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.
More Gear Stuff
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”.
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.
It’s not news to anyone that the hospitality industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 threat. The shutdown mandate for the industry has been in effect for three weeks now and writing about food seems a bit insensitive and frankly less meaningful, although, a mindless escape from the morbid 24 hour news cycle we’re captured in is a welcome reprieve.
What’s incredible to us is how the hospitality industry is reacting. Down and out (for the time being) many have funds to help their employees while others are still cooking to help frontline workers stay nourished and healthy. It’s these selfless pivots that have us most impressed (humbled and optimistic). Hedley & Bennett, the apron makers, launched the Wake Up & Fight mask effort this week and besides impressing us gave us an amazing way to help our frontline workers be more protected. They have innovated by turning their apron factory into a protective mask operation to aid in the worldwide shortage in personal protection equipment (PPE).
Pulling from the get one give one model, each purchase allows a mask to be made for frontline essential workers. It’s a triple collab between HEPA filter maker Think Crucial, Dr. Robert Cho, Chief of Staff of Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena, CA and them. Their apron material is used to sew a mask with an inside pocket for a replaceable HEPA filter. It’s important to note that this doesn’t replace an N95 respirator in effectiveness but the CDC says the point of a mask is not to protect you from inhaling the virus but to stop the spread of it, especially if you are asymptomatic. Frontline workers need PPE because they are face-to-face with live, confirmed, symptomatic patients all day long. Heros in other words. In such a critical moment in history this selfless, in it together humanity will be rewarded not just those who spearhead these efforts but all of us worldwide. You can purchase masks from their website or send a bulk order inquiry if you are so inclined to help at scale.
I’m less excited about the Koffie Straw for the purpose it was invented, to protect teeth from stains and enamel erosion. Although a great solution to a problem it simultaneously solves one of our biggest pet peeves. Splashy cups. Invevitably our morning cup of coffee jets jostled around on a our commute to a point of spillage from that little oval hole in the lid. The Koffie Straw has an oval design to fit snugly in the lid. Gravity will help sedate the splash as it attempts to travel up and out the spout but it’s denied every time. Small compact and reusable, we’ll have one of these in every jacket we own.