Great Summer BBQ and Grilling Tech
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LooftLighter ($79, Amazon.com)nnn
Looking for a way to light your charcoal grill in a safe, environmentally friendly way in virtually any weather condition, all year long? Forget lighter fluid, propane torches or dangerous chimney starters. Check out the LooftLighter, which was designed and originally marketed in Scandanavia for lighting grills in extremely low temperatures and damp environments. The Looftlighter is able to ignite even the densest, dampest hardwood charcoal using superheated 1,250 degree air in only a few minutes.n
nnSee the ZDNet review of the LooftLighter.
DigiQ DX ($280-$300 depending on configuration, BBQGuru.com)nn
As opposed to grilling, which is a quick and high temperature cooking method, actual barbecue smoking using charcoal rigs involves low and slow cooking of poultry, ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket and other meats require patience and also close attention to temperatures over a period of many hours.
With BBQ Guru?s DigiQ DX, you too can smoke like a true competition pitmaster while also having the convenience of automated digital monitoring and electronic thermal management.
DigiQ DX is a scaled down version of the CyberQ, which BBQ Guru has developed for professional pit masters that have to monitor multiple BBQ rigs simultaneously and is used in professional BBQ competitions. n
Whether you have a simple Weber Bullet, a Big Green Egg, or another charcoal smoker, the DigiQ will automatically regulate the smoker to the desired target temperature (200-225 degrees for ideal BBQ smoking results) using an electronically controlled fan (with adaptors designed specifically for your smoker brand and model) and real-time internal temperature monitoring of the meat and ambient pit temperature using probe sensors.n
If you use an electric smoker, BBQ Guru has developed the Power Raptor, a similar electronic monitoring system.
Maverick PT 100 Professional Instant Read Thermometer ($45, Amazon.com)nn
Whether you grill or you smoke, getting accurate readings on meat temperatures is essential because you not only want to make sure your prized meal isn?t overcooked, but you also want to make sure your meat is cooked to the proper temperature in order to kill foodborne bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella.
If you are a serious griller or smoker, the Maverick PT 100 is the electronic probe, instant read thermometer of the pros. Made out of stainless steel and dust/water resistant, the device is accurate within 1 degree C.
Maverick DT-12T Compact Instant Read Thermometer ($14.99 Amazon.com)nn
If you are looking for a more pocketable meat thermometer, Maverick has the same quality sensor in its DT-12T, which is made out of easy to clean plastic and comes with a rubberized holster/cover.n
n Maverick AK-01 BBQ Accessory Tool Kit AK-01 ($45, Amazon.com)nnn
Do you want quality, easy to clean BBQ tools? Look no further than Maverick’s stainless steel and rubber coated BBQ accessory kit that includes a spatula, tongs, basting brush and grill-cleaning brush, as well as a fast-read LCD fork probe thermometer.n
Grill Daddy Pro Motorized Grill Brush With Steam Cleaner ($19, Amazon.com)nnn
Tried of that gunky grilltop? The Grill Daddy Pro uses the power of steam cleaning to remove all that yucky carbonized and greasy buildup.
Weber Smokey Mountain 721001 18.5? Charcoal Smoker ($275.00 Amazon)nn
If you talk to any serious amateur or even professional pitmasters, the Weber Smokey Mountain is one of the best affordable and durable charcoal smokers money can buy. I agree with that sentiment because like the other smokers and grills on this list, I actually own one. n
I nominated the WSM Bullet as my dead finger tech of 2009. Once you start using this smoker, you?ll never have to eat sub-standard BBQ smoked chicken, sausages, ribs or pulled pork ever again.n
Weber 751001 22.5′ One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill ($146.00, Amazon)nn
When it comes to charcoal grilling, nothing beats the classic Weber. The original and iconic kettle which has been in production since 1951 is made out of heavy gauge porcelain enameled steel, and is the ultimate in simplicity. The Gold model has a One-Touch cleaning and venting system that allows you to empty the ash in seconds without getting your hands dirty.
Weber Genesis Gas and LP Grills ($699.00 and up, Amazon.com)nn
If Gas grills are more your speed, Weber is still your best choice. There are much more expensive grills on the market than the Genesis series, but you?re not going to find one as well-built and higher performing than for the money. The Genesis was the first grill I ever bought, and after 10 years of enduring the rain and the cold of New Jersey, it?s still performing as well as ever.
The current model electric ignition 3-burner Genesis has a total surface cooking area of 637 square inches and a burner input of over 38,000 BTU per hour. n
The Genesis comes in a variety of models for Liquid Propane (LP) and for natural gas, in different configurations, which also include side burners for boiling water, and cooking chilis and BBQ sauces.n
Big Green Egg ($700+, http://www.biggreenegg.com)nn
For those of you who want the ultimate, most versatile outdoor cooker on the market, and for which nothing other than hardwood charcoal cooking will do, the best product on the market in my opinion is the Big Green Egg. As a new Egg owner, I’ve quickly become a convert.
nHand-Made out of heavy, durable glazed Mexican Ceramic, the Big Green Egg is a ?vessel? similar to an Indian Tandoor oven. Capable of withstanding extreme heat in excess of 700 degrees for firing home-baked pizzas or doing outdoor Wok cooking, or sustaining very low temperatures of 200 to 250 for BBQ smoking, the Egg is an extremely efficient cooking system. Because of its insulated 100 percent ceramic design, it only consumes a fraction of the hardwood charcoal fuel that other BBQ smokers and grills use.
As a Big Green Egg owner. you may find yourself slow cooking ribs for 6 hours only to realize that you have several hours more of cooking you can do, and then having to increase the airflow to grill up some steaks and burgers afterwards!
Unlike the other products on this list, The Big Green Egg is not available for purchase on the Internet. You?ll need to hit the company’s website and search for a local distributor to buy it from.n