While it’s unclear when social norms are going to get back to what we all remember, don’t let this strange time stifle your enthusiasm for good backyard cooking. This is the perfect time to sharpen your culinary skills and try your hand at some new tools of the trade.
We’ve outlined five of our favorite new grills and smokers that are keeping our creative juices flowing and helping us produce mouthwatering, smokey-flavored goodness. Not to mention, they are some of the best gift ideas for the grill master in your life.
PK360 Grill & Smoker
If you’re a big fan of cooking over charcoal, then the PK360 Grill & Smoker is the perfect all-around tool to get that savory, smoky flavor with minimal hassle and maximum convenience. Why, you ask?
Well, for starters, its radial vent system with four vents (as opposed to two vents on most charcoal grills) helps you target specific zones and control airflow inside its genius bullet-shaped smart capsule. This makes keeping your desired temperature precise and well-maintained throughout the entire grilling time. It’s the easiest way we’ve ever tried to cook with precision over charcoal. Whether you want ultra-hot or low-and-slow, this is one of the most sophisticated vent systems you’ll find. The PK360 stands tall (roughly 43 inches), so you’re not killing your back bending over and flipping burgers, it has ample cooking surface area (360 sq. in.) and it features an impressive amount of headroom inside the capsule (5374 cubic in.) for larger items like prime rib roast or even a whole turkey.
Last, but not least, the thoughtful design of the PK360 is just damn handsome––a timeless throwback feel with a modern twist. Not to mention, the rust-proof aluminum construction not only conducts heat four times more efficiently than steel, but it’ll withstand inclement weather and hold its integrity for years to come. Trust us… your neighbors are going to be peeking over the fence in envy. For a capable do-it-all charcoal grill, the PK360 is a home run.
Ooni Fyra Portable Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
Who doesn’t like a homemade pizza? Better yet… Who doesn’t like a homemade wood-fired pizza? Cooking in a wood-fired oven is one of the most flavorful ways to prepare your pie. That being said, we were thrilled when we discovered the mighty little Fyra Portable Pizza Oven by Ooni. This thing packs so much punch into a minimal (and attractive) little package. It runs on hardwood pellets, and it can reach an impressive 925 degrees Fahrenheit in just 15 minutes—to us, that capability alone is incredible. It weighs in at just over 20 pounds, so it’s not technically “featherlight,” but we found that moving it from place to place is no struggle at all.
Want to know the most jaw dropping spec in its whole lineup? It can fully cook a stone-baked pizza in as little as 60 seconds. (Yep, you heard that right.) If you’re looking to pump out pizzeria-quality pies right from your own backyard—for multiple hungry mouths—it does not get any better than the Fyra. Not to mention, it’s specifically designed for ease-of-use and maximum portability, so you can literally take this bad boy just about anywhere. And with a very attractive price point, this is the perfect addition to any backyard chef’s arsenal, or the perfect gift for the home cook in your life.
Are you looking for a multi-functioning cooking tool for your backyard BBQs? Well, the KUDU not only serves as an elegantly designed open-fire grill, but also as a phenomenal fire pit with the addition of their fire rings. But let’s start with its grilling capabilities, shall we?
First off, you can operate the KUDU with your favorite briquette, seasoned firewood (or smoking wood), as well as lump charcoal. However you choose to get your open fire going, the KUDU can accommodate. Our favorite part, however, is its unique dual cooking surfaces that are fully adjustable—both vertically and horizontally. You want lower heat? Place items on the upper surface. Need to let your meat rest? Simply rotate the surface away from the fire with no hassle whatsoever. It’s so ergonomic and user-friendly, that we found ourselves forgetting that we were even manning a handful of different types of food (from veggies to tri-tip to chicken wings). It makes juggling your food ever-so pleasant and gives you more time to socialize and enjoy a cold beer.
Not to mention that with the raised cooking surfaces, it makes moving your coals or wood around as simple and easy as we’ve ever experienced, and also maximizes your ability to control heat. This thing passed our grilling test with flying colors and made for some damn tasty BBQ. With an exceptionally reasonable price point for what this grill is, it makes a home-run gift idea for that open-flame-cooking enthusiast in your life.
BONUS: It also breaks down in a matter of minutes so it boasts portability along with its already stellar capability.
Solo Stove Grill Ultimate Bundle
Looking for a grill that (quite literally) anybody can operate? From the backyard to the beach, the Solo Stove Grill Ultimate Bundle has everyone covered. First of all, the stainless steel Solo Stove Grill features an ultra-precise 360-degree airflow design that gets piping hot in minutes and gets you grilling quicker than most any charcoal grill we’ve tried this year.
It’s specifically designed to be a centerpiece for people to gather around. Much like you would sit around a campfire, this grill is designed in a way that you simply feel drawn to it, and that’s when people take a seat and conversation inevitably ensues. We can attest to this first-hand, as our kiddos were fascinated by the new addition to the backyard grill setup, and we all chatted and shared thoughts as we cooked our dinner––a priceless experience. It’s lightweight enough to take with you on casual excursions, and heavy duty enough to feel like a permanent staple in your yard.
The Ultimate Bundle is really the way-to-go with this grill––a short stand (13 inches tall), a traditional stand (21 inches tall), ultra-high-quality spatula, tongs and meat fork, a heavy duty carry case, grill shelter, charcoal starters (super easy to use and fires up every time), as well as four pounds of all-natural charcoal briquettes (some of the best flavor we’ve gotten from charcoal). It really has everything you need to get started right out of the box.
The brand calls it “No Hassle Charcoal Grilling,” and we’d have to wholeheartedly agree with that claim. Whether you’re in the market for a new addition to your backyard grill kit, or you’re desperately seeking the perfect gift for the grill master in your life, you should certainly take a good look at the Solo Stove Grill.
Snow Peak Smokemeister
Are you a fan of simple and elegant design? Then we’re guessing that you already know all about Snow Peak. They make some of the finest outdoor gear we’ve ever gotten our hands on and their Smokemeister stainless steel smoker is no exception. It’s small, portable, clean, and as simple as we’ve ever seen for a smoker. This is a big deal for many people, as bells and whistles can often get in the way of the big picture… which is delicious food.
All you do is add a few charcoals (as well as smoking chips if you prefer), get it heated up, and then add your food for a low-and-slow smoking experience. It has up to six levels for whatever different types of food you wish to add, and it simply does its one job exceptionally well. Again, this smoker is not for the flashy chef, nor the feature-hungry enthusiast. This smoker is for the simplistic, aesthetic-loving backyard chef that appreciates beautiful design as much as functionality. It’s extremely compact and lightweight, so bringing this on any camping trip, beach day, park picnic, or cul de sac block party is as easy as lugging out a ceramic bowl of potato salad. And our favorite part about the whole operation is the minimal amount of charcoal you need to get this thing up to proper temperature. We’ll say it again: Minimal. Beautiful.
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