As mentioned in my recent article Smoking in the City, I’m one half of a competition BBQ team so I’ve learned a few things. I live with a man who loves his BBQ gadgets. He’s tested many and approved few. Here are ones that I’ve seen him show off with great pride and joy…
Start with a Weber Kettle. It’s been around for 50 years and has the most add-ons and accessories available.
The Smokenator 1000
The Smokenator 1000 turns your weber kettle into a smoker, making smoking more accessible for everyone.
Kettle Pizza Accessory
Think beyond pizza. We’ve cooked chicken with the Kettle Pizza attachment. You could do some awesome flatbreads, too. The challenge is finding a pizza stone that will sustain 900 degrees Celsius. Kettle Pizza can be used with any kettle grill.
Uses: Charcoal grilling
The Rib-O-Lator turns your Weber Kettle or large gas grill into a rotisserie. Rotisserie ribs, fish fillets, chicken breasts, chops, steaks, burgers and more.
Uses: Gas grilling, charcoal grilling
Come on baby, light my fire. The original Looftlighter is a Swedish patented invention that lights your charcoal grill or fireplace with super-heated air in 60 seconds without lighter fluid. It will speed up the process of lighting your charcoal or briquettes so you can get cooking faster. It sounds like a hairdryer.
Uses: Charcoal grilling, smoking
Some foods have a tendency to stick to grates and tear or crumble when you try to lift it, sometimes falling through the grates. Frogmats are non-stick mesh mats that eliminate this problem. They enable food to be easily be lifted or flipped with no crumbling. They’re easy to clean, very durable and very versatile. Use them in your smoker, food dehydrator or kitchen oven.
Foods you can cook on a Frogmat: Shrimp, fish, ribs, vegetables, whole chicken, chicken wings, chicken or duck breasts
Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewer
A very cool tool, each Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewer is 30″ long from tip to tip. They’re made of flexible stainless steel and are dishwasher safe. They come with a lifetime warranty “if in the unlikely event Fire Wire were to ever fail to work as designed.” Use it with a gas or charcoal grill. The flexible design makes it ideal for cooking a lot of skewered food such as shrimp, vegetables and tofu on small spaces.
Convert any barbecue into a smoker with consistent, controllable smoke with up to four hours per cartridge. The SmokePistol is a smoke generator that fits onto any BBQ grill or food smoker. Cartridges are available in nine flavours.
Use with charcoal, gas or electric grills for hot or cold smoking.
The iGrill base station has an LED readout with two sockets for two meat probes, included. Program the iGrill with the desired finishing temperature, and the probes monitor meat temperature and let you know, via a free mobile app, when it’s done. The bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer allows you to monitor your food from up to 200 feet away.
After Mark Zuckerberg announced that he uses this gadget, sales went way up. He has better things to do than watch over his meat, right?
Uses: Gas grilling, charcoal grilling, smoking
The IQ110 Automatic Temperature Controller
It’s a pitmaster’s best friend. They know that meat has to be monitored for temperature for hours. Like a certain infomercial rotisserie, the IQ features a set-it-and-forget-it design that gives your charcoal cooker temperature control and stability and gives you better temperature control than many kitchen ovens. As my pitmaster says, it turns your smoker into an “Easy Bake Oven.” Use this with an iGrill to make smoking easier. Alton Brown endorses it, which is reason enough to check it out.
The idea behind grill grates is searing without charring. Juices sizzle with the food, fat drains off. Prevents flare-ups, promotes even heating. Grill grates work with both charcoal and gas barbecues. We recommend the original Grill Grate brand.
Stuffed Burger Press
I’ve seen this used a couple of times recently. Making a stuffed burger with the Stufz Ultimate Stuffed Burger System is easier than getting caramel inside a Caramilk bar. There are three steps: shape it, stuff it, seal it. Once you start stuffing, you might find it hard to stop. The types of fillings are limited to your imagination. Bacon bits? Cheeses such as blue cheese, crumbled feta, Provolone, or brie? Horseradish? Sliced pickles?
Tip: Cheese curds work better than grated cheese because they won’t melt out of the burger.
Uses: Grilling, broiling
Thermapen is a good all-purpose cooking thermometer and it comes in a rainbow of colours. Find your favourite. Sign up for their mailing list and watch for “open box” discounts. Alton Brown uses these, too.
My man specifically told me to talk about hot gloves. Our version of “hot gloves” is actually two pairs: First we put on cotton gloves, then we cover those with latex gloves. The latex gloves are waterproof, and together your hands maintain dexterity. This helps us from burning our hands when handling hot food. It’s ideal for pulling pork. Separate insulated barbecue gloves are requires for removing hot food from the grill.
I know that’s a lot but you don’t need everything. Look at the list and judge your own needs based on how you cook. Most people who grill over charcoal will find the Looftlighter to be one of the most useful things on this list. Grill Grates are good for gas and charcoal ‘Qers. The SmokePistol works with every type of BBQ, whereas the IQ really won’t be of much use to people who only grill. Do you have a favourite gadget?