Quirky Gadgets For Your Bank Holiday BBQ

Is it just us, or does it feel that every weekend is a Bank Holiday weekend at the moment? Not that we’re complaining of course – we’ll save that for the weather, which is looking predictably unpredictable.

That said, we’re going to work on the naive assumption that the weekend will be basked in glorious sunshine and we’ll all be dusting off our BBQs. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of unusual gadgets to impress and, in some cases, confuse your friends with. So lets kick off with…

The Half Pint Glass

half-pint-glass

Want to pace yourself at the BBQ? Why not buy yourself one of these half pint glasses – from one angle it looks like a full pint, but then from the side it reveals itself as just a half slice. It has the bonus factor of confusing your drunk mates – although be prepared for some spilt beer as we can see them knocking this over in their excitement. It’s made from high quality glass and it’s dishwasher safe, although hand-washing is recommended. Take me to it!

Steel Ice Cubes

steel-ice-cubes

Hopefully the Bank Holiday is going to be a scorcher (we can dream!). If so, these unusual ice cubes could be handy. As well as looking cool (pun-time!) they also benefit from the fact they’ll freeze faster than normal ice cubes. Better still, they won’t water down your drink or leave it with that strange freezer taste! You get 6 in the pack and they’re suitable for ages 8+. Take me to them!

Flower Grenade

flower-grenade

Is your garden looking a bit bare? Why not rope your BBQ friends in to helping with this Throw and Grow Flower Grenade. Made of clay it contains buttercup, poppy and ryegrass seeds and technically it’s made for ‘guerilla gardening’ – i.e. drop them in desolate places so the pot smashes and the seeds can grow and create life. That said, we thought it might be a fun way of seeding your own garden! As the ‘grenades’ are made of biodegradable clay, you don’t have to worry about the impact on the environment as they’ll dissolve when it rains. Don’t expect instant results, the buttercups and poppies will take at least 3 weeks to start growing and the ryegrass about 1 week. Sound like fun? Check them out here.

Twister Picnic Blanket

twister-blanket

Who doesn’t love twister? Well us, actually – but don’t let that put you off! While you sweat away at the BBQ worrying if your chicken is cooked properly or not, your friends can entertain themselves on this large (140cm x 170cm) Twister picnic blanket. What better way to get to know your friends than to twist yourselves around them while trying not to fall over. Go on, you know you want to – you can find/buy it here.

Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs

lightsaber-tongs

Geek up your BBQ with these Star Wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs. The tongs come with a heat-resistant plastic handle, metal tongs and a red storage case. You can really impress(!) your friends by sliding the button on the lightsaber for sound effects. May BBQ sauce be with you..! Sound strange/cool enough for you or a friend? Then go to this page.

That’s a wrap…

Enjoy your Bank Holiday and if you enjoyed this list then please be kind enough to share it with your friends. Also a quick thanks to Jun Seita for the header image we used.

Top 5 BBQ gadgets

George-Foreman-Grill

For years man has been fascinated by flames. For years man has been fascinated by steak. Needless to say, that small window of the year when man can combine these two points of interest is a golden time for all. Albeit a charred gold.

For years man has also been fascinated by cool technologies… You can see where we’re going with this, right? Don your aprons, grab your firelighters and let’s take the ancient art of BBQing to a whole new level.

George Foreman GIPOD200

Besides meat, beverages and company, the fourth most important ingredient on any self-respecting BBQ baron’s checklist is music. This year, though, you can leave your battery or solar powered radios and speaker docks in the cupboard. You can even tell your guitar-brandishing mate to leave his axe behind… The latest addition to George Foreman’s ever-extending range of grills is this very cool electric BBQ that boasts an iPod docking bay!

Yup, you read that correctly; a BBQ that’s also a soundsystem. Okay so it’s only available in the US right now. And, okay, the foot-based speakers are a humble 10-watt, but, using the 3.5mm jack you can easily hook it up to a larger set of speakers. And don’t go thinking the BBQ lacks in the cooking department; being electric it guarantees consistent heat and, being a proud member of the Foreman range, it also drains the fat like his other grills. Sounds and sizzling lean meat… Life doesn’t get much better.

Yours for $150

BBQ Tower

From: http://www.bbqtower.co.uk

It’s the moment every BBQ commando fears; too many guests and not enough grill space. Who’s going to be last in line for their chicken wing? Who’s going to fight over that recently cooked steak?

Fear not; the BBQ Tower offer three skyward stacking grills, ensuring everyone gets their sausage in time. Each one comes with its own easily removable charcoal tray, meaning all food will be cooked consistently and at the same time. Perfect for those will small gardens or big appetites, its oven-like coverage means you can even cook pizza on it!

Yours for £165

Weber-Universal-Griddle

Webber Universal Griddle

From: http://www.bbqworld.co.uk/

So you like the sound of BBQ pizza. Who doesn’t? How about BBQ eggs? How about BBQ pancakes? The world is your oyster with Webber’s Universal Griddle. Shucks, you can cook your oyster using this badboy.

Yes, it’s hardly a technological leap – man has been fascinated by cooking eggs for years – but it’s arguably one of the most essential BBQ tools. The addition of a fried egg to your perfectly singed gammon steak is enough to sell it alone. Let alone pancakes for dessert!

Yours for £21

Heston-Blumenthal-Precision-Digital-Meat-Thermometer

Heston Blumenthal Precision Digital Meat Thermometer

From: http://www.thermometersdirect.co.uk

The cooking thermometer market is bulging with options that range from the very basic at about a fiver a pop to top notch gadgetry that’s the sole preserve of your Michael Roux Juniors.

Luckily there’s an affordable middle ground. And it comes with the backing of everyone’s favourite baldy food scientist, Heston Blumenthal. With a large, clear digital display, stainless steel body and handy pocket case clip, it’s quite a handy piece of kit. And while the majority of us won’t be using it in the same way Heston will (strawberry snails anyone?) it will massively reduce the risk of food poisoning. Which has to be a good thing, right?

Yours for £12

GrillBot

Grillbot

As featured earlier this year on Latest Gadgets, the Grillbot is the perfect saviour for those sad, poignant moments when the meat is eaten, the guests are gone and the only traces of chargrilled fun are stuck to your BBQ.

Powered by six D-cell batteries, these cheeky grill creepers use sensors to assess the size of your BBQ and control their speed and direction accordingly. Using three sets of replaceable brushes, they steadfastly work their way across the stubborn grease, grime and unidentified burnt things. What’s more, because they’re wire brushes, you can apply the bots while the grill is still warm – the optimum time to clear off any muck from a BBQ. Shucks, you can even wash your brushes in the dishwasher.

With gadgets like this, you’re in grave danger of looking forward to the end of the BBQ almost too much!

Yours for $65.95

Grillbot: BBQ Cleaning Robot

GrillBot-on-Grill

Robotic gadgets often work best when they prevent us having to do tiring and repetitive physical work, and that’s certainly an apt description for cleaning a barbeque grill. Enter the Grillbot: a gadget that looks and works a lot like the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner but for your grill.

As with the Roomba, the Grillbot uses sensors to control speed and direction, making sure it take the most efficient route around your grill while still getting everything clean. The big difference is that instead of nylon brushes for picking up dust, the Grillbot has three replaceable brushes with tough metal bristles for scraping the gunk and fat from your grill in exactly the same way as using a wire brush by hand. The three brushes are removable for washing and you can even chuck them in the dishwasher.

The basic principle is certainly simple: in fact inventor Ethan Woods developed the idea by attaching a wire brush to a power drill! As with many gadgets — the works of James Dyson come to mind — the tricky part was making it work smoothly and reliably, particularly given that that grills are anything but the type of solid, flat surface robots prefer.

GrillBot

One of the most impressive features is that, because Grillbot uses wire brushes, it’s able to get to work even while a grill is still hot. Normally when we barbeque, by the time a grill has cooled down completely it’s got dark, we’ve had a few drinks, and we have neither the willpower nor the ability to clean properly, leaving us with the heartsinking sight of a dirty grill the next morning. With the Grillbot, you can set it to work as soon as you’ve put out any flames and you’ll have a great talking point among your more gadget-oriented guests.

The standard version is powered by six D-cell batteries (the chunky sort often used in torches.) A premium edition model uses a rechargeable battery with mains adaptor for charging. With the premium model you can also use a timer to automatically set the Grillbot to shut down after a set period of cleaning.

For those of us in the UK who’ve learned to distrust the phrase “barbeque summer”, it’s possible not everyone will need to use the Grillbot enough to make it a worthwhile investment to the same extent as our American cousins. It really comes down to how often you barbeque and how much you detest cleaning. That said, for anyone who operates commercial grills or runs a campsite or holiday park, this could be a significant time saver.

The Grillbot will be available from mid-2013 with the standard version costing $69.95 and the premium edition $99.95. The manufacturers plan on a UK release at some point, but you can pre-order from grillbot.com for international delivery as the charger is compatible with 240 volts power.