Grill basket: what it is and how to use it

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 1, 2022

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You might have seen people use special containers on their grill and wondered what these baskets are.

Grill baskets (also called grilling baskets), are metal mesh pans or clamps that are used to cook small or delicate food items on the grill.

The fine mesh avoids pieces of food falling between the grates of your grill.

Grilling baskets are ideal for cooking vegetables, fish, and small meats like meatballs on your BBQ.

What is a grill basket

Different types of grill baskets

There are different models and styles of grill baskets.

Most look almost like square stainless-steel cake pans with sloping sides and lots of openings. Others are more like mesh baskets.

The close-and-flip or hinged basket has a clamping lid and works well for keeping fish in place so it’s easy to turn without it falling apart.

While many grilling baskets can be used for a variety of foods, some are specifically designed to hold whole fish, kebabs, corn on the cob, meatballs, burgers (here’s how to grill them when they’re frozen), or quesadillas.

What’s the purpose of a grill basket?

The grill basket has solved the messy problem of delicate foods (like fish and vegetables) sticking to the grill and disintegrating, as well as the problem of smaller foods falling through the grid and ending up in the coals.

It offers an easy and efficient way of turning foods on the grill, and it is especially useful when it comes to grilling fish.

Adjustable Metal Wire Grill Baskets: The Perfect Tool for Grilling

Adjustable Metal Wire Grill Baskets are designed to fit onto the grill grates and hold food securely in place while allowing smoke and heat to circulate around the food. The primary concept behind these baskets is to make grilling easier and more versatile. They come with locking lids or hinged tops that make it easy to flip and turn food without worrying about it falling apart or sticking to the grates.

What are the benefits of using Adjustable Metal Wire Grill Baskets?

Using Adjustable Metal Wire Grill Baskets has many benefits, including:

  • The ability to cook delicate items like fish and veggies without worrying about them falling apart or sticking to the grates.
  • The flexibility to cook small cuts of meat and vegetables that may be difficult to turn directly on the grill.
  • The option to set up different cooking zones on the grill, depending on the thickness of the food and the recipe.
  • The ease of putting together a complete meal in one basket, including sides and veggies.
  • The fact that they are available in different models and sizes, making it easy to pick the right one for your needs.
  • The reputation of being an excellent tool for grilling, especially for those who want to bring their grilling game to the next level.

What to look for when shopping for the best Adjustable Metal Wire Grill Basket?

When shopping for the best Adjustable Metal Wire Grill Basket, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The size and shape of your grill: Make sure the basket you choose fits your grill and allows for enough space to cook the food you want.
  • The type of food you want to cook: Consider the size and thickness of the food you want to cook and choose a basket that will accommodate it.
  • The material of the basket: Look for baskets made of high-quality stainless steel that will last for many grilling seasons.
  • The flexibility of the basket: Consider whether you want a basket with adjustable walls or a hinged lid for more versatility.
  • The perforations of the basket: Look for baskets with small perforations or holes that will allow smoke and heat to circulate around the food without letting it fall through the grates.

Choosing the Perfect Grill Basket: What to Consider

When shopping for a grill basket, size and shape are critical elements to consider. You want to make sure that the basket is large enough to hold the foods you want to grill, but not so large that it becomes unwieldy. Look for models that are designed to fit the area of your grill, and consider the types of foods you will be cooking. If you plan on grilling potatoes or smaller, tighter cuts of meat, a smaller basket may be a better choice.

Material and Build Quality

The material and build quality of a grill basket are also essential factors to consider. Look for baskets made from high-quality materials like stainless steel that can withstand hot temperatures without breaking or warping. Thin wires may not be able to handle heavier cuts of meat, so make sure to inspect the basket’s wires and dish to ensure they are sturdy enough to handle the foods you want to grill.

Handle and Design

The handle and design of a grill basket can make a big difference in how easy it is to use. Look for models with long, attached handles that allow you to grasp the entire basket without getting too close to the hot grill. Some baskets come with multiple handles, which can make it easier to rotate the food or remove it from the grill. Consider the basket’s design as well; some models are designed to allow excess fat to drip away, while others are designed to prevent unwanted sticking.

Convenience and Storage

Finally, consider the convenience and storage of the grill basket. Some models are designed to fold up for easy storage, while others come with a sheet or griddle that can be placed on top of the basket to prevent smaller foods from falling through the wires. Look for baskets that are easy to clean and allow for quick and smoky grilled foods. Ultimately, the right grill basket is worth the investment and can play an important role in your grilling experience.

Mastering the Art of Grilling with Your Basket

Using a grill basket is a great way to diversify your grilling experience. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Shop for the best grill basket that fits your specific needs. There are different types of baskets designed for different items, such as veggies, fish, or meat.
  • Preheat your grill before putting your basket on it. This will make it easier to cook your food evenly.
  • Season your basket before using it for the first time. This will prevent your food from sticking to the wire.

Using Your Grill Basket for Vegetables

Grilling veggies in a basket is a great way to bring out their natural flavors. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut your vegetables into thin, even pieces to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Toss your veggies in a bowl with some oil and your favorite seasonings.
  • Place your veggies in the basket and grill them directly on the grate.
  • Flip your veggies occasionally to ensure they cook on all sides.

Using Your Grill Basket to Infuse Flavor

Your grill basket can also be used as a vessel for containing aromatics and permitting them to be vaporized. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use a basket with larger perforations to allow smoke and heat to penetrate.
  • Load your basket with your favorite herbs, spices, or wood chips.
  • Place your basket directly on the flames or coals and let the aromatics do their work.
  • Promise your guests that you’re not taunting them with the delicious smells sneaking out of your grill.

Remember, the thickness of your food cuts and the type of basket you use depends on the recipe you’re making. Knowing how to use your grill basket properly can make all the difference in your grilling game. So next time you fire up the barbecue, don’t worry about items falling through the grate or stragglers slipping away. Just pick up your trusty grill basket and start grilling like a pro.

What Goes in My Grill Basket?

Grill baskets are perfect for cooking vegetables, and the variety of veggies you can use is endless. Here are some ideas:

  • Potatoes: Cut them into small pieces and toss them in oil and your favorite seasonings.
  • Onions: Slice them thinly and cook until they’re caramelized.
  • Green veggies: Baby greens, asparagus, and green beans all cook well in a grill basket.
  • Delicate veggies: Use a grill basket to cook delicate veggies like mushrooms, which can easily fall through the grates.

Meat and Seafood

While grill baskets are often used for vegetables, they’re also great for cooking meat and seafood. Here are some ideas:

  • Bacon (here’s how to make it on the pellet smoker): Cut it into small pieces and cook until crispy.
  • Small pieces of meat: Cut meat into small pieces and cook them in the grill basket for easy flipping.
  • Seafood: Use a grill basket to cook shrimp, scallops, or fish.

Vegan and Vegetarian Options

Grill baskets are a great way to achieve the perfect char on vegan and vegetarian foods. Here are some ideas:

  • Tofu: Cut tofu into small pieces and toss with oil and seasonings before cooking in the grill basket.
  • Vegan burgers: Use a grill basket to cook vegan burgers, which can be delicate and fall apart on the grill.
  • Grilled veggies: Use a grill basket to cook a variety of vegetables for a vegan or vegetarian meal.

Other Options

Grill baskets can be used for a wide range of foods, depending on the size and style of the basket. Here are some other options:

  • Rotating grill baskets: Some grill baskets are designed to rotate, making it easier to cook a variety of foods evenly.
  • Clamshell grill baskets: These baskets offer more space and room to cook larger pieces of food.
  • Cast iron grill baskets: These heavy-duty baskets retain heat well and are great for cooking meats.
  • Nonstick grill baskets: These baskets are marked by their nonstick surface, making them easy to clean by hand or in the kitchen sink.
  • Stainless steel grill baskets: These baskets are required for cooking at high heat and are great for cooking a variety of foods.

Overall, grill baskets offer a wide range of options for cooking on the grill. Depending on the material and required heat, people can find a grill basket to suit their needs. With the help of a grill basket, it’s easy to cook a variety of foods on the grill, save space, and achieve the perfect char.


So, that’s a grill basket! A versatile tool for grilling all sorts of food, from vegetables to meat, and perfect for bringing the natural flavors of the food through. You just need to find the right size and material for your needs. So, go ahead and buy one today! You won’t regret it!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.