Four last-minute gift ideas for grill masters
By Kent “The Deck Chef” & Ally Whitaker
It’s that time of year again where I reach out to the world of culinary coolness in search of neat ideas for last minute gifts. This year I have a special emphasis. All of the items are made in the USA. Here’s a look at a four things that might make a neat gift or simply a nice addition to your culinary toolbox.
Huwa Reserve Natural Beef
Talk about a great steak! Actually, great beef of all cuts. Why not order a fantastic select of beef that melts in your mouth that’s packed with flavor? You can order your favorite cuts, assorted packages and even a package geared towards grilling. Everything from Huwa Reserve Natural Beef that Ally and I cooked tasted fantastic.
The Huwa Cattle Company was founded in 2001 by Brent and Tonya Huwa. In 2012 they decided to take their family ranching operation in a new direction. After noticing a need in the marketplace for family ranch raised, all natural beef, they decided to start Huwa Reserve Natural Beef. The goal being to consumers an alternative to the highly-processed, off-the-shelf beef found in grocery stores. Huwa Reserve Beef is all natural beef that has never been given any growth hormones, steroid or non-vegetarian feed and is antibiotic free.
After ordering we received a boxed cooler with steaks packed with dry ice. I simply thawed the cuts over night in the fridge. We lightly seasoned, didn’t over do it, in order to truly taste the beefs flavor. We fired up the grill and the first bite was followed by Ally’s comment. “Oh my Gosh, that’s the best steak I’ve ever tasted. I can cut it with a spoon!” Over the course of the weekend we enjoyed melt in your mouth rib eyes, amazingly tender New York Strips, tender stew meat which we used for kabobs and even a few tasty steak burgers.
Huwa Reserve has a saying, “When you order your beef through Huwa Reserve Natural Beef, you never have to wonder where your meat came from, what’s in it or whether or not it will taste good! They’re right. Everything tasted fantastic.
Huwa Reserve Natural Beef
7 AM – 4 PM Mountain Time
Excluding Major Holidays
The Bottle Wrench Tool
Alright, let’s talk cool man presents! You know what I’m talking about - the kind that when you’re standing around the grill and your buddies say “Hey, where the heck did you get that?” The Bottle Wrench Tool is one of those gift items and it’s made in the USA. The Bottle Wrench is the manliest bottle opener ever invented. Each Bottle Wrench is hand formed in Savannah, GA from a real, 100% metal wrench. “Our motto is that it’s a wrench first and a bottle opener second,” Jake said. Each one comes with a U.S. military grade 550-paracord strap for hanging the Wrench on display with many colors to choose from.
According to Jake the realization that his wife was banning him from her bottle openers led to him cracking a cold one and coming to a decision. “I wanted something tougher, stronger, and manlier. A few hours (and drinks) later the original Bottle Wrench was born.” Soon after, people started asking Jake about the new opener and wanted to know where they buy their own. “We opened our online shop in 2011 and have been growing ever since.”
And since many guys are pretty horrible at wrapping presents Jake has solved that problem as well. “We gift wrap in brown sack paper complete with string bow knot.” The stuff you would find in your shed or toolbox. “You can find us online and in retail shops around the country like the Paula Deen Gifts Shop in Savannah, GA for example. We also offer wholesale discounts and they can even be personalized.”
Jake offers a full guarantee on your satisfaction and the satisfaction of your customers. “We stand behind our product and if something is not 100% right, we will do whatever it takes to make it right.”
The Bottle Wrench Tool
Twitter - @TheBottleWrench
Rada Knives – Low Cost, Great Knife
You may have seen these knives at flea markets, hardware stores or even being sold during a fundraiser. I was in a pinch and bought a RADA Chef’s Utility knife for an event thinking I would use it once and relegate it to the camping or tailgate box. In short, I was amazed at how great the knife was. It was light, well balanced, felt great in my hand and it was amazingly sharp. I went back to the lady at the flea market and ordered a complete set along with several additional items. My favorite knife cost $10 bucks. They Feature surgical quality T420 high-carbon stainless steel blades and carry a lifetime guarantee.
My set of Rada Knives has replaced my overly priced chef set. The knives are handmade and sharpened with silver Brushed Aluminum handle, or black handle. Rada has been making knives in the USA since 1948. A few notes. They recommend hand washing and hand drying. My Rada salesperson actually ordered my knives one knife at a time instead of getting the boxed gift set. Apparently the dealers have to pay five or six bucks for the box which I would have tossed in the recycle bin anyway.
If you are in need of a new knife or set of knives, or want to replace your old set, then take a look at Rada Knives. They are made in the USA, professionally hand crafted, have amazing edges and come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. They are now my knife of choice.
Rada Mfg. Co
PO Box 838 Waverly, IA 50677
1-800-311-9691 Central Time M-F
Walden Farms – Healthy & Great Taste
This item may not be what you would consider a gift item… unless you or a family member have special dietary requirements. And that is a large number of people. Ally and I have become more health conscious over the last few years and have made strides in keeping our love for cooking alive while trimming fat, extra calories, carbs, excess sodium and more. We’ve found a renewed passion for testing new recipes. We picked up a few Walden Farms sauces to try out and they’ve quickly become a staple in the pantry. Several friends and a few family members were in need of specialized diet so our search was on for healthy and tasty. Walden Farms fits both requirements so we highly recommend their product line.
Walden Farms sauces are all natural, Calorie Free, Carb Free, Gluten Free, Fat Free and Sugar Free! And their products are pretty darned good. I admit that the BBQ sauce was not my favorite; a dash of mustard fixed that. The Bacon Ranch dressing was very good; the Raspberry Vinaigrette was great as were the assorted jellies and other sauces. They even make flavored mayos! My two favorite items are the Chocolate Sauce and the Honey Dijon dressing.
Yes, there will always be sauces and dressings which are over loaded with carbs, sugars and fat which will have a slight taste advantage. That being said, if you’re looking for a healthy alternative that does not taste like bland diet food and that gives you the taste that you’re craving but have been avoiding due to restricted ingredients then try Walden Farms. Your waistline will appreciate it. I can honestly say that I’ll probably never buy another brand of chocolate syrup or Honey Dijon Dressing.
Walden Farms, Inc.
1209 West St. Georges Avenue
Linden, NJ 07036-6117
Kent Whitaker is a cookbook author and culinary writer with 10 published books. He is also member and AUXCHEF for the United States Coast Guard Aux. Kent and his wife Ally live in East Tennessee with their son Macee and two spoiled dogs. Kent's books are available or can be ordered at any book store or online at www.thedeckchef.com . Look for Kent on twitter at www.twitter.com/thekentwhitaker.