Best Smoker Accessories
Whether you’re gifting someone a new smoker or getting into smoking for the first time, you want to know what the most important smoker essentials are. We’ve got a list of the best smoker accessories that ensure you or your loved one is ready to fire the smoker up and create great barbecue. When it…
Whether you’re gifting someone a new smoker or getting into smoking for the first time, you want to know what the most important smoker essentials are. We’ve got a list of the best smoker accessories that ensure you or your loved one is ready to fire the smoker up and create great barbecue.
When it comes to smoking meat a couple crucial areas need to be considered.
- Ambient Temperature Management
- Food Temperature Monitoring
- Smoker Maintenance and Upkeep
- Food Management for Pre and Post Smoking
- Meat Handling Tools
Our list of 10 items will help in these 5 critical categories. Read on to understand the benefits of these tools. Read our top grilling accessories as well.
Angry BBQ’s Top 10 Smoker Accessories
1. Wireless Meat Thermometer – Tyhpur Sync
When it comes to smoking meat low-and-slow, the cooking process isn’t so much about time as baking or other cooking methods. We’re concerned with the internal temperature of these big cuts of meat like brisket or pork butts. We’ve tested a number of these thermometers, and the Typhur Sync is our absolute favorite.
Here at Angry BBQ, we’ve never encountered a wireless meat thermometer with an accuracy anywhere near as close as the Sync. In fact, it rivals the accuracy of an instant read thermometer.
The Sync also gives you the ability to monitor two temperatures (internal food temps and ambient temps) at once with that level of accuracy. How does it do that? Each of the stainless steel probes houses six temperature sensors that gather more data than any other wireless meat thermometer we’ve tested.
It also features multiple ways to check temperatures. The charging base has a built-in screen that shows the internal temperature and ambient temperature readings of both probes. The Sync also boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. So no matter whether you’re standing by your grill, inside your house, or at the store, you can keep an eye on the super-accurate temperatures.
Check off #1 and #2 categories of measuring ambient smoker temps and food temps with one device. Nice.
2. Instant-Read Thermometer – ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE
While we typically rely on a wireless meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of meat, an instant read thermometer still plays a critical role in the barbecue world. So you want the best possible, the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE. You can use it to get a quick read on a cut of meat that you can’t insert a wireless meat thermometer into such as a rack of spare ribs.
You can also use it to simply probe a brisket or pork butt to determine the texture of the meat. We track temperature to make sure the meat hits a certain threshold, but then we check the texture to ensure that it is the proper consistency. You don’t want to serve a slice of brisket that is still tough, nor do you want to attempt to shred a pork butt that still is trying to hold itself together.
Some people call probing a perfectly-done brisket like probing room-temperature butter. Some others say the best way to understand is by using your instant read thermometer to probe a jar of peanut butter. Regardless of the terminology, you’re looking for no resistance when you send the tip of the temperature probe into the meat. An instant-read thermometer is an integral part of your cooking arsenal, so make sure you’ve got a good one at arm’s reach.
Check off #2 category of monitoring and instantly verifying meat temps while also testing tenderness.
3. Heat-Resistant Gloves – Grill Armor Gloves
Sure, we might not be dealing with high heat in the cooking chamber of a smoker as compared to a grill. However, metal doesn’t have to be all that hot to hurt you. So we recommend getting yourself a good set of Grill Armor Gloves.
These gloves offer plenty of heat protection as they are rated to withstand temperatures of up to 932°F. I’ve used them around a big offset smoker for tossing wood in and did not come close to burning myself.
You don’t sacrifice functionality for heat protection either. The cotton lining means you aren’t dealing with the fibers scratching the silicone overlay of the gloves which means I don’t worry about a wrapped pork butt falling out of my hands when I’m pulling it off.
Just remember, as with most of these fabric-based grill gloves, if you get them wet they lose their heat resistance. Nothing like hot pork butt juices dripping through and burning your hands. You’ll definitely feel that.
Check off #5 Meat Handling Tools.
4. Grill Tongs – Grill Hogs 3-Pack
You may think grilling when you hear tongs, but a good set of tongs is welcome around my smoker anytime. The GrillHogs 3-pack gives you great value with tongs that are perfect for whatever situation you’re facing. It has a smaller nine-inch pair for use inside and longer 12- and 16-inch pairs that work whether you’ve got a smaller or larger smoker.
These GrillHogs tongs have scalloped teeth which gives you plenty of grip. You won’t have to worry about dropping that rack of St Louis-style ribs when you give them the bend test. You also don’t have to worry about your tongs suddenly bending or twisting with food due to the thick metal construction.
Storage is also a breeze as these tongs lock closed and have a metal loop for hanging on tool hooks. Each pair of tongs also has wood grips so your hands stay put and they look good too.
Easy meat handling, check.
5. Grill Brush Suited For Your Smoker’s Grates
Maybe you’re used to just getting a traditional wire grill brush and going to town on your smoker’s grates. However, if you’ve got stainless steel or porcelain-enameled grates, you’re scraping the surface, and that can lead to food sticking and your grates wearing out sooner rather than later.
If your smoker has bare cast iron cooking grates, we recommend the POLIGO 18” Grill Cleaner Brush. The combination of the three banks of coiled wire and the scraper ensures you’ll be able to tackle the worst messes on your smoker. Just remember to re-season those grates!
Your pellet grill likely has porcelain-enameled cooking grates, so you want something a little less scratchy. My personal favorite is the Grillaholics Essential Brass Grill Brush. It’s tough enough to tackle caked-on food debris without damaging the protective coating on your grates.
If you are set in your ways and want a traditional wire grill brush, check out the GRILLART Grill Brush. It has wire bristles and a scraper just like most grill brushes we remember growing up with. However, it has a modern twist with three banks of wires for the best ability to get between grates no matter the design or layout.
That checks off smoker maintenance.
6. Proper Wood For Your Smoker
What sets barbecue apart from just cooking meat at low temperatures slowly in a slow cooker or an oven is the presence of wood smoke flavor. Now whether you need wood chips, chunks, pellets, or logs depends on the type of grill or smoker you have.
Quick rundown here: If you’ve got an electric or propane smoker, you’ll want to use wood chips. If you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, you can use wood chips or wood pellets in a smoke tube or smoke box, wood chips in a foil packet, or even wood chunks directly on top of the heat source.
And yes, you can smoke on a gas grill. It’s just not ideal.
If you’re smoking on a pellet grill, you want to ensure that you’ve got food-grade wood pellets, not heating pellets. We are big fans of Bear Mountain BBQ pellets here at Angry BBQ, so check them out if you use pellet grills regularly as we do.
As for a traditional offset smoker, you’ll be using wood logs. No, not the same sort of logs that you’ll find lumberjacks (or lumber companies) chopping down. You can go into different home improvement or outdoor stores and buy boxes of wood splits that will fit in a firebox and burn for quite a while. Just make sure you are burning hard woods and not soft woods, as soft woods have toxins in their smoke when burned.
Once you know what cut of wood your grill or smoker needs, then there are the flavors. We’ve got an easy chart here that will help guide you as you start your smoking journey. However, don’t take this chart as the end-all-be-all of wood smoking. One of the best parts of smoking in your own backyard is that you can make it your own. Feel free to experiment with your flavors once you’ve got the basics down!
7. Cutting Board
Once you’re done smoking your meat and letting it rest, it’s time to serve. No matter what you’re cutting, you need a good surface. Now we here at Angry BBQ believe in supporting local woodworkers, so take some time to look for someone making high-quality cutting boards in your area. Just make sure you get one long enough to handle a whole brisket if you’re doing that!
However, if you’re having a hard time finding quality options in your area, check out this XXL Thick Edge Grain Teak Wood Cutting Board from Sonder Los Angeles. It looks absolutely stunning for those Instagram-worthy pictures.
However, it isn’t just there for looks. It has a juice groove cut into the surface to help ensure meat juices don’t spill all over your kitchen counter or table when you’re slicing. It also is 23 inches long which means you can slice into a full packer brisket without worrying about it flopping off the cutting board. Similar to Mikes above.
Check mark for the pre/post-smoking food management category
8. Slicing Knife – Hexclad Carving Knife
When it comes to getting a perfectly tender slice of brisket flat, you can use a chef’s knife. However, for best results, you’re going to want to use a slicing or carving knife. The Hexclad carving knife is perfect for this.
Everything you want in a slicer is here. The scallops in the sides of the knife blade ensure that meat doesn’t stick to the blade and falls away. The end of the knife is rounded so you can’t accidentally stab your meat (or anyone for that matter,) which keeps the meat intact.
Then there’s the look of the knife. It’s Japanese Damascus steel so not only is it quality, it looks amazing as well. Hexclad then opted for a deep green wood handle made from pakkawood to complete the look. This knife will slice whatever you put in front of it and it will be the star of the show while doing it.
The old check for the food/meat management category.
9. Boning Knife
It might not be the first type of knife you think of when you’re preparing for a nice long smoking session, but a boning knife is an essential part of a pitmaster’s arsenal. Its thin and semiflexible blade is perfect for cutting excess fat or cutting through joints. So whether you’re trimming a brisket or even breaking down a whole chicken to smoke some thighs or drumsticks, a boning knife is important.
We have a couple favorites such as the Mercer Culinary’s Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set, or the Victorinox Boning Knife our top pick for a BBQ knife set. While it may never win any awards for the best-looking knife, Mercer’s boning knife is perfect for prep work.
The blade is made from Japanese stainless steel, ensuring you will have a blade that will last quite a while as long as you clean it properly. It also has a polypropylene handle that is comfortable to use and you don’t have to worry about getting ruined through repeated washing.
Pre-Smoking Meat Preparation Double Check.
10. Cooler – Coleman 316 Series
Earlier, when discussing the need for a cutting board, we mentioned resting meat. This is the often-overlooked part of the cooking process where you keep a cut of meat held in a warm environment to let the juices redistribute. This can be done in an oven set to “Warm” or anywhere between 170°-180°F.
You can also use a cooler to hold wrapped meat. The Coleman 52QT 316 Series is perfect for holding a whole packer brisket, pork butts, or racks of ribs. It’s fully insulated so it will keep your meat at the proper temperature for up to a couple of hours before serving.
It’s also perfect for keeping around the smoker, too. Coleman says that all that insulation will keep ice for up to three days in temperatures up to 90°F. Plenty for keeping yourself hydrated during a long smoking session. The cooler’s lid also supports up to 250 pounds so it can serve as an extra seat or footstool.
Post-Smoking Meat Management, Check.
Whether you’re getting into smoking barbecue for the first time or helping someone get into it, this list will help set you up for success with the tools and accessories you need around the smoker. While this doesn’t guarantee perfect barbecue, these accessories will help you remove plenty of obstacles so you can direct your entire focus on learning and cooking.
If you’re looking for some recipes to get started, we recommend starting with pulled pork. Michael Haas’s Aaron Franklin-inspired Smoked Pork Butt recipe is an easy way to get started and will give you delicious pulled pork.
Do you have any go-to barbecue accessories that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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