Let’s step outside of the menswear world for a second (well, halfway out). Looking to throw one last summer BBQ? Or at least one more? That’s what we’re talking about today on The Style Guide. Why the switch from our beloved #menswear to something a little grittier and gastronomically inclined? Well, the world’s not all about men’s style, for one. And if you’ve poked around on some of your favorite men’s lifestyle sites (like this one, maybe!), you’ll realize that plenty of these places — particularly our Style Guide pals Bespoke Post and Huckberry — stock a heck of a lot of effective, functionally rugged grilling gear and some tasty culinary staples, to boot. And if you read this blog, you already know how to dress for your next barbecue — no need to worry about that. So with that being said, I’ve compiled it all into one handy men’s shopping guide for you — from a durable grilling apron to a tough backyard grill, you’ll find it in the list below. And if you’re not the guy manning the grill? At least you”ll be prepared with other backyard essentials like a stylish Bluetooth speaker — right? Have questions for me related to other essential men’s gear picks? Find me on Twitter, and leave a missive in the comments as needed. Fire up that grill and get to work!
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The Grill: PK Grills PK360 Grill and Smoker with Rib Rack — $799.98
Start with what’s important, right? You need a dependable grill at the center of the action — and it helps if it’s got built-in functionality going for it. The PK Grills PK360 is “nearly indesctructible,” and it features a stainless steel rib rack built right in. It’s a marked changed aesthetically from other grills you might be used to using, and that’s not all bad — you’ve got more options with the PK Grills PK360, and a heck of a lot of value included.
The Tunes: AudioPro T3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker — $249
If you’re firing up the grill, why not fire up some of your favorite tunes? Great music keeps your grilling humming along, it keeps your guests happy … it’s a win-win. And the dependable AudioPro T3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is the aesthetically pleasing, crisply designed and relatively affordable Bluetooth speaker you never knew you needed.
The Apron: Filson Antique Tin Cloth Apron — $75
Don’t discount the utility of the perfect grilling apron. OK, perhaps the Filson Antique Tin Cloth Apron isn’t perfect … but at least a guy can dream? Made with the same rugged, durable touch you’d expect from Filson, the Antique Tin Cloth Apron is a heck of a lot nicer than those plastic, red-checkered aprons floating around grocery stores. It won’t look half-bad hanging up in your garage or workshop, either.
The Much-Needed Essential: Thieffry Linen Oven Mitt — $20
Handling hot dishes or plates and just grabbing for whatever’s in the area? Not cool, man. The Thieffry Linen Oven Mitt? Distinctly cool — or at least, better-looking than other oven mitts on the market. And when even your oven mitt earns you style points, you can rest assured it’ll be a great day of grilling … at least, one can hope?
The Beverage: GrowlerWerks 64oz. uKeg — $149
Certainly, not everyone enjoys knocking back a ice-cold beer (and if you legally can’t because you’re under 21 … my apologies). But whether your a guest or the host, something as effective and underrated as the GrowlerWerks uKeg is very, VERY handy to have around at a weekend BBQ — especially if it’s stocked with the best beer to bring to a barbecue, ehh? It’s a mini-keg that’s the size of a half-gallon growler, so I’d say you should save this for folks who appreciate the good stuff. The stainless steel vessel and brass carrying handle on the GrowlerWerks uKeg will only get better with age — as is the case with the best men’s gear out there.
The Bottle Opener: Owen and Fred “You Earned It Bottle Opener” — $23
Serving some choice bottled beer in addition to the finest stuff you can fit into that GrowlerWerks uKeg? American-made menswear brand Owen and Fred offers you a little encouragement in the form of this smart-looking, durable and one-of-a-kind bottle opener.
The Grilling Essentials: Schmidt Brothers Teak Four-Piece Grilling Set — $49.98
The list continues to get longer, ehh? Add some style points to your grilling lineup with the functional Schmidt Brothers Teak Four-Piece Grilling Set, a finely crafted set of stainless steel grilling appliances. In short, it’s an affordably priced package of grilling gear that just so happens to represent an underrated and premium upgrade.
The Cutting Board: Viski Acaia Wood Cheese Board — $29.98
For serving small bites for your guests to snack on as you toil away in the heat of the grill, pick up the Viski Acaia Wood Cheese Board, a handsome way to serve gourmet snacks. It’s again a small upgrade that’s pleasing to look at and should go well with whatever rugged-refined decor you’ve got going on in your patio or living room — are we on the same page?
The Plates: Norden 8-Inch Plates — $40
Make no mistake, Norden makes plates that are, to put it lightly, no laughing matter. Handsomely designed and quite pricey, you might want to save your Norden dishware for smaller parties or special occasions — but they’re a nice upgrade — again with the upgrades — over paper plates and the like.
The Necessary Condiments: Ashman Manufacturing Co. Bourbon Steak Sauce — $8 AND Melinda’s Jalapeño Ketchup — $5.99
Want to be the hit of the party? And if not the hit, maybe a close second? Bring an array of tasty condiments to season your favorite grilled meats and vegetables — as crazy as it might sound, it just might work. Ashman’s Bourbon Steak Sauce and Melinda’s Jalapeño Ketchup are two unexpected choices that should add plenty of flavor to any dish.
When it comes to planning the perfect barbecue, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into keeping your guests entertained, well-fed and happy — and hopefully, some of this gear helps you do that. It all starts with your gear, and the PK360 Grill is as functional and well-made a piece as any. The little details — from the Filson Tin Cloth Apron right on through to condiments like Melinda’s Jalapeño Ketchup — really can help make your time grilling (and kicking back with a beer!) that much more enjoyable. Great tunes are a must, too — make the AudioPro T3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker an essential in your home, in your office and at your next barbecue. Take it from a guy who loves his rugged essentials — a small touch like the Owen and Fred brass bottle opener seen above deserves a spot on your back patio table as you grill away. And what’s the thing that brings people together the most? GREAT beer. Just kidding. But certainly, the GrowlerWerks uKeg is a nice way to serve your guests quality craft beers. Does that fill out your shopping list? I certainly hope so. Let me know any thoughts in the comments below, and supplement the above grilling advice with men’s style tips gleaned from my Instagram.