Lifestyle & Seasonal

4 High-tech gadgets that solve common grilling challenges

Check out these high-tech gizmos for the outdoor cooking needs-you-never-knew-you-had. From grate oilers to grill cleaners, these widgets provide solutions to problems eternal in patio grilling.

Fire it up

It’s well known that lighter fluid gives a quick boost to coals, but this method is falling out of favor with many outdoor chefs because it can leave a slight chemical taste in the food. An old standard to turn up the heat is a “charcoal chimney,” a metal cylinder that concentrated the heat of a smaller fire inside it. The concentrated heat was a good idea, and some grillers still prefer their chimneys, but the high-tech revolution has its own answer: a heated air wand. An example of this is the

Looftlighter, a plug-in electrical mini Jedi weapon that can boost your briquette burn in mere minutes. No lighter fluid needed. Plug it in and blast away.


If swordplay (and a hot stick that needs to cool down) isn’t your thing, a concentrated air answer is the BBQ Dragon. This little, battery-operated clip-on fan delivers cool oxygen to coals, coaxing a flickering flame into a robust cooking fire in the matter of minutes.


Smooth searing

Let’s be honest. Who remembers to oil the grill grate before it’s hot? If you are a prepared outdoor kitchen grill chef, congratulations. For the rest of us, a drippy paint brush or a cooking spray can get a bit dangerous around an open flame. An all-in-one oil distributor and brush tool simply called a Grilling Grate Oiler by Steven Raichlen is the answer. (Always be careful with oil and flames!). The bristles on the this brush are heat resistant and are easily cleaned –the whole thing can be tossed in the dishwasher– and the oil itself is contained in the handle of the brush. A few quick swipes and you won’t be scraping your steaks off the grate.


A beautiful bot

We are all fascinated with automatic cleaners. What’s not to like?

A “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to tidying is something out of the Jetsons. Roombas have become a part of internet lore as they rise to fame as not only automatic vacuums but cat-transporters. Now, perhaps we’ll see viral videos of tiny birds hitching a ride on a Grillbot. A Grillbot is a handy scrubber robot made specifically to clean grill grates. It has wire brushes and everything, just like the ones your dad gave you to attack the grill with until your arm almost fell off. Set Grillbot on the grate and it does the scrubbing for you. You’ll have to find your kid a new chore.


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Sure, you can fill up a shed with gadgets. It’s difficult to tell which new tools will end up being the essential ones in our grilling gear. New tech that saves time or fixes our shortcomings is the kind of tech to invest in. These gadgets may be your next prized possessions. Happy grilling!

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