Grill Daddy

Keeping your grill clean is essential for producing top quality meats and veggies. Nobody wants crusty remnants of past meals stuck to their main course. Unfortunately, maintaining a sparkling clean cooking surface is sometimes easier said than done. While the market is full of grill cleaners and accessories, the Grill Daddy company has created several innovative products for keeping your grill clean and your hand's safe.

The Grand Grill Daddy is a large, stainless steel cleaning tool with two wire brushes fixed to it. The tool features a chamber that holds a couple ounces of water. Grill Daddy relies on the slow release of water through the brush to create steam on the hot grill surface. The steam makes those caked on charred bits much easier to remove.

My initial impression of the Grand Grill Daddy was that it was really bulky. For small/medium grills, I typically use lightweight plastic or wood handled brushes. In addition to being somewhat cumbersome to handle, it's also too large to fit in the storage container that houses my grill brush. Before ever using it, I had immediate concerns about the Grill Daddy's practicality.

Testing the Grill Daddy was easy enough. Dirty grills aren't hard to find in my family. Ultimately, I decided to use the grill daddy on my old charcoal grill. With the cold winter relenting just a bit this weekend, I fired up the long dormant grill for Christmas Eve T Bones.

As you can see, this grill's surface was in need of a good scraping. After lighting the coals, I shut the lid for 15-20 minutes to make sure the fire and grill grate were nice and hot. I then turned the valve on the Grill Daddy to release the water and let the brush do the work.

I can't argue with the results. Though I felt the water was dispersed unevenly, it was more than enough to do the job. After just a 10 second scrub, the grill was filled with steam and the grates were as clean as they had been in years.

There is no doubt that the steam was the key to great results. While I have to wonder if dipping a small wire brush in water before scraping would yield the same results, the Grill Daddy definitely worked as advertised.
The complete unit is very sturdy and will likely last for years. Both brush heads detach easily and are replaceable. There really aren't many components on the brush than can break.

I still can't get past the Grill Daddy's bulk. For someone who grills 3-5 times per week (weather permitting), I just don't see myself reaching for a large brush every day. However, when the grill is in need of a serious clean, having the Grill Daddy will be handy.

In addition to the steam powered grill brushes, Grill Daddy produces a number of other grilling tools. Their telescoping spatula is especially noteworthy for its versatility and durable design. Their tools also feature unique heat guards meant to protect your hand while flipping burgers over a hot flame.

You can see the full line of Grill Daddy products here. They're also available for purchase at major retailers like Target, Home Depot and Amazon.

Cave Tools Grilling Set

Every pitmaster and backyard grill king needs a quality set of grilling tools. The right tools are essential for handling each cut of smoked or char grilled meat. Grill tool sets are popular gifts this time of year and there's no shortage of options. Nearly every big box store and online retailer offers one or more sets. The key is finding the right tools for your needs.

If you've got a large grill and/or often find yourself handling large cuts of meat, Cave Tools may have the grilling set you're looking for. These over-sized, stainless steel tools are designed to do some heavy lifting. Cave Tools' website says that they are produced with 20% more stainless steel than competing grill sets. They are definitely on the heavy side. However, they don't feel quite as stout as the Man Law grill set I reviewed (and currently use at home) two years ago.

The extended length of the Cave Tools set is ideal for large grills. The long spatula allows you to reach the back of the grill without getting your hand too close to the flame. It's the type of spatula that I would use when grilling burgers for a crowd. The tongs work well for situating larger cuts on the grill or smoker. They're particularly useful for full racks of ribs. They are, however, cumbersome when trying to handle smaller items. If cooking a large quantity of chicken wings or hot dogs, for example, it takes quite a lot of grip strength and stamina to constantly move and turn the meat.

Other features worth noting are the hooked ends making each piece easy to hang from any grill station. The spatula also features a serrated edge for scraping the grill. More importantly, the spatula can be used as a bottle opener ensuring that the pit master stays refreshed as he/she prepares dinner.

I've used a pretty wide variety of grilling products over the years. These days they come in nearly every size, shape, color and material. While I wasn't blown away with the Cave Tools set, it definitely falls on the higher end of the scale. They're pretty stylish and appear to be well made. I expect they'll hold up well for quite a long time as well.

Check out the grill set at or you can order your own set through Amazon.

Delwood's Barbecue Sauce & Marinade

When I moved from North Carolina a year ago, I took several Carolina style sauces with me. I fell in love with Carolina "Q" and hoped to preserve its tangy tradition for a long as possible. Sadly, my supply of sauces quickly ran out. During the last several months, I've been craving the familiar flavors of North Carolina BBQ. I've smoked several shoulders and concocted my own vinegar based sauces with varied degrees of success. It wasn't until a package of Delwood's Barbecue Sauce reached my doorstep that I found what I was really looking for. 

Delwood's Barbecue Sauce & Marinade is an authentic North Carolina BBQ sauce. Produced by a second generation Delwood, the sauce is crafted in the traditions of Eastern style BBQ. Bottled in 17 oz mason jars, and slapped with a vintage label, Delwood's has the perfect Ol' Time look for a fabulous Ol' Time product. The dark vinegar sauce is loaded with coarsely ground spices that can be seen floating freely through the jar. 

Vinegar is King when it comes to Carolina BBQ, and Delwood's does not deviate from tradition. Delwood's sauce uses apple cider vinegar which provides plenty of tang, but also a little sweetness. The traditional base is kicked up with a variety of spices. The addition of brown sugar adds to the sweetness and provides a nice balance to the tang and spice.

I've used Delwood's Barbecue Sauce & Marinade several times, savoring every bite. The natural fit was to pour it over pulled pork. Paired with the smoky shoulder meat, Delwood's brought back a flood of pleasant memories from my Carolina days.
Some people may find the vinegar tang of Delwood's to be a little overwhelming, but for those that favor the traditional flavors of Carolina "Q", you'll have a hard time finding something better than Delwood's. When I want to introduce my Michigan friends to traditional Carolina style sauce, Delwood's will be the jar I reach for.
I realize this may come off sounding more like an advertisement for Delwood's than a critical review. Believe me when I say that I tried to find something to criticize. I love the packaging and I love the flavor. If you live in Central North Carolina, I strongly recommend locating a retailer that sells Delwood's. If not, check them out online.

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