If the dad in your life is the kind of man who likes to dig deep into the differences between barbecuing and grilling, or who loves to experiment with new gadgets or flavors, he’ll love one—or all—of these Father’s Day grill gifts.
1. Grill Cleaning Tools
Deep cleaning the grill is no one’s idea of a good time, but it’s essential to remove residue left over from previous cookouts or off-season storage before lighting the grill. A coal shovel makes emptying the grill ashes mess-free and efficient, and a nylon brush that can clean all types of grates (even coated ceramic) while they’re still cold is key.
2. Apron With a Pocket
Look for grilling aprons cut from leather or waxed cotton canvas, two materials that can stand up to intense heat and have a water-resistant finish. Choose a darker color to hide stains and splatters and a style with a bib to protect clothing from grease. Adjustable ties will allow Dad to customize the fit, and a pocket is great for protecting his phone when he’s not checking recipes or consulting a temperature guide.
3. Meat Accessories
Before seasoning or marinating, pro grillers start by tenderizing meat to even out its thickness, which makes cooking times more consistent. It also makes the finished steak easier to cut. In addition, experienced professionals use a thermometer to ensure that items are cooked to a perfect temperature rather than guessing at a piece of meat’s doneness. Take grilling to the next level with a precise thermometer, meat tenderizer and flavor injector that delivers marinades, butter or sauces into the meat while it’s still cooking.
4. Selection of Salts and Rubs
A secret to great-tasting grilled meat: Rubbing it with salt and spices before—not during or after—cooking. This allows seasonings to work into the meat’s fibers so they mix with the meat’s natural juices. Different varieties of salt behave differently when used in a recipe and dry rubs can be either savory or sweet. The perfect gift? A selection of shakers or grinders filled with salts of varying textures and colors or pre-mixed dry rubs for easy experimentation.
5. Collection of Basic Utensils
Once a grill is at full temperature, things can move pretty quickly, so it’s important to have all necessary equipment on hand and within easy reach. It’s also important to understand that what might work in the kitchen doesn’t always do as well outside. For example, some spatulas or tongs are great for non-stick cookware, but not as ideal for grilling at extremely high temperatures. These essential utensils are suited to outdoor cooking and make ideal gifts, either individually or packaged together as a set:
- Sharp metal skewers (rather than wooden) work great for chicken, vegetables and even fruit.
- A heat-resistant silicone basting brush and pot helps slather on extra sauces while meat is searing. Another option: A basting bottle with a built-in brush that can be used to transport the marinade from the kitchen and spread evenly right on the meat.
- A turner for easy burger flipping that can also slide easily under fish or poultry is a grilling must-have.
- Tongs with extra long handles make it easy to keep a safe distance from the heat.
- A heat-resistant grilling tool rest provides a safe place to rest any tools not in use.
6. Corn Peeler
Corn cooked on the grill is one of the best parts of summer. But not everyone likes eating it straight from the cob. A corn peeler easily removes kernels, keeping everyone happy.
7. Carving Board
When cooking meat, the rule of thumb is to remove it from the grill a few minutes before its desired doneness. That’s because the meat continues to cook for several minutes while cooling down, allowing time for the juices to redistribute and making the meat more flavorful. Thin pieces of meat should rest 5 to 7 minutes; thicker cuts somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes. That’s why a grooved carving board with a drip catcher makes for a great gift. It allows the meat to rest while capturing juices that can easily be whisked into gravy.
8. Head Lamp
Grilling in the dark isn’t just un-fun, it can also be unsafe. Even if an outdoor cooking area is well-lit, a head lamp delivers concentrated light right where it’s needed while leaving the hands free to flip and baste.
9. Outdoor Knife
Every outdoor chef needs one knife that does it all. Dicing, slicing, mincing and scooping—whether for fish, meat or vegetables—with a single blade means there’s no need to rummage around for another knife while also watching the grill. This knife with a non-slip handle and a locking sheath to rest in when not in use is a great addition to any outdoor grilling equipment arsenal.
10. Grill-Top Pan
If a reverse sear technique is on the menu tonight, the right cookware is everything. This method, which calls for slow cooking a roast or a piece of meat in the oven before browning the outside of a piece of meat on a hot surface, is easier with a pan that has a removable silicone handle. That way, the meat can start off in a baking dish in the oven and then transfer to the pan that’s already reached a high temperature on the grill.
11. Grilling Gloves
Serious grillers know: It’s an all-weather sport. A pair of gloves that protect the griller’s hands from heat, in addition to bad weather, make it easier to flip those burgers, rain or shine. Look for gloves with a non-slip surface that allow for easier gripping of utensils, pans and condiments.
Since Dad is probably going to want to try out his new gear ASAP, it’s the perfect time to round up some friends and family for an outdoor party. Prep some make-ahead cocktails (and some zero-proof options as well) and get grilling.