The spring and summer months are the time to enjoy the outdoors and experience fresh air, sunshine, and great food.
Meals prepared on an outdoor grill or at a picnic site just seem to taste better than at the dining room table. Whether it’s the new surroundings or the blaze of a charcoal fire, more people will be dining al fresco – and we’ve got some gadgets to make it more enjoyable.
Any grillmaster will tell you the secret to cooking over the coals is the ability to get the fuel hot quickly. The cordless Bison Airlighter lets anyone get a rocket-hot flame quickly with only a small use of butane.
The Airlighter’s flame gets the coals or wood chips started, but the fan provides a much-needed blast of air to help intensify and spread the flames faster and more efficiently. Recharging with a USB connection means a patio, a park, or a tailgate is the perfect spot for a grill.
For safety’s sake, we recommend wearing heat-resistant oven gloves with wrist protection when starting the fire (these are a good pick). While the Airlighter is cool to the touch during use, a crosswind could blow back the flames into your hands, so please exercise caution.
The refillable butane fuel tank provides about 15 minutes of burn time, and the battery pack for the blower should last about 30 minutes. You’ll be able to start all the grills at the campground in that amount of time! There’s also a LED flashlight, because who doesn’t like grilling at night? An adjustable handle, hanging hook, safety locks, and bottle opener complete the entire package for the grillmaster who lovingly tends to their craft.
$79.95 at Amazon
When the grilling is done and the food is gone, the cleanup begins. It is a chore no one wants to undertake, but the Qually United BBQ Grill Brush makes the task go by faster.
Three woven steel wire brushes attached to a 10-inch handle create a wide surface to clean the grill wires without scratching. The angle and orientation of the brushes means it can reach all the sides of the grill wires with ease. It’s also dishwasher safe, so cleaning it up after it has done the dirty work is a snap. It can be used on any type of iron or steel grill grate, from gas to charcoal to porcelain.
The sturdy construction means no bristles coming off into the grill. It’s also rustproof, making it a reliable companion for any grill.
$14.95 on Amazon
There will be times when lugging a grill to a location is not the best option. When that happens, the Hot Logic Mini Personal Portable Oven can still provide a hot meal anywhere you get hungry.
More than just a heating bag, the mini-oven can actually cook the food while you are enjoying outdoor activities by using a low and slow conductive heating method. If you can find an outlet, you’ve got the chance to have a hot meal!
The interior measures 8.75 x 6.75 x 2.5 inches and has an aluminum lining to keep the heat inside. A double zipper closure prevents food odors from leaking out. It is also perfect for the workplace, helping people with dietary concerns or those who just want to avoid a fast food run. It also prevents the need to use the company microwave (ugh! Doesn’t anyone clean this thing?).
Using the Hot Logic does require some prior planning, but if you were thinking about grilling out, you’ve probably already made those plans. Oh, and FYI: containers made of plastic, metal, glass or aluminum foil can all be used inside too.
$39.95 on Amazon
Once the day is done, the food is eaten, and the cleanup is over, it is time to relax. Don’t head back inside, but find a quiet spot and use the Grand Trunk Hammock to keep your mind at ease.
S-shaped hooks keep the hammock aloft, while its polyester construction means it’s light enough to take anywhere. The material is mildew-resistant too, so machine washing it will keep it clean and fresh.
Great for the backyard as well as backpacking, the hammock can support up to 200 pounds and folds down from 9 ½ feet long form down to only 12 ounces. A hanging kit (sold separately) can help speed up the set-up process and helps find a relaxing spot in even the most difficult areas.
$19.99+ at Amazon
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