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Gift for a Griller?

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I'm making this a Home Cooking post even though it could go in General Chowhounding Topics or Cookware. Here are my questions -

I'm thinking of getting my husband a grilling-themed gift for his birthday and am wondering whether it's possible to do any kind of serious grilling on the small Weber kettle grill, which is what we own, or is the space just too small to create direct and indirect heat? If so, I may abandon this gift idea in favor of something else.

What cookbook, if any, provides the best technique on grilling, meaning how to build a fire, create levels of heat, etc.

I'm thinking of getting a cookbook, a bag of hardwood charcoal, and a six-pack of high quality beer, but am stumped for what else to include. Any thoughts? We generally make our own spice rubs and sauces, but if there's a good one to purchase, I'd like to know about it. Also, I live near a Penzey's, if there are blends there to recommend.

Thanks!

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  1. I have a built-in gas grill and a Weber charcoal kettle grill. The reason I have the Weber is because I love cooking on it and I have prepared some ofd my best meals on it. Some of the things I can't cook without are really good, heavy grill gloves, my beer can holder for beer can chicken, great tongs. "The Cook's Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbeque" and "Thrill of the Grill" by Chris Schlesinger are two of my favorite cookbooks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: greenstate

      Do you think I could make a beer can chicken in the small Weber grill or would there not be enough space above the bird for the air to circulate properly?

      1. re: Velda Mae

        What is the diameter of your grill? I have what I thought is the smallest, it measures 21 inches across and I cook beer can chicken all the time.

        1. re: greenstate

          The smallest is the Smokey Joe about 12" then there is the 18" . Yours is probably the 22" model.

    2. A remote digital themoprobe so he can keep on top of the meat temp without standing around the grill the whole time

      1. one of my favorite new grilling tools is a long handled silicone basting brush. the old brushes were soooo hard to clean, especially when they got greasy. (And what is bbq without grease??) also, the silicone ones won't melt even at grilling temps. i love them, and they come in fun colors, too. bed, batha nd beyond carries them, as well as all the cookware stores.

        1. Velda Mae-this link has dozens of great gift ideas and a wonderful line of reliable products. Happy Shopping!

          http://www.americasbestbbq.com/defaul...

          1. My rec for a good grilling cookbook is Steven Raichlen's How to Grill or his Barbecue Bible. Simple, straightforward instructions, illustrated with photos and good descriptions. It explains the basics (how to create indirect heat & smoke with charcoal & gas grills) and then provides good recipes covering the waterfront of things than can be grilled (meat, poultry, lamb, etc, including various veggies, seafood, desserts, etc). His Beer Can Chicken cookbook is another good one, if you like BC chicken.

            And the small weber kettle grill is a great instrument....it only limits the amount you can prepare at once with its small size.

            1. just a quick add-on that Weber.com is an easy site to navigate with plenty of grilling recipes to print out for yourself. Spend the $$ on tools and convenience, flavor enhancers and such...no need (imo) to buy a book.

              1. We grill year-round, on a Weber gas grill and on charcoal at our summer home. We also own a bullet smoker. I agree with HillJ about Weber's website. We found Steve Raichlen's cookbooks to be the best but once you have your technique down, you'll find you'll use it less and less.

                Our essentials:
                grill stone for cleaning
                silicone baster
                grilltop wok/grate for veggies and fish
                long-handles tongs (don't want to pierce meat)
                remote digital thermometer (for bad weather)
                adirondack chair (for good weather)

                2 Replies
                1. re: fershore

                  Good list, and it just occurred to me that I really need a clip-on grill light, as I'm tired of juggling the tongs, flashlight, and basting brush while grilling in the dark.

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    My husband used a headlamp until we installed a light outside for the patio/grill area. Kept his hands free but he looked pretty funny. Also would occasionally blind me when he would look my way.

                2. I third the digital remote thermometer. I'm not sure your Weber could accomodate it, but I gave my husband a rotisserie attachment for his grill and he uses it often. He likes the beer can chicken, too, but this gives another option.

                  1. I have a lot of grillers in my family. For Christmas I got my brother an assortment of wood planks to cook fish or other meats on with a couple of good grilling sauces. He really enjoyed it.