Sprucing Up Barbecues

Lights from Sheriff's Dept. vehicles illuminate the scene of a triple slaying early Sunday morning, June 28, 2009 in Axton, Va. Authorities said William Ronald Carter, shot his wife, Bonnie, 56, and their 29-year-old son William Ronald Carter Jr. He later shot another son, Timothy Carter, who survived, before setting their house on fire and taking his own life.(AP Photo/The Bulletin, Mike Wray)
AP Photo/The Bulletin, Mike Wray
The days are longer, the weather should be hot and many families and friends are preparing for summer barbecues at home.

The Early Show's Christy Ferer adds a little style to backyard parties with the latest tools, gadgets and tableware for summer 2002 in Christy's Corner.

True die-hard backyard cooks are turning to charcoal once again. But instead of those black briquettes, cooks are using natural wood charcoal. Kabobs are also popular. Several new cool skewers are available in the market. Look for patriotism to be a big theme for many homes. And don't bother buying paper plates this summer. Hosts are bringing the good china outside.

Also in this do-it-yourself summer, get an ice cream machine that can make two flavors at the same time for a refreshing treat.

For Grilling

  • Belgium "Barbecook" Leader from Gourmet Grills - The Arena model ($249): The grill from Barbecook has a large grilling area with side areas for indirect cooking. It has an upper-warming rack, and is highly portable. It includes QuickStart and QuickStop lighting systems and adjusts to four different grilling positions. Available at gourmetgrills.net.
  • Gooseneck lamp from Frontgate, ($95): A gooseneck 35-watt halogen clamp-on light is made of weatherproof steel. Available at Frontgate. Call 1-800 626-6488.
  • BBQ Sauce from Williams-Sonoma: Barbecue cooks use this to put some spice into food.
  • Natural or Hardwood Charcoal, from Gourmet Grills and Williams-Sonoma: The wood form charcoal will help make a lot of people's decision to stop using gas grill a lot easier. The charcoal burns much longer, hotter and gives off a better flavor than traditional charcoal.
  • Plastic remote thermometer from Williams-Sonoma ($54): The thermometer is good for monitoring food from up to 100 feet away. The temperature probe attached to a digital transmitter sends information to a portable receiver, which beeps when the food is done.
  • Vice Versa's long-handled stainless steel salt/pepper ($16.95): The salt/pepper shakers are good for seasoning over the barbecue. Available at Mxyplyzyk in New York City. (212-989-4300).
  • Kabobs: Back in vogue this summer are the Kabobs. The The Early Show featured three different cool Kabob Skewers sets. Springer Skewer Set, Shrimp Circle Kabob Skewers and Animal Skewers. An easy way to cook several kabobs at once is using the Kabob Basket.

    All products from Better Homes and Gardens Simply Perfect Grilling magazine can be ordered through 800-763-6393 or htccatalog.com.

For The Table
  • Chesapeake Table ($399): While most folding tables are lightweight, this one is built of solid wood with galvanized hardware to ensure years of outdoor enjoyment. It's styled with white wooden slats and finished with a water-resistant sealant.
  • Chesapeake Chairs, (Set of 4 $299): Like the table, the chairs are styled with white wooden slats and finished with a water-resistant sealant. The folding chair is built of solid wood with galvanized hardware to ensure years of outdoor enjoyment.
  • Market Umbrella ($79): The umbrellas are great for shading against the sun or battling the rain.
  • Maui Paper Lanterns ($25): These lanterns adds a touch of tiki to barbecues.
  • Americana Party Bucket ($39.50): The buckets fill with ice and drinks for hours of summer fun.
  • Dishes: The big trend this year is to treat our backyard guests to your fine dishes and bring the good stuff outside. The patter displayed on the Early Show is reissued from the collection of '50's lifestyle icon Russel Wright and cost anywhere between $5 and $30 and are available in seventeen different colors at bedbathandbeyond.com.
  • Table Accessories:
    Pineapple Bowls ($16.95): Monkeypod wood is used to make this pineapple shaped bowl. This 13" long bowl is just right for serving macadamia nuts or other snacks.

    Coconut Candles ($17.50): Vanilla candles fill real coconut shells.

    Tiki Tumblers ($29.95): The Tiki tumblers are a unique take on household cups.

    Bamboo Tumblers ($29.95)

    Blue Flatware ($39.95): This casual flatware with a handy metal caddy goes from kitchen to table with ease.

    Rococo Flatware ($39.95): The flatware is good for casual or formal settings. A pewter bolster joins the stainless steel top and resin handle on each piece. The 20-piece set comprises four place settings.

    Flatware Caddy ($24.95): This reproduction of a flag painted on a wood caddy makes it great for holiday buffets and barbecues. It has a sturdy handle and slots for napkins.

    Flag Platter ($94.95): A patriotic and generous server, this rectangular platter features a chic version of the American flag. Accessories available at Sur La Table in Seattle, WA. surlatable.com or 800-243-0852.

Patriotism In The Backyard
  • Star Ketchup and Mustard Pump Set ($27.95): The Star Ketchup and Mustard Pumps are both 6-inches high and hold up to 10 ounces.
  • LiteCubes (Set of 12 for $47.95): These light-up cubes are made from FDA-approved plastic and non-plastic re-freezable gel and can be frozen to keep your drinks cold. Tap on the cubes for them to light and watch them stay lit for hours.
  • Flag Swizzle Sticks (Set of 10 for $19.95). 7-inch long Flag Sizzle Sticks come with hand-painted flag tops.
  • Star Battery-Powered Paper Lanterns ( Set of 2 for $24.95): These bright new battery-powered paper lanterns come decorated with stars, have wire hangers and flat bottoms. Each is 7-inches high and comes with a light bulb and works on any two AAA-sized batteries.

    All products from Better Homes and Gardens Simply Perfect Grilling magazine can be ordered through 800-763-6393 or htccatalog.com.

Cooking Pot

Pepper-Shaped Pot from Le Creuset ($140): Two-quart pepper-shaped pot is perfect for cooking small braises and roasts, plus it looks great on the table. It is available in yellow, red and green.

For Dessert

  • Cuisinart Duo Ice Cream Maker from Williams-Sonoma ($99.95): Imaginative users can make a number of flavored cold desert from home with this machine.
  • Liquid-Fill Ice Cream Scoop ($18.00): This scoop makes it easy to serve ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet. The brushed-aluminum scoop has an interior chamber that you fill with warm water, so the scoop instantly softens ice cream, turning out perfect scoops every time.