We all know neckties stopped being in vogue for Father's Day gifts a couple of decades ago, unless they're handmade by a toddler at preschool. What Dads really want these days are gifts that are fun yet practical, and appeal to their favourite hobbies or pastimes. Gifts for the grill fit the bill for many fathers, given how many of them love to help out with meal prep by tending a hot barbeque.
Here are a couple of new gadgets and goodies I've discovered which are sure to please the grilling guy in your life:
I love cooking using lump charcoal but definitely do not love using lighter fluid. Even those little starter blocks contain chemicals I do not want near my food. Electric starters are OK, but even with them, you usually need to fire up a charcoal grill well in advance, as a result we typically resort to the gas grill for its convenience. Thanks to the BBQ Dragon, I'm using my charcoal barbeque a lot more. This nifty fire-starting tool is like a turbocharged blow dryer which easily helps charcoal or wood burn faster and hotter. It's hands-free and cordless and can produce perfect steak coals in about ten minutes - even when it's cold outdoors! You can also use it for campfires, wood stoves, etc. I like to think of the BBQ Dragon as the medieval blacksmith's bellows, updated for the 21st century! Available online.
I have to admit I was skeptical when I first saw this gadget, yet it's become one that I use quite often. If you've got time to let your meat marinate for 24 or even 48 hours before grilling, that's great, but if you don't, this can really speed up the process. This large syringe with its needle-like tip is ideal for getting your delicious marinade right to the centre of a roast, allowing it to work its flavourful magic throughout the meat. You can also use it to inject various liquids like beer, cider or wine, making your meal just that much juicier and appealing. Available in both food grade plastic and stainless steel models at most local hardware stores.
Gourmet Rubs and Finishing Salts
I love how a good rub can enhance the flavour of anything you cook on the grill, whether it's meat, seafood, vegetables or even fruit. Some of my current favourites are available through Ottawa's online spice purveyor, Cardamom and Cloves. Their Brown Sugar Salmon Rub, Chipotle Memphis BBQ, Cajun Blackening Seasoning and BBQ Chicken and Rib Rub are all in the regular rotation at my house. Why not put together a little variety pack of seasonings along with some great finishing salts (my favourite is the Merlot sea salt) for the griller in your life?
Broil King Wing Rack
This stainless steel BBQ rack is perfect for barbecuing smaller pieces of meat like wings, drumsticks or thighs. Not only does the heat circulate well around each piece for fuss-free, even cooking, but the rack also eliminates burning caused by flare ups. Best of all, you can get really creative with the smaller pieces of meat. Grilled bacon-wrapped duck drumsticks, anyone? Available at most barbeque accessory stores, including Preston Hardware.