Stock Up: Three Tools for the Perfect All-American Meal for the Fourth of July

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Wasn’t it just Memorial Day? Now the Fourth is here? Time for more fun on the grill.

How did you want your burger cooked?

An all-American holiday needs hamburgers. But with foodie nephew Jake wanting his rare and daughter Carla refusing to eat any meat that’s not well done, how do you accommodate the crowd? With these digital tongs from MAN LAW you get two tools for the price of one. Seventeen-inch long tongs make it easy to reach deep into your grill. An inch-long probe embedded in one side checks the temperature when you grasp what you’re cooking. Since it only goes about an inch deep, you can’t check the temperature of a whole chicken or a pork butt. But it works perfectly for lamb chops, burgers and steak – anything that’s not more than two inches thick. It can check temperatures up to 392 degrees (let’s hope you’re not cooking your meat to that temperature) and gives you a read-out within five seconds. The display detaches so you can put the tongs in your dishwasher. The backlit display offers you a choice of programming for seven meats from turkey to veal and an alarm will sound when the meat is fully cooked. And of course, you can just use it to move burgers around the grill. $29.99. InTown Ace Hardware, 1404 Scott Boulevard, Decatur. 404-378-6006. intownhardware.net

What can you do to dress up hot dogs?

Isn’t there a federal law that requires consumption of 2.7 hot dogs per American on the Fourth of July? If you want to dress up those dogs this year, try this crazy little gadget. It’s called the Slotdog and it, yes, cuts slots in hot dogs. It works best on cold skinless hot dogs. Press down with the steel blades in the grid and it cuts diagonal slots in the hot dog. Turn the hotdog over and do the other side. Now put it on the grill. (Put the Slotdog in the dishwasher.) As the hot dog heats, the slots open up and give you dozens of edges to get just a little bit charred. The result is a crispy hot dog that looks kind of cool. Yes, the kids will love this. And yes, those little cuts give your pickle relish and mustard a place to nestle. $15. Roswell Hardware, 685 Atlanta Street, Roswell. 770-993-6686. facebook.com/RoswellHardwareCompanyInc slotdog.comgary@roswellhardware.net

And what for dessert? S’mores, of course!

No national holiday involving the great outdoors is complete without a sticky, scrumptious dessert of s’mores. The folks at Blue Rhino have connected with Hershey’s and they’re offering a whole wardrobe of s’mores-themed grilling accessories. You can get a caddy to hold your chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers. You can get Hershey’s-branded extension forks for toasting those marshmallows or a grilling basket that lets you grill your s’mores like a grilled cheese sandwich. Or you can use their ingenious melting tray. It’s a metal tray that sits on legs and rests on the grid of your barbecue grill. Put graham crackers and chocolate bars on one side and a graham cracker and a marshmallow on the other. Close the lid of your grill and in 2 or 3 minutes the chocolate is melted and the marshmallow has swollen to tremendous proportions. Leave it on long enough and the marshmallow will begin to brown. Now be careful because the tray is hot and so are the crackers and everything else. But no more burnt marshmallows falling into your grill and best of all, no need for a grill at all. Just use the melting tray in your oven. Perfect for enjoying s’mores on a sunny day or a rainy night. $6 – $10. amazon.com

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