If there are two words that spring to the forefront of
most people's minds when Australia Day is mentioned, they would be
"long" and "weekend". And like any long weekend in summer,
that usually means BBQs, outdoor entertaining and maybe even a cheeky trip to the
beach, if the weather and locale permit.
So here are just a couple of gadgets that may provide some high-tech help for your January 26 activities -- no matter what you end up
Published:Caption:Nic HealeyPhoto:Australia Day Council
Man Law BBQ Tongs with built-in thermometer
Traditionally, the Great Aussie BBQ is about meat charcoaled
to within in an inch of its existence, before smothering it with sauce just to
provide some moisture and aid chewing. Why not break with tradition this year
and cook meat people will enjoy eating? The Man Law tongs feature a built-in
thermometer will give you a internal temperature on the digital readout in the
handle. It's not only great for the rare meat eaters in your family and
friends, but lets you BBQ meats like chicken and fish with just a little
more confidence, all for AU$30.
Got tongs you already love? The Man Law Digital Instant Read
Meat Gauge does the same stuff as a standalone device.
It's all fun and games until someone wears a blast of sauce
from a blocked up bottle that gets slapped a little too hard. Or maybe you've
fumbled a catch in a half-hearted game of backyard cricket and ended up with
most of your drink down your front. If you're wearing The Cavalier from Threadsmiths,
you won't care -- the shirt is specially treated with a "patented
hydrophobic nanotechnology application", meaning it repels all water and
dirt. It's the first white t-shirt that might actually stay that way.
American-style "slow and low" BBQ had gained
popularity in Australia, but it can be hard to do on the barbies we're familiar
with in Australia.
Enter the ProQ Elite. Looking somewhat like R2D2 after a
goth makeover, the ProQ can smoke, grill, roast -- even stirfry if you want it
to. The design and venting allows a lot of control over how much heat you get
and also provides access for you to monitor the meat's temperature -- kinda
important for slow cooking.
A big back yard needs a big sound. The MegaBoom is the big
sibling to last year's UE Boom -- a battery powered speaker purpose-built for
outdoor use. The MegaBoom ups the size and the sound, as well as making the
unit fully waterproof and even packing in 20 hours of battery life. Perfect
your own tunes or even for tuning in and seeing who ends up on the top of this
year's Hottest 100.
What if you're not in the backyard, but actually grabbing
some beach time? When it comes to Australian beaches, the only thing worse than
the English backpackers is the sand. You may think you've washed it all off,
but as soon as you unroll your towel back at home -- boom. Your house looks
like a remake of Lawrence of Arabia.
The Lagu beach blanket is treated to be sand repellent while
the linen blend is both quick drying and allergen-free. It comes in five
colours and has a button to keep it rolled up -- there's even a beach bag available
that's made from the same material.
You won't be able to get it this
Australia Day, but if you're looking ahead to 2016 keep an eye out for the Coolest Cooler. Basically a high-tech
esky, this bad boy has a blender, an LED lid light, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker
and functions as a USB charger. All that while keeping your food and drinks
With all that, it's no wonder it raised a staggering $13
million on Kickstarter. Backers only had to pay $165 to get one of these, but
we'll wait and see what it costs when it hits retail.