’s the ones we do like…

Easy Function Wood Grill Scraper

BEST PERFORMER
  • All natural
  • Molds to fit any grate shape
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cave Tools Grill Scraper

BEST METAL
  • Universal fit
  • Extended leather handle
  • Lifetime satisfaction guarantee

Kona Bristle-Free Grill Cleaning Brush

BEST WIRE
  • No bristles
  • 3 brushes in 1 for better clean
  • Suitable for all grill types

Tube Smoker

A cheap and versatile piece of kit, tube smokers aren’t just for pellet smokers. They can literally be used in any type of smoker to boost the smoke levels for more flavor, cold smoke meats, or, as an easy and better alternative to wood chips in charcoal smokers.

Tube smokers are also the easiest and cheapest way to convert a gas grill to a smoker.

Their perforated shape is designed for optimal airflow to burn 100% hardwood smoking pellets at the best rate for smoke production without burning through it too fast. They’re far better than the traditional tin for wood chips. And, most can actually be used with wood chips too if you’d prefer, although, quality pellets burn better and for longer.

These are a selection of the best tube smokers we’ve tried and tested.

Lanney 12" Stainless Steel Pellet Tube Smoker

BEST VALUE
  • Durable stainless steel
  • Hexagonal shape won’t roll around
  • Satisfaction guarantee

LIZZQ Pellet Smoker Tube

BEST DURABLE
  • Burns for up to 5 hours
  • Quality stainless steel
  • Produces a lot of smoke

BBQFAM 6" EZ Smoker Tube

BEST SMALL
  • Shorter tube suits shorter smokes
  • Stainless steel
  • Hexagonal shape won’t roll

Mason Jars

Mason Jars and Spices

Making your own dry spice mixes is a lot cheaper than buying pre-made packets. And, having a few mason jars in your cupboard will give you a good sized container to mix them in. You can also make up extra and store them in the jars. And, have a few different ones going at a time for different meat types.

Mason jars are also great for making and storing mops, sauces and glazes.

Tip – get ones that are at least 16 oz so you’ve got plenty of space. Plus, you want the regular sized lids so you can get spoons, brushes and mops in there easily.

I’ve got a whole shelf of them. Problem is my wife keeps trying to swipe them for everything else! I guess I should add Mason jars to her birthday wish list…

12 Pack 16 oz Ball Mason Jar with Lids

BEST VALUE
  • Decent size
  • Lids included for shaking mixes and storage
  • Bulk pack

McCormick Culinary Paprika & Garlic

BEST VALUE
  • 2 essentials for any smoked meat
  • Bulk value
  • High quality

Over-Rated Smoker Accessories

With everyone trying to make a dollar, there’s a lot of accessories out there. And, you really don’t need them all!

These are some of the smoker accessories we’ve tried and don’t think are worth the money:

Super sharp handheld tools used to pull pork apart after smoking, we think if you’ve done it right, a couple of forks should do the trick. Plus, they’re pretty dangerous if you’ve got kids around!

I don’t know about you but whenever I’m smoking at night, I always turn the outside light on. Having extra grill lights attached to the smoker is just a pain. But, if you’re out camping or something, we see they might be useful.

They sound good on paper. But, if you’ve got high-heat gloves, it’s so much easier to just put them on and pick up grates with your hands instead of fiddling with an extra tool.

Arranging your charcoal for optimal efficiency is definitely useful. And, charcoal rakes do a good job. But, again, if you’ve got high-heat gloves, pick them up and move them, or use your barbecue tongs. It’s one less thing to buy and have sitting around.

Tool sets tend to be worse quality then just buying individual tools. And, you’re paying for the case as well. We prefer to just buy what we actually use which are extra-long tongs for smoking and an extra-long spatula for grilling burgers.

They’re difficult to use and often don’t actually put out that much smoke. If you’re looking for an easy way to add wood smoke, or boost the total amount, pellet tube smokers are far more effective and are easier to use.

FAQs About the Best Smoker Accessories

At a minimum, to make barbecuing as easy as possible, every guy or gal needs a pair of heavy-duty tongs and a meat thermometer.

Check out the list above for more of our personally used and recommended smoker accessories.

Apart from a smoker itself, if you’re just starting out with barbecue, do yourself the biggest favor and buy yourself a meat thermometer.

What this does it measures the internal temperature of your meat (some do the ambient temperature too), to tell you exactly when your meat is ready. It’s the extra info you need to turn good into great, and it’s not just a beginner tool, the pitmasters use them too.

Other than that, invest in a pair of quality bbq tongs (regular just won’t cut it), and our absolute favorite, all-natural grate scraper to make cleaning a breeze.

If you’re looking to get someone who loves to bbq a gift, there’s plenty of regular ideas on this list. But, you might find that they’ve got most of these basics already. So, check out our unique bbq gift ideas for some ideas they’re less likely to have. Or, go for a laugh with one of these.

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Kate Brown, the founder and voice behind Burning Brisket, is not your typical pitmaster or restaurateur. Her expertise in barbecue grew from a humble desire to cook exceptional meals for her family. From overcoming burnt brisket mishaps to establishing her boutique cattle ranch, Kate shares her passion to help 'ordinary' individuals cook extraordinary barbecue, believing that simplicity often yields the best flavors. Kate is committed to making great barbecue accessible to all with the right resources and some tasty practice.

About Burning Brisket

Burning Brisket is one of the leading, independent authorities on all things barbecue. Family-owned and run, it's our mission uncomplicate the art of smoking to help you enjoy making incredible food at home for your family and friends to create memories over.

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