Welcome to Friday Favorites. In this series, our team shares a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

‘Tis the season to crack open a beer, pour a little whiskey over ice, or grab some iced tea and head over to the grill.

Whether you like to work with gas, charcoal, or even a smoker, there is something magical about grilling season. I don’t know if it is the smell of the food, the solitude because the kids can’t stand the heat, or the look on my wife’s face when I tell her that I’ll cook (some of) dinner, but it draws me in every time.

Now, there are several tools and extras to use with the grill. Some aren’t worth it, and some are ridiculous. But there are a lot of items that make your work on the grill easier, better tasting, and more fun. Here are my top 5 in no particular order.

Do you have something to add? Let us know in the comments!

MA DEUCE SEASONING

My wife introduced me to Grill You’re A** Off, a veteran owned business, a couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back. My favorite to use is Ma Deuce, a gritty steak seasoning that works well on everything. If you aren’t sure that is for you, check out the sampler pack. In addition to seasonings, they have smoked salts, jerky, sauces, and dips as well. Don’t forget to check out the Instagram page for GYAO. It is full of mouth-watering pictures of food. Lucky for you, they now have a cookbook to help recreate some of those recipes.

DIGITAL THERMOMETER

A digital thermometer is useful in the kitchen and outside on the grill. We have gone through several but have landed on this one. It is easy to use and more importantly, is accurate.

SALT BLOCK

If you haven’t cooked with a salt block, you are missing out. A salt block conducts heat efficiently and is great for meat, poultry, seafood, veggies, and even fruits on the grill. You can even use it to bake in your oven. The salt block is a healthy way to grill while adding complex flavors to your food from dozens of minerals used in the block.

HEAVY SPATULA

As for tools to use on the grill, a heavy spatula is a must. You need one that is durable but also maneuverable. If I am grilling a large cut of meat, I like this shorter, fatter one. I will occasionally use the teeth at the end to clean as I go. If you are looking for a good grilling set that includes an actual tool to clean, try this one.

While I was looking, I came across this fancy little tool. Have you tried it? Let me know what you think. Better yet, just tell my wife that I want one for Father’s Day.

MEAT CLAWS

Once you are finished on the grill (or even in the oven or slow cooker), grab the meat claws. These make shredding meat so simple, even my ten-year old will do it for me. They are good for lifting large pieces of meat off the grill as well. The claws are made of durable plastic with handles built close to the business end, giving you all of the leverage you need to shred that brisket like you are Wolverine.

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