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There’s one thing I love doing every year that I always SAY I’m waiting for warm weather on but I lie and I know I’m out there in the winter doing it too. Sound provocative? It shouldn’t be because I’m actually referring to barbecuing. If I had the time (and remembered to keep the propane tanks full) I would barbecue 3 meals, 7 days a week. My family certainly doesn’t mind.

As Father’s Day draws nearer though, dad might need a bit of, shall we say, encouragement to get out there and BBQ more. After all, who doesn’t like sitting out there on the patio with a cold drink waiting for a fresh steak or smokie to come hot off the grill? Here are 5 gift ideas to get dad out there cooking up a storm.

A Sportula

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The first thing that a friend of mine said when he saw my new Sportula was “You’ve gotta be kidding me.” I just happened to luck into a sportula of my favourite hockey team (the LA Kings) and probably overpaid for the privilege of my guests having their burgers grilled and flipped with the lovely image of my team’s logo doing all the work.

What is Sportula? Sportula is a line of themed branded barbecue tools emblazoned with a team’s logo on it. They’ve been a bit tough to find in Canada (especially in local markets for your specific team) but Best Buy stocks the single spatulas and 3 piece box sets online. The spatulas also come with a bottle opener on the end as do the forks. The tongs don’t, but I’d say 2 new bottle openers is probably adventurous enough for one day and one gift. Fortunately, all of the Canadian teams are currently available in both options right now.

Recently, Sportula’s also expanded to a line of team coasters too. You can also get all of the Canadian teams in 4 pack coasters too.

Something for the Bar

Just about everybody I know (except me) that likes barbecuing also enjoys bartending. I’m not the greatest bartender because I tend to be really simple with what I like drinking and I pretty well just stick to that. However, for the more adventurous types (like my uncle Bob,) a new bartending set is always great. I’ve owned a few bar sets over the years and have found the stainless steel ones to be much more professional looking and easier to maintain and clean than plastic sets. A set just like this Swissmar 7-Piece Bar Set would definitely do the trick. Not only does it come with the usual staples (shaker, strainer, ice tongs) but I’ve always been a big fan of sets that come with double jiggers and not just because it sounds like the type of dance you’d do after playing too much with your new bar set.

If you’re stuck for space or just want to have a fancy gizmo that can work in a pinch, grab the Bar10der which has 10 tools in a single handheld device. I actually have one of these in my kitchen and it basically does all the little things really well without having to clutter up a drawer with everything.

Comfortable Seating

There’s really one really weak part of the barbecuing process: The wait. You can only fine tune the temperature, the way the meat is facing or the angle the flames are hitting your steaks for so long. Eventually, your dad will just run out of things to do while you wait to flip whatever you’re cooking. I guess he could stand around with a drink in hand and admire his handwork, but wouldn’t it be much nicer on him (and his back) to grab a comfortable seat and read a book or enjoy the quiet time? Some great patio furniture or a simple Adirondack Chair would be nice. I personally like Adirondack Chairs because they’re easy to fall into, get out of and are far more comfortable than usual patio chairs. It’s a much nicer feeling to grab a seat in one of those when you’re relaxing outside than a fabric folding chair. Whether you’re on the West Coast like me, or back east, be sure to grab a chair that has easy to remove cushions and can withstand the wet weather well.

If this chair doesn’t grab your fancy, there are lots of other types of Patio Furniture available too

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A new knife (or knives)

Knowing how much time I spend in the kitchen, my wife got me a great knife block a few years ago. It’s been great these past few years but I’m finding that with the amount of slicing and dicing I’m doing in the kitchen cutting up finger sized foods for my toddler to pick up, it might be time to get fancy.

Look at this Chef’s knife from Global Knife for example. I cut a lot of meat in the kitchen and having a seamless one piece design is helpful to deter bacteria storage in the nooks and crannies. Tempered steel knives are also great for the fact that hold sharp and have better corrosion resistance than most other knives.

It doesn’t necessarily have be a single Chef’s Knife, however. If you’re interested in Knife Blocks, knife sets or sharpening blocks, you’d be surprised to just how plentiful your options are.

A new Barbecue

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I guess if all fails, go straight for the less subtle road traveled and grab dad a new barbecue. Yes, Best Buy does stock a healthy assortment of barbecues online, including this massive Napoleon Triumph 50,000 BTU 5-Burner Propane BBQ. 5 burners is pretty crazy but if your dad likes entertaining guests during the summer like I do, it’s crucial to any summer party. There’s over 650 square inches of cooking space available on this beast which means that you can start grilling up to 30 burgers at once or around 50 hot dogs. That’s a lot of dogs. In case guests are waiting to eat, there is also over 150 square inches of additional warming rack space. Best of all, if dad can’t figure out how to operate the bottle openers on the Sportula, this thing comes with one too.

If you need a smaller barbecue or something that fits dad’s cooking space better, there are a lot of other options available too.

Father’s Day this year falls on June 19th. If your dad is looking for the perfect outdoor cooking companion, I hope this blog has given you a few ideas to digest. If not, keep checking back. This is the first of many Father’s Day idea blogs to come!