Picture this: You've invited everyone over for a barbecue and, as you're chucking steaks, burgers, and chicken into your cart, you realize you need tongs, a spatula, and other basic grilling tools. You had stuff last year but it kinda got ruined (whoops!). With all you have to do to get ready for guests, you don't have time to make another stop at Bed Bath & Beyond or Williams Sonoma to outfit yourself with equipment. Luckily, you don't have to.
After spending more than 30 years testing products at the Good Housekeeping Institute, I've become pretty used to just tuning out the kitchen equipment at grocery stores. But it turns out, some of it — especially the grilling gear — is perfectly fine. And it's remarkably inexpensive.
You'll find two major brands of grilling tools in the grocery store: Mr. Bar B-Q and GoodCook. Both offer solid pieces with features that make sense. I did some scouting to reveal some quality finds.
At around $15, this trio is a total steal. It includes long-handled stainless steel basics of tongs, a fork, and a spatula. Without a doubt, the standout piece is the hefty slotted spatula with serrated cutting edges on either side, and a bottle opener in the handle. All three tools nest together, making it easy to stash them away between cookouts.
Or buy online: Mr. Bar-B-Q 3 Piece Tool Set, $13
For post-grilling cleanup, pick up this scrubber for around $10. You'll find the design super effective at scraping the gunk off grates and it won't leave bristles behind that can wind up in your hamburgers.
Or buy online: Mr. Bar-B-Q's Spiral Grid Brush, $10 at Stein Mart
I found this handsome stainless steel flipper with a rosewood handle and rawhide hanging strap for a mere 10 bucks. It's anything but flimsy and looks an awful lot like ones that sell for a whole lot more. It has serrated edges and a built-in bottle cap remover.
Or buy online: GoodCook BBQ Turner, $10
Nothing beats a perforated wok for grilling small items like veggies or seafood that can easily fall below the grates. GoodCook's 12-inch square one has plenty of headroom for tossing, a nonstick surface formulated for the high heat of the grill, and stainless steel handles for easy maneuvering.
What a fun find! This fork can expand from 23 inches up to 31, making it easy for the kids to safely roast hot dogs or marshmallows on the grill or over a fire pit. At only $6 for a set of two, you can pick up several.
Buy: Hershey's Extendable Cooking Forks, $6 for two at Lowe's
Have you bought cooking tools (either grilling-related or not) at the supermarket? What'd you get and what did you think? Discuss in the comments below!