Finney Finds Out: Barbeques and tailgating aids

October 7, 2010 7:58:48 PM PDT
It is a big weekend for football in the Bay Area with the 49ers, Raiders, Cal and Stanford all playing at home. For many, that means tailgating and barbeques. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney finds out if new products designed to make the barbequing easier really work.

Sometimes the hardest part about barbequing is getting the fire started, but the makers of the Looftlighter and the EZ Grill Disposable Instant Grill claim the whole process just got easier.

Hours before game time at Candlestick Park 49er fans are all ready to cheer on their favorite team. Fueled by great food and their favorite beverage, the fans are fired up and so are their grills.

7 On Your Side asked Jonathan Powers to test the EZ Grill Disposable Instant Grill. The EZ Grill comes complete with charcoal and eliminates the need for lighter fluid.

Over in South San Francisco, the party is just getting started at the Buena Vista neighborhood block party. Henry Jeung is armed with the Looftlighter. The electric fire starter promises to get your charcoals ready to go in just minutes.

It could be just what Jeung needs, because people are already eating and the promised sausages have yet to hit the grill. In just seconds, the charcoals come to life. The heat gains intensity quickly, but perhaps too intense. The aluminum casing on the fire starter begins to melt.

"According to the instructions, you're supposed to butt it right up against it which I did and all it did was cause the aluminum housing to melt," Jeung said.

Back at the 'Stick, Powers has the fire going good in the EZ Grill.

"This idea seems great so far; I think it's pretty instant and I think the real test is going to be to see how well it cooks," Powers said.

This is all about convenience. There is no need to clean the grill when you are done.

"It's disposable; we don't have to worry about this being stolen at all," Powers said.

But disposable also means you have to throw it away and add to the landfill. That's something those who want to be environmentally friendly will have to consider.

Time to put on the sausages. Despite the metal casing melting on the Looftlighter, it seemed to have done its job.

"It works, that's the important thing; actually the biggest question right now is the cost," Jeung said. "What's the cost for this convenience?"

The Looftlighter retails for $79.95. The EZ Grill sells for under $10.

"It's delicious; it's just like I would have cooked it on the charcoal grill," Powers said.

Jeung rates the Looftlighter a seven or eight on a ten point scale.

"It's done, it's good, Bon App?tit," Jeung said.


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