Finding the perfect gift for the barbecue and grilling enthusiasts on your holiday list can be a daunting task with literally thousands of cookers and accessories on the market.
As such, we are helping to narrow the list by offering up 10 surefire holiday misses.
Introducing our “Top 10 Holiday Don't Wish List,” to be followed soon by a list of our most favorite barbecue and grilling items.
TOP 10 HOLIDAY "DON'T WISH" LIST
One of the biggest challenges with grilling kebabs is keeping the ingredients from rotating on the skewer and cooking unevenly and fire wire cables are likely the most unwieldy of the bunch. Instead, opt for using two disposable bamboo skewers per kebab or flat skewers such as these 17-inch versions.
9. BBQ DRAGON
Designed to help start a charcoal fire, this battery powered fan (basically a hair dryer with a clip) is one of those items that might sound great but will soon end up on a shelf never to be used again. Instead, a quality charcoal chimney and Weber firestarter cubes ensure perfect pre-heated briquets each and every time.
Have you always wished that you could take the temperature of your food every time you go to flip it? Then this odd pairing is perfect for you. If not, stick to a pair of good quality, extra long tongs (we like the inexpensive but highly durable food service clam shell variety) and put the extra money towards a highly accurate instant read thermometer such as the Thermapen that enables you to properly probe the exact center of the meat each and every time.
In addition to offering storage space for grilling tools, condiments, and beverages, this over-the top apron will also hold the biggest tool of all – the wearer. Instead of looking like a cast member from Revenge of the Nerds simply buy a small collapsible table to place your gear on a pick up a stylish, high quality apron such as the aptly named Memphis adjustable apron from Chef Works.
6. CHEAP BULLET-STYLE AND OFFSET SMOKERS
While these mass market smokers seem like a great deal, the reality is that you will wind up spending more money in the long run as they are drafty fuel hogs whose craftsmanship is likely to hold up for a year or two before breaking down. Instead save up a little extra money and invest in something that is well made a extremely efficient such as the Weber Smoky Mountain.
While Myron is one of the most successful pitmasters on the circuit, his skill as a knife designer leaves a lot to be desired. A chef’s knife with a built in meat flipping hook on the tip and a bottle opener in the blade, this odd 3-in-1 creation is an accident waiting to happen. A knife should be a knife and nothing more so invest in a quality one from a reputable brand such as Shun or Wustoff.
Sure beer can chicken is one of those show stopping dishes that everyone enjoys doing on the grill but as Meathead of AmazingRibs.com explains here, not only is it an ineffective means of introducing moisture and flavor intro the meat, it can also be dangerous as the can doesn’t allow the cavity to heat as well as the exterior thereby raising the potential of serving undercooked poultry. Equally there is a very real danger of severe burns to the cook when trying to remove a hot can full of even hotter liquid that has been wedged into a chicken’s nether regions. The technique of cooking the bird vertically, however, is a good one so instead invest in a proper poultry roaster that allows the heat and air to properly circulate in the bird’s cavity.
A robot that will clean your grill grate while you sit around doing nothing? Sounds like a fantasy dreamed up for some futuristic Will Smith film. Unfortunately it is real…a real waste of money. What in all actuality takes less than a minute to do my hand takes the Grillbot several minutes to do and even then the device leaves a good amount of burnt on foods stuck to the underside of the grates. Skip spending a c-note on this impractical tool and put $10-15 towards a durable grate cleaner with interwoven bristles that won’t wind up in someone’s food.
A mini thermometer for everyone’s steak? What could be wrong with ensuring everyone’s ribeye is grilled to their desired level of doneness? First, blue (rare), yellow (medium), and red (well done) are NOT actual temperatures. Second, do you really want a nickel sized thermometer sticking out of your meat as you work to sear all sides of the steak? As mentioned previously, skip the novelties and spend the money on a quality thermometer that will give you an actual temperature reading within seconds.
When making your holiday list, only consider this ketchup and mustard dispenser if you happen to have someone close to you who really loves cr@p. There is a reason that condiment companies sell their products in squeeze bottles --- so you can easily top your burgers and hot dogs directly from the vessel versus filling a second squeeze bottle then loading it into a cheap plastic gun.