No man should need an excuse to grill. But long summer weekends do provide an excellent opportunity to show off your skills and (hopefully) have others hand-deliver beers to your door. Make sure the stage is properly set for your next backyard bacchanal by having the right tools at disposal.
Weber Performer Platinum Charcoal Grill
There’s a reason Weber’s Performer Platinum Charcoal Grill made our list of the top 100 products of 2013. Its electronic Touch-N-Go gas ignition snuffs out the hassle of grilling with charcoal. Combined with a side lid holder, a built-in briquette storage container, a fully enclosed ash catcher, an automated one-touch cleaning and an integrated LCD cooking timer that can easily be removed to follow you back to the couch, it’s the best thing to happen to charcoal grilling since the original Weber Ketel.
Weber Grilling Accessories
A hot grill can be used to cook nearly anything — but having few extra accessories will make your culinary adventures far more successful. Use these for fish, ribs and fresh vegetables.
Highwood USA Adirondack Chairs
Next to a tree stump, a natural rock formation or a pristine stretch of grass, the Adirondack chair is as classic as outdoor seating gets. This “Highwood” version is a bit of a misnomer, though. It’s actually made from a synthetic material that’s harder than cedar or redwood, and built to last through mother nature’s worst. You also won’t have to ever paint or stain it.
Laguiole En Aubrac BBQ Tool Set
It’s a spatula, fork, knife and tongs, all made by hand in southwestern France by a single master cutler from Swedish Sandvik steel. Oh, and we almost forgot the branded leather carrying case. Indulgent? Perhaps. Just tell your better half it was these or a ‘Vette in the garage.
Stubb’s 100% All-Natural Briquettes
Not all charcoal is created equal. Stubb’s is praised in the grilling community for several reasons. Since it’s made from 95 percent hardwood charcoal and a 5 percent corn starch binder, there’s no chance of smoking your food in sketchy chemicals. It also burns cleanly and consistently while producing less ash than the competition.
Cameron’s Stovetop Smoker
In a righteous and just world, all men would have access to a dedicated smokehouse for infusing anything that their heart desired with rich, smoky flavor. Here in reality, most of us will have to persevere with simple contraptions like Cameron’s Stovetop Smoker. This handy aluminum tray works on any heat source including open flames as well as electric and induction stoves.
Super Fast Thermapen Thermometer
Countless BBQ experts swear by this thermocouple thermometer. It delivers highly accurate temp readings in roughly two seconds; the pivot also makes it easy to access hard-to-reach areas on awkward grilling items; and the thin probe size ensures minimal juice loss after it’s taken out and also allows for precise measurements, even when working with extremely thin food items like fish filets. You can also switch temps between F and C and see readings in the dark thanks to a backlight.
US Forge 400 Welding Gloves
If they can stack up to the demands of welding, they can definitely handle the heat of your grill. Many of the typical BBQ grill gloves you see are really just welding gloves with marked-up price tags, and cooking written on the package, anyway.
Hardmill Rugged Apron
Your Kiss the Chef apron was never funny to begin with. Use it as a fire starter and replace it with Seattle-based Hardmill’s classy, rugged alternatives made right here in the U.S.A from materials like 10.10-ounce army duck waxed canvas, 7-ounce hand-dyed leather and copper rivets. They’re nice, but don’t be afraid to spill on them. Just call it “meat patina”.
Ultimate Ears BOOM Wireless Speaker
This tubular portable Bluetooth speaker has wowed reviewers and buyers alike with its ability to belt out clear, powerful tunes in nearly every direction. It’s also impressively resistant to stains (read: BBQ sauce hands) and water — seriously, just wash it under the sink. Best of all, the internal lithium ion battery can provide up to 15 hours of playback time on a single charge. If you’ve got two on hand, they can even be paired together to play in stereo.
You may think you know everything there is to know about meat meeting flame and it’s shifty cousin, smoke. You don’t. The authors of these books do. Diligently study the ways of these masters and your gut (as well as the guts of your loved ones) will surely thank you.
Adjustable Burger Press
Badly proportioned burgers? We know you’re better than that. Strop free-handing it and let this adjustable press help you live an even-mealed existence.
Leatherhead Handsome Dan Football
An anthropologist from another galaxy might be perplexed at the American tradition of hurling a dried, stitched piece of a mammal hide through the air while waiting for another piece of animal to chemically transform under heat. We don’t have a good answer for that one, but we can tell you that this fine football from Leatherhead is bound to turn heads at your next shindig, granted it’s tossed under control.