Industry News

TMCNet:  Goodies for the grill man

[April 14, 2009]

Goodies for the grill man

Apr 14, 2009 (McClatchy Newspapers - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- Bet you didn't know you needed Sonic ice _ or a thermometer that speaks Danish.

Real grillmasters have been firing up the Weber all winter. But now it's the time of year for fair-weather grillers to get their propane and charcoal roasters ready for another season of charring meals in the great outdoors. You may have everything you need to flip burgers and sear steaks, but we've come up with some things you didn't know you needed.

_ Hoshizaki Icemaker: Are you one of the growing cult of Sonic fans who goes to the drive-through eatery for . . . the ice? There are Web sites devoted to this passion for "Sonic ice," known in the industry as "cubelet flaker." This outdoor, undercounter icemaker creates that slowmelting sort-of-crushed, sort-of-cubed ice that enhances any beverage, but especially carbonated soft drinks. The machine, model C-100BAE-AD, cranks out 92 pounds of ice every 24 hours, which will handle a lot of cola. $2,089.05 on sale at

_ Inno-Labs Fire Wire: How many of us actually remember to soak wooden skewers before using them over fire? And have you ever found a way to keep food from spinning on slick metal skewers when it's time to turn them? Here's the answer to those questions and more: Fire Wire. Fire Wire is a 31-inch flexible steel cable-style skewer that lets you marinate, grill and remove food all on one tool, and it stays cool to the touch. They hold a lot more chunks of meat and veggies because they can coil on the grate. Why didn't you think of that? $9.95 at

_ GasWatch TVL 212: What's worse than having the Thanksgiving turkey roasting under the cover of the grill only to discover, after an hour, that the propane tank ran out? Never let that happen again with this little attachment that goes between your tank and your grill's gas valve to keep track of how much fuel is left in your tank. Simple, but it could save Thanksgiving. $19.95 (model 212) and $24.95 (model 212E) are available at Home Depot, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Sears and Wal-Mart;

_ Oregon Scientific's Grill Right Wireless Talking BBQ/Oven Thermometer: "Hey, the chicken's ready!" Who said that? Why, it was the thermometer. Yes, a talking grill thermometer that tells you when the food is done, from up to 100 yards away from the grill. You insert the wireless probe into the meat and program the base unit to alert you when the grill is at the desired temperature (an alarm goes off); you also get alerts when the food is almost ready, ready and overcooked. Not only does it talk, but the digital readout can be programmed in five languages, including Danish. "Kodet er braendt!" $59.99;

_ Grill Charms: Leslie Haywood says the idea came to her in "a spicy light-bulb moment" during a dinner party when she was besieged with special cooking requests. Grill Charms are dime-size steel charms that identify who gets what _ MR for medium rare, WD for well done, a jalapeno image for spicy, you get the idea. You insert them before you cook and, since the stems are serrated, they don't fall out when you flip. There are four collections of six _ steak, spicy, lifestyle and "pink." $19.95 at

_ DCS Two-Drawer Refrigerator: Finally, an undercounter outdoor refrigerator with stainless-steel drawers big enough to store oversize things, like 2-liter soft drink bottles and wine bottles. A digital touchpad controls the temp and an LED display makes it easy to check, even in the dark. It has auto defrost, of course, and it even has a "Sabbath mode." $3,939 for model RF24D at

___ (c) 2009, Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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