Gift Cards for Grillers are Godsends

The ultimate gift for the griller has to be the grill itself.
There are a variety of grills to choose from, including gas or
charcoal, and prices and sizes vary as well.
The ultimate gift for the griller has to be the grill itself. There are a variety of grills to choose from, including gas or charcoal, and prices and sizes vary as well.

Which grill should you choose for the griller? Unless you know the exact brand and model number of the grill that the person on your gift list wants, my advice is to not by a grill at all.

As an example, let’s look at this in a different way. If you were to purchase an automobile for someone in your family, you’d have many options. You could purchase a red sports car, but the recipient may have preferred a green truck.

The same is true for grills. The recipient of the charcoal grill may not want to get messy with a heavy bag of charcoal. That person may want instant lighting and cooking. The charcoal grill may go unused if he or she preferred a gas grill.

How can this dilemma be solved? The best thing to do is to get a gift card. The thing I don’t like about gift cards is they can be very impersonal, but I have solved this problem: Give the recipient a little something extra to open that will go well with the new grill, such as a set of grilling tools.

That way, the recipient has something to unwrap. He or she will be happy to receive the tools and will enjoy the added surprise of the gift card inside for a new grill. The gift card became the bonus surprise, and now the recipient can choose the grill that he or she prefers. This is also a great idea for the gift-giver who does not want to attempt to wrap a huge box or if the gifts have to survive a journey on a plane.

Now that the gift recipient owns the treasured grill, another great gift is a steak to go on it. I am not saying to go to the grocery store, pick out a steak or two and keep it in the refrigerator, wrapped in gift paper until it is time to open the gifts.

Buy the gift card from the recipient’s favorite grocery store and dress it up like a steak. It is easy to find out which grocery store the gift recipient shops at if you don’t already know. Save a Styrofoam meat tray that comes on from the grocery store and wash it thoroughly.

Next, use pink or red tissue paper and set it in the meat tray. This will give the meat tray more bulk. Set the gift card on top of the tissue paper with a note, which could say something like, “Use this gift card to buy steaks for your new grill!” Finally, wrap the meat tray in plastic wrap. It will give the appearance of receiving steaks for a gift.

My last gift idea for the griller was developed by the Mansmith family, who I feel is the most famous and long-standing grilling and barbecuing family in our area. The Mansmiths are known for their whole tri-tips and tri-tip sandwiches at many festivals and at their stand in Hollister on Fridays.

They also have a line of grilling spices, including their original grilling spice, rib spice, and fish and seafood seasoning. Many of these seasonings are low in salt. They also offer something called Barbecue Paste. You use one part barbecue paste to one part of your favorite juice, beer, beverage or any other liquid you prefer to create your own barbecue sauce recipe.

The grilling spices and Barbecue Paste are available at many local grocery stores or on the business’ Web site, The site also offers a gift pack of Barbecue Paste and original grilling spices in a handsome gift box.

In my column last week and this week, I gave some examples for gifts for the griller. I hope these tips have helped to spark some ideas for the grillers on your gift list.

When we are hurried during this time of year, I think it is important to take a moment and slow down. I always think of others that may not be as fortunate as I have been. Don’t forget to donate a toy to Toys for Tots through South Bay Alliance, adopt a family through a giving tree or invite the neighbor who may not have a place to go for your celebration this year.

Although the focus may be on giving gifts at this time of year, we should remember the gifts of having our family and friends year-round.