People don’t usually think of BBQ with the holidays. Weber hardware, Char-Broil, and Broil King (or the accessories for them) are usually one of the things you’d think about later when coming up with a Christmas list. Well, knowing that smoking and grilling are becoming activities of every season (quite quickly), the demand for BBQ gear and grills (as gifts) is now demanded highly for the year-end festivities.
Despite winter now in full swing, grilling and BBQ aren’t just a trend from Spring through Fall, they’re being pursued when snow’s on the radar.
Putting your grill in hibernation are days long gone.
As better smokers and grills have emerged (that won’t be leaking heat in the colder months), and also WiFi and Bluetooth thermometers that make it possible for the cook to be monitored without twiddling your thumbs in below freezing air, grilling on January 1st is no less difficult now than it is on Independence Day. If there’s a grill master or BBQ lover with a spot on your holiday or Christmas list, these dozen or so gift options will make him/ her feel appreciated (and if they’re on the Naughty List, you do know charcoal’s cheap!).
Smokers and Grills: The Giving Keeps Going with a Gift like this (Yum, Yum, Yum…)
If this is the first time you’ve heard of pellet grills, hold on to your hat- they’re gaining serious momentum. There’s no BBQ category growing faster than pellet grills. And you have Traeger to thank for that. As originators in the pellet game of BBQ, Traeger has been pushing infomercials for their Renegade Elite, capturing a guy’s focus to the versatility and ease of pellet cookers. Though, don’t be too dazzled by the Renegade’s role it’s the star in; there’s pellet grills you’ll be better off with. Check out these picks for the 2016 holidays.
The Pro Series 34 and the Pro Series 22 (links go to Amazon) are the best (and newest) from Traeger’s Pro Series of grills. Some of the bigger BBQ deals have had them featured as the holidays creep up, giving the consumer a shot at scoring a favorable price on the most popular logo on grills fueled by pellets.
For those on a tighter budget but still wanting to give pellet grills a go, there’s the Traeger PTG. It’s not a bad choice by any means. It’s small in size, but that’s made up for by its price (affordable) and its portable, on-the-go capabilities which suits tailgating and camping perfectly.
With an option for direct grilling, PID control (to dial in a precise temp), the upper rack included, and a price that’s hard to argue with, the Louisiana Grills LG700 brings together value and performance like a boss.
The market doesn’t have many pellet grills made of stainless steel and even rarer to find one less than $1k. The FireCraft Pellet-Q450 is an exception. Built well and durable, with a meat (programmable) probe, a temp PID controller, and a sear station that wasn’t previously an option, it’s really worth more than what you currently can get it for.
Smokers and Charcoal Grills– Grilling with charcoal will always be in style, but while smoking is rising in popularity, it’s coming back hard. If there’s a person you care for enough this Christmas who’s been itching to get started with smoking or to try the charcoal game, you’d be sitting well with cookers like these.
The popularity of charcoal grills starts and ends with the original Weber Kettle (for the most part). The Original 22-inch Kettle has been rocking the market since it birthed 60 years ago. The Weber Kettle is loved for a number of reasons- versatility is there, affordable at around 100 green backs, and a lot of guys use their kettle for smoking (versus a traditional grilling).
WSM- A legendary smoker, the Weber Smokey Mountain
More and more pros and casual patio BBQ’ers have started off smoking with a WSM, earning it the privilege of being considered legendary. Effective and portable, the Weber Smokey Mountain is good enough to perform in competitive meet-ups, but it’s just a sliver of what you’d otherwise pay for a smoker typically seen in competitions.
Since 2013 or so, the general population of kamado grills (the Big Green Egg in particular), have been the talk of the town. However, save your greens for the Kamado Joe Classic. The deal is better. Whatever the Big Green Egg is capable of, the Kamado Joe Classic can do as well, but the accessories it includes you’d have to separately buy as a BGE owner.
Nifty BBQ Accessories and Gadgets
As the truth goes for practically every category of life- cooking, entertainment, fitness- accessories and gadgets are really the bread and butter items for holiday gifts. They’re cool, interesting, and downright fun. The same thing goes for BBQ. Not only are they a novelty, these gifts make grilling and BBQ a better experience.
This is the most popular smoking and charcoal grilling has ever been, partly because accessories have come about that make it way too easy. The Flame Boss 200-WiFi is just one example. With one of these, the temperature of your WSM (is it wrong siding with Weber?) is maintained automatically with 2 or 3 degrees of allowable error, and you control it all through the WiFi on your computer, tablet, or phone. Even more cool- Amazon’s Alexa is now compatible with it, so your voice’s command can control it.
BBQ wireless thermometer remotes– Bluetooth vs radio frequency- some use/work by one or the other. These options are both limited in range to an extent (minimum of 120 feet, roughly, 150 at most). There are too many to list here, but I’ll touch upon the Maverick ET-736. Connect it to the WiFi in your home, so the temperatures of your food and grill can be monitored from even your bathroom.
Similar to but smaller than the iGrill2, the iGrill Bluetooth Mini thermometer monitors the temperature of food after connecting it to your tablet or phone, but for a couple $20, it ranks high among the more reliable and affordable remote temp checkers.
Your loved-one already owns a Weber Kettle but wants to get their feet wet with a smoker? They don’t need another cooker. Their kettle can be converted as a smoker with the Smoke EZ, saving them money and space.
Whoever it is on your Christmas list, if they can’t live without charcoal for cooking with, there’s always the limiting factor of the time it takes lighting them before the cook can commence- winter is no exception. In about 60 seconds, the Bison Airlighter lights charcoal by its fan combined with a high-heat flame. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to get the meat denaturing. It can be taken anywhere too, because it’s wireless.
Transforming a Power Tool for BBQ Purposes
Getting pork pulled by hand can be cramping and time intensive, not to mention when you’re working on several at once. The meat is also usually hot. The pork doesn’t ever have to be touched with a Ro-Man Pork Puller (makes quick work of it, too). All they’ll need is a cordless 3/8 inch drill for the accessory to attach to.
Saying “Slot Dog” is just fun. It’s unique, and not even 20 bucks (check Amazon’s price here). It can’t be beat as a stocking stuffer or for gift swapping with a coworker or friend you know of as a grill fanatic. It easily and quickly disperses a standard hot dog with channels of flavor, so the grooves it’s left with right off the grates explode with a tasty and crispy caramelization.
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