This month, many of us will hit the backyard and local parks with family, friends and perhaps a few ants (and aunts). While many of us don’t have a green patch of land to grill over coals, here are a few great items that are spot-on for a successful outing.
The Nomadiq Grill is the perfect portable grill without the residue of charcoal because it cooks with propane gas. You can use this (fire laws permitting) in your backyard, community space, garden, beach, park, etc. This is the perfect opportunity to make burgers, ribs, hot dogs, and even vegetable kabobs at your next gathering. The Nomadiq Grill gets extra finger-licking thumbs up for the lightweight, collapsable, carrying case design.
Every BBQ king or queen understands good utensils are an important part of proper grilling. I was happy to find these items from Gentlemen’s Hardware. This is like the Swiss Knife of grilling utensils. The spatula is separate with a handsome wooden handle to protect hands while flipping and serving. The second utensil also has a wooden handle with a basting brush, meat fork and the necessary corkscrew/bottle opener. Kudos to the design team on these inspired utensils.
Everyone has different tastes when it comes to BBQ. Some people like a dry rub, some like a wet sauce, some enjoy spicy while others desire mild to bland. There is always a debate about how to prepare (marinate), ribs, steak, chicken, and other cuts of meat — vegetarians and vegans add another level to the taste discussion. While the person at the grill is in charge of the spices, I recommend high-quality olive oil for everything from marinades to sauces and salad dressings. Oleamea private select virgin olive checks every box for many uses. Their combo box makes a perfect gift for the host and/or hostess.
For that wood-smoked flavor, I recommend Wildwood Grilling planks. They come in different aromas such as Cedar, Alder, Cherry, Hickory, Maple and Red Oak. Wildwood Grilling also offers wraps for a smoky flavor that seals in juices. You may also want to try their smoking chips in the fire for an aromatic smoke that envelops everything on the grill.
After everyone is full, dessert served, the kids put to bed and the table is cleaned up, I can’t think of a better way to continue the gathering than with a few hands of poker. I recently discovered Campfire BBQ Playing Cards at Gentlemen’s Hardware. These cards add an extra bit of fun and luck with a full house.
If you want to venture out of your backyard this summer for a back-to-nature picnic, I recommend Central Park @ 81 street entrance and south of the Belvedere Castle, Parking Lot 7 at Jones Beach and there is plenty of open space north of 90th Street at Riverside Park. You may also want to check out hidden spots in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and Radial Park in Astoria.
Note: Make sure someone brings bug repellent and umbrellas. My group recently made that mistake.
Happy trails in the city this summer!