In our house, the official-unofficial beginning of summer is that first day of the year that the weather is warm enough to eat food outside with our hands. And by food, I mean burgers.

To kick off burger season, I’ve put together my five favorite accessories that will help make burger prep and grilling that much easier.

Of course before you get grilling, you will need a good grill. Personally I would be delighted with Good Housekeeping’s #1 propane grill pick, but the classic Weber charcoal grill will never do you wrong.

Next, you want to clean that grill after it’s winter hibernation with this genius grill cleaning trick.

Then, then let grilling season begin! Yay!

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Related: 10 of the very best grilling hacks for cookout and barbecue season

5 grilling tools that help you achieve that perfect burger

 

Mercer-Culinary-Handle-Turner-Spatula

1. A good turner/spatula

For just $16, the Mercer Culinary Hell’s Handle Heavy Duty Turner/Spatula tops my must-have list. It has a heat resistant handle, which is so important when you’re cooking over a flame, plus it’s sturdy enough to flip those double stuffed burgers. If you happen to have a partner or husband who tends to walk off with grilling tools and misplace them (ahem), for this price, you could order two.

 

ShapeandStoreBurgerPress

2. A silicone burger shaper

This silicone Shape + Store Burger Master 8-in-1 Innovative Burger Press is genius! You can quickly and easily shape 8 perfect burger patties with this handy tool — and it keeps you from handling a burger too much, so the meat stays tender.

It actually doubles as a freezer container, so can pop the entire tray in to freeze the patties in the mold, then just drop them frozen, right onto the grill. Plus it transports easily to a park or beach if you’re grilling on-the-go, or toting your own veggie burgers to a family cookout.

Related: 5 mouthwatering burger recipes for summer grilling

 

Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press

3. A grill press

For those perfect grill marks on your burger, this Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press does the trick. We’re big fans! It helps burgers keep their shape while cooking, but more importantly, it allows heat to distribute evenly, which should impart a richer flavor in whatever you’re grilling. It’s also handy for getting rid of excess fat and oil from your burger, but still keeping them juicy.

 

 

The best oven mitts for kids: Actually, they're oven gloves!

4. Oven gloves

Liz recently wrote about these fabulous oven mitt gloves from Beets & Berry that I recommended to her, to help her daughter get more comfortable with an oven. But I’ve found that not only are they great for inside kitchen use, they are perfect for protecting your hands and forearms while working over a hot grill — they are heat resistant up to 932 degrees.

Not that you can walk around carrying a 900-degree tray for an hour or anything, but they’re very helpful when you need more dexterity than bulky grilling mitts allow.

Related: Delicious vegetarian cookout ideas even meat-lovers will love

 

 

ThermoPro-Wireless-Digital-Cooking-Thermometer

5. A great meat thermometer

Take the guess work out trying to determine if your food is the right temperature by using a good cooking thermometer like this ThermoPro Wireless Digital Meat Thermometer. Trust me, making sure your food gets to the right temperature before eating it can take a lot of stress out of grilling — and saves you from cutting into beautiful cuts of meat to check for doneness.

While there are others that are more basic, I love that this thermometer is hands-free thermometer and sends the temperature reading to a separate monitor, so you don’t even have to open and close the grill cover over and over to check on your food — and that can actually make a difference in your grilling.

If you’re a tech gadget type, spend a little more for the Bluetooth TheramaPro Meat Thermometer, which lets you check the temp right on your phone. Amazing.

Top Image: Joshua Kantarges on Unsplash

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