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20% off our favorite grill toolsShop the Sale

Free shipping on all orders over $49. See terms


Behind the Design: OXO Grill Tools

OXO products live all around the kitchen – from deep in the drawers and pantries to in plain sight alongside the kitchen sink. Now, we’re leaving the kitchen for the great outdoors – even if it’s just the backyard.

7 min read

We think of the grill as an extension of the kitchen, so we took the same principles we apply for inside the home to outside. Designed to deliver under fire, our grilling tools have thoughtful features informed by barbecue experts and will be ready season after season for better cooking.

Our new grilling suite includes seven tools to help get the job done, no matter your skill level. We’re taking you behind the scenes to see how each tool was developed with you in mind:

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Grilling Tongs with Built-In Bottle Opener

You may not realize it, but many people grill one handed. The OXO industrial design and product team observed this on a trip to Austin, TX, when developing these grill tools. They noted people hanging out at their grills, always with a drink in one hand and a grilling tool in the other. Based on their observations, the team incorporated a bottle opener right on the tongs to make it easy to crack open a new drink without missing a beat on the grill. The bottle opener sits cleanly on the arm of the tongs, so you don’t have to switch hands to open your next bottle.

Turner Double Bend

Grilling Turner

After tongs, turners are the most popular tool for grilling. Whether you’re flipping burgers or transferring a finished steak to the plate, the turner is a helpful tool to have on hand. We created our grilling turner with a double bend design that provides the leverage you need to effortlessly flip, turn and transfer. We noticed that when taller people slid the turner under food, they tended to rotate their wrist at a higher angle. With a double bend, hands can stay parallel to the grill grates and use less effort to get under their burger, ultimately making it a more comfortable experience at the grill.

Turner Head Development

We also explored different slot patterns for the turner head. Horizontal slots compromised the stiffness of the tool, and while a turner used for inside the kitchen may have vertical lines, we went with a diagonal design, which speaks more to the outdoor grilling world—just think about those perfect diagonal grill marks on a steak.

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Grilling Basting Brush

For saucier or marinated recipes, we enlist the help of a basting brush. We designed our brush with patented layered silicone bristles, which have a unique hole pattern that sops up marinade or sauce and keeps it contained from bowl (or pot) to grill. When designing the brush, we also thought about the grilling environment—don’t hesitate to put this brush down between bastes—the brush is angled so that the bristles won’t touch surfaces. Plus, the angle is helpful for reaching food in the back of the grill so every bite gets sauced.

Basting Pot Iteration

Grilling Basting Pot

To go along with that brush, we designed a grilling basting pot companion. We explored a couple of different design options for the pot. During testing we saw that there were two important functionality points to hit: accommodating a long brush that doesn’t tip over the pot and protecting the marinade or sauce from bugs, sun or other outside elements. We landed with a simple design that holds up to 18 ounces of marinade and the grill brush, plus a silicone lid keeps it all protected.

Good tip: Mix up a homemade marinade right in the pot for less clean up!

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Precision Turner

On that same trip to Austin the design team noticed many people using fish turners out on their grills. Their flexible heads make it easy to slide under fish and keep it intact, but a kitchen fish turner isn’t long enough for safe use on the grill. To keep your hand away from the heat and protected, we designed a longer precision turner that still gives you the control you need without sacrificing safety.

Grilling Tool Rest

Remember how people don’t want to put their drinks down? That means they don’t have a spare hand for locking tongs either. We designed our grilling tool rest with prongs specially designed to hold tongs so you don’t have to lock and unlock between uses (and that drink can stay in your hand).

Plus, the tool rest protects your grill and can save you from extra cleanings.

Skewer Exploration

6-Piece Grilling Skewer Set

When looking at grilling skewers, we saw that many are made from bamboo, which can catch fire and char your food too much, or skewers are extra sharp and scary to stab food. We decided to make a more comfortable, flat skewer with a larger area to grip (with your fingers or tongs). This means easier flipping; food stays steady and it’s easy to slide grilled veggies and meat off the skewers.

Putting our Tools to the Test

Like every OXO product, we made sure these tools would last—especially through the elements and the abuse grill tools receive. Since OXO HQ is in the center of New York City, finding grills can be a challenge, but that didn’t stop the team from rigorous testing. The team bought and transported to our building rooftop for easy grilling on the spot. The team also traveled OXOnian houses in the suburbs and to city parks to test the tools.

Now it’s time to get out and grill. For everything you need to know about grilling – from marinades to temperature guides—we have you covered.


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