Summer is finally upon us (well, nearly) and with it comes the primal desire to make fire and cook meat. But the barbeque itself doesn't have to be such an old traditional grill, there's plenty of new tech to make cooking outdoors even better.
The art of the barbeque has jumped leaps and bounds beyond the simple task of making a fire and heating some charcoal under a grill.
Nowadays you can fire up a grill outside without needing to actually make a fire. You can even create a BBQ ready cooking station that goes from cold to hot in mere minutes.
But kit goes beyond the barbeque itself. Now there are ways of making even the most novice fire-starter and chef create a meal on the grill worthy of praise.
We've found the best barbeques and the best BBQ gadgets to help make outdoor cooking easier, faster, more fun to end up with the best food possible.
The best BBQ gear and tech for summer 2018
If you want to make your barbeque as quick, simple and safe as possible you can't go far wrong with the Lotus Grill and Lotus MiniGrill.
The Lotus Grill is a battery-powered, fan-assisted unit that is ready to cook within 5-minutes of powering on. It's also totally smokeless so you should be able to use it anywhere. Before you worry about losing that smoky taste, know that the grill uses natural hardwood charcoal that's infused in the food via invisible gases. So you get the flavour without the carcinogens of flame-grilled food.
The newer Lotus MiniGrill goes from off to ready-to-cook in just 3-minutes. It's half the size of the Louts Grill at just 2kg and has a grill that prevents sticking so there's no oil needed, making it even more healthy.
Meater Smart Meat Thermometer
There are other smart thermometers, but the Meater is interesting because it's wireless and you put it in the meat before you cook. Charged in a neat wooden block (which is also magnetised to stick to your BBQ), it works over Bluetooth and uses an iOS and Android app to track progress.
You put the probe in the meat and 'set up the cook' in the app - choose what you're cooking and adjust the displayed temperature if necessary. Naturally, you can see how the cook is going on your phone and also when the meat is done. There's a four-probe version coming soon that also enables you to see when your meat is done without using your phone.
Grillbot is $130 (about £88) and comes in red, blue, orange and black from Grillbots.
This has been described as the Roomba for your barbeque. It's a robot that will take care of cleaning your barbeque so you can cook, eat and that's it.
The Grillbot is armed with brushes on three corners. These spin and drive the bot around your grill, brushing it clean. A simple button touch sets it to go for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. It's rechargeable and the brushes can be replaced so you never need to clean your grill again.
The BBQ Dragon is $60 (about £40) from BBQDragon.
If you've already got a barbeque but want to speed up the lighting process the BBQ Dragon can help.
Essentially the kickstarted BBQ Dragon is a glorified hair dryer. But it works far better than even the best stylist's kit with a BBQ heated to readiness in just 10-minutes. It's also powered by micro-USB meaning you can use anything that charges your phone, mobile or otherwise, to keep it powered. The BBQ Dragon clips to any barbeque and goes to work automatically so all you need to do is get the food ready to cook.
Caliber Pro Kamado Charcoal Grill
It's good that you'll save money on charcoal as you'll need to shell out $1,800 (£1,220) to get one from BBQguys.
If a simple grill isn't enough and a true smoker is what you want you'd normally need to shell out for more charcoal. The Caliber Pro Kamado aims to change that.
This grill does it all, with slow cook settings to smoke meats or pizza stone addition to fire up a pie fast. There's even a rotisserie accessory for perfectly cooked birds.
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