By Adrian Justins
After a long, locked-down winter, some of us are able to enjoy socialising outdoors once more. This brings the opportunity to get barbecuing again. But not everyone welcomes the hassles that can be associated with alfresco entertaining, from the barbecue that seems to take forever to be ready for cooking to the messiness of cleaning a fatty, charred grill after the event.
Technology can help, and the new owners of this modern, palatial villa on the Dubai waterfront might like to use the following gadgets while enjoying the company of guests on the property’s roomy terraces and lawns. The seven-bedroom house is on the market for Dh47.8m ($13m).
Traeger grill, $1,999.99
The Timberline 1300 offers an alternative to the tradition of hovering over a barbecue, tongs in hand, while fat drips out of the sausages and causes a plume of smoke. It uses a WiFi-connected smartphone app, which allows the cook to monitor and control the barbecue from a distance. The grill is fuelled by wood pellets, dispensed from a hopper, with alerts sent to the app when the pellet level is running low. Other app features such as changing the grill temperature and activating a “keep warm” mode can be accessed by Apple Watch users.
Weber grilling assistant, £155.39
Ensure your food is cooked to perfection with the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub, which can convert any barbecue into a smart one. A thermometer can send alerts to a smartphone app when your meat is done just how you like it (such as medium-rare for a steak). The app also has recipes and a grilling assistant, which can issue “flip-and-serve” notifications, show a food-readiness countdown and provide estimated cooking times.
Barsys robotic bartender, $1,250
The Barsys 2.0 automatic cocktail maker is another gadget that allows hosts to spend more time with their guests. After selecting one of 2,000 recipes using a smartphone app — or using one of your own — place a glass, which includes a built-in mixing blade, beneath the far-left bottle. The machine can be loaded with up to five spirits and three mixers. Each bottle dispenses the amount of liquor required according to the cocktail selected, and the glass automatically moves to the next bottle. Most drinks take less than 20 seconds to make and the lights change colour as the drink progresses. The machine also cleans itself automatically.
Grillbot barbecue cleaning robot, $89.95
Providing visual entertainment is also a bonus feature of the Grillbot, an automatic cleaning device that can be set to work once the cook has downed tools. Made of heat-resistant plastic, the unit can be used on grills up to 250C. Speed and direction of travel are controlled by an internal computer, and the unit has an LCD display and timer that can be set to 10, 20 or 30-minute cleaning cycles. An alarm will sound if the cleaner gets too hot and when it has finished.
Camp Chef smart smoker, $600
Smoking, ideally done using burning wood, offers a slower, more flavoursome method of cooking compared with grilling. The Woodwind WiFi 20 gives the option of cooking at a precise temperature by feeding a steady stream of wood pellets into the burn cup. Alternatively, cooks can choose higher quantities of pellets fed less frequently, which causes fluctuations of up to 8C from the target temperature but allows shorter burns and a much smokier flavour. Remote monitoring and control is via an app.
Photography: Christie’s International Real Estate; Getty Images