Birthday ideas?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dogwalker, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. My wife is asking me what I'd like for my birthday, and I'm hard pressed to think of anything.  I have the 40" MES, the external MES "cold smoker" unit, and a 22" Weber with a Slow and Sear (I use it for wings, steaks, and sometimes if smoking multiple meats).  I guess I could look at a grill griddle, but honestly, I'm pretty happy.  :)  I also have a nice folding table I use when smoking.

    Any ideas?
  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How about a nice hunk of meat something you wouldn't normally get?
    dogwalker likes this.
  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    dogwalker likes this.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Grinder, sausage stuffer, pound and gram scale, sous vide circulator...All fun Bday toys...JJ
    dogwalker likes this.
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    That's what I was gonna suggest
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Flat top!

    dogwalker likes this.
  7. That would be my top choice, but I already bought the Smoke (from her, of course, LOL)!  :)
  8. hmmm, that sounds pretty good, actually.  A guy here brought in home-made sausage, and I swear, it was probably the best sausage I've ever had!  I'll look into that.  A sous vide circulator also sounds good.
  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Lodge griddle.


    dogwalker likes this.
  10. That's a cool idea!  Thanks!
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  12. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    probably to late.. what about a vacuum sealer ???
    dogwalker likes this.
  13. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    I just looked up all the past orders on Amazon to see what toys I've bought for myself (and others bought for me). These are the ones I really like:

    Waring Pro PVS1000 Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System

    I already have a Foodsaver sealer, but this one works with the Waring resealable bags. I tried the Ziploc and Foodsaver resealable bags and pump, but this thing is a Mercedes and the others are Chevys.

    Baratza Virtuoso - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder (with Bin)

    This is a burr grinder, so it is quite expensive (which is why you want someone else to buy it for you). It totally blows out of the water any of those blender-style "grinder" that just use whirring blades. Those cheap grinders are great for getting a totally random grind. They are also a great way to burn coffee.

    Cafe Casa Milk Frother 2 Speed Coffee Latte Maker

    This is incredibly well-made. I use it to froth skim milk to put on top of hot chocolate instead of whipped cream (you can froth cream if you wish). I also have figured out how to use it to make lattes, using my Aeropress Coffee maker. Between the two I have the world's cheapest espresso/latte machine, but for 1/10 the price. I also make salad dressing with it.

    Aeropress Coffee Maker

    Gosh I love this thing. We've had it for about seven years and between my wife and me, we use it 4-6 times a day. No other brewing method produces as smooth and bitter-free a cup.  You actually make a shot of espresso with it, and then add water to make a normal-sized cup of coffee. What makes it really great for us is that we have one of those under-sink "instant hot water" dispensers that gives us 195 degree water at the press of a button. So to make a cup of coffee, we just set the grinder to grind a find espresso grind, but that in this gadget, add two ounces of hot water, wait ten seconds, press the plunger, add water to fill the cup, and drink.

    Zebralight H600Fw MKIII Netural Floody 18650 Headlamp

    OK, so it's not cooking-related, but a lot of people in the forum obviously love hunting, fixing things, etc. This light is unbelievably bright, and has a really fine quality of light. You can get much cheaper headlamps, but you won't get a better one. BTW, candlepower forums   is where you want to go to find out everything about portable lights, from flashlights to lanterns to headlamps to bike lights.

    OXO Good Grips Adjustable Measuring Cup, 2 Cup

    This is a really good gift idea to give to someone who doesn't really want to spend much money on you. I actually recommend getting the 1-cup measure because you can use it for much smaller measures, but it is temporarily unavailable. They also have one that is specifically for tablespoon-sized measurements.

    So what is it and why do you want it? Well, it uses a silicone plunger to push ingredients out of the measuring device. This is great when you want to measure honey, maple syrup, ketchup (catsup?), mayonnaise, or anything else that takes a long time to scrape out of the measuring device.

    Ultrasonic Cleaner

    I'm not providing a link for this because I'm not sure my Kendall 9-liter unit is the best. However, I'm absolutely sold on having an ultrasonic cleaner. Rather than describe it here, I already posted in this forum about how I use it with my smoking equipment: Ultrasonic Cleaning

    Kicking Horse Coffee, Three Sisters, Whole Bean Coffee, 2.2 Pound

    At this stage of my life I've got most of the simple things that I want (I'd still like a Lear Jet, but that's not going to happen). As a result, my grown kids just get me food for the birthday and Christmas. This is one of my favorites. I think I may actually like their "Kick Ass Dark Roast, 2.2 Pound" better.

    StarPack XL Size Silicone Spoonula

    Never has something so simple given me so much pleasure. Think of this as a combination wooden spoon, silicone spatula, scraper, and spoon. You can use it to stir, ladle, scrape and, with some foods like rice, to serve. I use this every single day, and often don't have to get out any of the other things I just mentioned. Unlike some things which attempt to combine different functions into one, this combined idea actually works better than any of the individual items that it replaces.

    SodaStream Source Home Soda Maker

    We drink a lot of seltzer water. This gadget lets us make it anytime we need it, and we can control how much fizz we get. If the soda gets a little flat, just put the bottle back on and add some more. Walmart, Target, Ace Hardware and many others have an exchange program for the CO2 canisters. It costs about $18 with the exchange to get a recharge that will fill your 1-liter bottle sixty times. You save a lot of money if you drink a lot of seltzer.

    OK, that's everything from the past year. Two more you might look at -- both of which feature moi as the top review for the product (he said modestly): Breville BBL560XL Hemisphere Smooth Blender and the Max Burton 6400 Digital Choice Induction Cooktop. I really love the induction cooktop because it lets me do searing, deep fat frying and other messy or smelly cooking and take it outside. I simply put a cookie sheet under neath it and place the cooktop on top of my cold BBQ. Stuff can splatter and smoke and stink as much as it wants, and it only takes about 30 seconds to clean it all up (the BBQ will just burn the stuff off the next time I use it).

    I have more ideas, if you are still stuck ...
    dogwalker likes this.
  14. Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone!  BTW, we bought a Nespresso machine last year, and we definitely enjoy it (even if it is a tad pricey).  No more reflux, and much better coffee - so those coffee ideas were excellent.  In fact, her birthday is next month, and so I'm going to look at some of those as possible gifts for her!

    She wound up buying me the custom-cut GrillGrates for my Slow N Sear.  I love my Slow N Sear for the times I want to cook hotter than 275.  My Masterbuilt 40" electric is my go-to smoker, but when I want to sear steaks or cook chicken wings, I've been using my little 22" weber and SnS.  Now I'll test out the Grill Grates!  I used them last night with wings, and the wings were excellent.  They were crispy as if fried, but I cooked them slowly and finished them on the GrillGrates.

    She also bought me some wireless earbuds for when I jog (I jog extremely slowly, I've had toddlers pass me).

    That induction cooktop looks nice!  Like I say, now I get to start thinking of ideas for her.  I was considering a pressure cooker or sous vide, and now I have more ideas.

    Thanks again, everyone!
  15. Box of good cigars and a fifth of nice bourbon. [​IMG]
    dogwalker likes this.
  16. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    I bought my pressure cooker a long time ago, so it didn't go on the list. However, for me, it is an essential tool. Why? Because it cooks things better, and it cooks them faster. What a great combination.

    I use it for:

    Rice. It's better than any rice steamer. I put an inch of water at the bottom of the pressure cooker and then put my rice in a bowl which I place on top of a trivet. I then fire up the pressure cooker for seven minutes. I turn off the heat, let the pressure cooker stay at pressure for about three minutes, and then release the pressure. You get perfect rice, and in half the time.

    Steel Cut Oats. Similar to rice, but in 1/3 to 1/4 the time.

    Lentil/Bean/Split Pea/Black Bean soups. I make a LOT of soup. All of these hard beans cook in 1/4 the normal time, and I always get the beans done. No more hard or partially cooked beans.

    Chili. Yes, this probably isn't a good alternative to cooking all day, but in a pinch, I can have a decent chili on the table in under 1/2 hour.

    Stock. If you make chicken or beef stock, you MUST have a pressure cooker. It does a much better job extracting all the good stuff from the bones, and also breaks down the vegetables in a hurry.

    I can go on, but you get the point. I use it several times a week.
    dogwalker likes this.
  17. Thanks!  Yeah, a guy at work has been telling us the advantages of a pressure cooker.  I haven't sold my wife completely, but I imagine that if I buy it, she'll try it and find that she really likes it.
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    My oldest Chef daughter just got a 6qt DUO-60 Instant Pot 7 in 1. She can't rave enough about it. The kid has been taking all my old long cook recipes and reworking them to be done under pressure. I got the DUO-80 8 qt on my wish list...JJ

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