Who doesn’t love a summer BBQ? Mitch McConnell, probably. But the rest of us sure do and it’s high season for straight up grillin’ with a tasty side of chillin’. What better time to throw a doozy of a BBQ bash than Fourth of July? But admit it, the last few have begun to feel a little…uninspired, shall we say? How about seasoning your summer shindig with some high-tech BBQ gadgetry?
Maybe you haven’t checked in a while, but there’ve been major improvements and inventions since dad bought that basic hibachi back in the ‘90s. Whether it’s for a gift or just treating yourself this summer, we’ve collected some of the coolest new summer barbecue gadgets, tools, and even a few food innovations to kick this year’s party into another stratosphere—or at least into the 21st century.
We’ll start with the undisputed king and anchor for any barbecue: the grill. There are thousands to choose from but we’re loving all the hard work Popular Mechanics did to review some of the most popular versions on the market. Of the 12 they tested, the Weber Performance Deluxe ‘22 outpaced everyone and clocks in at an extremely affordable $400.Buy Now
Meat on the grill is the obvious choice for any summer barbecue but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. Surprise everyone by whipping out this portable wood-fired pizza oven from Ooni, which heats to a Luciferian 932 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes (but, how though?). It can cook a Neapolitan-style pie in around one minute (one minute!) and Uuni runs on dense and affordable wood pellets.Buy Now
Lots of ice is an essential component of any party but when the mercury rises, it truly is do or die. It’s been proven by science that nugget or pellet ice is the best ice, for cocktails or even just chewing on, so spring for this Opal Nugget IceMaker from GE and leave those crummy trays for the birds.Buy Now
Ok, so admittedly this thing will not cook food, not at all, so don’t try. But it will fill your entire yard, (and you’re annoying neighbors) with some of the sweetest, smoothest beats to keep the party rolling long past fireworks. Portable and lightweight with a 3-inch sub-woofer, this indoor-outdoor unit is Chowhound tested and fully approved.Buy Now
Toss out that highly one-dimensional spatula with decades of caked-on grease and break out this ingenious hybrid cooking tool with extended tongs, serrated knife, grill scraper, bottle opener, and even a built-in flashlight for those hard-to-see moments. Less than 25 bucks and totally 007 approved.Buy Now
A next-level digital meat thermometer that allows you to walk away from the grill (or oven) and still keep on eye on those precious meats. Never again let a steak or pork loin overcook because you had to dash off to keep Aunt Janet from having her 5th glass of wine.Buy Now
Related Reading: 9 Interesting Sides for Summer Grilling and BBQ
It’s summer and inevitably the bugs will come for both your flesh and your food. You can at least save your food with this by plopping down one of these nifty devices and wait for the chorus of “that’s such a good idea” to begin.Buy Now
If you really want to kick this thing into gear, try throwing something on the grill that’s also found the world’s most iconic eateries. Snake River Farms, a Boise, Idaho producer of American Wagyu and Kurobuta pork, purveys to the likes of Eleven Madison Park, Alinea, and The French Laundry but also ships their meats anywhere in the U.S. Want to get guests talking? Treat them to some American Wagyu Ribeye, which serves 6-8 very happy carnivores. Check out some of their limited time deals on Fourth of July meat packages.
Barbecues are generally not a vegetarian paradise but food labs like Beyond Meat have completely changed the game. Treat your veg friends to these plant-based meat alternatives—a pleasant upgrade from the frozen black beans patties they’ve become accustomed to.Buy Now
Listen up. This new (ish) chèvre (goat) cheese blended with herbs and spices and marinated in California olive oil is the greatest thing to hit your barbecue meats or pizzas since salt and pepper. Highly addictive flavors include Sea Salt & Rosemary, Dill Pollen & Garlic, and Aleppo-Urfa Chili and are available at Whole Foods. Run, don’t walk, to get a jar or two. Your friends will love you forever.Buy Now
Maybe you’ve seen it. The large batch watermelon cocktail made and served IN an effing watermelon! This year you’re doing it and everyone’s going to Instagram the $#*% out of it. Pick up one of these and let everyone live their social media fantasy.Buy Now
Something we all look forward to as spring bleeds into summer is those oh so “ahhh”-inspiring frozen drinks. This super spinner has enough voltage to make margaritas for the entire neighborhood and the handy built-in spout means you can keep things moving with absolutely zero spillage. You’ve got enough cleaning up to do, right?Buy Now
For more check out our Grilling and BBQ Tips, Techniques and Tricks
Header image courtesy of Beyond Meat.