Meet the new breed of smart BBQs
The heat is on for the ultimate summer outdoor cookware so we've reviewed the smartest BBQs on the market, so you can make like Tony Soprano at a board meeting.
Heston's ultra-modern portable grill
Kicking off our smart BBQs is experimental genius Heston Blumenthal has designed a new 'all-terrain' portable charcoal grill. The Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Cube looks like a work of art and features stay-cool handles, an integrated food storage tray (prevents that whole raw/cooked contamination thing) and a handy bamboo lid that doubles as a prep board. In short, the poindexter chef has outdone himself. Fun fact: Heston tops his 'ultimate burger' with sherry-flavoured cheese.
World’s first wireless meat thermometer
Meater is a wireless meat thermometer that connects to your smartphone to alert you when your meat is perfectly cooked. Stab the probe into your steak and the app will walk you through the precise cooking time and resting period. Genuinely amazing, it's a bit like being able to 'see' inside the meat. It’s compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, too, so you can ask questions like, ’Alexa, how long before my burger turns to ash?'
Weber's all-electric iGrill for urban roof terraces
The Weber Pulse 2000 is powered by electricity rather than gas or charcoal. It's perfect for urban roof terraces and those tiny balconies that estate agents call 'bijou': you won't have to lug any fuel up the stairs and your neighbours won't end up choking on your smoke. The cast iron grill adds the all-important 'stripes', while the iGrill app-connected thermometer "delivers perfectly cooked food, every time". Unless, of course, you get smashed out of your skull on Mezcal and forget your own name. £699, weber.com
Charcoal grill that heats up in 5 minutes
The ingenious LotusGrill has a battery-powered fan that blasts air into its charcoal bowl. So, once lit (see below), the coals will be ready to cook on in under five minutes. The other clever thing about this technology is that it uses up less charcoal. Oh, and if you've got kids, you'll be relieved to hear that the outer shell is separated from the inner charcoal bowl, meaning it can be handled without causing 3rd degree burns. You can snag the smaller version for £150 but we like this XL, 'big drunken picnic in the park' model, which has space for grilling 10 burgers at once. £220, johnlewis.com
Luxe Wi-Fi BBQ that that lights itself
If you literally have money to burn, then opt for this remote-controlled wood pellet BBQ that lights itself with the touch of a smartphone app. The Wi-Fi-enabled Bob Grillson Premium is German-engineered and pretty much does everything. The dual meat probes allow you to remotely tweak the tenderness of individual steaks via an app, and, when you're low on wood pellets, the BBQ will email you a stern warning. Can't manage another rack of ribs? Crank it up to 400°C and it doubles as a pizza oven.
Swap matches for the world’s most powerful lighter
Ever had trouble lighting a BBQ? Squeezing half a bottle of lighter fluid onto the coals in a fit of pique will probably work – it's not really that safe. Instead, why not use… [drumroll]... The World’s Most Powerful Lighter? The Looftlighter magically sets light to charcoal, briquettes and wood in just 60 seconds without any fuel. How? By super-heating air that ignites your coals and cuts the time it takes to get them up to cooking temp. Worryingly, it also has an integrated bottle opener.£61, amazon.co.uk
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