That's right everyone, while I love you all reading my posts, this is the one post that maybe you want to forward on to anyone buying gifts for you. Also, if you are feeling super generous and feel like thanking me for my awesome posts, this is a great list for you.
Here is the thing as people with a passion for the cook, we all fall into a nice little category of things we like and can use. Reality is no one should struggle with what to buy someone who barbeques because we all need a lot. With that being said, creating a list is a bit tricky. See there are some things which are insanely personal, like the rubs we use, and we don't necessarily want Aunt Edna giving us a years supply of rubs we don't like. On the other side, this world of BBQ is littered with the kind of gifts which are not useful. You know, the spatula with your kinda favorite team's logo on it or the novelty apron. These are not bad gifts at all, but they also fail in meeting one thing I think is super important when it comes to giving gifts, the need.
From my perspective, the perfect gift is something that is needed first, but secondly kinda falls onto that list of something we want, but have held back from pulling the trigger on. So before you let your loved ones spring on a thermometer from the unique gift section of a department store, let's get to things that would actually be a great addition to your BBQ life.
I just want to point out one other note on this list. We cover a very broad price range on this list, for good reason. So yes there are expensive gifts and there are gifts affordable to even dear Aunt Edna. But enough about that lets jump right into this!
10) A stocking full of Coal!
Yup, the gift you dreaded your entire childhood is now something you desire and need. As you all know there is a massive array of charcoal out there, some are crap some is amazing. Unfortunately for us, the amazing stuff isn't always that easy to buy in a pinch. You cannot exactly run to Wal-Mart and pick up some quick. So what could possibly be better than a 35-pound bag of premium charcoal in unique Christmas sack? Besides, if you have kids, not only is this a great useable gift but it also reinforces that whole do as I say not as I do concept because now you are on the naughty list!
9) The Weber iGrill 2 or a Thermapen MK4
We all need a great thermometer! And while I have put together an amazing article which will give you the in's and out's of the entire market, these are two great general picks. If you don't have a thermometer you can leave in and monitor temp from, the iGrill is a great choice. You may not use it in every cook, but it will be very valuable when you do.
Now on the other side, maybe you have a great remote read thermometer already, that doesn't mean you don't have a use for a great instant read. Honestly, I really don't care if you even have some "instant read" already, the MK4 is simply a must-have. If you don't have one, you need one! Besides, an MK4 will fit perfect in your stocking.
Finally, in this category. If you already have your thermometers and are still in need of a small stocking stuffer, additional probes for your remote read are always a great choice. And of course, if you don't like my top picks here, go ahead and read my super comprehensive thermometer guide here: http://www.manmeatbbq.com/mmb-blog/2017/10/27/got-the-temp-mmb-reviews-the-best-and-the-worst-bbq-thermometers-part-2
8) The Looftlighter
There are a ton of different ways to light your fire for a cook. Hopefully, if you are reading this, lighter fluid is not an acceptable option. Now if you are like me you won't use fluid, propane assist, cubes or anything like that. For you, your go-to is the good old chimney. Well, this may be the best gift ever to you then. Why? well first, it is completely clean. None of that garbage which will end up changing the smoke that goes into your food with the Looftlighter you are simply using air. Second, it is simple. It works like a hairdryer and will light your coals in only 60 seconds! Finally, if you are not the best at maintaining your heat and need to add some fire mid-cook, this is perfect. Your coals will be relit in a minute and your cook will continue.
7) A Pizza Stone
What is better then barbequing some meals? Using the BBQ for even more! Forget delivery or frozen pizza, once you cook a pizza on your cooker, you will never go back! This is a great gift for anyone who wants to give this a shot. Maybe you are already cooking a few pizzas on your cooker, well then it is time to step up to the Kettle Pizza and convert your kettle to a pizza oven. Check out this great blog by Jeff on doing just that: http://www.manmeatbbq.com/mmb-blog/2017/8/9/kettlepizza
Anyway, you want to do it, it is time to step up to cooking pizza, and here are some great choices to get you started!
6) Lodge Cast Iron
A year ago I would have never thought I would ever even use a cast iron skillet. But since I picked one up for myself I have quickly learned what an indispensable tool it is in the world of BBQ. If you have not yet started using one, you must! If you already have one, well there are a ton of different sizes and styles which I am sure include something you would love to have!
5) Bison Cooler
Okay, we all have those old Igloo coolers filling up our garage and if you want to keep beer cold for a couple hours, they are great. However, we have come a long way since those first plastic coolers were made. As more evolved and dignified purveyors of barbecue, we need to step up this game. When you are ready to step into the big leagues of coolers, Bison has you covered. Seriously have you ever heard of an igloo keeping ice for more than 10 days? There really aren't any justifiable reasons to not add a Bison to your list.
4) Butcher Block Cutting Board
Sure we BBQ outside, but we do our prep in the kitchen. And prepping our meats is messy, to say the least. So let's stop this game of prepping meat for the cooker using a bunch of different plates and trays and small cutting boards, let's use one good cutting board. Prep your meat for the cooker, clean it off, cut up your vegetables, clean it off, slice your finished meat, clean it off, It really is that simple and these also simply look great in your kitchen. However, if I am going to make you up your game with your cooler, I'm gonna do it here too. So instead of just your average butcher block cutting board, why not go try Concave Cutting Boards who are bringing their unique twist to the game. Concave boards are, well, concave. Designed to compliment the curve of your cutlery and also help keep your meats juices in one place.
So we all use knives, right? Some of you, you have bought good knives, and you know who you are. If not, it is time. Sure you can keep taking the knives out of the drawer from a set you got as a wedding gift 20 years ago...sure it cuts, it does what a knife does. Until that is, you actually use a real knife. Plus, everyone notices a sexy knife in a picture of amazing BBQ. So these little guys can come with a hefty price tag...so rather than a set of 20 where you actually only use a couple, let's start off with this perfectly sized BBQ set from Shun Cutlery. I know they look absolutely beautiful in the pictures, but wait until you cut with them...it changes you.
This is kinda my equivalent to giving the gift of a nice dinner out. Yes, you can give a gift certificate to some restaurant you like just like every other gift. Here is the deal we like to BBQ, we like to cook so instead of spending the night at some restaurant, how about spending the cooking an amazing meal which will taste better and be more enjoyable? Okay, okay I know meat isn't exactly the best thing to wrap under a tree, especially if you have pets. So how about a gift certificate? How about a gift certificate from a place which is only going to sell you the best meat possible? Seriously, we cook all the time and we love high-quality meat which we don't always buy on our own.
1) A New Cooker!
You have all seen the commercials that are on TV this time of the year. You know where the guy with a classy sweater wakes up to find his wife has bought him that new Lexus he was dreaming about....and there it is in the driveway with a massive bow on it! But then there is the rest of us...As much as I could dream about it there is not gonna be a new Lexus in my driveway...and if there was I couldn't afford it. But stay with me. How about giving a gift with the same pop, the same massive reveal. The same lifetime of thankfulness. Get a new cooker, set it up and put a bow on it!
But seriously friends...no matter how you do it, the number one gift on the list really is official MMB apparel! What a better way to decorate that new cooker for the big reveals then with MMB gear? Can't swing buying a new cooker this year? No big deal he will love his MMB hoodie almost as much!
Until next post, remember kids.....CHUNKS not chips!