GRILLBOT: A Unique Product for 2017 Grilling Season

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18 Unique Grilling Products for the 2017 Grilling Season

I met with grilling and barbecue companies from around the world at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. These are the 18 new and unique grilling products that stood out to me for the 2017 grilling season.

Come on Baby Light My Fire

Whether you cook with gas or charcoal, there were some innovate products at the show to get your fire started.

Knob Where You Need It

For safety and economic reasons, it’s best to turn off your propane gas tank when you’re done using it, but when it’s hidden under your hot grill, it’s easy to forget. The Knob Where You Need It uses a flexible shaft that allows you to place a new knob up with the rest of your controls. When you twist it on and off, the shaft rotates the knob on your tank.

Priced at $49.95

BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity

If you don’t cook with charcoal because you don’t have time to wait for the coals to light, that’s no longer an excuse. I watched the BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity light a whole chimney in around 3 minutes. It’s different than other charcoal chimneys because it has a 90-degree tube that comes out of the side. You add your paper inside the tube and insert the BBQ Dragon Fan. Turn it on and let the turbo boost of air do the work. In three minutes flat, you’re ready to dump and get your grill on.

Fan priced at $49.95
Chimney of Insanity priced at $29.95

Char-Griller Chimney Starter

Char-Griller Chimney Starter

That wasn’t the only chimney that caught my attention. I was also impressed by the Char-Griller Chimney Starter with trigger release. Dumping hot coals always makes me a little nervous. With the Char-Griller Chimney, you just squeeze the handle and the coals drop right onto your grill. I do still recommend wearing heat-resistant gloves.

Priced at $14.99

Fatwood Firestarter

The name of this product definitely made me chuckle, but fatwood is actually a technical term for strips of wood created from the stumps of trees that have fallen or been cut down for other purposes. BetterWood Products hires workers in Honduras to salvage forest floors and remove these stumps to prevent forest fires. The workers then create these strips of wood with machetes. Yep, by hand. Each strip has a natural resin on it formed from the tree’s biological defenses. That natural resin is flammable, so you can insert a few Fatwood Firestarters in your coals or under your campfire logs, light each end and get the fire going.

Priced at $15.35

What’s New in Grills

The National Hardware Show was packed with hundreds of different types of grills. Five grills broke through the noise this year, and I’ve highlighted them below.

Camp Chef Woodwind

Just before the show, Camp Chef had a major campaign launch for its new pellet grill — the Woodwind. Before checking out the grill’s features, you just have to watch the video. It was created by the same folks who created the Squatty Potty video. The Grill God and Vegan Goddess crack me up. As for the grill, there were a couple of unique things that stood out to me compared to other pellets. For one, the fire burns in the bottom center, creating a more even cook. Second, the ashes collect in a cup under the grill that you can easily dump. No more need to vacuum your grill. It also includes a propane sear station grill on the side, so you can reverse sear steaks or just cook a few burgers while you’re waiting for that brisket to slow smoke.

Priced at $699-899

Traeger Timberline

Traeger has just launched its Timberline, which was created with input from consumers, pitmasters and engineers with a focus on structure, smoke science and technology. The shape has evolved slightly which provides room for three modular racks. The science behind the way the smoke flows in this grill is fascinating. The less than desirable smoke gets sucked out of the bottom, while the valuable flavorful smoke circulates around the meat. But the fanciest features are the Wifire technology. You can control your grill remotely from your phone. You even can pull up a recipe on the new app and push “cook brisket” and the app will tell the grill what you’re cooking. It will adjust the temp accordingly until your meat is done.

Priced at $1,699-1,999

Barrel House Cooker

The Barrel House Cooker made its first appearance at this year’s show. The grill is a sleek concept in an affordable price range that yields crowd-pleasing results. The BHC grill team was pulling tri-tips out of the barrels all week long, and the attendees repeatedly said it was the juiciest piece of tri-tip they’d ever tasted. At 14 inches in diameter, the BHC has a small patio footprint, but because it’s a vertical cooker, it can hang up to six racks of ribs. At the show, Barrel House revealed some new grills on the horizon. Soon, they’ll be releasing an 18-inch model, and they’re about to release a new line of porcelain-enameled colors.

Priced at $299-349

Weber Summit

Weber has entered the kamado game with it’s Summit Charcoal Grill. Instead of ceramic, this grill is made of  double-walled air-insulated porcelain-enameled stainless steel, making it lighter than traditional kamados. This insulation system allows the grill to go from low heat to high heat back to low heat in a matter of minutes versus the hours it takes a ceramic cooker to cool down. The inside features Weber’s Gourmet BBQ System that allows you to use interchangeable cooking accessories. There is also a diffuser plate inside for slow and low smoking. The ashes fall into a tray in the bottom that is easily removed for cleaning.

Priced at $1,699-2,299

Space Grill

The Space Grill was one of the coolest things I saw at the show. It’s a full-size 3-burner stainless steel grill that collapses to the size of a suitcase. You can mount it to your wall or mount it on the optional stand. Once folded away, it’s quite sleek and modern and is definitely a patio space-saver. It runs on propane or charcoal and comes with a grill grate and a cast iron griddle. The removable front tray collects grease or ashes and is easily removed for cleaning. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Europe and the UK as of now, but when the Space Grill launches in the U.S., I’ll be sure to let you know.

Priced around $799 (once available in the U.S.)

Now We’re Cooking

Slotdog

You’ve probably seen the Slotdog on social media. It’s this crazy utensil that creates hashmarks in hot dogs. I was skeptical with this one because I already score my hot dogs with a knife, and I didn’t see the need for an added gadget in my kitchen. I went ahead and bought one at the show to see what all the hype was about, and it’s so worth the drawer space. When I got home from the show, I scored a pack of dogs in a matter of minutes. When I threw them on the grill, the perfectly spaced cross marks cooked up way better than my hatchet marks. The slots create little pockets of caramelized goodness that hold all your favorite condiments.

Priced at $15

Flame Boss

The Flame Boss makes it easy to regulate the heat in your smoker without babysitting it and constantly adjusting vents. You place one temperature probe on the grill grate and that temp info is sent to the Flame Boss. If your temp drops too low, a blower connected to your bottom vent kicks on to fan the flames. Once your temp is back where you need it, the fan turns off. A second probe connected to the Flame Boss registers your meat temp. From their handy app, you can monitor both temperatures and remotely adjust your desired temps, as needed. Grill Girl Robyn explains it all in their YouTube video.

Priced at $199-349

BBQ King Grill Tiles

One of the newest grilling items at the show was the BBQ King Grill Tiles. Manufactured in Spain, these ceramic tiles snap at different intervals, so they can be configured to fit any grill. You place the tiles on a rack above the flame and beneath the grill grate to create an even source of heat, allowing your meats to cook more uniformly. One box covers 270 square inches of grilling surface.

Priced at $26.99

Clean Up Is a Breeze

Great Scrape

Finally, there is a custom grill cleaner that will fit your exact grill. The Great Scrape is a wooden paddle that when scraped across your hot grill grates burns and molds to fit your grate. As you continue to clean your grill, the grooves will deepen for even better cleaning. It’s made out of hardwood and was designed with porcelain grates in mind, but it will work on any standard grates. The Great Scrape is safe alternative to metal wire cleaners.

Priced at $26.50

Grillbot

We live in an age where we have robot vacuums, so why not robot grill cleaners. The Grillbot is a set it and forget it magician. You set the time for 10, 20 or 30 minutes, depending on how dirty your grill is, and he bounces around the grates with his three spinning wheels cleaning away grime and debris. Once he’s done, you can throw the brushes (available in stainless steel or nylon) into the dishwasher. The Grillbot now comes in four colors with an optional carrying case.

Priced at $119.95-139.95

 

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Diane Steinbach
Diane Steinbach

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