Mastering the Flames: Simplifying Cooking with Grilling Baskets

Grilling baskets are essential grilling accessories, making barbecuing more fun. It simplifies the process of cooking small or delicate ingredients on a hot grill while imparting delicious charred flavour. Whether you’re using a charcoal grill, a portable electric grill, or even cooking over an open flame during a camping trip, grilling baskets are versatile and offer convenience and efficiency. They provide a secure platform for turning and rotating foods that might otherwise slip through the grates, such as thinly sliced onions and other vegetables, small pieces of chicken, or shrimp. Grill baskets serve as a smart invention for grilling delicate items like fish fillets that tend to stick to traditional grill grates.

cuisinart grilling baskets

The various designs, ranging from square stainless steel pans with sloping sides and numerous holes or slits to mesh baskets and closed-top versions with clamping lids each cater to different grilling needs, whether it’s ensuring easy flipping of delicate fish or facilitating the cooking of small and delicate ingredients. We outline the differences below our ultimate guide to baskets for use on the grill.

List of best grilling baskets

Why are grill baskets essential?

The use of these baskets will transform your barbecue experience and enable the cooking of a variety of ingredients with ease and minimal cleanup.

Grill baskets look like high-sided perforated metal pans, which allow the smoky flavour and heat to penetrate while keeping smaller foods secure. Whether you’re grilling zucchini, peppers, sliced onions, diced chicken and vegetables, or shrimp, these baskets offer the perfect solution for achieving even cooking and delicious results.

Things to consider before buying


Stainless steel, nonstick steel, and cast iron are the most used materials. Each has its own specific advantages and drawbacks while ensuring durability.

  • Stainless steel is renowned for heating fast and guarantees efficient cooking. 
  • Non-stick steel requires delicate care to maintain its lifespan, but is an easy-to-clean surface. Just keep in mind that it is best to hand wash and not to expose to temperatures higher than 230°C (450˚F). 
  • Cast iron is the heaviest material and well known for withstanding high heat. It is ideal for achieving intense searing but take note that food will continue cooking even after removing from the grill.

 Heat resistance

Whichever material you choose, heat resistance is important and materials for these baskets need to be made of heat safe materials. Special attention needs to be made especially to designs with coatings. These coatings should withstand heat and not melt or fade.

Size & perforation

You might want to use multiple grill baskets when grilling. They need to fit your grill, but each basket should individually have enough space for the food to have room to properly cook. Besides the size of the basket, the perforations are also important. Use baskets with smaller perforations for small foods such as shrimp or diced vegetables. 

Shape & type

Baskets are available in different shapes and forms. There are several types for a variety of foods to cook.

  • The basket-type is usually higher which is important when grilling and tossing vegetables or smaller pieces of meat. The perforation should be smaller but still allow smoke and ventilation.
  • A tray looks like a basket but with lower sides. Perforations vary and will determine what kind of food is cooked. Fish is usually easy to cook on trays.
  • A clamshell works with a hinge and a clasp to close and lock the basket for easy grilling and turning of food. This type is mainly used for shells and vegetables.
  • The rotisserie basket closes in a similar way to the clamshell basket but has a rod.

How to use a grill basket?

Some people choose to brush oil before adding ingredients to prevent sticking, but we usually marinate our ingredients, or we toss them in a little oil before grilling.

Some grill experts heat the grill basket at the same time as the barbecue. We recommend this for baskets and trays, but the clamshell and rotisserie designs don’t need preheating as they need filling before placing them on the grill. 

How to clean grilling baskets?

Although we are repeating ourselves, it is very important to thoroughly clean all grill utensils and accessories before storing them. Food can stick to baskets, but a good soak in hot, soapy water should loosen the heaviest oil and grease. The rest should easily be removed after a good wipe. Stubborn food debris can be removed with a scraper or some extra scrubbing; just be aware that you might leave some scratch marks this way.

Overview of best grilling baskets

Best large grilling basket – Grillaholics Grill Basket for Outdoor Grill – XL Family Size – Perfect Grilling Accessories for Veggies, Fish, Shrimp & Kebabs

This grill basket with a wide, sturdy base is stable and perfect for grilling vegetables, fish, shrimp and kebabs. It can be used repeatedly because of the heavy-duty, food-grade stainless steel that withstands intense heat. The extra large size lets you manage family-size portions of proteins or vegetables. 

This basket is super easy to clean as you only need to soak it in hot soapy water before wiping or putting it in the dishwasher. 

Read also : Grilling gloves for ultimate heat protection

Best grilling basket with handle – Grill Basket, Barbecue BBQ Grilling Basket , Stainless Steel Large Folding Grilling baskets With Handle

This smoke and grill set includes a grill basket, basting brush, grilling gloves, and even a portable case for a BBQ away from home. It’s a good basket for veggies as well as for fish. The secure locking mechanism keeps the basket closed and the handle makes it easy to flip and turn the basket with ease.

Amazon reviewers remark that it is not very easy to clean but again, soaking it long enough in hot soapy water before brushing should make the job easier. Because the wires of the basket are thinner it will not be as durable as the Grillaholics basket. Still a good product though.

Read also : Tips for grilling on a gas BBQ

Best non-stick basket – Cuisinart CNW-328 Non Stick 11-Inch, 11 x 11, Grill Wok

This wok style basket is good for grilling bite-size foods such as meat, shrimp, vegetables or other small foods without falling through the perforated grilling surface.

The non-stick surface makes it easy to control when cooking and cleaning up. Keep the temperature of the basket below 200°C (400°F) to protect the non-stick coating. 

We recommend this product for beginner grillers, but we must add that although we feel the material is the sturdiest and value for money, some Amazon purchasers don’t consider this product value for money.

Read also : Best indoor grills

Best cast iron grilling basket- Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Dual Handle Grill Basket

This cast iron grill basket with dual handles is super sturdy, and heavy, and can last a lifetime. The teardrop holes are perfectly sized to allow the perfect amount of flame and smoke to pass through and inject just enough grill flavour to your foods. This USA made product is easy to clean without hassle. If you barbecue a lot, this is the grilling basket we recommend!

Read also : Easy outdoor kitchen installation

Best rolling grill basket – Rolling Grilling Basket, Stainless Steel Grill Mesh

We are not big fans of the rolling grill basket, but it uses minimal space, and you can use one basket for each of the products you want to cook. The stainless steel of this basket is firm, durable, and won’t easily deform. Although dishwasher safe it will likely need some scrubbing to remove food stuck on the wires. This brand offers multiple sizes from small to extra large.

Read only : Understanding BBQ vs grilling

Best for marinade – Cuisinart CMT-200 Marinade Basket Set Grilling

We all want as little washing up as possible, and this marinade grilling basket set is perfect. The grilling basket fits perfectly in a marinating tray. The meat, fish or vegetables can be tossed in your favourite marinade and sit in the fridge complete with a lid until needed. There are two handles for easy manoeuvring and once at the barbecue, the perforated basket can be taken out and placed on the grill.

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