Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fathers' Day Gift Ideas: 10 Grilling Tools for Under $50

Fathers' Day this year is on Sunday, June 20th.

Grilling and BBQ related tools are often a popular gift for dads so I thought I’d give 10 suggestions for under $50. Plus, at the end of this post, I’m giving you the chance to win a great gift for Father’s Day for my June Giveaway.

Many of my suggestions will include links and pricing from Lowes Home Improvement. That is just because I shop there often and no matter what I’m there for, I ALWAYS stroll through the grilling section during the summer. Besides, it was just easy to use their website to gather this information, call me lazy but they have 637 items under grilling/bbq. Other places to look for grill gifts include your local Weber dealer, hardware stores, and often, pool supply stores.

Long Handled Utensils

My favorite grilling utensil is the long handled tongs pictured above in the middle. They are long enough to keep my hands away from the inferno, have a nice rubber grip, and have a push lock that will keep them in the closed position in the drawer. You can get a similar pair at Lowe’s for $6.97.

In general, stay away from the “boxed sets” of grilling tools. My experience has been that they tend to be over priced and you probably get at least 1 tool you won’t use. Your better off hand picking a mix and matched set of quality tools. I try to get stainless steel or plastic handles instead of wood, just for ease of cleaning and durability.

And don't get one of those big meat forks, they just ruin perfectly good meat.

Grate Cleaner Brush
Does Dad’s grate cleaning brush look something like this?

Time to get him some new ones!

These are the two types that I like to use. The dual head one is good because the bristles clean rounded grill grates and the pad clean flat surfaces like griddles or flat cast iron grids (similar one at Lowes is $8.99). The triangle head one is my go to brush because it has longer, stiff bristles that get down on the sides, not just the top of the grate (one at Lowes is $6.97). Again, look for long handles.

Fire Starter

If your dad uses a gas grill, chances are the push button starter is out. You can probably buy the exact part for his brand at Lowe's. If you dad uses charcoal, a chimney starter (pictured left) is an excellent tool. It uses just one or two pieces of newspaper to start a whole load of coal and only costs $14.99. No more smelly lighter fluid.

Now if you really want to make dad a happy camper, you can get him a MAPP gas torch (pictured right) for about $35 for the trigger and $8 per cylinder. It is in the tool section at Lowes because it is general used as a soldering and sweating torch. But I use mine to torch 3 sections of unlit coal for 20 seconds each and in no time, I have my grill up to temp. It's the fastest way to get to cooking temps in my opinion. I cook outside 4 nights a week and usually get mine to last 4 to 6 months before having to replace the $8 cylinder.

Quality Instant Read Thermometer (for measuring internal temp of meat)

A great instant read thermometer is the only accurate way to tell when your meat is done and the manufacturers have different meanings for the word "instant". But when you are cooking over flame, time matters! The Thermapen is the industry standard but also costs about $90. In my tests last year, the Taylor Pocket Thermometer ($14.97) was the second fastest only to the Thermapen and in my experience, is just as accurate.

Grill Thermometer (for measuring cooking temp of the grill)

If your dad's grill has a thermometer gauge that only reads "low - med - high" or if it is old and no longer accurate, he needs a new one. They are under $20 (this one is $11.96) and Lowes has ones that should fit most grills.

Oven Mitts

Mitts is short for mittens and mittens don't sound manly for Dad, do they? I have tried cheap oven mitts, silicone oven mitts, and expensive oven mitts. While the Weber mitts are good for light grilling, it is hard to beat welder gloves ($15.98 ) for handling high grilling temps. Plus....they aren't called mittens ;)

Grill Cover with Logo

One of the biggest threats to the life span of a grill is weather. Sure you can get a plain black grill cover but why not get one that boasts your favorite team logo? Alexis bought me mine for Christmas and it's held up well. This one runs $34.96 at Lowes right now.

Gaswatch Fuel indicator

I used to have a propane gas grill and one of the things I hated was running out of gas in the middle of a cook. There are some tricks you can do to check your gas level is, but why play around? You can get your dad one of these fuel gauges for $15.99.

Rotisserie

Kim of Stirring The Pot will testify to the usefulness of having a rotisserie for your grill. She recently got one and loves it. Dad would like one too, after all, the only thing more fun than cooking meat over flame is cooking SPINNING meat over flame! They can get more pricey but this one is on sale for $25!

BBQ & Grilling Cookbook
There are some classic BBQ/Grilling cook books out there, such as Smoke and Spice, The Barbecue Bible, Paul Kirk's Championship BBQ, and Peace Love and Barbecue (Mills). There are also some fanatastic new "classics" like Big Bob Gibson's Barbecue Book, Planet Barbecue!, and BBQ 25. Any of these would be a perfect accessory for your dad's grill.

June Giveaway
Just in time for Fathers' Day, I am giving away an autographed copy of Big Bob Gibson's Barbecue Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint.

I have had my copy for over a year and love it. I bought an extra copy at his class a few weeks ago. This would make a great Fathers Day gift and I will be drawing a winner next Sunday, June 13th so the winner should have it from me by Fathers Day.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below.
  • If you use the "anonymous comment" option, be sure to leave your screen name in the comment so I can contact you if you are the winner. Something like "EggerinFL from the Egg Forum" or "swibirun from the BBQ Brethren forum" is enough.
  • One entry per person.
  • Drawing will be held Sunday, June 12th at 12:30pm Eastern.
  • Comments will be numbered by order received and random.org will generate a random number for the winner.
  • Limited to Continental US unless you wish to pay the extra shipping charges.
[Standard Disclaimer] I have not received any compensation from any of the above referenced products or companies.

70 comments:

  1. Thanks! I'm gonna pass this on to the girls! As a BGE Newb, I like the idea of the MAAP gas torch.

    -Fornia, from the Egghead forum

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  2. I would love to read big Bob Gibson's BBQ book. Thanks for the chance. Tim aka 2Fategghead on the egghead forum

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  3. Hornhonk from the BGE Forum here. What a great thing for you to do. You have a great blog!

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  4. Hope you had a great time in the class love the BLOG

    Alan in Ga BBQ Brethren

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  5. Chris, can you put one of those things on your blog where I can subscribe and have new post notificaitons come straight to my email inbox?

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  6. Jon Duttweiler (BluesDaddy)June 6, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Love Chris Lilly and would love the book. Thanks for the offer!

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  7. Another great gift is bear claws to lift large hunks of meat off the smoker, also good for pulling pork or beef.

    crazy harry from BBQ Brethren forum

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  8. Only would a VOL fan would do what you are doing. I visit your blog off and on and it is full of info. Thanks for your service to eggers and other grillers. milesofsmiles to you, and GBO. Ronnie.

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  9. I would love to get this book for Father's Day. I am building a reverse flow smoker so as I get closer to finishing Iam getting lots of wood together and this book would be a great addition to my bbq tools.

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  10. Love the Blog and would really love to read the book. BadHorsieBBQ from The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS

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  11. Great site with tons of great ideas. I would love to win the book for Dad. I am Mr. Holloway on the Egghead forum. Thank You.

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  12. I really need to get to a class....great ideas for fathers day too.

    Honest Abe from the BBQ Brethren forum

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  13. Chris, awesome blog! Please put my name in the hat for the Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ cookbook. I perused it in the library and really liked the book.

    eenie meenie from the Egghead Forum

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  14. Roll Tide from the egghead forum. Great book and a great gift for anyone who loves to Q.

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  15. Nice blog! (Rich Parker from the BBQ Brethren)

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  16. Moose from the BBQ Brethren here - love the book giveaway. Great father's day gift ideas, too!

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  17. Thanks Chris for this opportunity. I really enjoy your blog and visit often.
    Molly
    cookin biker

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  18. Count me in...never too many FREE cookbooks on my shelf. Thebtls

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  19. Looks like a great book.


    GerM egg forum

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  20. Great blog. I now have ideas on fathers day gifts.

    Thanks Frank FRSINNH from BBQ Brethren

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  21. Stiffy here from the Brethren, great blog you have, I will look around while I am here!!!

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  22. Very nice Blog! I have not seen this site before and am glad to have stumbled upon it. Keep them coming!

    -Lightnin' Bolt from the BGE Forum

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  23. Wow! This is a great blog - and the cookbook giveaway is excellent.

    elzbth from Egghead Forum

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  24. Wow, Chris, this really blows the whole backrub and a nice dinner (that I had planned for Father's Day)out of the water! :) I LOVE the idea of using a torch to start charcoal. I'm registering for the cookbook - thanks for the giveaway!

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  25. Good suggestions Chris. I didn't know I could buy a fuel lever gauge for my propane tank, but will have one soon for the lake grill.

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  26. Thanks for all the tips and the cheaper version idea for the thermometer!! Love Bob Gibson Love BBQ!!!

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  27. I am not a Dad but I'd like the book. maybe it will inspire to get a new Q! GREG

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  28. Eggsakley/ BGE forumJune 6, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    How does the gas level gauge hook into the BGE?

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  29. Great Blog and good gist suggestions. An instant read thermometer will make one a better cook instantly.

    bobbyb on the BGE forum

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  30. Would have loved to be at the get together at Larry's yesterday. Count me in for future blogger events. We are only 2 hours away. My husband would love this book.

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  31. Great post, would love to win this cookbook!

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  32. Very informative blog, thanks for the link! Where do you find the Taylor instant read thermometer?

    Would love to be entered in the drawing for the cookbook! Looks like a good one!

    Thanks again!

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  33. Count me in, great blog. From eggheadforum - SWOkla-Jerry

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  34. Good post, I hope I win. Boston_stoker on bge forum.

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  35. Great contest.....great blog too.

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  36. Thanks!
    Great blog, nice photography!!
    XYRN from the eggheadforum

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  37. Thanks for the gift ideas! It is hard to believe Father's Day is almost here! This year is going so fast.

    The cookbook you are giving away looks fantastic! Thanks for doing the giveaway!

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  38. Great item to have.
    Mike
    CWM from the egg forum.

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  39. Thanks for the comments on the cheaper thermometer. I need one and just can't bring myself to pay that much for a thermometer no matter how good it is....

    ricksegers from the BBQ Brethren

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  40. Thanks for the great gift ideas! The giveaway is awesome - PICK ME!!!

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  41. I am taking up barbecuing, gotta cook something to keep me busy, as I sure as hell ain't cooking no seafood, I would love to get my hands on a copy of the bbq bible.
    Captain John @ bumpkinonaswing

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  42. I need to find a Lowes to buy a rotissere.

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  43. Good suggestions Chris! I don't even know what my FIL will be getting. He's overseas working more than he's home so I don't even know if he has a grill since Katrina.

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  44. Fantastic selections Chris..very helpful since A.J.'s birthiday is this Saturday and Father's Day is next Sunday...should I give him one glove this week and the other next week?

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  45. Chris - This was a seriously good post for people who want to buy their hubbies/fathers some new tools and aren't sure what to get. And, thanks for the shout out! We definitely love that rotisserie spit and have used it quite a few times with awesome results!

    This is a fabulous giveaway!!

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  46. Vidalia1 (Kim Youngblood)(Egghead forum)..that is a great idea and if I don't win the book I will definitely go buy one. Thanks for the other ideas.

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  47. Oh please send the book my way - I'm in desperate need of it! Great idea for a give - and great gift suggestions, too! xo, Nan

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  48. Great list,Chris and wonderful giveaway.

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  49. You don't own a wooden cutting board? You crazy!

    xo, Biggles

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  50. That book would be fantastic! Although I have to say if you don't have a BBQ rotisserie yet it's definitely something we could do without any more.

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  51. Anything free you want to give me is fine!

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  52. ouuuuu! good ideas! such wonderful giveaways for fathers day! your awesome! thanks

    jen

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  53. Glad I found this blog, great info! (Linhardt from the BBQ Brethren)

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  54. What a great post and a great looking cookbook you're giving away.

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  55. Great Blog, hope my bride follows the link

    pahutchens BBQ Brethren

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  56. No first aid kit on the list?

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  57. Well, since I do all the grilling, this post is more for me than hubby. And I want to win the book, for me, not him! I'll get him a six-pack of beer or something!

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  58. My Dad really needs a grill cover... and that great book! He could use some tips!

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  59. I would love a copy of that book! SuzSch

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  60. I would love to check out that BBG book

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  61. So what are YOU asking for for fathers day Chris???

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  62. Chris, Great post. The best gift if the grill cover. I got a nice University of Michigan one for Christmas. Glad to hear that the Taylor Pocket Thermometer is almost as good as the Thermapen. I need a new thermometer but am saving up for a new pit. This could be the perfect solution.

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  63. Nice looking site I enjoys looking at the recipe secton.

    Thanks for offering the drawing.

    Grandpas Grub from the egghead forum.

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  64. Real Nice Site! I live less than a mile from Big Bob's and YOU CAN'T BEAT IT!!! Thanks for the give-a-way!!!! USDA Prime - BGE Forum

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  65. Count me in! looks like your contests are becoming more popular.

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  66. I think thats a great ideas for fathers day gifts ,my father love this types of gift so thanks buddy for your awesome gifts ideas.however Check out these awesome bbq gifts I found on
    http://www.americanbridal.com/grill-bbq-gifts.html

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