Shopping for the food loving, beer drinking, DIY man can be hard. Sure, you could get a hammer, a pack of ground beef, and a sixer of coors – but this year try to think outside of the box a little. We pulled an expert man team together to show you the favorite things that we used this year.
None of the items on the list were given to us as freebies – so you can be assured that it’s unbiased and really is stuff that we love. Well, the first item is a bias, because it’s the greatest cookbook ever written
ManBQue: Meat. Beer. Rock and Roll. Cookbook $18
120 essential recipes for outdoor cooking. It’s the collected wisdom of the ManBQue collective, and as a bonus, it has the most swearing of any food book without the name Bourdain on the cover. We love it and we know you will too.
A up and coming powerhouse to the everyday chef. The ability to broil and finish dishes in an instant after a low and slow sous vide, or instantly melt cheese on a burger, or create the perfect s’mores for that urban date night in the park. It attaches to a blow torch which will make anything that is cooked with it look bad ass.
John Boos Reversible Rock Maple Cutting Board and Bamboo Oil $65
There’s nothing worse than a cutting board sliding around the counter while you’re trying to prep a ton of something. This massive board from Boos (out of downstate Effingham) lets you put a lot of effort into cutting without wiggling around. It’s utilitarian, rough-hewn, and made to take a beating, like a slab of Dick Butkus on your countertop.
Also, and we’ll loudly repeat this until the day we die, oil your cutting boards. Even like once a month or so. And if you forget and do it four times a year, you’ll be adding a lot of life to your block. A well-oiled board feels smooth, looks better, and is much less likely to chip or crack. If you’re going to buy cool stuff, take care of it.
Messermeister 12-Pocket Padded Knife Roll $40-$60
With a color or pattern for every chef – a wadded up kitchen towel is no way to carry around your tools of the trade. Tuck them away safely in a durable 600D polyester fabric with Messermeister’s Lifetime warranty.
Lined Welding Gloves $14
They’re great when you’re placing your coals (that you just lit with your chimney) or when handling hot grill grates or cast iron. Just ask Death Toll Scholl, who suffered 3rd degree burns while smoking tomatoes this year, on how important these are.
3-in-1 Hermetus Bottle Opener and Sealer $9
We put this on our list every year, but dammit, this is a great gift for any beer drinker. This German-made bottle opener can hermetically re-seal your opened beers with the gasket built into the underside. Hermetically sealing your bottle will keep beer fresher during bottle shares, or when you don’t feel like finishing a beer. Like if you have the flu or just caught your hand in a machine press and need to go to the hospital. Just seal it up and put it back in the fridge. Then drink it later, or else all this German engineering is in vain.
Home Brewing All Grain Starter Kit $230
Perfect for the home brewer who is tired of extract beers not tasting like beers. This is the next step to full mash, full flavor, real beer.
Headly & Bennett Apron $70-$100
Each product is handmade in Los Angeles from start to finish using top grade materials such as American canvas, raw Japanese selvage denim and European linens. These unique pieces posses a quality as high as the clothes they’re meant to protect. Plus they look cool.Lodge LDP3 Double Play Reversible Griddle $30
well-made griddle is a cook’s best friend. Cast iron griddles take a bit to heat up, but they offer the versatility to help you become a much better cook. That’s why there’s a whole Griddle chapter in the upcoming “ManBQue II: The Legend of Curley’s Gold.”
One of our deeply-held secrets at ManBQue is that some of us prefer a griddled burger to a grilled one. You can also make a Cubano, cosplay your wildest Angry Short Order Cook at a Greek Diner fantasies, or throw it on some hardwood coals and get a steakhouse sear. Skip the gimmicky pans, skip the lukewarm electric models used by free sample people at the grocery, and get an inexpensive, easy-to-maintain model that will last you a lifetime.
Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker $180
We have recently become obsessed with sous vide. It’s been like a pyramid scheme with out members buying this immersion cooker, where one person tells another, and they tell 2 more, and then our monthly MEATings are filled with delicious perfectly cooked meat.
iGrill 2 $100
This device was designed to keep you away from the grill so you can spend more time with your beer. You can just sit around with my meat in the smoker (or oven) and the app tells me “hey bro, your food is done.” and it is. Fuck yes.
The Rec Tec Mini $500
Our master smoker has the daddy version of the Rec Tec Mini but his buddy has the mini and it’s fucking sweet (so he tells us all the time). It takes all of the chances of messing up your meat by not knowing how to regulate the temp in your smoker and gives you the ability to sit around and drink more. It even gets up to 600 degrees so all a guy has to know is how to fill it with pellets. And their customer service is the best. Seriously.
The Nordic Cookbook $30
One of the great parts about being a cook in Internet times is the ability to dabble in dozens of cuisines with a few clicks. Cuban food? Done. Korean BBQ? Easy. Borscht? No worries, comrade.
But sometimes you want to turn a culinary history inside out and explore everything from the rye bread and salmon to the cured lamb and seal blubber. And that’s what you get with Magnus Nilsson’s 768-page tribute to the culinary traditions of the Arctic Circle. Unlike a lot of Fancy Chef books, this one is straightforward enough that you can, you know, actually use it to cook. It’s full of rich, fascinating history, and you can probably also kill a guy with it. No one will accuse you of being a Food Network dilettante.
Mission Belt $40
So after you’ve been sitting around drinking and eating meat, your pants are gonna be tight. And what better than a nice looking belt that can loosen with the touch of a button? Simple answer, nothing. Nothing is better when you think you are going to die because your pants are choking your fat ass. And when you wake up 3lbs heaver after a weekend of binge drinking and eating this belt fits perfect come Monday morning. Shit, it fits great and looks great all of the time
Survivalist Bracelet $90
For the survivalist fashionista in the family, there is this sexy survivalist bracelet. It has the options of containing things like a paracord, firestarter buckle, liquid-filled compass, whistle, ceramic knife, ranger bands, First Aid Tinder (FAT) Packets, surgical tubing, fishing line, hooks, split shot weights, safety pins, straw, signal mirror, retro-reflector, and glow light. Everything you’d need to make it through Christmas dinner with Nana.