It’s high season for grilling and we’ve got two fun things you need for cooking that meal.
And what goes with grilled food? Frozen dessert, of course.
Instant Biodegradable Grill from The Grommet
We were so intrigued by this product that we had to give it a try. It’s an instant grill made with a cardboard frame, bamboo grill grates, bamboo charcoal briquettes and a lava stone lining. At just over 2 pounds, it’s totally portable. And everything can be composted. Or when you’re finished cooking, you can throw the whole thing into your post-dinner bonfire. Picnics are now a breeze - no need to plan around finding a spot with a grill. Put one in a backpack for a hiking trip. Take it to the beach or tuck it into your kayak. It’s one of those “who is the genius who thought of this?” inventions. The charcoal lights with just a match and the bamboo grill grates held up through an hour of cooking. It’s so much more than the sum of its simple (and eco-friendly) parts.
$14.95 per grill. Available online at thegrommet.com/casus-grill-instant-biodegradable-grill-2.
Olive or Almond Wood Lump Charcoal from Fire & Flavor
I remember when all anyone used for grilling was some variety of briquette. But these days, lump charcoal is the thing. (A piece of lump charcoal is a piece of wood, burned down to become almost pure carbon, while briquettes are made from wood byproducts mixed with other materials and formed into “cubes.”) Athens-based Fire & Flavor from Gena and Davis Knox is now offering lump charcoal made from the post-harvest prunings of olive and almond orchards and we got the chance to try both recently. Not only does this charcoal give you the heat you need for hot and fast cooking, but it produces a light smoke that surprised us with its flavor. One of the selling points is the light, almost fruity quality of the smoke and we thought both were perfect with chicken breasts and skewers of salmon. But we liked it just as much when we cooked a flat iron steak and even sausages and eggplant. We’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite.
$12.99 per 8-pound bag. Available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Publix, Kroger, Whole Foods and online at Amazon and at fireandflavor.com/.
Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
We think the best ending for a summer meal is a yummy frozen dessert. But with lots of folks steering clear of dairy these days - maybe because of allergies, maybe because of concerns over cholesterol - finding something delicious that everyone will eat can be a challenge. We promise no one will steer clear of these new dairy-free flavors from Jeni’s. Each has a base of coconut cream and in some flavors, the coconut is prominent. The Dark Chocolate Truffle makes us think of our favorite chocolate-covered coconut candy. But the Roasted Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam is all peanuts and strawberry and the Texas Sheet Cake is all about chocolate. And the Cold Brew with Coconut Cream? Coffee sorbet with a swirl of coconut cream? Yes, please.
$12 per pint. Available at Jeni’s Scoop Shops, Publix or online at jenis.com/.
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