Everyone has someone in their life who loves to barbecue. You know that bloke who can't seem to tear himself away from the grill even when he's not the host of the party? Even if it's the middle of a white winter holiday season now and the roads are covered with ice, any true grill enthusiast will love a Christmas gift that adds to their repertoire of grilling tools. You can both look forward to the summer to come, filled with animated gatherings of hungry family and friends.
This holiday season, get the barbecue lover in your life something they can use for years on weekend camping trips, backyard barbecues, beach cookouts, and tailgating grills. Here are the top five gifts this Christmas season to give to grilling and barbecuing outdoor chefs:
1. Barbecue Tool Set
The passionate barbecuer always appreciates having the right tools for the job at hand. For the quintessential holiday gift that will earn you brownie points, get a complete barbecue set.
There are a ton of choices when it comes to barbecue sets, so think about the personality of your outdoor chef. Would he or she love having a huge selection of barbecue tools? Maybe an 18-piece barbecue set is the answer. Is your friend a minimalist? Then perhaps opt for an elegant five-piece barbecue tool set instead.
Then there's the materials to consider. Commercial quality corrosion-resistant stainless steel will last a long time. Choose wooden handles and rubber finger-grips for easy handling, and convenient loops or holes on the handles for accessible hanging storage.
A good set should include, at the very least, a pair of precision grip tongs, a 4-in-1 or 3-in-1 slotted spatula, a long-handled knife, a three-pronged barbecue fork, and a basting brush. If going for a bigger set, look for additional must-have pieces such as steak-house quality knives, corn holders, a grill brush, a set of skewers, an all-purpose knife, and a sturdy grill brush.
2. Barbecue Mitt
Anyone who spends lengthy periods of time reaching over a hot grill needs a good, heavy-duty barbecue mitt. Look for an insulated mitt that is heat-resistant and fire-retardant. It should be long enough to cover the entire hand and forearm for full protection. Tip: Black or a dark color is your best bet for hiding sauce or marinade stains.
3. Flexible Grilling Skewer
This is a fun Christmas gift for the avid outdoor chef who already has all the basic tools for gourmet grilling. A flexible cable style skewer is an easy-to-use tool that solves several potential grilling problems, such as lack of space on the grill. You can cook more than twice as much per kebab than you can with a normal straight skewer.
How you use a flexible grilling skewer: you simply slide your kebabs onto the skewer. Next, either put the skewer straight onto the grill or marinate the kebabs in a delicious sauce for a few hours. The flexibility allows you to save space in your refrigerator while marinating, too.
When it comes time to enjoy a backyard grill with friends, just drape the ends of the skewer over the edges of the hot grill. The ends will actually stay cool, so you can turn your meat and vegetable kebabs without needing an additional grill tool.
4. Grill and Barbecue Recipe Book
Is your grilling enthusiast a make-it-up-as-they-go-along type of person? If so, they may enjoy the novelty of a good cookbook. And for those who already have a collection of grilling recipes, they can never have too many cookbooks.
Look for a big, sturdy cookbook with enticing photos of sizzling dishes that will make your buddy want to stop reading right away and fire up the grill. A good recipe book for barbecue lovers will include plenty of helpful guides about cooking methods and cuts of meat, tips on bottled sauces, recipes for rubs and marinades, and step-by-step guides to tasty appetizers, hearty entrÃ©es, beef, pork, lamb, game, poultry, seafood, vegetables, meat substitutes, and even fruit.
5. Grilling Basket
Every serious griller needs a good grilling basket. This may not be the most glamorous holiday gift on your friend's Christmas list, but he or she will certainly appreciate it wholeheartedly.
This specialized barbecue tool lets you enjoy the yummy open-flame taste on foods that typically fall apart during the grilling process, such as small veggies or flaking fish. Look for a non-stick oversized basket with a generous amount of cooking space. The basket should have a comfy finger grip so that it doesn't become uncomfortable to hold while grilling up those button mushrooms or savory sardines.
Whichever tool you choose this Christmas season, check that a good warranty against defects is included (at least five years). Also ensure that the barbecue tools are made of professional-grade materials so they will last for years. Any of the above tools will make a handsome present, so have fun and feel good about giving a great holiday gift to your favorite barbecuers!