Best Grill Baskets

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
307 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best grill baskets

Last Updated August 2019

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.

Fish is fantastic cooked in a grill basket. Before you put your filets inside, pat them gently with a paper towel to remove extra moisture. This helps to prevent the fish from developing a mushy texture while cooking.

Key considerations

Materials

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.

Lid

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.

Handle design

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.

Deep and dependable

This extra-deep basket has room to cook and flip all your favorite vegetables without losing them to the grill. Its holes have been punched from the outside, so you won’t snag your shrimp on sharp edges. Curved handles help you get a better grip on this basket — with mitts, of course — so that every tasty bite of food makes it safely from grill to table.

Features

Removable handles

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.

Handle material

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.

Basket locks

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

Long-handled, mesh-style grill baskets can also be used to cook over a campfire.

Grill basket prices

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.

EXPERT TIP

Grill basket perforations not only allow smoke to infuse your food with flavor but they also let juices out that could otherwise turn your meal into a mushy mess.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Mesh grill baskets are more challenging to scrub than those with flat bottoms, so it’s worth your money to look for mesh baskets that are dishwasher safe.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Always have oven mitts available for removing the basket from the grill. Don’t assume a long basket handle won’t be hot — metal is a prime conductor of thermal energy. 
  • If your grill basket is too shallow or has sides that are too low, you may still flip food out when turning.
  • Measure the spacing between your grill racks carefully before choosing a basket. A basket that’s too tall may prevent your grill from closing.
  • Not all grill baskets are dishwasher safe. Check individual models if this feature is important to you.
  • Grill baskets with holes or slits punched from the outside have smooth bottoms less likely to snag food.
  • Baskets with fine wire mesh may burn in grease flares. Look for baskets with thicker wire frames.

Great for sides

This stainless steel basket wastes no space and leaves plenty of room on the grill for your main dish. Though it’s designed to fit all Weber grills, it works fine with grills from many other manufacturers. This basket has narrow slits instead of holes, so julienned veggies or asparagus spears are less likely to stick out through a hole and break when the basket is moved.

 

Other products we considered

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.

Using a cooking basket for vegetables saves you the time and effort of threading kebob skewers.

FAQ

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.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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