Why are dads so hard to shop for? We don’t know, but with Father’s Day approaching fast (Sunday, June 17), we’re here to help. For months, we’ve been accumulating ideas in every price range to help you honor Dad on his special day. All are related to grilling and barbecuing, of course. And if you are a Dad and see something you’d like, no one would blame you for dropping hints in advance of the holiday.
Steven’s latest book in the best-selling Barbecue! Bible series was released just last month by Workman Publishing. It’s a must-have for grillers of all skill levels, from beginner to master griller. With over 100 recipes, Project Fire is a distillation of time-honored traditions and cutting-edge techniques that will give Dad mad skills. You might want to give him this gift early to ensure this year’s Father’s Day cookout will be the best yet.
Firedragon Blow Poke
There’s something very compelling about a tool whose amazon.com description begins, “Black power-coated steel shaft with polished brass mouthpiece.” Unless it was intentional, the presumed typo—we’re pretty sure it should read “powder-coated”—makes this tool seem all the more badass. It looks like a medieval musical instrument, channeling air (which is blown into the mouthpiece) to the heart of any charcoal or wood fire, rousing the coals to action. Way sexier than bellows or a folded newspaper. Los Angeles celebrity chef and fire master Curtis Stone can’t live without it at his restaurant Gwen.
Best of Barbecue Suede Gloves
One of the best sellers in my Best of Barbecue line is these distinctive black and rust-colored suede grilling gloves. Long enough to protect Dad’s forearms from the heat of the grill, these manly-looking gloves are soft and pliable. Better yet, combine them with Insulated Food Gloves, rubberized gloves that help grillers maneuver beer can chicken off the grill, shred pork, or handle other hot foods without discomfort.
FOGO Premium Hardwood Charcoal
This is the charcoal that keeps the fires burning on the set of Steven’s latest TV show, Project Fire, on American Public Television. (Click here for listings.) Made from dense Central American hardwoods, this natural lump charcoal burns clean and hot. (It’s perfect for “cave-manning,” i.e., cooking directly in the embers.) FOGO is produced sustainably, utilizing trimmings or trees that have been marked for removal. Bundle the charcoal with premium dry-aged steaks from Creekstone Farms for an unexpected gift that’s sure to be much appreciated.
Project Smoke World-Influenced Barbecue Rubs
Buy Dad a six-pack for Father’s Day! No, not that kind of six-pack, but a collection of six unique spice rubs Steven developed to bring new and exciting flavors to the table. They include Malabar Steak Rub, Carolina Pit Powder, Kansas City Smoke Rub, Santa Fe Coffee Rub, Fennel Pepper Rub, and Greek Island Herb Rub. Family dinners just got a lot more global, and interesting. Yes, you’ll find recipes for their use on barbecuebible.com and have multiple buying options.
Slow ‘N Sear
Made by the Adrenaline Barbecue Company, the Slow ‘N Sear proved its worth on the set of Project Fire. Used in tandem with a traditional 22-inch kettle grill, this heavy-duty stainless steel charcoal basket—it weighs 5 pounds—corrals coals for low-and-slow cooking or high temperature searing. A water reservoir not only helps stabilize grill temperatures, but keeps food moist, even during long cooks. Built to last a lifetime.
Project Smoke and Best of Barbecue Smoking Pucks
Released by Workman Publishing in May, 2016, Project Smoke (the companion book to Project Fire above) by Steven Raichlen quickly became a best-seller. It features full-color photos and over 100 irresistible recipes. Bundle it with innovative Best of Barbecue Smoking Pucks. These stainless steel disks (a set contains two) hold either pellets or smoking wood chips. Directional vents enable you to direct smoke onto the food, ramping up the flavor.
Shun 12-inch Hollow Ground Brisket Knife
This elegant, superbly crafted knife glides through large hunks of protein (brisket, turkey, and ham) like butter without tearing the meat or fatiguing the designated meat carver—usually Dad himself! Perhaps you’ve seen it on the set of Project Smoke. It’s one of Steven’s favorite blades. Made in Japan of high-carbon vanadium stainless steel (the durable handle is polished pakkawood), this knife is destined to become a family heirloom. It comes in a very cool wooden sheath called a saya.
Project Smoke Barbecue Sauces
In honor of American barbecue, Steven created a line of electrifying sauces that honors distinct regional differences. They include nuanced Chipotle Molasses, Smoky Mustard (a nod to the Carolinas), Kansas City-inspired Lemon Brown Sugar, Cabernet Rosemary from California’s wine country, Cherry Beer, and Spicy Apple. They’re great with pork or beef ribs, chicken, pork shoulder, even duck. Can’t choose your favorite? That’s why they come in a six pack.
Maverick PT-60 Pocket Knife Thermometer with Three Tools
Forget the Swiss army knife. This handy combination tool has a pocket knife and so much more—including a thin-probed digital instant-read thermometer, corkscrew, and all-important bottle opener. The probe measures temperatures from -4 to 572 degrees F, and can be calibrated for Celsius read-outs as well. Operates on 2 AAA batteries (included). Or check out one of several Maverick digital thermometers, including remote wireless versions.
Bradley Bluetooth-Compatible Smart Smoker
If Dad loves to be in control, he’ll love this “smart” smoker from Bradley. Time, temperature, and even the amount of smoke that reaches the food can be manipulated for optimum results through the units iSmoke technology. The smoker operates on disks of compressed sawdust (called “Bisquettes”) that are fed automatically to two heating elements—one for temperature and one expressly for smoke. Monitor everything from your tablet or iPhone. Roomy, too, with ten removable racks.
Barbecue University, 2019
Enroll your father in BBQU, and he’ll not only have a year to anticipate the experience, but have bragging rights for a lifetime after attending what’s been called “one of the best food lover’s events in the nation.” It’s an action-packed whirlwind of food and fire (not to mention golf, fly-fishing, zip-lining, and other fun pursuits) at one of the most luxurious resorts in the country. This exclusive class, taught personally by Steven, is very hands-on and covers all the methods of live-fire cooking. Join him, if you can; it’s a great experience for families. Dates for the 2019 program will soon be announced on this page.