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Why Every Outdoor Cook Absolutely Needs This $4 Amazon Buy

David Shim thinks everyone needs a $3 pack of firestarters, an obscure Japanese table grill & more.


This is Chef’s Staples, where professional chefs dish on the gear they couldn’t cook without. This week: Chef David Shim of Cote in New York, NY.

David Shim’s Cote in Manhattan’s Flatiron District is one-part American steakhouse, one-part Korean barbeque. It features classic gas-fired yakiniku grills from Shinpo at the center of every table and effectively merges American steakhouse favorites with Korean ingredients and flavors (a shrimp cocktail with gochujang being the clearest example). The result of Shim’s cuisine blending was a strong review from the New York Times’ Pete Wells, a place on GQ’s Best New Restaurants of 2018 list and a Michelin star. From $4 firestarters to an obscure Japanese table grill, here are four things Cote’s David Shim couldn’t cook without.

Weber Lighter Cubes

“If you ever find yourself outdoors with a charcoal grill, these mini cubes are a must. How many times have you seen people stuffing paper, small pieces of boxes or pouring liquid charcoal lighter? Everyone has their own way making the fire but many times isn’t as easy as one thinks. With the mini lighter cubes all you need to do is put the lighter cubes in between the charcoal and wait till it starts to light, give a light fanning and you are ready to go.”

Buy Now: $4

Kizen Instant-Read Thermometer

“A digital thermometer is one thing that I always have when grilling. Everyone has their own way of telling if the steak is done but it is always great to have a backup plan. There are some with basic temperatures on the thermometer itself so that you don’t have to google what a medium-rare steak is supposed to be.”

Buy Now: $20

Peugeot Pepper Mill

“There are many different pepper mills out there, but this is the one that you want to have. I have used this throughout my career in NYC working at a lot different restaurants and this is also the one that we use at home. Peugeots are great because they can handle the usage of a professional kitchen and it also has different settings to either make it finer or more coarse. It also looks beautiful.”

Buy Now: $42

Iwatani Aburiya Portable Gas Grill Stove

“This is the ultimate portable grill that anyone can have. Living in NYC, not many people have the luxury to grill in the backyard but with this small gadget, you can practically grill anywhere. It has different inserts to either grill steak, seafood and vegetables or make yakitori or skewers. It gets hot enough to make really nice grill marks on steaks as well. This has always been my portable go-to grill.”

Buy Now: $120

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Assistant Editor, Home and Design Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.
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