It’s that time of year again to start shopping for Christmas gifts and if you’re looking for some BBQ gift ideas then you’ve come to the right place 🙂 Below I have provided what I feel are the Top 10 BBQ Gifts for 2013 (check out my 2012 list for additional ideas). I’ve included ideas ranging from affordable to rather expensive. Additionally, all of these ideas are either items that I own and use or items that I would like to own (hint…hint…Jenn…if you’re reading this 😛 ). Lastly, there is also no particular order in this list as I think they are all great ideas. So…without further ado…
The Weber Smokey Mountain, or “WSM”, is one of the most popular smokers on the market and I have owned both of the larger models, the 18.5″ and the 22.5″ and can tell you they are phenomenal smokers, especially for someone looking to get started in “low and slow” smoking. Weber just released this new 14.5″ model which I think is going to be an excellent option for someone interested in easing into backyard BBQ’ing but isn’t sure how serious they will get into to. This vertical charcoal water smoker will be able to produce some excellent BBQ at a very affordable price point of just $200 and will last a long, long time if taken care of.
Serious Barbecue by Adam Perry Lang has been the most frequented book in my BBQ library this year. Lang starts off with some “Barbecue Basics” and then moves on to recipe sections covering pork, beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey. He also shares some of his favorites sides as well. This is a great book for someone that’s been BBQ’ing a while and knows the basics and ready to step their game up a bit. I’ve learned a lot from this book this year and have cooked some of the best BBQ I ever have following some of Lang’s tips and tricks.
GrillGrates are easily one of the best grill ad-ons you can get right now on the market. They are an interlocking raised rail panel system that lay on top of any grill. They are constructed of hard anodized aluminum and provide a cooking environment that reduces flare-ups, evenly distributes heat, provides more flavor by steaming and boiling fat drippings back up into the meat and creates the most gorgeous sear marks you’ll ever see. They come in many shapes and sizes to fit any grill, so in my opinion, it’s an absolute no-brainer to pick a set of these up.
4. iGrill Mini
The iGrill Mini is a product that hasn’t been released as of this posting and one that I’ve got my eye on. I own it’s big brother, the full size iGrill, and have really enjoyed it. The iGrill Mini is a BBQ temperature monitoring device which connects to iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) via Bluetooth and will allow you to monitor either your cooker temp or your food temp via the iGrill Connected app. It is magnetic and very compact and will stick easily to the outside of your grill.
Hooking your loved one up with an AllStarSauces.com membership this Christmas may be one of the best gift ideas in my top 10 this year because it’s like getting gifts all year long! AllStarSauces.com is a craft BBQ sauce membership service where everything is handled for you. There are three membership plans to choose from in which you pay one flat fee (includes shipping) and then they take care of hand selecting the sauces and getting them to your doorstep. As a BBQ sauce fanatic myself, I can tell you that having looked over their past and future BBQ sauce lineup, each sauce comes from an award/contest-winning vendor. These are all very high quality sauces and since shipping is including in the flat fee, I can tell you this is a very fair price for receiving amazing BBQ sauces on your front porch multiple times throughout the year without even having to think about it. 🙂
This year I became a proud owner of a REC TEC pellet grill and can tell you it has become one of my go-to grills in my arsenal of cookers. REC TEC pellet grills come with a 40 lb pellet hopper and are controlled by REC TEC’s “Smart Grill Technology” control panel that automatically adjusts the rate at which pellets are sent into the fire pot to maintain a constant temperature without having to constantly monitor it. Literally all you do is turn it on, dial in what temp you want the cooker set at, let it preheat and then toss your food on. It’s that simple. The flavor and tenderness of all of the food I’ve cooked on it so far this year has been nothing short of amazing and I strongly recommend this if you’re looking to step up to a fancier grill.
As the Maverick ET-732 Wireless BBBQ Thermometer made my Top 10 BBQ Gifts List for 2012, it should come as no surprise to those of you that are familiar with the Maverick line of products that the new ET-733 would make my list. The ET-733 has a much larger screen on the receiver (with more info) but the biggest upgrade with this new model is the fact that it comes with two “hydrid” probes that can each be used to monitor either your pit temp or your food temp. What this gives you is the following three monitoring setups: 2 smokers/grills; 2 pieces of food; or one smoker/grill and one piece of food. What does this mean? It means it just became my new best friend 🙂
I’ve talked a lot so far about great grills, gadgets and condiments….but what is BBQ’ing/grilling all about without an excellent cut of meat to cook!? I’ve had the fortunately opportunity the past couple of months to cook some of the aged beef and exotic meats from FrontierMeats.com and have been blown away by the quality of their products. For those of you that may be new to mail ordering meat….it’s really a simple, straightforward and safe process: they ship the meat in completely sealed styrofoam coolers filled with packs of dry ice and provide tracking info so you’ll know exactly when it will arrive on your doorstep. So far this year, I’ve cooked one of their Wild Boar Frenched Racks and some of their ground bison and instantly am in love with these incredibly flavorful cuts of meat. They also offer aged beef like beef rib racks, tenderloin racks and New York Strips. If you’re looking for an excellent meal to impress your family and friends during the Holidays this year then definitely check out the impressive offerings from Frontier Meats.
The Super-Fast Thermapen has been one of the most popular instant-read BBQ thermometers on the market for years now and now the good folks from ThermoWorks have released a “backlit” version. This new model is essentially the same as the original non-backlit unit and features 3-second readings, high accuracy to ±0.7°F (±0.4°C), a water-resistant design and °F to °C reconfigurable. It also features an ambient light sensor that automatically turns that backlight on and off which helps aids in prolonged battery life. The Thermapen is one of the first BBQ gadgets I ever purchased and one that I use every single cook. They are built like tanks and will last forever. Nuff’ said.
I simply can’t end this list without featuring perhaps my favorite cooker ever to have graced my back porch. The Grill Dome ceramic kamado is a cooking beast and one that I don’t think I could function without. The 1 1/2″ ceramic walls on this monster (way thicker than the Big Green Egg…) provide highly efficient “low and slow” style smoking, high-heat searing, pizza baking and direct-heat grilling…all in one magical cooker. I get a ton of questions all the time from people looking to step up their BBQ game, asking what cooker in the high 3-figures to low 4-figures to invest in and every single time I point them towards the Grill Dome ceramic kamado. I don’t know what else to say except if you own one…you know what I’m talking about….but if you don’t…once you do…you will 🙂