Great for shrimp, vegetables and diced meat. Adds smoky flavor to food. Stainless steel. Holes punched from the inside out so food doesn't snag. Large enough that food stays in, even if you stir it. Holds up well to heat. Has carrying handles.
Edges may be sharp, so consider using mitts – especially if it's hot from the grill.
Fits all Weber grills. Stainless steel construction with slits. Slender slits keep food more secure. Little wasted space. Leaves enough room to grill other food as well.
Slope of the pan makes it difficult to get tools inside to flip food.
Curved handles for easy carrying. Eraser-sized holes allow smoke to pass without food escaping. Stainless steel. Coat with olive oil before each use to keep food from sticking. Works well for vegetables and fish.
Large enough to prevent some smaller grills from closing, so measure carefully.
Stainless steel. Dishwasher safe. Removable, foldable, heat-resistant handle. Grid gaps provide even heat distribution. Lockable grate keeps burgers and fish fillets in place. Lets you flip food more easily than handle-less baskets. Comes in a variety of sizes.
Thicker pieces can prevent basket from locking and fall out when you flip.
Features three tools in one. 11.75-inch diameter. Durable PTFE/PFOA-free nonstick coating. Sturdy mesh design. Helper handles makes it portable. Removable handle lets you close the grill lid completely. Sturdy.
Handle gets hot, so be sure to use a mitt. The top and bottom of the basket do not lock together.
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Flame-roasted vegetables taste amazing hot off the grill. But getting them off the grate isn’t, well, great. The very slits that let the flame roast your onions and potatoes often claim your veggies when you try to turn them for even browning.
A grill basket can help you cook squash, peppers, and even fish and shrimp without sacrificing them in the fire. These baskets have small openings that allow the smoke and sizzle through while keeping your food off the grate. Most have tall sides that keep your food contained, even when you’re flipping.
Grill baskets come in different sizes and with different styles of openings, handles, and more. The right type for you depends heavily upon your menu and your grill. Keep reading to learn more, and when you’re done and ready to buy, check our recommendations for the best grill baskets on the market.
Most grill baskets are made from stainless steel, a durable, attractive metal. Stainless steel does not scratch or dent easily. Unlike other metals, it doesn’t leach flavor into your food. Simply give the basket a quick coat of oil and you’re ready to cook.
Some stainless steel baskets feature a nonstick coating. This is a feature you may appreciate if you cook a lot of vegetables, which tend to stick to metal cooking surfaces. However, some nonstick surfaces cannot be safely heated higher than 500℉ — a mark that can be hard to measure on a grill.
Some grill baskets have open, uncovered tops that easily accommodate tools. This gives you easy access with tongs or a spatula so you can flip individual pieces of food. This style is best for grilling sliced vegetables, shrimp, and other bite-sized items.
Other baskets come with lids and resemble a cage when closed. These mesh-style baskets do not accommodate tools, but they can simplify cooking large items like hamburgers or corn on the cob. To flip your food, just turn the basket over.
Many basic grill baskets have small handles attached to the top of the basket. Since they’re exposed to the same temperatures as the rest of the basket, you must remove them using oven mitts, or you can scoop out the food for serving and leave the basket on the grill until it’s cool.
Other designs have long handles that resemble those attached to frying pans. These may not get as hot as smaller handles, but they can still reach uncomfortable temperatures unless they have a special coating. Additionally, some longer handles may prevent you from closing your grill lid fully, so measure carefully before ordering.
Long basket handles make it easier to put your basket on the grill and remove it. They can also prevent you from closing the grill lid, letting heat escape and lengthening cooking time. Some grill baskets have removable handles that you can detach when it’s time to close the grill lid.
Most long grill basket handles are made with metal, which means they are constructed solidly but are often hot to the touch. Others have plastic-coated handles, which conduct less heat but can melt. Silicone or wood-covered handles can be a comfortable compromise — they stay cooler and don’t melt if they accidentally touch a hot surface.
Lidded grill baskets are easy to flip when you want to turn your corn cobs or burgers, but they also make it easy to lose your food if the basket opens. If you choose a lidded, cage-style basket, look for one that locks so you don’t risk dumping your dinner.
Inexpensive: You can find budget grill baskets starting around $10. Grill baskets at this price point are usually square and made of thin metal that may deteriorate relatively quickly on the grill. They are smaller in size, so they should fit on most grills. They don’t tend to have many thoughtful details to streamline the cooking process.
Mid-range: The next tier of grill baskets costs around $15. These square grill baskets may be slightly larger or may be the same size but made from thicker steel. Many have handles that are easier to grasp than those found on basic models, but they are not removable.
Expensive: High-end grill baskets generally cost $20 to $25. These baskets may be square with metal handles or cage-style with long handles. Square baskets should be deep with tall walls so you can hold plenty of food and turn it without flipping it into the flames. Long handles likely have plastic or wood grips that may be detachable for convenience. If a basket has a top, it should lock shut to keep your food safely inside when you flip the basket.
For fish and other longer grilling items, we like the looks of this stainless steel fish grilling basket from Weber. It’s outfitted with flexible wires that keep your food in place without ruining delicately-textured items. Designed for fish, this basket also works great with thin steak, lamb chops, and racks of ribs. Just be sure to give it some grease before using.
If you can’t decide on a grill basket size or shape, this set of three grill baskets from Yukon Glory gives you options. You get a tray-style basket for meat, a tall square basket for vegetables, and a round pan reminiscent of a wok. The manufacturer recommends rubbing each basket with a thin coating of oil, then preheating it on the grill for a minute or two before use.
Q. Should I grease my grill basket? If so, with what?
A. Not all models recommend putting oil on your grill basket, but unless you choose a nonstick basket, you really should oil it. One reason to use a basket is to keep your food from sticking to the grill, but if your food sticks to the basket, you’ve defeated the purpose. To prevent this, put a little vegetable or olive oil in a bowl and lightly wipe it onto all the interior basket surfaces with a paper towel. You can also spray it with cooking spray. Spray works fine for vegetables, but if you’re cooking meat, we recommend a thicker wipedown with oil.
Q. What’s the best way to clean a grill basket?
A. Despite your best efforts, you may end up with food bits stuck to your basket, especially if you skimp on oiling it. You can try using a grill tool to pry off the food before it fully cools. If your basket is dishwasher safe, running it through a cycle or two is your best bet. If your basket is hand-wash only, let it soak for a bit before trying to remove the particles. Alternatively, you can try submerging your basket inside a large metal pan and boiling the crusty food away.
If none of these methods work and you’re willing to risk scratching your pan, a gritty cleanser or abrasive cleaning pad may do the trick. Never use abrasive cleaners on nonstick cooking surfaces or you may damage the coating and end up with bits of it in your food.
Q. How big should my grill basket be?
A. It depends on many things, but most importantly, it depends on your grill. While tall grill baskets keep your food in place, they can also get in the way of the grill lid or upper grill racks. Baskets that are two to two and a half inches tall are a good compromise — you can fit plenty of food and still have plenty of clearance. If you’re cooking fish or thin cuts of meat, a slender mesh basket that you turn may be a better choice.
As far as length, baskets that are nine inches per side generally hold enough food for two to three diners; if you’re cooking for a crowd, look for models in the range of 10 to 11 inches per side.
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