Good Food Blog
Barbecue gadgetsPosted at 12:02PM, 10 August 2012 by Sarah Sysum - Assistant editor, Easy Cook magazine
Now that the mercury seems to be (hopefully!) rising, it's time to fire up the barbecue. Whether you're a novice cook or a pit master, take your barbie to the next level with these gadgets and barbecues...
Carri Chef Deluxe, £138Gas barbecues are the most popular, yet the more pricey option. Unlike Charcoal, they do not need to be preheated and are easy to control and clean as well. This is a little different from the massive 5 burner options you see. It's a gas kettle barbecue which has interchangeable cooking surfaces; BBQ, Wok, Non-Stick Reversible Grill. It's great for camping as it's lightweight and compact; the legs can be stored alongside the entire unit in the carry bag. I like the extra features too - it has a condiments tray and pot stand (ideal for boiling water).
New York Pedestal BBQ , £34.99, HomebaseFor some people only charcoal will do. They're good when you seek the smoked flavour of food cooked over charred wood. This type of grill is cheaper than gas and electric but they require more time to heat up, which means they have to be allowed preheating time beforehand. I love the design of this model - it combines simplicity with practicality. The powder-coated black steel design features an air vent (ideal for warming up your outdoor space) and ash catcher. The cooking area is surprisingly roomy (38cmx30cm) too.
Weber Kebab Set, £21.24Skewers can be fiddly to turn over on a hot barbecue, but this wire rack keeps them at an even distance from each other and the coals and makes turning easy. Its sturdy construction means it stays put on the grill, while plated stainless steel provides great heat distribution and it's easy to clean. The rack itself is a little heavy, so I advise against using it on a lightweight grill. Comes with six skewers and fits 18in charcoal grills or larger.
Grillslinger, £49.99It's not about being the quickest draw in the West, but definitely the best cook in town. It's a tool belt, made just to hold all the grilling utensils you might need. The belt includes loops for the big utensils, and plenty of pockets and pouches to hold whatever you need to treat your meat. There are a few models available, but the original Grillslinger might be your best bet. It comes with a grill knife, tongs and spatula set.
Porter Grab and Grill, £25This is a multi-purpose barbecue tray that eliminates extra trips between your kitchen and grill. Containers with lids keep raw food safely separated, while a serving platter and condiment caddy hold everything at hand.
BBQ Genius Cedar Wood Grilling Planks, pack of 2, £7.19If you're serious about barbecues you'll want to get your hands on one of these grilling planks. The planks help infuse your food with an unbeatable smoky flavour and stop food sticking to the grill. They're especially good for barbecues with lids: submerge the plank in water for at least 30 minutes and then place the soaked plank onto the grill and close the lid for a couple of minutes until the plank starts to smoke. It's also good for fish as the wood allows the fish to subtly absorb some of the natural woody smoke flavours within whilst gently steaming the fish. Once you're finished the plank becomes the serving board.
Grill Daddy brush steam cleaning grill tool barbecue grill, £6.59Let's be honest no one volunteers to clean the barbecue. But whilst this clever gadget doesn't make it an enjoyable experience it does take away a lot of arm ache! It's a small steam cleaner where the combination of steam (which comes from the refillable water chamber) and stainless steel bristles means baked on food stands little chance of staying. I found it most successful on stainless steel grills (for which it was designed). Easy to grip and the brush attachment is removable and dishwasher safe.
OXO Silicone Flexible Tongs, 33cm, £13.27These are really well-designed - the rubberised handles are easy to grip and the flat silicone tips are slightly flexible so they can be used as a spatula to flip food. They're ideal for burgers but really come into their own when having to turn fish or vegetable slices.
Weber Style digital talking thermometer, £44.99Possibly one of my favourite gadgets of all time! This thermometer is wireless, remote controlled. It is easily set with just a few clicks of the button with you controlling the temperature of your meat, ensuring that it is cooked just as you want it. The thermometer's range is 30 metres, which means that you do not even have to stand right next to the barbecue while the meat is cooking. Infact all you do is stick the probe sensor into the meat and leave to cook, the wireless thermometer says 'it's done' when your meat is perfectly done. How hot is that?
Vacuvin BBQ Cooler £34.95Designed to prevent meat spoiling in the sun, the storage container has a metal base with a removable cooling element, plus a cover to keep out bugs. You store the cooling element in the freezer and place it under the plate before use. The element takes up little room in the freezer, and the stainless steel plate maintains a cool temperature even after the ice pack has defrosted for a couple of hours. Available from selected House of Fraser stores vacuvin.com