Gift Guide: For the Backyard Cook


Backyard cooking is more than just about a grill and some burgers—it's the proud tradition of finding ways to cook almost anything using a live fire. That requires the proper tools and earns the cook a right to boast of his or her achievements. From the welding gloves that are essential when working with hot fires to t-shirts that let everyone know just how proud a griller you are, see our 2013 picks for the backyard cook.

Meat Tattoos


Wear your pride as a master of cooking meat over fire with these meat tattoos.

$6.00, available from Gama Go

Basting Brush


A good basting brush is a must for slathering on those sauces and glazes. This one from Oxo holds a generous amount of sauce, making easy work of coating ribs, chicken, pork, and more. Plus it's silicone, which makes it durable and easy to clean.

Grillz T-Shirt


Grillz on a grill. Enough said.

$19.50, available from Threadless.

Extra-Long Welding Gloves


After countless failed grilling mitts, I bought myself a pair of welding gloves to use when grilling or smoking and never looked back. With great heat protection, dexterity, and construction, every backyard cooks needs a pair of these.

KC BBQ Legends Gift Box


While I'm an evangelist for making your own barbecue sauce, I admit there are some mighty fine bottled sauces to be had. This Kansas City Legends Gift Box has a few of them with sauces from barbecue institutions like Arthur Bryants, Gates, and Oklahoma Joe's.

$27.95, available from The Kansas City Barbecue Store

The Grilling Book


I inevitably add more than a few grilling books to my collection each year, and Bon Appetit's The Grilling Book, released this past summer, was my favorite of the season. Filled with accessible recipes that span every course and food group, each paired with beautiful photos, this book makes a great gift and results in even better food.

Serving Platter


You're king of the grill—now let everyone know it with this customizable serving platter with a vintage twist.

$26, available from

Cast Iron Dutch Oven


A versatile outdoor cooking vessel, a cast iron dutch oven can be used nestled right in the coals on the grill, set in a smoker for low and slow cooking, or put over an open wood fire. With a quality dutch oven such as this 8 quart model from Lodge, cooking stews, chilies, cobblers, and more isn't relegated to the oven indoors anymore.

Cast Iron Grill Grates


A carryover from last year's gift guide, I've only grown to love my cast iron grill grates more this past summer, and I think most backyard cooks would appreciate them, as well. Sure, they take a little extra TLC compared to the standard issued steel, but you're rewarded with durable grates that can give you a lifetime of meals featuring outstanding grill marks.

$87.90 for a 22 1/2" circular grate from Craycort. Also comes in 14 1/2", 18 1/2", and 26 3/4"



The Thermapen makes my gift guide every year, and with good reason. With the ability to take accurate temperatures in mere seconds, the thermapen is indispensable for knowing when your meats are done. Plus it's durable and compact, easy to throw in your pocket to have handy at a moments notice.