A great barbecue is just the first step to enjoying outdoor cookouts. To make the experience fun, convenient, and yes, practical, there are a few essential BBQ supplies that everyone with a barbecue should have. Even though you could "get by" by improvising with stuff you have lying around the house, the whole BBQ experience really is easier and more fun if you have the right tools.
A basting brush or a BBQ mop comes in handy too. Silicone brushes or mops are easier to clean (although they're still a pain) but don't hold as much marinade or sauce. A brush or mop with removable / replaceable heads are great. Brushes / mops with long handles and an angled head are easiest to use.
A spatula is also useful with BBQ. Again, you want a long, angled handle, and depending on what you're using it for, you might need a long flat spatula rather than the regular shorter ones. Shorter ones are fine for regular cuts of beef, pork, chicken, etc... but a long, rectangular spatula is more suitable for fish fillets or whole fish. Look for a spatula with a bevelled edge too - it is easier to slide underneath the food.
You'll also need a BBQ brush for cleaning, preferably one that won't require you to use a lot of elbow grease to get the cooking grate clean. Look for grill brush with a long handle, a scraper on top (for scraping off tough, cooked-on foods), and if you can find one with a replaceable head that's just a bonus. There are also brushes that use steam to clean the grate!
When you're first starting out, you really just need the basics in terms of BBQ supplies. You can always get more later if you find you need them. It doesn't take all sorts of fancy gadgets or accessories to make great food (although some of the fancy gadgets can be fun)! Check out our other BBQ tips or check out some of our recipes.