So you’re hungry and want tacos for dinner, huh? In the great, ancient tradition of hungry-people-eating-food-they-want-to-eat-in-order-to-become-less-hungry, you’ve got a few go-to options: go out, order in, or even cook to get what you so desire. The only problem? Those options require effort. Be honest with yourself: do you really feel like putting in that kind of work? Especially when eating tacos is supposed to be one of the most effortless culinary experiences of all time. But what’s a hungry taco lover to do? What about ‘no pain, no gain,’ you wonder? The answer is in this revolutionary, (practically) effortless alternative to your average, everyday taco-procurement strategies. We’re talking about the “You Better Have Tacos” doormat, and we urge you to lay that bad boy outside your door and wait for the cha-ching, cha-ching — I mean crinkle, crinkle — of an endless supply our fave member of the no-utensil food group, brought to you by your friends, neighbors, and anyone else who should pass through your threshold. It’s so simple, you may weep. So convenient, you may never leave your place again. So foolproof…well we think that it maybe, probably, most likely will work. But if for whatever reason it doesn’t, well then at at least you’ve got a good place to wipe off your shoes — you know, in case you gotta go out for tacos in the rain.
All Outdoor Stuff
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream made with the Soft Shell Ice Cream Ball, a product from YayLabs!. It combines two of our favorite summer pastimes, ice cream and ball games. Pleasing to both artisanal ice cream aficionados and more casual ice cream enthusiasts alike, the Soft Shell Ice Cream Ball embodies the highbrow/lowbrow dichotomy in a way that only a homemade ice cream maker that looks like your average, everyday kickball could. Fight the been-there-done-that end-of-summer slump by bringing it on all of your adventures and shaking, tossing, rolling it until you get the smooth and creamy ice cream you had previously been too intimidated to make on your own (and it only takes 20 to 30 minutes!). We urge you to proceed with caution, however — you don’t want anyone mistaking your next batch of strawberry-blueberry ice cream for their next dodgeball weapon.
The Star Spangled Spatula immediately reminds you of why we flip grilled meat over flare licking heat in early July. The walnut handle and stainless prong makes you feel like a patriotic colonist armed with a state of the art weapon ready to battle, and win, the fiery grill revolution. No joke, the thing is build tough. Jacob Riley-Wasserman, the designer, was a top honored RISD student and knew his way around function and fashion. This ingenious tool unfortunately reminds us of something else far less celebratory. Jacob passed from cancer this year after what seemed to be a long fight with the disease. Always looking for the upside, as was Jacob from what I can gather, he started Flip4Cancer which donates some of the spatula proceeds to fight cancer. Talk about a legacy. Own one of these and remember the designer every time you flip a burger, fight cancer with every grill day this summer and humbly honor our country, land of the American dream, while it hangs holstered off the side of your barbecue.
My dad was an auto mechanic for 20 years. After that he became a self taught electrical engineer. It’s safe to assume tools and their boxes were a big part of my childhood. To date I have at least 10 different toolboxes. One for electrical, one for plumbing, one for cars, one for the house. The list goes on. The appeal of the BBQ Toolbox is therefore obvious but instead of this container synonymous with work, it’s a beacon for play. Flipping out like an old school True Value gem, the trademark red box reveals two grilling surfaces and a place for your prized sauces and critical grill tools. Summer music festivals are about to get “worked”.
Considering the run up to this weekend, we continue with the grill gadget prep and the Relic Portable Brick Oven. Clocking in at $1100 and 3000 degrees fahrenheit, this one might have to get through the wife before it makes it to your deck. If it flies, you just turned your $60 standard grill into a Napoleotano’s birth right. Aside from the pizzas you could make in this cast iron turtle shell think about the meats. Cherry wood infused poultry. Walnut wood ribeyes. We’re drooling just typing those combos. Don’t forget about the vegetable ramifications. Wood fired asparagus, corn and even tomatoes might just have appeal to your better half enough to elicit a “yes”.
Sometimes it rains on Memorial Day weekend. Sometimes it rains most of the summer. This is mother natures way of blessing the earth and replenishing life but it does deprive you from your weekly summer grilling rituals. If this summer turns soggy the Otto O.F.B. Steak Griller is your backup QB (Quick Burner). Fashioned after the commercial kitchen mainstay, the salamander, this broiler uses radiant heat to crisp up any protein to that perfect grill kissed aesthetic and texture. Pair this with a sous vide machine and you might ditch the grill all together.
There’s nothing more satisfying than that first time you fire up the grill each year. In prelude to the Memorial Day ritual most of us restock our grill gadget arsenal with mostly unnecessary but highly pleasurable new toys. The SteakChamp might not actually fall into that category because of it’s incredibly functional tech. A simple set of colored LED’s flash green for rare, yellow for medium and red for well to indicate that illusive inner doneness. No, it does not talk to your phone but part of the grill experience is hanging out and tending to it. We’ve field tested this one and the thermometer is dead on. As soon as we get a flashing green we know we have a perfectly done medium rare cut. Now you just have to convince your butcher to cut you that 3 inch porterhouse.
It’s no surprise that we LOVE us some BBQ over at FTHQ. We’ve also had our bout with smokers. Wood fueled, electric, even gas powered and they all fell short. Part of the problem is that we’re impatient and good ‘que is a patient wo(man)’d game. The key, any pit master will tell you, is in the consistency. Sure, the wood, the meat and the rub all are critical BUT without consistency it all falls apart. Specifically we’re talking about temperature. The uber fail of most amateur pit masters is the fluctuation in heat as it relates to time. A 12 hour smoked pork butt fluctuating 100 degrees is better used to feed the dog than serve the family. That’s why the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef™ Technology got us so jazzed up. The electric smoker communicates with your phone letting you know the internal temperature of the meat and the chamber. This means you can do “other stuff” while smoking but never miss when you need to add more water, wood chips or heat. This will be in our backyard all summer. If you’re thinking about getting into (or back into) the bbq game, this is the move.
When we saw this we had to have it. We validated this spend by calling it a right of passage for our Italian-American heritage. Truth is this might be the best solution to the age old Italian dilemma, “How can I make authentic Neapolitan pizza in my back yard if I can’t get any of my baking devices over 600 degrees unless I spend $2000.” The Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven solves this, admittedly non-universal-yet-equally-important-to-a-certain-niche, problem with not only a beautiful form factor but with an optional heat method. Two baskets attach to the undercarriage of this ceramic lined, triple aluminum and silicone domed beauty. The first is your standard wood quiver. The second is a gas jet for those moments the timber runs out or you are just to lazy to go gather some logs. Roccbox claims a 0-900°F in just 15 min making this an after work option as much as a weekend splurge.
Takenaka makes lunch boxes in the Japaneseist of Japanese ways, the Bento. What we know as the quick, little-of-everything, menu item on a Sushi restaurants midtown lunch special is a physical item in every Japanese citizens backpack. In a world where we’re continually evolving our healthy eating game, these Takenaka lunch boxes make carrying your homemade healthy snacks convenient and simultaniously mega stylish. Next time you pull up a seat at the communal table watch the envy sweep across your coworkers faces when you pull out this beauty. We just hope what you put inside is as impressive as the outside.