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Top Technology for the Perfect Summer BBQ

There are always two things you can count on with British summers. First, that it will rain – and second, that as soon as the first ray of sunshine appears, someone will suggest a barbecue.

Well with the weathermen predicting a heatwave for Sunday and next week, we can probably be sure that both of the above will occur.

Now hosting the perfect BBQ event can be stressful and takes a lot more skill than just buying a nice big barbecue from the local DIY store and throwing a load of meat, or if you prefer veggie burgers, on it. That’s if you’ve managed to successfully choose between gas or charcoal.

So to ensure less stress and better tasting outdoor-cooked food, I’ve come up with a guide to the best websites, apps and tech accessories that will help take the heat out of the day
– and allow you to chill while you grill.

Then you can relax with a nice steak and a beer!

Southern Living Big Book of BBQ

This iPad app is simply THE place to start for anyone planning a barbecue, after all 100,000 people bought the print version. Featuring the entire best-selling book and ‘step by step’ video and audio, it will take you from novice to expert in no time. The chapter titles – including Tips from the Pit Master, Tools of the Trade and Keeping Meat Moist – should whet your appetite. The price tag of £4.99, half of what the physical book sells for, is pretty mouth-watering too.

BBC Good Food Guide

There’s nothing worse than turning up to a BBQ, with your stomach rumbling, to only be offered the meagre choice of a simple sausage or burger. It’s uninspiring, unoriginal and sure to
leave the host with plenty of leftovers. That’s where this huge guide to grilling, from the nice folks at the BBC, comes in. There are tons of in-depth recipes, featuring everything from sticky chicken drumsticks to Indian spiced lamb and barbecued pineapple with honeycomb ice cream. It’s the best use of the licence fee since Doctor Who and will ensure your guests get a thrill from your grill.

Steak Timer Plus

It’s the question that is as old as barbecuing itself – “do you think this steak is done?” Luckily, as with most things in life now, there’s an app for that. Just enter your type of steak, its
weight and how you like it cooked into this Android application, and it will time the grilling process for you – even flashing when you need to flip. Of course, it can’t be responsible for that one man who’ll still think he knows best and undercooks everything.

If you’re going to barbecue then you need an amusing apron and this website does exactly what it says in the URL. Just pick a colour, add your own text, photos and/or logos, click order and it will arrive within a week. A perfect present for a partner, or yourself, and they’ve sister sites that let you design your own bathrobes and umbrellas too.

More Grillin’

Most youngsters like to imitate their parents, but if you’ve got children then you’ll want them as far away as possible while you’re cooking. This cheap and quirky game for all Apple devices lets the kids virtually grill, with dancing flames, and then share with friends the pictures of the main courses and desserts they’ve created. There’s even a worldwide leaderboard to try and top – enough to keep them quiet for weeks.

Husky Wine and Drinks Refrigerator

The traditional way of offering chilled drinks at a barbecue is filling up a dustbin or paddling pool with ice and dumping them in. But I think you can do better than that, with this nifty black 2.3 cubic foot mini-fridge that holds wine, beer and soft drinks in style.

Samsung SMX-F401SP/XEU Camcorder

A good old family BBQ can provide memories that last a lifetime, so why not capture them on high-resolution video. There are plenty of good camcorders, of all shapes and sizes, on the market, and this Samsung ticks my main three boxes of being high quality, compact and at a great price.