Labor Day weekend is the last chance for a summer bash before fall sets in and weather gets cooler, so celebrate the end of a great summer season with a barbecue to remember.
Up on My Grill
If you have been thinking about replacing your old rusted-out grill, Labor Day weekend is a perfect time to find end-of-season deals. The centerpiece of any barbecue is the grill, so treat yourself to a great grill you will want to use year-round like the Weber Genesis E-330, a built-to-last beauty that will light up any backyard. In either a copper, crimson, black or green finish, it looks as hot as its sear station burner cooks. This sturdy welded tank-of-a-grill features aluminum end caps for durability and a porcelain enameled lid with a built-in thermometer for precise temperature grilling. The cast-iron cooking grates retain heat and cook food evenly, while precise controls allow grill chefs to turn up the high heat to perfectly sear steaks, roasts and chops. The Genesis E-330 starts up easily with an electronic ignition system, and a fuel gauge accurately measures how much propane is left to eliminate the guess work. Handy stainless steel side tables with integrated tool hooks flank the grill for food preparation, and ample under-grill storage offers space for BBQ tools and accessories. Features three internal burners, and a side range-top style burner, 38,000 BTU per-hour input. Home Depot, $799.99.
The Perfect Burger
If you thought there are just a few ways to cook burgers — rare, medium and well-done, the Bib Book of Burgers by master grill chef and New York Times best-selling author Jamie Purviance offers 151 burger recipes that will keep you grilling until next Labor Day. Along with beefy treats like the classic Route 66 burger with mayo, ketchup relish and shallot sauce; the big-eater Extreme burger made with two Worcestershire sauce-infused patties and heaped with spicy guac; and the gourmet delight Fontina-Stuffed Burger topped with arugula and prosciutto and lemon-zest mayo, the burger tome features recipes for beef-alternatives including bison, poultry, lamb, pork and seafood and side dishes to complement burgers, along with grilling tips, burger bits such as a history of burgers. Available at Amazon, $9.99 for Kindle, $16.87 paperback.
Don’t Cook Alone
If you have an iPhone or an iPad, then you have a Siri sous chef to help you prep and grill your Labor Day feast, courtesy of SideChef, the step-by-step cooking app that guides cooks of all levels through recipes with voice-activated instruction, along with beautiful photos and plenty of delicious recipes provided by SideChef’s foodie blogger partners. The app allows you to follow along food-covered hands-free and even has idiot-proof built-in timers to keep you burning your BBQ to a crisp. Besides plenty of fun and exotic burgers, the app features plenty of grilling favorites, like Grilled Chicken with Herb Dry Rub, Grilled Halibut with Cherry Tomato and Corn Salsa, Grilled Eggplant with Sumac, Capers and Mint, and for dessert, Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream. The app can also make a shopping list for the recipes you choose with the right amount of food based on the number of guests. Download SideChef free at iTunes App Store or go to http://www.sidechef.com.