Sure every backyard BBQer knows that you need big tongs and a long-handled spatula(unless you want to burn all of the hair off of your arms), but there are also a few gadgets that you should buy if you really want to impress people with your mad skillz.
First and foremost is the charcoal chimney starter.
This gadget allows you to start your coals without using any lighter fluid. There are instructions on the nerd net for making your own out of an old coffee can and wire coat hanger. That sh*t looks dangerous, spend the 10 bucks and get a real one. What you do is stuff newspaper in the bottom(the end with the holes) and pour your charcoal in the top. Light the newspaper in a couple of places and leave it alone for a few minutes, it will heat up your coals on its own. Are your coals good and hot yet? Ok, grab the handle and carefully dump them out into your grill…which brings me to my next point oven mitts.
Get yourself a good pair of insulated BBQ gloves, they are going to take a beating. Also, a long-handled steel BBQ brush is needed to clean off your cooking grates. If you’re smart you will store it out of reach of big dogs, since mine thought it was a toy.
Your high-tech gadgets should include an instant read thermometer and a timer. That’s it. You do not need a thermometer that hooks up to an iPhone app to be successful (although they do make that, but I heard it sucks)
For cooking ribs you could also get a rib rack. This is not a necessity, but merely a space saver, letting you multiply the amount of delicious ribs you can cook at once. You will also need disposable foil pans. We buy them at Costco because we use them so much. They are used for soaking wood chunks, making a water pan, moving foods on and off the grill, and even for cooking. Please don’t give me the whole “cooking with aluminum is bad” speech, I don’t care.
For flavoring your meat you will need a flavor injector. These usually look like some evil Dr. Henry H. Holmes needles, but they’re great for putting your marinade directly into the meat. This is especially important for cuts that tend to be tough like brisket. Also, having a spray bottle on hand will help you keep your meat moist. Usually during smoking meat is sprayed with apple cider vinegar or juice to keep it moist and tender.
That is really all you need, you can probably get all of this crap for about 75$, and of course we also had to buy a set of outdoor shelves to put it all on, because somebody was pissy about having it all lying over her patio set all the time (that would be me).