Back in the old days, when Summers were Summers and men were men, the barbecue was the ultimate symbol of masculinity and provided hope to thousands of women who, somewhat naively, thought that their menfolk would take up the cooking full time. No such luck for them. However, in this modern age of equality, whilst the men continue to take pride in tossing their sausages over the barbecue, they may also be seen more regularly in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, the Summers may seem to be a little more drizzly than they were back in those days, but at least barbecue technology has improved. Indeed, not least because this year’s British Summer is set to buck the trend of recent years to be a real scorcher, the increased availability of barbecue gadgetry makes the whole process that much more enjoyable than it has been of late.
Take the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, for instance, which features two triple plated cooking grates, two large cooking areas (47cm diameter) and a porcelain enamel bowl and lid. Although this curious little barbeque will have most men bamboozled as to how to operate it, or indeed what it even is – it looks like a prop from the original Star Trek series – the Weber Smokey is a delightful little barbecue that offers the superb bonus of slowly smoking a whole chicken and ham at the same time – result! The Weber Smokey also comprises an anti-rust aluminium vent and fuel door, so it should not be a complete disaster if and when the heavens open…
Nevertheless, with fingers crossed, the sun will shine long enough for there to be plenty of barbecue action this Summer. The ingenious sausage holder gadget is something that can be purchased for existing barbecues and is really extremely useful. Usually comprising a stainless steel handle and room for four juicy bangers, this little device can thwart the misery of losing the only perfectly cooked sausage in the history of barbecuing down the side of the grill, onto the floor (though note the five second rule) or to a hungry magpie (seriously). Another superb gadget that is suitable for existing barbecues is the smoking box, which is placed directly on the barbecue coals and contains various woodchips that can be infused with various flavours, such as a favourite beer or sauce. The smouldering woodchips will enhance the flavour of the barbecued food.
If you have the urge to travel this Summer, the Grilliput Camping Set is the smallest barbecue on the market. Because it can be carried around easily, with compacted dimensions of just 29cm x 2.2cm for the Grilliput and 16cm x 16cm x 8.5cm for the Firebowl, this product is perfect for enjoying the real outdoor barbecue experience and can be set up on even the toughest of terrains. Let’s just hope you have not forgotten the matches, flint or firesteel lighter when you get to the top of that mountain.
Another ideal barbecue gadget is the Landmann 3 burner gas barbecue, which features several adjustable cast iron burners, cooking grill, hot plate, drip tray, rain cover, wind shield and a lava rock grid. Gas barbecues are becoming more popular in Britain because they tend to be the cleaner and more reliable product, although it is especially important to be able to monitor food temperatures on a gas barbecue. If a standalone thermometer is required, the Weber Barbecue Beeper Remote Digital Thermometer is an excellent little gadget that allows the barbecue chef to prepare other parts of the meal without worrying about the meat on the grill. Alternatively, if you are the type who likes poking the meat quite often but does not want to catch something nasty, tool up with an Instant Read Grill Fork with Thermometer for increased protection.
There really is no shortage of gadgetry that can be purchased for an existing barbecue and arguably the greatest invention of all time, including sliced bread and the wheel, is the Grillslinger Belt. Allowing the average man to feel more manly than a bare-chested face off between David Hasselhoff and Tom Selleck, the Grillslinger is a superb utility belt that has a compartment for each essential barbecue tool. A high quality knife, tongs and spatula are included with the belt, which is adjustable to a burger induced 60 inches. The Grillslinger reminds us all that barbecuing is man’s work!
Finally, when it comes to barbecuing this Summer, some people will demand only the very best. Indeed, both literal and figurative heavyweight barbecue aficionados cannot go far wrong with the Weber Summit S-650, which features 6 stainless steel burners, including a side burner, smoke box burner, infrared rotisserie burner and a spit fork rotisserie, in addition to a cooking area big enough for a whole farmyard of animals…