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Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.
Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners
The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One
The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.
The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!
Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater
Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.
The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted
Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.
Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff
If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof
Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.
Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.
The BBQ Guru DynaQ is a two-channel, Bluetooth connected wireless remote food thermometer and thermostatic controller that runs on a supplied AC power supply or an optional 12VDC battery. It comes with an articulated mounting stand that can be attached to a surface with either its own magnet or included screws. There are several adapters available to mate the fan module to a variety of cookers.
Setting up the unit is easy using the free Apple or Android app. Connection between the smart phone app and the DynaQ control is made via Bluetooth.
The display unit is shaped like the letter Q and indicates the temperature status of the displayed probe. If the temperature is below the setting, the color displays blue. If the cooker is within the user-selectable temperature band, it's red. If the temp gets too high, it flashes red. There is also a Bluetooth connection status LED in the lower right corner of the display.
The app allows you to set up your cooking temperature and control a number of features incorporated into the product. You can turn the light show on or off, set target temperatures, enable open-lid detection, control temperature ramping (from the cooking temperature to a keep-warm temperature), and modify the behavior of the temperature controller. You can view temperature vs. time graphs for each probe. The control alerts you to food doneness and cooker temperatures with audible and visible alarms.
The fan module attaches to the cooker adapter and has an integral damper to allow you to restrict airflow. This is helpful for controlling temperature fluctuations due to thermal airflow. The damper can be closed when the cook is done to extinguish and save the remaining fuel.
The probes are advertised as being dishwasher-safe, a rare feature. Most probes are susceptible to damage from submersion, and care must be taken while cleaning the probes. I'm glad to see that this should not be a concern with BBQ Guru's probes.
The temperature control algorithm used in the DynaQ is identical to the one used in its big brother, the UltraQ. Rather than repeat the test, I'm providing the results from the UltraQ. I tested the behavior of the thermostatic controller using a small clamshell cooker to prepare a batch of baby back ribs. As you can see from the graph, the UltraQ held the temperature quite steady. I may have slightly over-fired the cooker, and this resulted in some temperature overshoot at the beginning. Temps stayed within acceptable boundaries until the fuel was exhausted. I had the open-lid detector enabled and ramping disabled. Click on the graph below to see an enlarged version.
A well-written 18 page user's manual is downloadable from the company's website. It covers all facets of operation and should make the learning curve short and easy, even for a beginner. Contact info, including a snail-mail address, e-mail address, website and telephone number, is included in the manual should the user encounter any problems. The control and the fan are warrantied for two years and the probes are covered for 90 days.
This is a well-made thermostatic controller that performs well and is adaptable to a wide variety of cookers. Info on the adapter kits is available on the BBQ Guru website. I didn't find anything to dislike, so I'm awarding it a Silver Medal. If you need more channels and like the ability to access the control from anywhere, you might consider the BBQ Guru UltraQ which features four probes and Wi-Fi connectivity. Read the review here.
Bill McGrath is AmazingRibs.com's Thermometer Maven. He has sophisticated equipment, an electrical engineering degree from Cornell University, and an MBA (almost) from UC Berkeley. Despite being mostly retired, he is still the person responsible for developing and updating all of ExxonMobil's electricians' training modules.
Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazonhttps://tinyurl.com/amazingribs