Tongs are often considered to be the most important tool used in outdoor grilling. Tongs can turn sausages, brats, kielbasa and hot dogs without piercing the skin. It is a good idea to have more than one pair of tongs, since tongs can also be used for stirring charcoal briquettes to help regulate the cooking temperature. Tongs come in several sizes and designs.
There are basting utensils with different brush types and thicknesses. Some brushes are stiffer than others and are made of different materials. Basting brushes are used for basting meat with sauces and marinades while they are being grilled, and for basting vegetables or fruit. Once again, brushes with longer handles should be used on large grills for safety purposes.
Experienced outdoor cooks, grilling experts and food establishments that specialize in grilled foods often gauge when meat is done by its firmness, the color of the juices oozing from the meat or its color. However, for the less experienced cook, there are meat thermometers that can be inserted into meat to instantly tell if meat is done and thermometers that can be inserted into meat before it is put on the grill.
When meat cooks on the grill the juices and fat from burgers, sausages, hot dogs and chicken that is not skinless will drip onto the hot coals, causing flames to flare. Water spritzers and even water pistols like the ones children use in the summer can be used to lightly spray the coals to keep the flames down without putting out the charcoal.
Drip pans catch the fats and juices from meat so it does not fall onto the coals and cause a fire hazard. Steam from water placed in the drip pan also helps keep meat moist and juicy while it cooks. The water and juices that mix together in the drip pan can be used for basting when slow cooking with indirect heat.