Last Minute Gifts for the BBQ Enthusiast
I periodically put together a list of things which make the bar-b-que enthusiast’s life easier. Usually around Father’s Day. I posted a recent list outlining the necessities back in December of last year. Once those basics are covered, here are some more ideas:
Lodge Cast Iron Cookware
Other than cooking over fire, the next best way to cook outside is in durable cast iron. Most modern gas grills have a side burner, and even for those that don’t you can put a cast iron pan right on the grate or even over the burners. And they work great right on a charcoal fire as well. I have a 10″ skillet that’s over 20 years old and nothing sticks to it after that many years of seasoning. You can find Lodge at many stores or online at Lodge Cast Iron.
Commercial Cookware and Accessories
Some of the most useful things around any BBQ are large sturdy trays. Known as sheet pans in the commercial world, they are sold in full, three-quarter, half, and quarter sizes. Here’s a handy chart I borrowed from Wikipedia’s article about sheet pans.
|Conventional Size Name||Width (in)||Depth (in)||Height (in)|
Made of sturdy aluminum, they’re all I use for baking and for carrying lots of stuff in and out of the kitchen. I buy mine (1/2 size) at a local restaurant supply in Worcester, but they can be found on EBay for as little as $9 a piece in quantity. One at a time, they go for about $20. But believe me, they’ll outlast any kitchen store cookie sheet by many years.
Another useful BBQ item – a dredge. In baker’s terminology, the little shaker cans with handles are called dredges. these are great for shaking on a bar-b-que rub. Sure you can re-use the big seasoning bottles that McCormick spices come in, but after a while they get really greasy and dirty and are hard to clean. A nice aluminum or stainless dredge pops right into the dishwasher. On EBay they go for $4 – $5. Search for ‘dredge’ in the ‘Business & Industrial/Reataurant & Catering/Commercial Kitchen Equipment’ category
Really, who wants to get coal in their stocking for Christmas? Bar-b-que people, that’s who. Some people have never had the pleasure of cooking over real hardwood charcoal and still suffer with briquettes and all their impurities. So take the time and get your favorite cook some of the good stuff. Some manufacturers, like Humphrey Charcoal, will let you buy online. So give the good stuff a try. Order some from http://charcoalbq.com/index.php.
Custom-Made Spice Rubs
Does your BBQ lover have a really special custom rub blend that they use on everything? And do they mess up the kitchen every time they make a big batch of it? Solve two problems with one great gift and have a good spice house custom-blend and package a spice rub to your specifications. Places like Vanns Spices in Baltimore will make up and package as little as 50 pounds of a custom order. See them on the web at http://www.vannsspices.com/custom-blend.php.
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