Is the grill master in your life ready for outdoor cooking season? No? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Whether your griller is a minimalist, who likes wood chips, a spatula and nothing else between them and their meat, or someone who wants to pull out all the stops to ensure a perfectly grilled meal, you’ll find everything they need in this gift guide.
Flavor is the top concern when it comes to good grilling, and wood planks are a great way to impart that smoky, woodsy flavor without a smoker. According to Serious Eats, fish should be planked on cedar or alder; chicken and pork on apple, maple, or pecan wood; and beef or other red meats benefit from a heavier flavor like oak or hickory. The reasoning behind this is that different proteins pair better with different types of wood. Purchase a wood plank sampler pack to try multiple flavors, or if you’ve already know the benefits of wood planks, stock up on you favorite variety.
Wood chips offer the flavor of smoke along with your char. With a charcoal grill, you can lay soaked chips right down on the coals. For a gas grill, you’ll need a smoke box, like this one. For a longer burn than the often ephemeral chip, use wood chunks.
Your barbecue style is defined by the way you dress up your meat, and this leads to strong divisions in the barbecue world. Regardless of whether your grill master is all about the vinegar-, tomato-, or mustard-based sauces or a devoted user of rubs and salts, you can order the perfect option. Find the best barbecue sauces, superb seasonings, or gourmet rubs that suit your grill master’s preferences.
Getting your grill going is easy for gas grillers, but getting a charcoal grill going is a science. Whether or not you have a chimney, the Kamado Joe Electric Lighter gets your coals lit without dousing them in chemicals. It has a heat mode, a fan mode for stoking the coals, and a heat plus fan mode to really get your fire going.
Getting the cook right is vital to a grill master. If it’s supposed to be medium rare, it better be medium rare, and cutting into the meat is not an option. Luckily, doneness is a factor of internal temperature — and easily measured with a tool like the iGrill 2 Thermometer. What’s so cool about this tool is that it links with your smartphone. It will alert you when your meat is done, and lets you know the rate at which your meat is cooking with a nifty line graph. A smaller version, the iGrill Mini, is available as well.
You never want to run out of propane halfway through grilling on a gas grill. Always know how much juice you have left with a propane gauge, like this basic, highly rated gauge, or go high-tech with Quirky’s gauge, which connects to your smartphone.
Keep your grill master’s game sharp with new tools. This Cuisinart 14-Piece Set has a stainless steel spatula, grill tongs, four pairs of corn holders, a silicone basting brush, and a cleaning brush, all in a neat metal case
For the grill master who really likes to leave a mark, you can’t go wrong with branding irons. Select from Texas Irons’ ready-made options, or give your griller a Handmade Custom Personalized Initial Branding Iron.
From novice to master, every griller can benefit from a little extra know-how or a different grilling viewpoint. Serious Eats’ favorite grilling cookbooks include Wicked Good Barbecue by barbecue champions Andy Husbands and Chris Hart, Grill It! by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, and Peace, Love, & Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe.
No one likes a dirty grill. You might be tempted to order a device that will clean the grill for you, but as you’ll see in this Consumer Reports video, elbow grease wins out over the Grillbot.
Instead, keep last week’s old steak char off of this week’s pork ribs without working up too much of a sweat with the Grand Grill Daddy Steaming Grill Brush. Or, opt for Kona’s 360° CLEAN GRILL BRUSH, which has a five-year guarantee.
Grilling on the go
Traveling will never cause your grill master to miss out on his or her favorite recipes, as long as they have a portable grill. If you really want to send them off with style, choose the Kikkerland Portable BBQ Suitcase.