13 Host Gifts That Will Make You the Hero of the Barbecue

2022-07-02 06:58:33 By : Ms. Albee Tan

It’s grilling season, and I—along with my fellow BBQ Dads (a genderless title)—are ready to grill for you. Gathering people to the yard so they may gaze upon expertly smoked meats is our favorite past time and, though we aren’t in it for the host gifts (we’re in it for the glory), it’s still a nice move to show up to the cookout with a token of appreciation.

These things don’t have to be capital-G gifts. BBQ Dads appreciate a wide variety of offerings, from a humble roll of paper towels to something a little fancier, like a thermometer.

I’ve only been grilling “seriously” for a little over a year, so I took to Twitter to see if any of my fellow charcoal and/or propane enthusiasts had any suggestions for cookout hosting gifts. They sure did. You can check out the whole thread here , but I’ve taken the liberty of rounding up a few of my favorite suggestions.

The thing about cooking on charcoal grills is that you are always running out of charcoal, so a big bag is always welcome. I recommend asking your favorite griller for their preferred style. Some people like lump , some prefer “the competition grade stuff,” and some (me) are perfectly happy with briquettes.

In addition to coal, lighter cubes —little lumps of paraffin wax that help get the coal going—are also greatly appreciated, though one Twitter follower told me her dad swears by toilet paper rolls, and another prefers “one of those electric cattle prod like thingies.”

If you want to be really generous, you can bring your host a charcoal chimney. Even if they already have one, it’s nice to have an extra. (Sometimes you need a whole lot of super hot charcoal all at once.)

No backyard chef should be without an external temperature-taker, as the thermometer that’s built into your grill is wildly inaccurate in most cases (especially if it’s sitting right above a pile of hot charcoal).

You can get a simple instant-read digital thermometer for temping steaks and chicken breasts, or get fancy with a bluetooth-enabled probe thermometer that sends the temperature right to your phone. Get one with two or more probes, and your host can monitor the temp of your grill and your meat at the same time, without lifting the lid. Brand-wise, I have a couple of thermometers from ThermoPro , and my fellow BBQ dads are fond of Meater and ThermoWorks .

I am always running out of paper towels , but I seem to run out of them extra fast when grilling. Between wiping down my outdoor prep table and wiping BBQ sauce off my face, cooking out burns through my supply at an incredible rate, and I would be thrilled if a guest showed up with an extra roll or two.

BBQ Dads can do a lot with aluminum foil, which is why bringing a Costco-sized roll of aluminum foil is such a good idea. They can make little packets and trays to hold delicate seafood or vegetables, use it to tent food to keep it warm, fashion a makeshift thermometer probe holder, or wrap it around their brisket to facilitate the Texas Crutch when they hit the dreaded stall.

Drinking beer while grilling meat is a time-honored grilling pastime, but some beer is more suited to the task than others, and cheap beer is the most suited. As one Twitter user so succinctly put it, “I can’t stand in the sun and drink like, Guinness all day. However, I can stand in the sun and drink PBR all day.”

Warm beer, cheap or not, is gross, however, so consider throwing in a koozie to keep those bottles and cans frosty.

You can’t drink beer out of a closed bottle, which is why one Twitter user recommended a “cool bartender’s friend type bottle opener,” and another suggested a “magnetic bottle opener that sticks to the side of the grill.” As someone who is always losing bottle openers—and has yet to master the lighter trick —I agree.

There were a lot of good suggestions on the Twitter, thread, but “Popsicles” is the one I wish I had thought of. As this clever tweeter points out, no one is ever mad at popsicles, and it takes care of the dessert question with absolutely no work on the host’s part. (And, if the host is providing dessert, they can always save the popsicles and enjoy them by themselves at a later date.)

Most grilling spatulas and tongs are made with wooden handles, because wooden handles don’t get all that hot. They are, however, annoying to clean, because you have to hand wash them to preserve the integrity of the wood. Giving your a host a set of dishwasher-safe tools makes the cleanup easier (and easy cleanup is its own gift).

No matter how long you rest it, grilled meat releases a fair amount of juice, which is why one Twitter user recommended bringing a cutting board with grooves so you can “pull the steak or chicken off the grill and carry/cut it right on the board.” The grooves catch the juice (which is especially helpful if you’re making a board sauce ).

Igloo coolers are surprisingly cheap (and the knockoffs are even cheaper), and I do not know a single griller who wouldn’t be thrilled to have an extra. Stock it full of ice—another thing that gets depleted with great speed at a BBQ—to be the hero of the cookout.

A whole lot of people suggested food that was not meat, including halloumi (with a lemon), tabouleh , a salad , fruit salad , and fermented vegetables and pickles. One Twitter user took it a step further, and recommended prepped vegetables: “Mushrooms marinated or stuffed ready to grill. (Bring a perforated grill sheet, in case the host doesn’t have one),” he wrote, and “Asparagus spears trimmed and in ice water, with EVOO & salt to slather on just before grilling. Skewers of shrimp seasoned (Wegman’s has these 4/$10 - amazing!)”

Condiments—especially “kick-ass condiments”— were also highly suggested, including a “kick ass new BBQ sauce ” and “kick-ass condiments/sides from a tienda, German deli, etc.” “If you brought curry ketchup, housemade mustard, kraut, german coleslaw/potato salad? Hero,” one Twitter user wrote.

Everyone loves material offerings, but as one of my favorite Twitter mutuals explained, asking can go a lot further than a kitschy set of oven mitts. “Honestly, when my kids were born, my wife and I told people that the best help we could ask for is the help that we ask for. (It didn’t work),” he wrote. “Communicate, ask if they would like a side, or dessert. Perhaps they need paper plates or cutlery. Ask.”

And, when in doubt, a gift card to buy more grilling toys and equipment is always appreciated, especially if your host is, shall we say, discerning.