photo: Fotostorm/iStock

Our Backyard BBQ Holiday Gift Guide

By Craig Moy

Even with snow on the ground and a chill in the air, there’s no reason to stop grilling! Whether you’re buying for the whatever-the-weather outdoor chef or someone who’s just starting out in the grilling game, our Backyard BBQ gift guide—featuring expert selections from Backyard BBQ partners Taste Alberta and Barbecue Country—is sure to satisfy.

Mum's Okanagan hot sauce bottle
Mum’s “Sorta Hot”
sauce

SAUCES & SPICES
Few things compare to the simple pleasure of a perfectly grilled Alberta steak dressed with a little salt and pepper. But when the occasion calls for a little more pizzazz, a good spice rub or sauce is a backyard barbecuer’s best friend. Barbecue Country’s Maryanne Petrash recommends dropping by the store to pick up the “Southern barbecue with Canadian flair” sauces and rubs by Edmonton-based Motley Que, as well as the trio of hot sauces produced by Mum’s Okanagan, which can pull double duty as both a barbecue sauce (or marinade) and veggie dip. For some international flavour, there’s the Thai curry, Jamaican jerk and Greek spice blends—plus a great all-purpose Alberta Prime rub—by Backyard BBQ partner GrewV Spice.

Chrome plated meat grinder with black plastic accessories
Chefman meat grinder

HANDY GADGETS
What home cook doesn’t like a shiny new tool to help take her barbecue game to the next level? For beginner grillers, there are useful basics like an instant-read thermometer from The Source and stylish Norm Bottle salt and pepper grinders from Indigo, while Petrash suggests a Gourmet du Village stuffed burger press and hearty garlic seasoning kit, which, she says, has “everything required to make six perfectly shaped and seasoned patties—all you need is ground meat.”

Of course, the next step for DIY patty pressers is to actually make the burger meat themselves—a task conveniently accomplished with the Chefman Choice Cut electric meat grinder from Stokes. And for the loved one who wants to take their best barbecue recipes on the road, there’s the Coleman RoadTrip 285 stand-up grill, available at Altitude Sports.

Group of barbecue gifts bottles of beer and sauce and beer can chicken kit
Basketbelle’s Smoke &
Spice kit

PANTRY STUFFERS & FREEZER FILLERS
Maybe the barbecue enthusiast you’re buying for already has a full arsenal of gear. But they can always use more ingredients! Taste Alberta’s Carrie Selin notes that purchasing (and giving) gift certificates for a local butcher or market—like Backyard BBQ partners Acme Meat Market and Popowich Meat Company in Edmonton and Urban Butcher in Calgary—is a great way to support your community, especially this year. Alternatively, to make a more immediate contribution to your giftee’s pantry, Selin suggests presenting a gift basket of favourite products: Assemble your own DIY hamper, or order a curated collection from the likes of St. Albert-based Basketbelle (the Smoke & Spice kit is ideal for grillers) and farm-to-table Best of Calgary Foods (check out the huge BBQ Master package).

Cover of Meathead cookbook with photos of chef and grilled meatBONUS! MORE GOODIES FOR GRILLERS
• American grill master Meathead Goldwyn’s myth-busting cookbook, Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling, helps backyard chefs to better understand the interaction of food, fire and smoke—and grill up more than 100 mouth-watering recipes. Available from Indigo.

Smoke & Spice 100% hardwood pellets with herbs and spices, by Gourmet du Village, are “a great gift idea for anyone who wants smoked-food flavour without having to buy them a smoker,” Petrash says. Available at Barbecue Country.

• What’s a backyard barbecue without a little music? The JBL Charge 4 waterproof Bluetooth speaker lets grillers and patient diners alike blast their favourite tunes while they watch the flames lick their Alberta steaks. Available at The Source.

HOW TO SAVE
Pick up your holiday-season gifts at these AMA Rewards partners:

• Members earn up to 5% in reward dollars on online Indigo purchases—including books, giftware, electronics and more—made through the AMA Rewards eStore. Also earn 5% cash back on reloadable Indigo Cards purchased at AMA centres. Reload your card in-centre or online.

Save an additional 5% on the total purchase amount on all in-store and online purchases at Stokes.

Save up to 20% on the lowest-marked price in-store and online at The Source. And earn 5% cash back on The Source prepaid cards purchased at any AMA centre.

Earn 4% back in reward dollars on all purchases at Altitude Sports.