5 Cool Gadgets to Make Your BBQ Finger-Lickin' Good


The barbecue is an American tradition that has been bringing loved ones together for decades.

Mm. Nothing beats a tasty slab of Grade A beef grilled to perfection on the barbecue--except, perhaps, enjoying it with an icy brew, surrounded by your nearest and dearest. Yes, the barbecue or as the Aussies say "barbie" has been whetting taste buds and bringing loved ones together for decades. It is an American tradition and no one does it better than we do.

The family barbecue is such an important part of our culture that we have devised a multitude of new products to enhance the grilling experience, make food taste better, and tickle our guests' funny bones. Here are a few products that every griller--seasoned or novice--should add to their wish list.

1.Something to "flip" the meat

The "tong," frequently confused with the word "thong" is, perhaps, the most important barbecue accessory. While it is strongly advised that you do not barbecue in a thong--spitting grease may cause painful burns and scarring--a well-designed tong will make flipping and lifting foods much easier. Stainless steel makes for a sturdy tong without adding too much weight. And a lock mechanism will make them much easier to store. This 16" stainless steel tong with scalloped lifter is an affordable option.

2. Something to measure the heat

If you've ever watched an episode of Hell's Kitchen, you've likely witnessed Chef Ramsay hack open a piece of undercooked chicken and leap into a tirade of bleeped out references to "bollocks" and "bloody hell." Who can blame him? Salmonella is no cakewalk.

Avoid sending your guests to an early grave by using a thermometer to check your meat's internal temperature. You can opt for a simple digital version, an instant-read model, or one with a glow-in-the-dark dial. And, if you prefer to go high-tech, you can even opt for the iGrill Black Digital Grilling Thermometer, a handy iPhone device that lets you monitor the temperatures of two pieces of meat at the same time.

3. Something for your wieners

No family barbecue would be complete without a good old Oscar Meyer wiener. And, thanks to a few...um...creative minds, you can now roast hot dogs with flare. Yes, whether you opt for a hot dog-grilling sword--perhaps, to match your Zorro-themed meat-flipper--a dachshund with an authentic "wiener" dog body, or the "Roast My Weenie" anatomically correct stickman, you can be sure that the lowly hot dog will become the star of your meal.

4. Something for the condiments

Burgers and ketchup go together like...well...burgers and ketchup. Yes, we love our condiments, so why not celebrate this love by pointing the spotlight towards these culinary accessories. "How?" you ask. One way is to invite your condiments to relax in their very own picnic table and umbrella condiment set. Or, if you want to show off your gun-totin', quick-shootin' prowess, try out the Condiment Gun.

5. Something to protect you from the slop

Operating the barbecue can be a dirty job. Spitting grease, stray sauce, and the inevitable increased sweat gland activity can render you a filthy mess--unless you don a handy dandy grilling apron. Not only will your trusty apron spare your threads, but it can also say a lot about your personality. If you want to express your inner self, there are legions of options including the Sexy Lederhosen Apron Oktoberfest Man, the "I Like Pig Butts and I Cannot Lie" model, and the southpaw's favorite "When Lefties Rule the World" apron.

Why not make this summer's barbecue an event to remember with a few unforgettable accessories? By feeding your guests bellies and tickling their funny bones, you will be sure to secure your place as the Grill Master Extraordinaire. And, let's face it--that's a pretty cool title to wear.

What is your favorite barbecue accessory?