5 Need-to-Have Grilling Tools

Get the job done right with these handy grilling tools

1. Long-handled tongs with a spring-loaded hinge for turning food, adding wood chips and poking the fire.

2. Long-handled grill spatula for turning soft foods like tofu or fish fillets. Look for one with a large blade and a bent handle to get under foods easily, so you can flip like an expert.

3. Long-handled basting brush to apply marinades and sauces and to keep meats moist.

4. Instant-read meat thermometer for accurately gauging the internal temperature of the meat. It's the only way to ensure that the meat is safe to eat without overcooking.

5. Long-handled, stiff wire brush for cleaning the grill grate easily. It's most effective if used soon after you finish grilling.

Steven Raichlen is the author of several award-winning cookbooks, including The Barbecue Bible, and host of PBS's Barbecue University. For more grilling tips, visit http://www.barbecuebible.com.