Fingerlicking good ideas for dining al fresco

House proud: BBQs, cooking tools, inflatable toucans for drinks: they can all be part of your summer

 

Fan of smokeless

This tabletop smokeless grill (above) from Lotus has a built-in battery-operated fan to keep your eyes from smarting when the wind changes direction. The exterior of the the Lotus, about €170, ex delivery, from UK-based Cuckooland (00-44-1305231231, cuckooland.com) stays cool and the grill is dishwasher-safe.

Outdoor kitchen

The idea of an outdoor kitchen seems daft in Ireland when we can experience four seasons in one afternoon but Ikea’s (ikea.ie) affordable stainless steel offer (above) seems worth the investment.
At its heart is a Klasen charcoal barbecue insert, €135, at its centre, a Knodd bin with a lid, €13, set below and a Torkis laundry bin, €6, filled with ice and used as a beer cooler is a very simple way to prep for a big crowd.
Serve burgers, sausages and steaks on Legitim chopping boards, €2.50 for a set of two, which you can use as rustic serving platters.

Popcorn pleasure

If you’re the slothful sort the idea of a barbecue and all the preparation required might put you off. If you have kids then this little device could be all you need to make outdoor eating a memorable event. This writer still recalls her first taste of popcorn cooked on a stove by Jim Quigley on Achill Beag Island off Co Mayo’s coast. For theatre and simplicity it is definitely worth its €20.95, ex delivery, from German-based website Design 3000

Charcoal creativity

Charcoal is the greatest flavour enhancer you can give your get-together. Danish brand Dancook’s 1501 kettle barbecue is a beautiful looking piece of kit. It costs €750 at Debenhams (debenhams.ie) and is pictured with acrylic tumblers, €6.75 each, and acacia serving boards, €20 each, from RHR John Rocha.

Barbecue tools

Machete spatula

This machete spatula from UK-based gadget shop Red5 (red5.co.uk) is great for flipping burgers. It costs about €14.50, ex delivery.

This barbecue sword (below) from Belgian-based CoolGifts (coolgift.com). Costing €19.95 it is idea for cooking sausages and bratwurst saving you from all sorts of burns.

Barbecue sword

The Asado Flameboy barbecue multi-tool (below), €9.95, flips and also pierces food all in one utensil. It costs €9.95, ex delivery, from Prezzybox (Prezzybox.com)

Asado Flameboy barbecue multi-too

Grill squad in action

If you’re worried about cooking meat safely outside invest in a iGrill 3 Bluetooth thermometer, which takes the guesswork out of grilling. It costs €119 at Celbridge-based The Orchard (theorchard.ie), where the Weber Grill Squad will be in situ on Saturday, May 19th and Saturday, June 3rd with live barbecue demonstrations to show you how to get the most from your machine. Prices for the gas-fired Genesis II start from €799.

Trending...clocking in for the summer

Brass-finish wall clock from Harvey Norman

It’s summer time! At least according to the Irish calendar which tells us summer started on May 1st. Met Éireann views summer as being the months of June, July and August but for now let’s go with the former and when August approaches switch allegiances to ME. Celebrate the fact with this glamorous brass-finish wall clock from Harvey Norman, €350 (harveynorman.ie) that looks especially sleek when contrasted with industrial concrete.

Cooler 

German based Roomido (roomido.com) is selling this cool and easy to carry cooler, which costs €29.95, ex delivery and can fit up to six bottles of beer.

Acrylic pitcher from H&M Home 

Bring the golden sun into your sundowner. Whatever your favourite tipple is, from sangria to Pimms, this acrylic pitcher (above), €14.99 and matching tumblers, €5.99 each from H&M Home (hm.com), ex delivery, will help create the mood.

Toucan cooler

Kids will love the refreshingly cool way this toucan (above) keeps their milk, juice or smoothies chilled while they play. Parents will love the fact that they’re plastic and, if you put in a basin or paddling pool, allow the kids to help themselves - leaving you free to chill. You can also bring this inflatable toucan on holiday and use in the pool - but not with small children. It costs about €18, ex delivery from Amara Home (amara.com). 

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