Summer barbecues are an anticipated annual pastime—a revered way to satiate ourselves while socializing with friends and family al fresco. Whether grilling out under the San Diego sunshine or the stars, there’s just nothing like a gold old fashioned cookout. But, while the sensibility might be traditional, a litany of modern tools are making the backyard barbecue easier, cleaner and tastier. Here’s an accessory assortment sure to please the grill master:
Coleman Fold-N-Go Charcoal Grill (www.QVC.com) - $47
Grill on-the-go easier than ever before with the Coleman Fold-N-Go Charcoal Grill, which lets you bring the savory tastes of real barbecue with you wherever you have a hankering for some outdoor eats. Enjoy hotdogs, chicken, hamburgers, steaks, chicken and anything else you would cook on a regular grill. Using standard charcoal briquettes, you’ll be able to create a fire-based feast on the device’s 150-square inch cooking surface—an adjustable grate made of porcelain-coated stamped steel. Its fast pre-heat function starts grilling in no time. The foldable and wheeled design, measuring just 13-3/4" x 6-3/4" x 14-3/4", is easy to transport by hand to tailgate parties, picnics, and campsites. It’s just as easy to clean with a convenient way to remove ash and a dishwasher-safe grate.
Light N’ Go Bonfire Log (www.EcoForestFirewood.com) - $10-$15
One of my favorite finds this year! This fully portable fireplace and grill is made from a section of natural birch. It can be placed on any flat surface and lit with one match for instant campfire ambiance. It can even cooked on directly. A built-in handle makes the Light N’ Go Bonfire Log easily transportable. This product contains zero chemicals so it’s completely safe not to mention it offers all the fun and atmosphere of a warm and inviting fire - without the mess or hassle. The log lights with a single match placed in the center star section cutout and burns for over two hours. You can even enjoy roasted marshmallows that are cooked directly over the bonfire log since there are never any chemicals or lighter fluids injected into the wood. A lovely item to enjoy in your backyard, camping, or wherever you can fire up a grill, fireplace or campfire.
Grill Right Wireless Talking BBQ/Oven Thermometer (www.HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com) - $38.77
The Oregon Scientific AW131 Grill Right Wireless Talking BBQ/Oven Thermometer is great for any barbecue enthusiast. No need to wait by the grill to find out when dinner is ready. That’s because this wireless thermometer verbally alerts you when the meat has reached the perfect temperature. Simply program your choice of eight entrées, choose the doneness desired, and you’re good to grill! The device provides multiple warnings to alert the chef five minutes prior and again when the meat has reached the desired temperature, ensuring everything is attended to when absolutely necessary. Users report being able to hear the alert up to fifty feet away, which helped them avoid overcooking anything. That’s a thermometer to count on!
CDN ProAccurate Grill Surface Thermometer (www.CDN-TimeAndTemp.com) - $7.49
Gain the culinary advantage by knowing the exact temperature of your grilling surface. The NSF certified CDN ProAccurate Grill Surface Thermometer sits directly on any cooking surface—from the rack of a grill to a frying pan or griddle—and it features a helpful color-coded scale that highlights target temperatures for grilling and searing to perfection. Additionally, this advanced thermometer provides accurate measurements in 10-degree increments between 100°F and 800°F, making it ideal for grilling lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp, vegetables and other cookout favorites. Constructed for durability, it features a sturdy laboratory glass lens that can withstand high heat as well as a large, shatterproof, easy-to-read dial. The large display makes it easy to read even in low light. The dial is framed by sturdy 304 stainless steel housing for durability through the years. Designed for safe and convenient transport even when hot, the ProAccurate Grill Thermometer features two tabs on the top that can be used to lift and move the unit. Another option is to use a spatula to lift the thermometer from the bottom.
Pelican LED Headlight (www.Amazon.com) - $27.95
Perfect for grilling on a summer evening or while camping, the Pelican 2720 LED Headlight is a super-convenient hands-free flashlight that helps you see whatever is in front of you, including those all-important victuals you are in the midst of cooking up. This handy headlight, which you wear across your forehead, features Gesture Activation Control technology so you can turn on/off the light with just the wave of your hand, which helps you keep your hands on the cooking utensils without having to reach for a light while gloved, greasy, or wet. Additional features include dual red LED night vision and signaling beacon light. It has an optical 4x magnification, which allows for a wide or penetrating beam yet offers variable light output to adjust when less light is needed.
Grill Daddy Heat Shield (www.Amazon.com) - $24.18
Manufactured by Grill Daddy, a company renowned for technologically advanced grilling tools, the Heat Shield is built into a trio of ergonomically designed tools that includes ultra grip tongs, a pro spatula, and a multi-purpose fork. Swiveling panels on the tools block heat and protect the griller’s hand at all times. The Heat Shield’s multi-purpose fork and pro spatula tools come with a built-in meat thermometer. To add to the BBQ wizardry, all three tools have interchangeable attachments. A telescoping shaft on the fork and spatula provide an extra 5.5 inches of reach for larger grills. With removable heads, each can convert into ten different grilling tools. Some of the attachments include a slider flipper, silicone basting brush, fish flipper, multi-purpose fork and pro spatula.
Grill Daddy Corner Cleaner Grill Cleaning Tool (www.QVC.com) - $17
Caked-on and burnt-on food is no match for the Grill Daddy Corner Cleaner Grill Cleaning Tool. It creates a fresh and fuss-free cooking surface thanks to strong stainless steel bristles and the power of steam. Just pre-heat your grill and use this incredible gadget’s on/off water valve to release a stream of water that heats on contact. The result is that you can effortlessly wash away food and grease to keep your outdoor cooking surface clean and presentable. This nifty gadget comes complete with a removable corner cleaner, main brush, scraper brush and scraper brush head to ensure every section of the grill is grime-free and ready for the next cookout. Made of plastic, this tool is safe for use on steel, iron, and porcelain grills.
Bryson Citrusafe BBQ Grid and Grill Cleaners (Pack of 3) (www.Overstock.com) - $35.49
Once you’ve grilled and eaten to your heart’s content, it’s time to clean. And, the Bryson Citrusafe BBQ Grid and Grill Cleaners make that effort so much easier. These commercial-grade cleaning sprays are specially formulated and PH balanced to safely and effectively remove all types of grease, grime, and stubborn baked-on food particles from your grill. They’ll help you keep your BBQ grill and its grids free of debris. Despite being so powerful, you can rest-assured it is not achieving incredible results with harsh chemicals. That’s because it is made with citrus ingredients so it is non-toxic, biodegradable, non-flammable, non-corrosive and phosphate free. The cleaner is green in other ways, including the fact that it’s packaged with new shrink sleeve technology, allowing the bottle to be recycled with the label still on the bottle and saving millions of bottles from ending up in landfills.
Marinade Flavor Injector (www.Overstock.com) - $20.57
Keep all your grilled meats especially flavorful and juicy thanks to this specialty Marinade Flavor Injector. This brainy barbecue tool, which features an ergonomically styled plunger for easy handling, provides an instant marinade by injecting flavor directly into beef, pork, or poultry. For turkey and chicken, the flavor can be savored all the way down to the bone thanks to its large-gauge needle, which lets herbs and spices pass through. It also features as easy-to-read ounce and milliliter markings. This low maintenance barbecue accessory can easily be cleaned by hand with soapy water.
4R Coffee Rub by 4 Rivers Smokehouse (www.4RSmokehouse.com) - $4.50
Indulge those who love to grill with something to make their summer cookouts the best on the block. Really "rub" grill masters the right way with 4 Rivers Smokehouse’s new Coffee Rub, a mix of salt, freshly ground coffee beans, pepper, sugar and other 4 Rivers Smokehouse signature spices to enhance the natural flavor of chicken, beef or pork. This mouthwatering rub is used in 4 Rivers Smokehouse restaurants, which is one of the fastest growing chains of new restaurants in the Southeast. The recipe is multi-regional, making it a perfect fusion of sweet and tangy with a smoky spice finish that you’re sure to enjoy. For those that cannot make it to the restaurant, ordering through the company’s online store offers a way to enjoy this tantalizing rub at home. It also makes a great barbeque host or hostess gift.
Coarse Grilling & Roasting Salt (www.ScrumptiousPantry.com) - $10.59
Perfect for use when cooking outdoors or indoors, The Scrumptious Pantry’s Coarse Grilling & Roasting Salt offers a delightful seasoning twist based on ingredients like estate-grown, organic rosemary, juniper berries, pink peppercorns, garlic and lemon blended with coarse Italian sea salt. This artisanal salt is a perfect rub for meat and poultry, plus it is a great base for brining turkey. These salts really stand out from conventional salts because the herbs are picked, hand-minced, and then blended with sea salt while they are still fresh. This allows the herbs slowly dry out in the salt, sealing the essential oils into the salt. Incredibly aromatic and flavorful, this herbed salt is designed to subtly enhance any meal on the grill.
Gourmè Mist (www.GourmetMist.com) - $9.99
Gourmè Mist is an award-winning range of imported culinary products that emit a fine, continuous mist - your choiceolive oil, organic canola oil, and barrel-aged balsamic vinegar-to dress up salads and flavor veggies, fish, meats and breads. Beyond creating a great taste of old world flavors, its practical side offers a great way to grease pans for grilling, cooking and baking. With a few pumps of the bottle, a one-second spray of Gourmè Mist oil is less than 5 calories per spray. The products give great flavor without the abundance of calories and fat than what typically happens when over-pouring from a bottle. And, because these sprays are non-aerosol, they are better for the environment. The cans are even Recyclable, refillable and propellant free.
If you want to make an impression while grilling, the Superman Apron—$22 from 80stees.com—will do a super job of protecting your clothes as you create culinary delights at the barbeque.
"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***