Here are some items I have tested and continue to use with great results. Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” Trust me…this stuff is the best of the best if you want quality stuff that works. Click on the blue links and you can add items directly to your Amazon cart!

Weber Grills. I have been using Weber products for years and they never let me down. For charcoal, I like the Weber 22″ Silver. The great addition with this premium grill is the ash catcher. For propane, I like the Weber Spirit II. I like the 2 burners which give me lots of control. Plenty of grill space to handle a family meal. Check out my Grill page to get more hints about the differences between charcoal and gas grilling. If you like charcoal, you must get the Weber Coal Baskets. They make grilling and smoking so much easier. I also have a 22″ grate with hinged sides. You will appreciate these when you need to add wood chips for smoking.

Tools. If you want to put on a performance, you need the right tools. For me, it starts with good solid grilling tongs. If you can’t do the “click – click” before opening the grill, what’s the point? Check out your local restaurant supply store or here is an online option you can have shipped to your door. If you want to use my Prime Rib method, you need a superior carving knife. Want to wow your guests…get a jalapeno popper rack for the grill. I use mini sweet peppers and stuff with cream cheese, bacon, and chives. Be sure to buy the right size peppers so they fit properly in the rack. If you plan to rotisserie, you need a spit. Since Weber is my brand, I have a Weber Rotisserie set for my Spirit II. Here is a nice unit that is compatible with Weber products: OneGrill. Be certain to get an electric model and not battery powered. When it dies in the middle of a long cook, you’ll understand why.

Must-haves. Sometimes you want to grill inside. When this happens, I turn to the Cuisinart Griddler. We’ve grilled ahi tuna, chops, and burgers…flipped the grates and made great paninis! Another small appliance I love is the 3-compartment buffet server. Perfect for holidays and entertaining. The Himalayan Salt Block is a fun way to cook and entertain tableside. I like this model because it comes with a carry rack, which is a must.

The Portable Hot Tub. I know this isn’t food or drink related, but it is one of the best purchases I have ever made and it fits into the entertaining theme. Everybody asks how to get one and many of my friends and family have already purchased this brand. I’ve had two of these portable units over 6 years. The first edition was replaced last year, not because it wore out, but because some of our rural critters did some damage. Our new unit works great! Intex PureSpa has a whole line of premium products and we are more than happy with the durability of the product. Here are both models we use.  Start having fun!

Intex PureSpa 4 Person

Intex Simple Spa 4 Person

Timers, temperature probes and instant-read thermometers. I am a huge fan of Maverick wireless temperature probes for grilling and smoking. These units allow you to monitor 4 separate oven, grill or meat temps simultaneously. It’s also a remote transmitter so you can enjoy a drink inside the house while your grill does it’s thing. Don’t worry, it will let you know when your food reaches the desired temp. You can order here: Maverick PRO-Series XR-50. This system works great for remote monitoring, but sometime you need an instant-read thermometer. I use a couple. The first is a Weber product and has been very reliable: Weber Instant Read Meat Thermometer. Works great and fairly inexpensive. The other one I use is the old school model from my restaurant days. No batteries and will last you practically forever: Instant Read Thermometer

Help from friends. We all need a little help sometimes. When in doubt, turn to Steven Raichlen. Besides great recipes for entrees, appetizers, marinades and sauces, Steven has pro-tips to make you a better griller. I recommend these 2 books whether you are a novice or professional:  The Barbecue! Bible and How to GrillAnother must have if you want to be an expert griller, and highly recommended from Steven Raichlen is a professional, long-handle grill brush. Stainless Steel Grill Brush

Cast Iron. Lodge Cast Iron is my favorite brand for everything cast iron. Made in the USA, premium quality and super durable. In my full-service restaurant days we exclusively used Lodge skillets to perform all of our Cajun blackening. Salmon, tenderloin, prime rib, boneless chicken breasts, grouper, scallops, etc. Here are my recommendations for every griller: