12 things that will elevate your backyard BBQ, according to an expert

BBQ, man with tattoo on arm wearing beige cargo shorts standing next to bbw with food on grill
It's summertime, which means BBQ season is here: Time to get grilling! (Photo via Getty)

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Summer's in full swing, which means it's time to fire up the BBQ and enjoy some char-grilled grub. Whether you're a year-round grill master or have yet to replenish last year's propane tank, Chef Michael Gray, M&M Food Market's head of product innovation, is here to help Canadians avoid common grilling gaffes and get the most out of barbeque season.

First, remember to 'spring clean' your BBQ

Chef Grey told Yahoo Canada that it is extremely important to spring clean your barbecue.

"Cleaning is a crucial step, and grilling amateurs and pros alike tend to overlook it," Grey said.

Grey suggests removing the build-up from last season to prevent grease fire and terrible tasting food and always check to make sure your BBQ is in working order and clean before lighting it up.

"For safety reasons, wooden scrapers are ideal. Don’t have a scraper? No problem. A ball of aluminum foil makes for a surprisingly effective scrubbing tool," Grey added.

Easy Function Grill Scraper

Easy Function Grill Scraper, wooden bbq scraper and box with red box on it (Photo via Amazon)
Easy Function Grill Scraper (Photo via Amazon)

$29 at Amazon

When asked for tips on having a successful BBQ season, Dara Greenberg, barbecue expert at The Home Depot Canada, told Yahoo Canada that grilling is all about experimenting with new ways to cook and having fun.

Think outside the box: BBQ accessories

“Consider building your arsenal of accessories to broaden the scope of your cooking from just burgers and hot dogs to creating an entire meal. You can buy grilling baskets, rib racks, cedar planks… the list goes on," Greenberg said. "And investing in a wireless thermometer is always a great buy as it will help ensure that you cook your food to perfection!”

Weber Stainless Steel Grill Basket

Weber Stainless Steel Grill Basket with vegetables and shrimp grilling on BBQ (Photo via The Home Depot)
Weber Stainless Steel Grill Basket (Photo via The Home Depot)

$31 at The Home Depot

When it comes to shopping for gas grills, Greenberg said it is important to think about how many people you are cooking for and how often you will be using your grill.

“If, for instance, you have a family of four and plan on grilling three or more times a week for the spring/summer season, then you should ensure you look at grills that have at least three burners and come with a strong warranty to protect your investment," suggested Greenberg.

"You should also think about the type of foods you will be cooking. As an example, if you like to make chicken, consider a grill that you can add on a rotisserie kit to, or if you like to sear your steak, look for a grill with a sear station,” Greenberg added.

To help sort out your BBQ season, we've rounded up 12 backyard grilling must-haves, starting from $22.

Backyard BBQ must-haves: Splurge

Weber Spirit EX-315 Smart Grill

weber Spirit SX-315 Smart Grill in stainless steel in backyard (Photo via Weber)
Spirit SX-315 Smart Grill (Photo via Weber)

Grilling just got smarter with the launch of Weber’s wifi-enabled grills. Weber makes grilling the perfect meal easy by integrating its Weber ConnectTM technology into its top-selling Genesis and Spirit gas grill lines. These smart grills offer a precision grilling experience that caters to each griller’s individual cooking needs – from real-time food monitoring and grill notifications, so you don’t have to lift the lid of the grill, to notifications guiding you on when to flip your food, to temperature tracking and food doneness monitoring.

$1,100 at Weber

Traeger Pro 575 Wifi Pellet Grill

Traeger Pro 575 Wifi Pellet bbq grill on patio against green trees (Photo via Traeger)
Traeger Pro 575 Wifi Pellet (Photo via Traeger)

The Traeger Pro 575 uses WiFIRE technology, which allows you to monitor and adjust your grill anytime, anywhere from the Traeger app on your smartphone. The Pro Series wifi pellet grills now start quicker, heat up faster, and put out better smoke quality giving you consistent results infused with wood-fired flavour.

$1,200 at Traeger

Mercury Row 4-Person Dining Set

Mercury Row 4-Person Dining Set in brown wood against blue pool and stones (Photo via Wayfair)
Mercury Row 4-Person Dining Set (Photo via Wayfair)

Create a cozy and comfortable outdoor lounge area with Mercury Row's four-person dining set. The solid wood set comes with four chairs and one table. For a limited time, Wayfair shoppers can save a whopping 59 per cent on the "elegant and very comfortable" dining set.

$560 $1,380 at Wayfair

Backyard BBQ must-haves: Spend

Ninja FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill

Ninja FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill with six steaks on burner
Ninja FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill - Amazon, $399

Thanks to Ninja's indoor-friendly grill, everyone can enjoy the taste of BBQ this summer, regardless of their set-up. The unit's cool air zones and cyclonic grilling technology minimizes smoke, delivering a delicious char-grilled taste. This easy-to-clean appliance doubles as an air fryer so you can crisp-up yummy side dishes, like homemade French fries or crunchy zucchini chips.

$370 at Amazon

MEATER+165ft Long Range Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer

MEATER+165ft Long Range Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer with black glove, smart phone and wooden meater box
MEATER+165ft Long Range Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer - Amazon, $220

This wireless smart meat thermometer is perfect for outdoor cooking. Monitor your food using the free app available for smartphones and tablets. It has dual temperature sensors that allow you to monitor the meat's internal and external temperatures. It can also estimate how long to cook your food and help you manage your time.

$150 at Amazon

BBQ Accessories Set

BBQ Accessories Set with knives, barbecue and grill accessories tools (Photo via Amazon)
BBQ Accessories Set (Photo via Amazon)

This 36-piece accessories kit sets you up for BBQ success. The top-rated set comes backed by hundreds of five-star reviews from Amazon shoppers, who say it's "very worth" the investment.

$60 at Amazon

Backyard BBQ must-haves: Save

FoodSaver Marinating Containers Set

three pieces of tupperware with food, FoodSaver Marinating Containers Set (Photo via Amazon)
FoodSaver Marinating Containers Set (Photo via Amazon)

This three-piece set of marinating containers keeps food fresh for up to twice as long as regular storage containers. The vacuum seal lets you know when the container is airtight so that your food stays fresher for longer.

$55 at Canadian Tire

Barbecue Rubs to Go: Grill Edition Gift Set

Barbecue Rubs to Go: Grill Edition Gift Set in orange and brown box with bqq rubs (Photo via Amazon)
Barbecue Rubs to Go: Grill Edition Gift Set (Photo via Amazon)

This gift set includes five BBQ rubs, including Cajun, Caribbean, Mexican, Southwest and Memphis. According to one Amazon reviewer, the flavours are "tasty."

$22 at Amazon

Napoleon BBQ Smoking Starter Kit

Napoleon BBQ Smoking Starter Kit with wood pellets on black background (Photo via The Home Depot)
Napoleon BBQ Smoking Starter Kit (Photo via The Home Depot)

Turn your gas grill into a smoker with Napoleon's BBQ Smoking Starter Kit. Fill the stainless steel smoker tube halfway with the chips of your choice, submerge in water, then place on the sear plates of your grill. Preheat the grill to low and place whatever you're smoking on the grill. Close the lid and cook low and slow for perfectly smoked flavour.

$36 at The Home Depot

BBQ Mesh Grill Bags

two black BBQ Mesh Grill Bags with vegetables and meat (Photo via Amazon)
BBQ Mesh Grill Bags (Photo via Amazon)

These BBQ-friendly mesh bags make grilling shrimp, fish, vegetables, and potatoes a breeze. The non-stick grilling bags have snap-closure buttons to ensure that nothing slips out and falls between the grates.

$27 at Amazon

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