As summer is still a ways away from being able to enjoy– June 20th is officially the first day– enthusiasts of outdoor cooking are already back at it. Actually, many keep using the grill through the winter (what does storage mean again?).
But there will always be that group out there who don’t have that level of dedication for magically cooking up meat until it’s at a tender and flavorful state.
Not only is it the season to fire up the grill, but now’s the time to dip your toes into the depths of the grillosphere where modern BBQ gadgets abound. Without them, grilling would be more difficult and, as a result, your life isn’t any more easy. (Uncool!).
Shown by several Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association surveys, the majority of those owning a grill (61%), use their smokers and/or grills all four seasons. The remaining folks in the 39% get together with others during the weekend of Memorial Day.
And very few of them won’t want to test out new BBQ gear.
Communication’s senior manager Carrie deGuzman of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Assocation has pointed out that almost half of all smoker or grill owners have the most basic accessories (for grilling) and many have plans of purchasing accessories designed for the particular purpose of BBQ-ing in the upcoming year.
From what she also said, new ways are always being found by manufacturers to not just further the safety of grills but the experience of outdoor cooking as a whole.
Trending as of late?
Smokers- which give food a richer, deeper flavor. This was the takeaway after listening to Clay Dennis (the Southern Hearth and Patio owner).
He added that more smokers are being bought by people, and that they’ve never been more popular. And, smokers are being purchased separately by those already owning grill-smoker combos, and they’re attractive even more so because of technology. You’d also learn from Dennis that it took meats hours to be smoked in his younger days.
But, do we really feel for Mr. Dennis when he’d put in more wood only after waking up in the dead of night? (Depends on how well you know him, I guess.)
Dennis concluded that the same thing can be done in a “matter of hours” without having to get out of bed since your smoker is connected and controlled electronically.
Many of the newer items in this year’s grill market have that kind of convenience carried over. One of the more obvious trends is the current marriage between smartphones’ technological advantages and the art of age-old BBQ-ing, based on DeGuzman’s enlightening words.
She also made a point to how they bring convenience and utility together to make all-year grilling less difficult than its ever been, which allows the consumer to keep an eye on their grills without leaving their home.
On to the Goodies
So, here’s a sneak-peek at some of the most recent gizmos, gadgets, and grills that hit last year’s 2016 market to start off the season with a smokin’ bang. These would also be some thoughtful Father’s Day gifts if you know he likes his steaks (hint hint).
5Don’t be fooled in thinking the Connected Smoker (new Char-Broil hardware) has a brain (that’s impossible!).
Or that it’s a smoker juiced up like Arnold… (will not attempt to spell his last name.) You get your smartphone connected to it and you’re told by it what should be done next. The temperature can be lowered, raised, or the smoker can even be turned off right from the comfort of your palm. All that’s needed is some Wi-Fi and an app called ‘SmartChef’, and you’re in prime shape to throw in a turkey, wings, brisket- whatever your palate is best suited by.
When wood chips are getting low, the app will also tell you when you need to add more. It should even be loved by charcoal purists (regardless that it’s a smoker relying on electricity). It’s this much at Amazon.com
4Sometimes you’ll want to cook with gas because it’s easy; there’s nothing more simple than seeing your grill emit flames just by having a button pushed.
Plus, on other occasions you’ll like to have things slow and low, watching the white embers ride it out. But until now, there was no way for a unit to fulfill each of these wants. Both can be switched between with the Char-Broil Gas2Coal in several steps, and you don’t need any special tools. And the gas burners can even be used for lighting up the charcoal. At Lowes.com, it’s $299, and at Amazon it’s this price.
3The Portable BBQ Suitcase grill by Kikkerland is clever enough.
You may be only able to grill so much food because of the cooker’s limitation of size- a few shish kabobs, burgers, or hot dogs- but if you’re of the stir crazy type and like to get going, then this is your buy.
Whether it’s setting the GPS for bass lake, a beach, camp site, or if you pay for an apartment or condo where outdoor space is limited, the BBQ Suitcase will do the job. It can be carried wherever like any case would, then open ‘er up, get some charcoal added- holding up to one less than ten briquettes- then cook away.
After your food’s done, ashes are disposed, grill closed up and off to your next route. You’d think James Bond was the inspiration behind this thing, disguising it as a briefcase.
2The Flipkabob just might be this problem’s solution
If you’ve had any experience with putting shish kabobs on those grates, you’ll know how stubborn they can be. Intending to flip them one way and turned the other, they end up not cooking on either side (the struggle is real).. After using it, you’ll be wishing to have patented it first.
1The Pizza Oven Box by BakerStone couples affordability with outdoor baking.
Are you a sucker for pizza fresh from a pizzeria and pictured having not just any pizza oven, but one that’s wood-fired- but you’re short on space and/or the money? With its steel enameled housing and stone baking chamber, it can get up to a 750 degree temp (450 on the low end)- a pizza oven traditionally matches that. Just under $130 at acehardware.com or homedepot.com
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