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.
More Gear Stuff
Here at FTHQ we love “clever innovation”. Kicking off our run up to St. Patrick’s Day, we thought you should know about the Whiskey Wedge. Whether it’s 15 minute drink preparation at your local bar OR you just think you’d look good with a waxed mustache, the craft cocktailing craze will eventually push you to try your hand behind the bar at home. Just like the smoke machines, obscure herbs and fire coaxed citrus oils add some drama to the mixology show, this ice wedge will wow any house guest at your next cocktail party. Prepare a day ahead and spend the rest of your time perfecting that rollie fingers.
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.
The Mellow sous vide machine is aiming to do what the microwave did for home kitchens in 1967. Although, in 2016, there’s a whole different science and aesthetic at play. As a big fan of temperature fixed circulated water machines Mellow is the Cadillac of the recent immersion circulators boom. The upgrade, Mellow keeps your vacuum sealed dinner chilled by enabling the machine to hold the water at both cold and hot temperatures. A couple hours before your dinner time, Mellow heats up and finishes your meal. The beauty of Mellow even makes this minimalistic, bare kitchen counter kid contemplate an artistic and functional residency in my apartment. Let’s not forget, anything sous vide tastes amazing.
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.