It’s summer and it’s sizzling, aside from the anomalous snowstorms, of course.
But let’s be honest — hot or not — we love to grill and take the entertaining outdoors. Here, our picks for this summer’s best — from barbecues to hosting must-haves to everyone’s favourite grilled guilty pleasure.
1. Space-saver Get all the quality and performance — and even features like app-connected thermometer — you’d expect from America’s original barbecue maker, but shrunken. At a compact 18-inch width (lid), Weber’s new Spirit II E-210 two-burner gas grill can tuck into just about the smallest down-sized dwelling $599 ($699, E-310 three-burner model)
2. Gourmet Grill For all the KitchenAid stand mixer devotees comes the company’s first offering for the outdoor gourmand. We like the ceramic sear side burner — for that oh so perfect steak — and easy-to-read oversized temperature gauge. $499, three-burner model as shown
3. Canadian Content Splurge alert! Napoleon’s made-in-Canada Prestige Pro series features bells and whistles to make just about any grill master’s mouth water including infrared rear rotisserie burner, side wing ice bucket and wood chip smoker tray. Practically speaking, we like the night-light control knobs and interior grill lighting. $3, 049, 665 RSIB (8-burner as shown)
4. Safety First Swap wire for wood. Wire brushes can shed bristles that can make their way into your flame-grilled goodies. Master Chef Wood Grill Scrape, $15, Canadian Tire
5. Veg Out Perfect for imbuing vegetables and even seafood with smokey flavour, this perforated grill basket is also warp-resistant and dishwasher-safe. All-Clad Outdoor Stainless Steel Grill Basket, $90, Hudson’s Bay
6. Positioned for Prep Just like inside, the chef can always use more counter space and storage. Sao Paulo Patio Kitchen Cart, $279, Rona
7. Dining Out Like a good ‘ol TV tray table, this multi-function model transforms from coffee to dinner with a lift of either, or both, of its top panels. Voilà! Miami 2-Position Coffee Table, $1,600 ($1,900, rectangular 3-Position), Jardin de Ville
8. Non-slip Silicon sleeves make these outdoor-friendly glasses on which you can keep a firm grip. Lifefactory 17-ounce wine glasses, $56 (set of four), more styles and sizes available on Amazon.ca
9. Buzz Off Switch outdoor fixtures to bug-zapping, energy-efficient LED bulbs for chemical-free, mosquito repelling ambiance. Zapplight 2-in-1 LED & UV Mosquito Light, $20 each, The Home Depot
10. Fan Favourite “Who wants a hot dog?!” Maybe that guilty pleasure doesn’t have to be quite so guilty this summer … Maple Leaf Top Dogs have gone real, that is the wieners are now free from artificial preservatives, artificial flavours, artificial colours, artificial sweeteners, and animal by-products. “I do!”