Outdoor party gadgets to amp your Fourth of July

by Patty Templeton

John F. Kennedy said, “The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” Translation: Even if President Trump is a retro-tech snob who wants to rely on ancient science that benefits his bourgeois, old, white corporate pals, new tech will be built. Americans have that Yankee ingenuity and we refuse to not use it. Especially when we’re having a party.

Here are the high-tech gadgets and clever accessories you’ll want at your Independence Day barbecue:

BarbecuingRobots and your grillThe dirty, suck-ass part of having a barbecue party is cleaning up the grill. Similar to eating ass that ain’t ready for you, sudsing up a grill can cause odd smells and awkward color explosions. Who wants to deal with that?

Enter the Grillbot. These little sons-a-guns do the dirty work for ya. It’s like a Roomba, but instead of cleaning your floors, its bristling brushes shine your grill. Boo and yah.

Fancypants smoke infusion What is that – a subtle hint of cherry wood? Get all Gordon Ramsey on your grill with a smoker box. You can snag a stainless steel woodchip smoker box that won’t warp. Only $25.

Sun-cooked future foodHoly heck. We live in a food-topia. There’s such a thing as a “solar grill.” It’s a solar vacuum, i.e. a high-tech tube, that sits on a stainless steel holder that uses only the power of the freakin’ sun to cook your food.

Reviews say it can cook dang near everything from brownies and corn muffins to strip-cut steak and salmon.

The future ain’t cheap though. Your no-effort food tube’s gonna cost about 300 bucks.

RelaxationFruit keg fun timesFor $20 you can turn a watermelon into a keg. Buy a keg kit that comes with a tap and a coring tool to clear out all the useless vitamins and nutrients a watermelon contains. Or, hey, you could save the watermelon guts for a puree to add to a rum punch.

Bonus: Fruit tapping ain’t just for summer. Tap your Halloween party pumpkin.

No hot tub, no problemNot everybody is blessed with a pool, a hot tub, or a pal with said amenities. If you’re too shy to sneak into a hotel to co-opt water funnery, find yourself an inflatable pool. Intex has a blow-up, $120 pool that can fit four comfortably. Get schnockered in your own personal garden water park.

All-purpose coolerAre you freaking kidding me? Coolest is a brand of coolers that gives you everything but a handjob. The thing has a waterproof USB charger, splash-proof Bluetooth speaker, a battery-powered blender component, a LED light lid, a built-in cutting board, a magnetized bottle opener, and there’s even more.

The only thing that could make a Coolest Cooler better is if it was infused with artificial intelligence, which would make the $450 price tag more reasonable.

Night partyGo go night lightsIf disco party lights can make tiny dive bars look dreamy, imagine what they can do with your comfy backyard. For only $14 you can rig your patio with a seven-color, remote-controlled disco light system.

Ya know what makes trees even prettier in the dark? A whistling summer breeze and purple lights dancing across the leaves.

Stone path rave Are those glowing stones or are you just happy to see me? Both? Good.

If you have a big yard, a gloomy yard, if you want to light up the patio stairs, or are just plain scared of the dark, get a few batches of solar-powered glow stones. For 14 bucks you can add a whimsical blue hue to your yard.

Rainbow fireThis isn’t so much high-tech gadgetry as it is an elf-lure. You heard me. An elf-lure. You want elves or other magical creatures to show up to your BBQ? Wait till that evening sun goes down and them stars rise, make a wood pile, and light up the sky with a rainbow fire.

A cube of Mystical Flame Colorant will last about 15 minutes when thrown onto the fire. Red, purple, blue, and green flames will burst out. For 17 bucks you can get a 25-count box of ’em. If you’re lucky, maybe do the right chanting, you’ll be having hot elf sex in the dewy grass by the green flames.

— Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer


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