At its core, grilling is a wonderfully primitive style of cooking that involves not much more than man, protein, and fire. But it’s 2021, and there’s always a worthwhile accessory you can have to make your outdoor-cooked meals all the better.
The cooking philosophy (nay, religion) behind grilling is full of technique twists, methods, and hacks that require all kinds of related gadgetry. It starts with the grill, of course, but even a pitmaster will find something on this list the could make it all better. From bbq sauces to thermometers to subscriptions, we’ve got you. Here are the best grilling gifts to give—or receive—this holiday season.
Lavatools Javelin Meat Thermometer
Look, you don’t need one (there’s an old trick for checking tenderness), but once you have one, it’s hard to go back. A good digital meat thermometer will offer some insurance as well as get you exactly where you want to be in terms of cooking style. The Lavatools Javelin is great for all kinds of cooking and stands up to the heat of your grill or smoker without issue. It’s responsive, accurate, and easy to use and can be employed on sauces, deep-fries, bread, and more.
Grill Gourmet Cedar Grilling Packs
Cedar planks are a great grilling tool, especially for fish like salmon. The woodiness that is imparted is great with fish but also works wonderfully with all sorts of vegetables, as well as smaller cuts of chicken and especially wild game. Contrary to what is often listed, you can reuse the planks several times and may even get a better char a few runs in. And don’t just trash them when you are done, recycle them or use them as kindling in your fire pit. This option from Grill Gourmet comes with 12 cedar planks and an easy-to-understand instruction sheet, handy for grillmasters who’ve always wanted to impart that wood-smoked flavor in food.
Pizza Grilling Set
Cuisinart Deluxe Pizza Grilling Set
Setting your grill up to handle pizza makes perfect sense as it’s a super oven of sorts and is able to throw a lot of heat at its contents. This grilling set from Cuisinart allows you to make pizzas without a proper pizza oven, and quality ones, too. You’ll be able to cook the pie evenly, transport it as well as cut it, all with ease. It’s not quite a brick oven, but it’s close. If tasted blind, you might not know the difference.
BBQ Fans B-Shaped Steak Branding Iron
Branding something you’ve grilled is the frosting on the BBQ cake, a cast-iron stamp of approval. It’s fun to do and adds a personal touch to your excellent work behind the Weber—a guaranteed crowd-pleaser the next time the one with the brand is hosting people for dinner. This one from BBQ Fans is simple and effective, heats up with ease, and is great to use on food as well as leather or wood. Fear not, you have your choice of letters, so collect ’em all and create entire words on your grill-ables if you feel so inclined.
BioLite Headlamp 750
If you grill into the wee hours or just in the offseason when it’s dark well before the dinner hour, a good headlamp is invaluable. Sure, you could kick the outside light on or pack a flashlight, but then you can’t enjoy the splendor of the evening (the stars, the flames) or the use of at least one of your hands, respectively. A quality skull torch like the Biolite 750 allows you to get more than enough light when you need it, hands-free and without a single worry that it will ever fall off (this thing is built for night runners, so you’re set).
Tongs and Turner
Oxo Turner and Tongs Set
Do not underestimate a good tongs and turner set. The chances are decent that you or the grill-loving person you’re shopping for is using a less-than-ideal setup. This is the grill person’s fork and spoon, vital tools that are counted on time and time again. This set from OXO grips well, handles well, is durable, and provides just enough length to keep your hands safe.
Bachan’s The Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce
Every good griller has a go-to sauce. This one is excellent on just about everything, from burgers and ribs to tofu and grilled vegetables. Better get two, just to be safe, as the first bottle won’t last long.
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbeque and Grilling
People swear by this book, and for good reason. Whether you’re a gas griller or charcoal barbecue type, it will sing to you all the same. It’s penned by a dude with a Ph.D. and breaks everything down in an approachable fashion, no matter if you’ve been doing this for decades or just getting started. Not only will it improve your grilling, but it will give you the proper rationale for all of your new and improved decision making before the flickering flames.
A good meat subscription is quite literally the gift that keeps giving. We’ve written about mail order meat as more and more club-like services keep coming to market. What’s great about them is the selection of cuts, not to mention the quality. Lately, we’ve taken to Butcher in a Box, which features grass-fed Tasmanian beef and easily some of the best steaks out there.
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