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Smart Outdoor Cooking and Dining on the Go

by Elyse Glickman

Jun 21, 2019

Ricul | Dreamstime.com


Even with back-to-nature family camping trips and day-cation hikes standing as solid antidotes to stresses brought on by school, work and the digital age, advanced technology and tools found their way into the woods to replace the campfire and the old school portable (and not always reliable) barbecue grill. As our palates and dietary concerns have become more sophisticated, meanwhile, the stakes (and steaks) have been raised for the goods and gadgets designed to bring open-air cooking to the next level.


On the other hand, there is a need for better food-related gear given such news-making issues as fast-spreading forest fires, global warming and food poisoning episodes that weigh more heavily on our plans and choices. The new essentials need to not only look cool and make outdoor grub taste good, but also keep with the times for safety’s sake.


With that in mind, here are several innovative tools and cooking aides adding versatility and flavor to your next camping expedition, extended road trip or nearby hike:


The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 TRU-Infrared Portable Gas Grill ($149) is road-ready with its high-impact frame and TRU-Infrared cooking technology that prevents dangerous flare-ups and eliminates cold spots in food that may lead to food poisoning. In addition to safety, the grill factors in convenience with a durable custom carrying case.


Think of the Big Green Egg Silicone BBQ Mitt ($22.99) as protective gear for your hands and arms. The flexible waterproof mitt is crafted with an FDA-approved, BPA-free, patterned silicone surface for a strong grip that also withstands extreme heat up to 450° F. A soft, comfortable cotton and polyester cuff and lining adds extra comfort.


The meat° it ($68.95) by French kitchenware brand Mastrad helps prevent heat-related cooking accidents and summertime discomfort by allowing one to spend more time hanging out with friends and family and less time standing next to a grill or cooking area. The 100 percent wireless cooking probe uses a smart, patented, high-end technology to ensure meat, poultry or fish is cooked or grilled to perfection by controlling the internal temperature, the cooking speed and heat strength. Compatible with both Android and iOS via Bluetooth, this tiny, yet powerful device also helps resist flare-ups and alerts users if the meat is overcooking or undercooking, with a range up to 150 feet.


Grilling vegetables on campsite.

Simple portable grill, cooking vegetables on campsite. Photo: Vasathon Aroonvutthiphong | Dreamstime.com


The ECO Adventure Kit by Eco Lunchboxes ($43.64) resembles an Indian “tiffin” lunchbox, but with added function. Three stacking stainless steel containers provide three separate compartments for food, a stainless-steel clamping pot-grip handle, and a compact stainless steel “spork.” Along with being able to cook food in the stacking containers over a propane flame, they can also be used in a cast iron Dutch Oven to create delicious, individual meals like mini pizzas, cobblers and breakfast cinnamon rolls that vegetarians and picky eaters will love. The woman-owned, California-based company also offers a line of bento box-inspired kits of plastic-free food containers designed to help people reduce dependence on plastics for health and environmental concerns.


The Roccbox Outdoor Pizza Oven ($699) is a modern marvel for traveling cooks wanting to provide delicious al fresco meals for the vegetarian and picky eaters in their group, as well as a safer alternative to cooking over an open fire. Equipped with wood and gas burners, the high temperature and ultra-dry environment created by the built-in porous stone floor not only fully cooks a pizza in 60 seconds, but also allows a cook to sear meat in minutes, create crispy skin on fish and caramelize vegetables while locking in flavor and freshness.


Finally, national restaurant group LongHorn Steakhouse will offer its handy hotline dedicated to the essentials of summertime outdoor cooking. Now in its seventh year, the GRILL US Hotline (1-855-LH-GRILL, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. EST) will provide expert advice running the gamut from grilling basics to more advanced outdoor techniques and safety.


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