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The cookout season is getting under way, so we've corralled some of the best barbecue gear around, accessories that will help you perform at your peak. Some of them are new (get a load of this grill) while others are tried-and-true. But they're all designed to make backyard entertaining more enjoyable -- or less of a chore.
Spike your kabobs with the natural oils and herbs infused into these wooden skewers. Six different flavors include Honey Bourbon and Thai Coconut Lime. A 10-pack is $8.
REVEO MARIVAC FOOD TUMBLER
Vacuum technology in this $200 appliance cuts your marinating time to less than 20 minutes instead of overnight. The rotating barrel can handle up to 4 lb. of meat.
Just 20 inches square, this $300, 6-foot tower packs in 1,370 sq. in. of grate space. Or close off the top doors and it's an outdoor fireplace for chilly evenings.
ETCH-IT PARTY CUPS
The ubiquitous red party cup with a twist: These have a waxy panel on the side so that you can scratch in your name (or a more creative message) with your fingernail. Your guests will never misplace their drinks again. They're about $6 for a pack of 32.
DANGER MEN COOKING GEAR
This apron, about $20, is one of a line of mitts, potholders, shirts, and caps sporting a familiar yellow and black warning sign. If you're serious about staking out your territory, check out the police-style caution tape, $4 for a 35-foot roll.
Forget showing off with the sharpening steel. Unless you're a pro, it will only dull your knives. Get this $30 sharpener instead. It's compact, portable, and its eight diamond-coated spring blades will hone a precise 20-degree angle on both sides of the knife.
PANTHER VISION LIGHTED CAP
For grilling at night, two ultra-bright LEDs built into the brim can illuminate items up to 8 feet away. The batteries and on-off switch are on the rear strap. It's $17 to $20. Sears sells a Craftsman version for $15 and a 4-LED model for $20.
By Larry Armstrong