Eight Stylish Essentials for All Your Grilling Needs

Here’s some of the best-designed stuff available for your July 4th BBQ.

July Fourth! The birth of our country, marking the fateful day, some 233 years ago, when we slipped the shackles forced upon us by the crafty, snaggle-toothed British. And also, the beginning of outdoor grill season. Here’s a selection of the best-designed accessories. Maybe they’ll inspire you to step up and stimulate this economy, patriot.


The best outdoor grill we’ve ever seen, hands down, is Alessi’s Barbicu designed by Piero Lissoni. It’s a modular kit, and the the stand can be used both vertically and horizontally, for stand-up and table top cooking. Alessi also sells a range of handsome accessories, including grill tools:

alessi barbicu

In terms of ergonomics and versatility, the Element by Fuego–designed by Ammunition, headed by our design blogger Robert Brunner–is pretty great. There’s a slide out tray right below the gas-powered grill, while the grill itself has a burner with two temperature zones, as well as a range of detachable cooktops, including a griddle and even a pizza stone, for baking pies. The grill begins shipping by mid-month:

fuego grill
fuego grill

Inhabitat sells a kit of biodegradable, disposable cutlery, plates and cups ($48):

biodegradable party kit

The PlatyPreserve designed by Platypus ($12.95) eliminates the pain of lugging around heavy bottles of wine. Moreover, the airtight seal can preserve wine for weeks–so you can dump in the dregs from left-over bottles and save them for later:


If you want something more permanent than disposable cups, these Illusion glasses by Laurence Brabant do a couple things: First, they’re more stable and less spill-prone than regular wine glasses. Second, they’re fun ($75 for a set of four):

illusion wine glasses

Gizmodo wasn’t exaggerating when they said that Williams-Sonoma’s Meatball Grill Basket CHANGES EVERYTHING ($49.95). Some of the reviewers seem to have problems with the meatballs sticking to the basket, so use some cooking spray (duh). Otherwise, people are crazy about this thing:

Meatball Grill Basket

Here’s a set of grill tools from the Conran Shop. Good looking, albeit a little pricey, at $79 for the set:

Conran Shop grill tools

For city-dwellers who don’t have space for a real grill, the portable Notebook Grill by Direct Designs collapses for storage, and folds out for tabletop cooking ($59):

notebook grill

Related Stories:
Introducing Guest Blogger Robert Brunner: Master of Lust-worthy Design
The Business of Barbecue
Summer Lust List: Nine Things We Want to Play With This Summer


About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.