UP IN SMOKE
BARBECUER’S GIFT GUIDE 2012
December 14th, 2012
It’s that time of year again—time for us to roll out our annual Barbecuer’s Gift Guide, featuring must-have products for anyone obsessed with grilling, barbecuing, or smoking. Feel free to forward this list to a generous friend—or print it out, circle your favorite items, and leave your subtle hint in plain sight. Here’s hoping you get everything your grill-loving heart desires, and wishing you Happy Holidays and a Smokin’ New Year.
1. FLIP-TIP™ DIGITAL THERMOMETER
An instant-read meat thermometer makes a great stocking stuffer—it’s the first accessory a grill-owner should acquire. Not only will it pay for itself the first time it saves you from overcooking an expensive hunk of meat—the holiday prime rib, for example—but it will protect you from the very real hazards of undercooking proteins like poultry or ground meats. Steven’s new Flip-Tip™ Thermometer features a thin, multiple position probe, easy-to-read face, and an adjustable silicone depth gauge for consistent temperature readings.
We often glorify the “high, dry heat of the grill.” But grilling can blast the moisture out of many foods, as anyone who has eaten a cardboard-textured grilled chicken breast or pork chop can tell you. The Companion Group, longtime innovators of grilling and outdoor products, came up with a remedy: twin cast iron “humidifiers” with vented lids. You fill the reservoirs with liquid—beer, apple juice, broth, wine, or water. Food retains more of its natural juices and flavor.
Just released in August by Workman Publishing, this ebook is like a private lesson from Steven. Downloadable to your iPad or your computer through iTunes, Secrets of the World’s Best Grilling gives you an interactive tour of the world’s greatest grilling cultures. Each chapter begins with a slide-by-slide tutorial and/or video. Steven shares his favorite recipes—Spiessbraten, Lamb on a Shovel, Gaucho-Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri, and many more. A must-have addition to your barbecue library.
Todd Johnson, founder of A-MAZ-N Products, LLC, was searching for an efficient but inexpensive way to smoke meats, fish, nuts, and cheeses. His solution? A device that can turn almost any lidded grill into a hot or cold smoker. The A-MAZ-N Pellet Smoker runs on sawdust or sawdust pellets; one pound can provide up to 11 hours of smoke. It can even be used with a conventional smoker or pellet smoker when more smoke flavor is wanted.
In many parts of Planet Barbecue!, grills don’t have grates, and food is cooked in a grill basket. With the Best of Barbecue® All-Purpose Grilling Basket Grill, you can grill bread, chicken breasts, pork chops, eggplant slices, sandwiches, wings, and more—the name of this great product says it all. Even delicate fish fillets, once pinioned between its stainless steel wire panels, resist sticking to the grill grate.
Jaws dropped when we introduced this Brazilian-style rotisserie last June during the third day of BBQ U. Collapsed, it looks like a sleek stainless steel suitcase. Set it up, with its motorized skewers loaded with food, it looks like the meanest, leanest grilling machine you’ve seen in a long time. Invented by an American with a passion for soccer and churrasco (Brazilian spit-roasted meats), the Epicoa will make eyes pop and mouths water at your next tailgate party. Available in both 5- and 7-skewer models. You can even order a unit painted with your team’s colors.
If you’ve made too many burnt offerings to the barbecue gods—in the form of food fallen through the grill grates—this handsome stainless steel grilling grid will put a halt to the needless sacrifice. Grill mushrooms, sliced vegetables, asparagus spears, chicken wings, or even delicate fish fillets without fear.
All-natural Afire KOKO Charcoal briquettes will appeal to the griller who’s interested in recycling and sustainable products. Not only are no trees harmed in the making of this charcoal, but it contains no chemicals or fillers. Coconut shells—a by-product of coconut milk, coconut oil, shredded coconut, etc.—are burned until carbonized, then compacted under high pressure. Each briquette has a center hole to encourage airflow and hotter burning. Available in 4.5 and 24 pound packages.
“Just when you thought Steven Raichlen taught you everything there was to know about grilling, he returns with Planet Barbecue!” -Tom Colicchio
If you or the griller on your gift list has slid into a rut, the Planet Barbecue Gift Set offers a big-flavored blast from the best of the world’s barbecue cultures. The set includes five thrilling rubs, four explosively-flavorful spice pastes, and of course, Planet Barbecue!—over 300 recipes from 60 countries.
Everyone loves shish kebab. Unfortunately, people often thread foods with different cooking times on the same skewer. Shriveled cherry tomatoes, undercooked onions, and overcooked meats do not a great grill session make. Enter the Skewer Station, which enables you to segregate kebab components and cook each ingredient to perfection. A great conversation starter for your next barbecue.
Olive oil is not like wine: It does not improve with age. That is why I have come to rely on a club that promises me impeccably fresh, healthy olive oil year round. In a few days, I will receive at my doorstep three bottles of olive oil from Italy, pressed about two weeks ago. The Italians call oils this fresh oil novello. This club sends its scouts—some of whom spend up to five months overseas—to find the world’s best olive oils. A membership is a perfect gift for a gourmand or health-conscious griller.
And finally the ultimate gift for that grilling fanatic in your family: a trip to Barbecue University—the 3-day extravaganza of food and fire that attracts barbecue and grilling fanatics from around the world. Held at the luxurious Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this exclusive retreat is truly the gift that keeps on giving: Alumni often tell us that BBQ U® was not only a game-changer, but one of the best recreational experiences they’ve ever had. The first session starts June 5 and the second session June 9. Enrollment is limited. Gift certificates are available.