As celebrations for the 44th National Day roll on into the weekend, Matt Blackwell brings you everything you need to throw the perfect party outdoors and enjoy the cooling temperatures
This really is a very special bit of kit. Not only does the Eton Soulra XL Solar Powered Sound System blast out all your favourite tunes from either your iPhone or iPod, you can set it up outside and it will charge itself thanks to the 72 square inch enhanced monocrystal solar panel. The eight speaker drivers and bass boost ensure crisp clarity audio and it even charges your devices while playing. Fully charged, the sturdy sound system will easily play for several hours and there shouldn’t be any shortage of sun to top up the power, even as winter sets in. Perfect for entertaining outdoors. Available on www.amazon.com for RO38.50.
Fiddling with extension cords and running wires around the house through windows and doors can be a pain, not to mention a health hazard. That’s why the Margaritaville DM900 Frozen Concoction Maker is so useful. Powered by batteries, it’s easy to use and can whip up fantastic frozen fruit smoothies or mocktails wherever you are, whether it’s the beach, the boat or the back garden. As it’s portable, the addition of a carry case would have been helpful. The good news is you can make a lot of drinks on a single charge, but being battery powered, if you run out of juice while you’re out and about, the fun comes to an abrupt end. Perfect refreshments don’t come cheap though; you’ll have to fork out RO115.5 on www.amazon.com for the pleasure.
On the go
Hold on to your hats guys because barbecuing just went mobile. With the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill you get a great compact little piece of cooking gear that you’re able to fold up and carry like a briefcase wherever you go. Heated by a propane canister (sold separately), the grill warms up quickly and the heat distribution is even meaning that within minutes you’ll be cooking on gas (literally). OK, so you’re not exactly going to feed the 5,000 with this small but perfectly formed grill, but the 160 square inch cooking area has room for four modest steaks or six burgers at a time, making it great to throw in the car for weekend trips. Available at www.sears.com for RO70.81.
The sun is beginning to set earlier each day and parties can often go on into the small hours of the morning. Thankfully, with the Triple LED Grill Light, the fun and food don’t have to stop when the sun goes down. Just clip it on to your grill or barbecue and carry on cooking into the night thanks to the three separately angled powerful LED bulbs. Available for RO12.69 from www.surlatable.com
Ladies and gentleman, we bring you the most advanced meat thermometer on the market. Everyone knows how hectic hosting a party can be and it’s often easy to lose track of the cooking. With the ability to monitor up to four probes, the iGrill2 gives you huge peace of mind and allows for precision grilling. The device syncs with your smartphone via an accompanying app and sends you an alert when your food is cooked to perfection. The iGrill2 was designed with competition-level barbecuing in mind, so rest-assured it means business. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, available for RO38.49 from www.amazon.com
App of the week: Pro Party Planner
If you you’re a fan of planning things with military precision then you need the Pro Party Planner app. This app is every control freak’s dream and has you covered from A-Z, allowing you to import guest lists, delegate tasks, set reminders, manage RSVPs and sync across multiple users. A timeline option also lets you see exactly what needs to happen in real time. Available to download from the App Store for RO1.82.
Kids love brightly coloured treats and this machine gives them just that. The SnowCone and Slush Maker crushes ice within 20 seconds to produce great tasting snowcones in under a minute. If you want a litre of slush, you’ll have to wait a little longer – around 15 minutes – although the product includes two 500ml bottles of syrup as well as an instruction manual full of exciting recipes that will allow you to get creative. RO31.35 from www.amazon.com
EDITOR’S PICK: Marinade in Minutes
It’s a well-known fact that marinading is key when it comes to meat. To get the best tasting meat, preparations need to be made hours in advance of cooking and, if possible, the day before. For many, a busy schedule will hinder these best laid plans, which is where the 15 Minute Marinator steps in. With a built-in vacuum pump to remove air, the rotating motion of the device gently tenderises your food, allowing the marinade to penetrate deeply, evenly and quickly with no mess. Suitable for use with steaks, chops, ribs, poultry, seafood and veggies. Great for a spontaneous party. Pick one up for RO57.75 at