10 of the best BBQ gadgets this summer – BBC Science Focus Magazine
The Sun is out, and that means one thing: it is barbecue season. If you’re inviting all of your friends over, you will want to be prepared, ready to be the ultimate outdoor gathering host.
We’ve braved the elements to pick out the absolute best barbecue gadgets you can buy right now, tracking down everything from the best barbecue, through to speakers, lights and everything in between.
Ooni Fyra 12
For the hungry individual, the sight and smell of a wood-fired pizza oven on a dusky summer evening is a magical thing – but who’s got the time to build one from scratch? Ooni’s lightweight, portable oven is easy to set up and then after that, you can make quick pizzas that make you seem like a professional chef.
Ooni’s own wood pellets feed into the back and a blowtorch or some lighter fluid will get the temperature in the oven climbing to 500°C within 10 minutes.
The blistering heat takes just two minutes to transform a pale and doughy base into a crispy, golden pizza, though you’ll need to turn it after 60 seconds for an even cook. The Ooni comes with a ‘peel’ for sliding the pizza in and out without singeing your fingers. Clean up and packing is a breeze too, since the pellets burn cleanly and the legs fold neatly away.
Big Green Egg MiniMax
Smoke-induced blindness, questionable chicken and overcooked sausages are the hallmarks of a British barbecue. Thankfully, the Big Green Egg is here to save us from all three.
The design itself is nothing new. It’s based on a traditional Japanese kamado oven. Where the Big Green Egg gets interesting is in its use of materials. It’s built out of a space-age ceramic, first developed by NASA to protect its Space Shuttle from the extreme temperatures generated punching through Earth’s atmosphere. This means two things: coals last longer since the ceramic readily retains the heat and, we’re told, you can cook when the mercury drops to -34°C, so even Inuits can have a barbie.
Ultimately, the real benefit is control. With two small vents – one at the base and one at the top – and a thermometer, the heat is easy to adjust, whether you’re after a low and slow 100°C for smoking or a furious 700°C for crisping up a pizza. Tinkering with the vents and getting the right amount of coal, takes time at first, but once you’ve reached your target temperature it stays there – which is why so many top chefs favour the Big Green Egg.
Inside, you can cook on a ‘plate-setter’ platform or directly on the grill. The former safeguards your food from the direct heat from the coals, allowing hot air to infuse the meat and veg with smoke while cooking it evenly. If you do want a bit of charring, meat can be finished on the grill. The results are hard to fault, which is a relief given the huge outlay. But considering the sturdy build, we’d venture to say that the Big Green Egg could last a lifetime.
Don’t be fooled by the Minimax moniker, this Big Green Egg is back-strainingly heavy and voluminous enough to fit a whole chicken. Meanwhile, the largest model comes in at 213kg, and can fit a …….