Look for heavy-duty tongs that are about 16 inches long, feel comfortable in your hand, have sturdy metal pincers, and are dishwasher safe. A locking mechanism is nice for keeping them closed when not in use.
Spring for a solid, sturdy, long-handled brush with stiff stainless steel bristles.
The material should be solid, heavy-gauge metal with a thin yet rigid blade about 4 inches wide. Look for a bent (offset) neck that puts the blade lower than the handle. The total length should be about 16 inches.
The best ones have extra large digits for easy reading, loud alarms, belt clips, and the flexibility to count up from zero as well as down from whatever time you pick.
You can buy an inexpensive thermometer with a dial face or a more expensive one with a digital face. Ideally the sensor will be very close to the tip so you can easily pinpoint the area of the food you want to measure.
Invest in a pair with good-quality materials and workmanship that will hold up well over time.
The simple design lets you start charcoal quickly and evenly without using lighter fluid. Look for one with two handles—one heatproof side handle for lifting and a hinged top handle for support—and a capacity to hold at least 5 quarts of briquettes (about 80 to 100 pieces).