How to Build a DIY Fire Pit for Grilling, Socializing, Destroying Evidence, Etc.

When you seem to have a bit of free time on your hands — which, unfortunately, is more the norm these days — we’re guessing your significant other has a list of things for you to do. (You must spend your free time productively, after all.) Some people call it the honey-do list. We call it something else that starts with an F followed by numerous asterisks.

The worst part is, once you think you’ve finished the list, you are told you’re only through Volume 1. You’re never told just how many volumes there are, but, then again, you probably don’t want to know. It’s too depressing.

But with our years of wisdom in these matters, we have come up with an idea. When she starts to pull out the list, act as if you’ve suddenly had a brilliant idea. Tell her you noticed on one of her HGTV shows how great a house looks when it has a backyard DIY fire pit. (Don’t try to give too many specifics about the show, or you’ll be busted for sure.)

Then announce that you’ll be taking on some DIY projects by building a family fire pit in the yard— then head out the back door. The f***ing honey-do list goes back in its secret hiding place, and you’ll be working on a cool project. #win-win

If she starts to object, remind her how many fun times you can have with a fire pit, such as a backyard family camping trip … making s’mores with the kids … romantically cuddling on a cool autumn night while “enjoying” a wine tasting … destroying evidence before that IRS audit starts (did we say that?). So many possibilities.

When building a fire pit, it can be done within several hours, once you have the materials. But if you want to make sure it drags out for several days or weeks, we won’t judge.

How to Build a Backyard Fire Pit

1-Check Your Regulations

Before starting, it’s possible that your local regulations or homeowner’s association have some rules about constructing fire pits. You will want to check these rules before starting, or you may have to tear down the fire pit later.

For a those who prefer to watch someone build the fire pit, instead of just reading about it, Home Depot’s fire pit building video is a good place to start.

2-Find a Spot

The ideal DIY fire pit will measure three to four feet in diameter (from outer edge to outer edge). You don’t want it to be too close to any dead leaves, trees with low hanging branches, or other combustible materials. And, no matter how ugly your neighbor’s new wood fence is, don’t place your fire pit too close to it with the hope that a stray ember happens to land on it. We hope it goes without saying that it can’t be too close to your fence either— or to your house, shed, garage, or other structure.

Pick a relatively flat piece of ground. You don’t need to go so far as to test the spot with a level, but the flatter the area, the better.

Some people choose to build it over an existing brick patio, which greatly simplifies the construction process (and eliminates a couple of the following steps, of course).

3-Decide on Shape and Color

When building a fire pit, the two easiest shapes will be a circle or a square. Rectangular blocks work to make the square shape, while trapezoidal blocks work for a circular pit.

Then purchase the blocks you need for the pit. Don’t worry too much about exact measurements, as you can use spacer blocks to make up the difference if the measurement of the primary blocks come up a bit short. (You may have to cut some of the spacer blocks.)

This is also a good time to discuss color. There are a lot of choices. Find a picture of a fire pit that’s wife-approved and go with that color. There are grays, tans, reds and a whole bunch of other ones.

4-Prepare the Ground

The total diameter should be 45 inches. Use spray paint to mark it so there are no giant mistakes later.

Now you need an actual pit. Dig the pit shape about 6 inches deep. You should dig the hole several inches wider than you are planning for the measurement of the pit.

Pack the hole with gravel. Pick a fine type of gravel that will pack tightly into the hole. Use a hand tamper to pack it. Dampen the gravel a few times as you’re in the process of tamping it down to ensure you will compact it as tightly as possible.

(This is a step you should skip if putting the fire pit on an existing patio. We can’t emphasize this enough: Do not take a jackhammer to your patio.)

5-Lay Out the Blocks

Place the first layer of blocks on the ground. If you’re making a square pit, start at the corners with large blocks. As you move along the edges, you may need to add spacer blocks occasionally. (If you want to be fancy, add the spacers in a regular manner, so it looks symmetrical.)

For a circular DIY fire pit, the math gets a little tricky. (In other words, we don’t want to do it here and show off what we’ve forgotten from sixth grade.) As you lay out the trapezoidal blocks, you’ll need spacers (smaller blocks) to achieve the overall curve.

You will want to use a level here. Make sure the first layer is level. Add leveling sand underneath the blocks in the first layer as needed to straighten things out.

6-Create the Wall

Once the first layer is level, you can start adding the second layer. If you used spacer blocks, stagger their location in the second layer, so the spacers are not sitting on top of each other. Additionally, don’t allow the seams between layers of blocks to line up.

It’s recommended to use a construction adhesive to adhere the layers together. This is the safest idea, reducing the chance of the layers collapsing if your kid crashes his or her bike into the DIY fire pit. Before you stack the second layer, use a good bead of adhesive atop the first layer, and then add the next layer of stones. Just as importantly, make sure the layers are level.

If you’re building the fire pit over an existing patio, you should adhere the first layer to the patio.

Ultimately, you’ll end up with a wall that’s three to five layers high (or 16 to 32 inches).

For easier cleaning, you may want to place a fire pit bowl inside the walls that hold the fire (especially if you’re on top of a patio surface). But you also can start the fires directly on top of the gravel inside the walls if it’s directly on the dirt.

Best Products for a DIY Fire Pit

Trapezoidal Concrete Retaining Wall Block

These trapezoidal blocks work nicely when you want a circular fire pit. Each measures 4 inches high and 11.75 inches on the long side. And, yes, each one is heavier than sh*t.

Buy 10 for $14 on Home Depot

Rectangular Concrete Block

If you want an easier math problem in calculating the size when figuring out how to build a fire pit, stick with rectangular blocks and a square fire pit. Each of these rectangular blocks measures 3.5 inches in height and 10.5 inches in length.

Buy 10 for $39 on Home Depot

Loctite PL 500 Landscape Block Adhesive

This adhesive is perfect for building a fire pit, as it’s made for use on masonry, metal, wood, and other materials. It’s also messy, so keep the kids the hell away. (A kid loves nothing more than a fully loaded caulking gun.)

Buy for $6 on Amazon

Crushed Granite Rock Fines

Because crushed rock like this is expensive, you can use this material in the upper one-third of the DIY fire pit and pea gravel in the lower two-thirds to save a bit of money.

Buy for $30 on Home Depot

Pea Gravel

If you will be using a fire pit bowl in your construction, you could save some money by using this pea gravel in the entirety of the base of the fire pit.

Buy for $10 on Amazon

Sakrete Leveling Sand

Sure, you could borrow some sand from the kids’ sandbox to level out the first layer of your DIY fire pit. But, first, it’s not official leveling sand, so it won’t work as well. And, second, do you really want the petrified cat sh*t that always seems to be in the sandbox underneath your fire pit?

Buy for $5 on Home Depot

Razor-Back Steel Tamper

Repeat after us: The tamper is only made for use on compacted dirt or gravel. It is not made to squish the dog sh*t in the yard instead of picking it up with a scooper. Trust us: Squishing the sh*t into the ground does not make it disappear.

Buy for $30 on Amazon

Irwin 48-Inch Level

When you’re wondering why you need a level when building a fire pit, you can use it to keep the layers of the fire pit properly aligned. Plus, using a level — a big one — makes it look like you know what the hell you’re doing on any construction project.

Buy for $31 on Amazon

Sunnydaze Metal Fire Pit Insert

If you are going to want to use an insert in your DIY fire pit, you have to make sure the dimensions of the inner edge of the pit blocks match the size of the insert you want to use, so the lip of the insert rests on the blocks.

Buy for $135 on Amazon

X-Marks Steel Fire Pit Cooking Grill

To do some actual grilling after building a fire pit, rather than jamming your food on a stick, you’ll need a steel grate.

Buy for $93 on Amazon

RumbleStone Square Concrete Fire Pit Kit

Maybe you originally wanted to know how to build a fire pit from scratch. Now, though, you’re not so sure. Can you calculate exactly what you will even need to build one?

This kit looks great, measuring 38.5 inches on all four sides with 21 inches of height. You will pay a little extra for this unit versus a DIY fire pit where you assemble the parts yourself, but having all of the parts ready-made for you in a kit may be worth it.

Buy for $620 on Home Depot

RumbleStone Round Concrete Fire Pit Kit

For building a fire pit that’s round, having a kit may be the way to go. Calculating the exact amount of items you need on your own can be a challenge.

You will pay more for this kit than for the individual pieces. However, you may save almost as much on gas for the car from not having to make extra trips to the hardware store to pick up items you forgot.

This DIY fire pit measures 46 inches in diameter and 14 inches in height.

Buy for $549 on Home Depot

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

(All fire pit photos from Home Depot)

This Toaster Plays the Imperial March From Star Wars and It Slaps

A Star Wars themed toaster that plays the Imperial March
(Nerdist)

Dads love Star Wars, dads love gadgets, and dads love breakfast. Now, all three come together in a glorious symphony of nerdy goodness.  Sometimes it’s good to just enjoy something with no true point, like playing the iconic “Imperial March” on a toaster.

The video is from the geniuses at Device Orchestra, and it started making the rounds this month after it was picked up by Nerdist. And it’s just fun. That’s all there is to it. A guy figures out a way to make his toaster play one of the great movie themes of all time.

There’s plenty we can debate here, such as whether this toaster has succumbed to the dark side, or whether it can still be redeemed. Maybe we can angle for a sequel, or start a fan campaign to get this toaster to do The Mandalorian music next.

The video does a great job explaining the science behind it, but basically, it’s the toaster’s coil that can be changed into the music maker and controlled by a microcontroller. The toast and toothbrush light sabers are added for effect, which is very appreciated considering how hard this version of Darth Vader’s entrance music really goes. The color guard never gets the same recognition as the marching band.

This is just the first step down your path to the dark side, too. You can do a deep dive into Device Orchestra and watch a bunch of other terrific videos. And then you can sneer at your own toaster for being such a dang underachiever.

Mom Creates Edible Crayons That Are Okay if Kids Shove in Their Mouths

Edible Crayon
(Kickstarter / mizuiro.inc,)

For as long as crayons have existed, kids have tried to eat them. If you’re not watching a toddler every single second of the day, they will get to get that crayon in their mouth. Finally, someone has had enough.

Naoko Kimura, a graphic designer in Japan, started a company to create an edible crayon and has a Kickstarter campaign to make the Oyasai crayons available all around the globe. Working from home, Kimura realized she needed a solution to the inevitable hurtle of kids chomping down on their favorite coloring utensils. She created a formula using vegetables and rice, and the colors are added using figments of fruits and vegetable powders and a small amount of added pigment. The colors are even named after foods, to help keep that connection to vegetables.

Of course, Crayola and all the other crayon companies will tell you they are non-toxic. And they are. But I was today years old when I learned there is a stark difference between “edible” and “non-toxic.” Non-toxic is what my kids call my cooking. Edible is what they call their mother’s cooking (toddlers are vicious).

I always assumed crayons were edible already, which may or may not be based on my own field-testing. But ‘non-toxic’ means it’s not going to be an ER trip if your kid nibbles on a violet crayon. Edible means it’s like, actual food. (I mean, these are still meant to be crayons, not colorful snacks).

The crayons may be safe to eat, but that doesn’t mean we ought to give little ones the all-clear either. The rest of their toys are still very much not food, so we don’t want them to get too many ideas. However, you could give these to a toddler for an unsupervised minute, and the only thing you’d have to worry about are your walls.

The Rock on the Handshake, and the Second Chance, That Changed His Life

A scene from The Rock's new show where young Dwayne Johnson shakes his coaches hand.
(Instagram/TheRock///NBC)

“We can all look back at defining moments and people that changed the direction of our lives,” The Rock wrote on Instagram. And he’s right. For all of us, there’s a moment (or two…or three) that changed the course of our lives and who we would become. Even superstar The Rock had a moment that changed his entire life, and he shared the story on Instagram after it was featured in a recent episode of “The Young Rock.”

Dwayne Johnson was 15 years old when he moved to Bethlehem PA and attended a new high school. He was not… an ideal student, to say the least. Within a month he had been arrested as well as suspended for fighting. He also had an incident with a coach in the teachers’ lounge, which almost came to blows. That’s not exactly the profile of someone on the path to becoming a professional athlete and the biggest movie star in the world.

“I acted like a real asshole to him, so the next day I found him so I could apologize eye to eye and face to face,” The Rock wrote of the handshake that changed his life. “When he wouldn’t let my hand go, I thought he was gonna deck the shit outta me, but instead he said something to me that would change the course of life.”

In the clip, the coach explains that everyone deserves a second chance. He also takes the opportunity to talk to him about playing football. That set him on a course to collegiate football, and eventually the WWE (and beyond).

The Rock said he’s always going to be grateful to that coach, who has since passed away. “Thank you coach,” he wrote, “for seeing the potential in that punk kid. You shaking my hand and NOT letting it go, changed my life.”

“Cheers to second chances and moments that change your life,” he wrote.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by therock (@therock)

This is important, for multiple reasons. First, because it’s a chance to think back on our own lives, and have gratitude for the people and events that shaped us. But second: now, as we get older, we have the chance to be on the other side of that handshake.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by therock (@therock)

As the coaches, teachers and authority figures dealing with kids who can sometimes -in Johnson’s words- be “assholes”, we need to remember how much impact forgiveness and second chances can have on a kid. It’s a good reminder for when you see someone struggling, hold on to that handshake a few seconds longer, and let them know someone cares about them.

Young Fan at First MLB Game Snags Foul Ball Away From Pro and Earns His Respect

Boy Snags Calhoun's Fly Ball
(Twitter/BallySportsSO)

Catching a foul ball is the pinnacle sports fan moment. Grabbing a puck at a hockey game is up there, but the foul ball catch is a quintessential fan highlight. Sometimes, they can be dramatic, like the fan who sacrificed his beer to protect his female companion. And sometimes, they can be straight cool, like the young fan attending his first-ever baseball game recently who managed to compete with an MLBer for a foul ball…and won.

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Kole Calhoun was tracking a foul ball to the stands, where he was poised to bring it in for an out. Instead, a young fan was there instead, making an incredible catch. Once Calhoun realized what happened, and that he wouldn’t get the out, he couldn’t even be mad because the catch was that incredible. Instead, he smiled and fist-bumped the fan.

Calhoun still remembers when he caught a foul ball as a kid and said it was cool that the fan made such a great grab and that he’ll remember it forever.

“That’s why we play the game,” he said. “That kid is never going to forget that. What a moment for him.”

Calhoun said it was a heck of a play for the kid to make. He even went back to the kid later in the game to tell him he was probably going to be on the Sportscenter Top 10 for his catch.

“He looked at me right in the face and said “I’m already blowing up on Tik Tok.’”

The kid, Cord McLerran, was attending his first game ever with his mom. He was blown away by the attention he got for the grab. Even the Braves were appreciative since he saved them from a clear out. The team offered him and his mom free tickets to an upcoming game.

As awesome as the catch was, Calhoun’s response really is what it’s all about. It would be easy for a professional baseball player to get mad at something like that since it interfered with his play. But he remembered, rightly, that sports are supposed to be fun, and are supposed to be for kids. He gets it, and not only did McLerran get an incredible baseball memory, but Calhoun also got a new fan.

When Life Gives You Lemons, You Pull Off The Lemon Battery Experiment

lemon battery experiment
(Getty/oxyzay)

Looking for a completely useless but weird and fun experiment to do with your little rascals? You should try the lemon battery! The concept is simple: You cram some nails and pennies into opposite ends of a lemon, use copper wire to connect each end to a tiny LED light, and, with enough nails and pennies, you’ll be able to power the light. Ka-blam! You made a lemon battery! You’ve probably seen this experiment done with potatoes. That totally works, too. But, let’s face it: Lemons are colorful and, therefore, more fun.

The lemon battery experiment is based on one done 200 years ago by famed Italian physicist and chemist (and a “pioneer of electricity”), Alessandro Volta. When he created the first electrical battery, he used a very similar method. The difference? He used brine (or saltwater) instead of lemons. But, the science is basically the same in both instances, the acid or brine is what is needed for the “electrolyte.” Also, does Volta’s last name sound familiar? You probably already guessed it, the electric potential volt is named after him.

Here’s how to get started and what you’ll need.

lemon battery experimentt
Giphy

How does the lemon battery experiment work?

If you’re going to do this experiment, you need to understand the actual science behind it, right? The “battery” works because of an electrochemical reaction. When you use galvanized nails, they serve as an electron-producing negative electrode. On the opposite side of things, the copper pennies (and copper wire) serve as the positive electrode. Think of it just like the opposite ends of any battery. If you put the nails and pennies so they touched, they’d cancel each other out and nothing would happen. But, when stuck in a lemon, the meat and juice of the fruit act as a conduit or conductive solution. The lemon enables you to connect the positive and negative ends to the light’s small wires and channel those electrodes into it… thus powering the light.

What You Need

  • Copper wire
  • Galvanized nails
  • Pennies
  • Lemon(s)
  • LED bulb

How to Make the Lemon Battery

  • Push your nails into one end of a lemon. The nails should touch each other.
  • Create a small incision on the other end of the lemon and insert your pennies
  • Cut two lengths of copper wire.
  • Wrap one piece of wire around a nailhead. Take the other, coil the end of it and wedge it between your stack of pennies in the lemon.
  • Connect the ends of your two copper wires to the ends of the wires on your LED light.

This Video Explains it Best

Lemon Battery Tips for Success

  • Roll your lemon on the table, under your palm for a few seconds, first. This helps loosen up the juices.
  • Make sure your pennies and nails are on opposite ends of the lemon and definitely not touching.
  • Not getting enough power? While some versions of this experiment call for more lemons, you really just need more pennies and nails. Of course, if you start to run out of the surface area on your fruit, a second and third lemon connected in a chain can also solve your problem.

The Lemon Battery on Steroids

We know you and your kids love those crazy influencer experiment videos. We do, too! Of all the lemon battery videos out there, this one is actually the coolest thing ever. Be warned, though: Your kids are also going to end up asking if they can bounce a bunch of lemons on their trampoline. And, honestly, why not?

Other Fruits Battery Experiments

“Okay, but my wife is more of a tequila girl. We only have limes and you couldn’t pay me to go to the grocery store.”

The acid is what is needed here, not specifically the lemon. Any citrus fruit will work. Do you have limes? Use limes. Sitting under a tree of Indian River Ruby Red Grapefruits? Wear a helmet, bro. And use some grapefruits. Which is best? It’s safe to say that lemons are probably the best: That’s why it’s called the lemon battery experiment instead of the key lime battery experiment. However, it doesn’t seem as if there are any real, solid tests to see which of the citrus fruits work best. Maybe that’s an experiment for another day?

The 10 Best BBQ Subscription Boxes That Send Me Stuff Every Month? Shut Up And Take My Money!

bbq subscription box
(Grill Masters Club)

Ahhh, barbecue. The very word starts the mouth-watering. If you know a big BBQ fan, one of the best gifts you can give them is a BBQ subscription box — whether it’s for Father’s Day, the holidays, a birthday, or…just because. When you’re using your own blends of spices, sauces, and salts to create your own masterpiece on the grill or in a smoker, the fantastic taste of BBQ meats is tough to beat. The only downside to creating your own BBQ? The time it takes. Sure, this leaves more time for bad barbecue dad jokes, but, over the long barbecuing sessions, the family’s eye rolls and groans aren’t as enjoyable after the 45th dad grilling pun as they were after the 33rd pun.

We have a solution. Subscribe to one of the best BBQ subscription boxes to have the sauces, rubs, and seasonings sent to you, delivering impressive flavor with far less prep time on your part. Some of these boxes even send you BBQ meals each month. #Heaven

Here are the best of the best when it comes to barbecue subscription boxes (we judged based on quality, taste, and reviews.)

Best Barbecue Subscription Boxes

Best BBQ Subscription Box; Grill Masters Club

Grill Masters Club Subscription Box

The Grill Master Club box includes four or five products related to barbecuing that arrive every month, including rubs, sauces, and marinades. You’ll even receive some recipes for creating mouth-watering barbecue. Additionally, you’ll gain access to the Grill Masters Club community of grillers, allowing you to share favorite sauces and rubs, while also discussing BBQ-ing techniques.

Now, we wouldn’t expect the community members to share all of their tips and techniques. Barbecue aficionados tend to guard their secrets. But they’ll probably share just enough to help. Maybe you’ll even be able to use their tips and the sauces in this box to develop some secrets of your own.

Buy for $30 on Grill Masters Club

Best BBQ Subscription Boxes; Boost Your BBQ

Boost Your BBQ Subscription Box

With the Boost Your BBQ monthly box, you’ll receive competition-level rubs and sauces that will give your barbecue results an impressive flavor that’s sure to impress.

Yeah, we know. Your barbecue doesn’t need any help. You’re already a grill-master. But think of these sauces and rubs like a changeup. Sure, you might have a great fastball with your current barbecue techniques. But no one advances to the big leagues without tossing in a changeup occasionally.

Buy for $33 on Amazon

Best BBQ Subscription Boxes; BBQ Box

BBQ Box Subscription Box

When it comes to the best barbecue, having the best sauces and rubs to pair with the best meats provides the highest level of success. With the BBQ Box, you’ll receive one type of dry rub and one sauce, along with a recipe card, so you can make the most of the products.

With some kits, you’ll receive a sample of wood chips, so you can try a different style of wood-fired grilling and smoky flavoring. The box will open up some new avenues for your grilling options. If you’re like most of us dads, and you’ve settled into a BBQ grilling routine, your family may wonder what has gotten into you with these new flavors. Just remember: It’s always good to keep them guessing.

Buy for $24 on Amazon

Best BBQ Subscription Boxes; Wing Sauce box

June Moon Spice Seasoning Subscription Box

If your barbecuing prowess tends more toward grilling chicken than beef and pork, this subscription box will give you great sauces and seasonings that are perfect for chicken, including wings on the grill, giving your BBQ some fun new flavors.

You’ll receive three different flavors each month, meaning your barbecue results will never be the same from one session to the next. You know that “Greatest Grilling Dad” coffee mug the kids gave you last Father’s Day? You’ll be earning it with these awesome new flavors.

Buy for $18 on Amazon

Armadillo Pepper BBQ Sauce and Dry Rub of the Month Club

We all have that neighbor who wants to try to one-up us at every turn. When we buy a new car, you can bet the neighbor will have a slightly newer car a few months later. When we tell a story about how we saw the mayor at the grocery store, buying embarrassing products that are better purchased using the anonymity of the Internet, he’ll surely have seen the governor at the gas station buying something even worse.

So let’s see that guy outdo us with specialty BBQ sauces and dry rubs. With the flavors that we receive in this Armadillo Pepper subscription box, he’ll have no chance.

This box only contains small-batch, boutique items each month, so the neighbor will be out of luck trying to find something locally to one-up you this time. (And if you use the word “boutique” to describe your new barbecue flavors, you can bet that his pea brain will need to Google that word on his iPhone … that’s one model newer than yours, of course.)

Buy for $29 on Armadillo Pepper

Best BBQ Subscription Boxes; Gourmet Food Clubs box

Gourmet Food Clubs Rub of the Month Club

Some people like the messiness of eating barbecue, which makes grilling with sauces their preferred method of grilling. For a bit less mess, though, a barbecue rub provides a burst of flavor with dry spices, seasonings, and salts. With this box, each month you’ll receive a new bottle of rub to give your grilling the perfect flavor. Rubs work on almost any kind of meat, including chicken, pork, and beef.

Don’t worry. Even with how great these rubs taste, you’ll still be able to take all of the credit for the excellent barbecue.

Buy for $40 on Gourmet Food Clubs

Best BBQ Subscription Box; Sauce Boss box

Condiment King by Sauce Boss Subscription Box

When it comes to barbecuing for kids, if you try to use any kind of sauce other than ketchup (yes, kids consider ketchup a sauce), you’re likely to receive quite a bit of pushback.

Hopefully, this Condiment King by Sauce Boss subscription box can fix that problem. It includes gourmet condiment sauces, including BBQ sauces, hot sauces, and aioli. If those sauces are too bold for the children, it will include some kid-friendly sauces too, such as gourmet ketchups. (Yes, there is such a thing.)

You can choose to have certain types of sauces included, so you always have the right mix. There’s even a specialty ranch sauce available. (It’s true. We never joke about ranch sauce.)

Buy for $32 on Crate Joy

Best BBQ Subscription Boxes; Gold Belly box

Gold Belly Monthly BBQ Subscription Box

As a grilling dad, we all know the satisfaction and importance of creating our own grilling recipes. There simply are times when we need to stand in front of the grill, have a cold one, and create a tasty barbecue meal.

Other times, though, it’s okay if someone else makes the great BBQ meal for us. (Trust us: The beer tastes just as good when someone else has done the barbecuing for you.) With this subscription, you’ll receive different barbecued meals from all over the country, including ribs, tips, and pulled pork. (The food is packaged safely, but you will need to track its shipping route and store it properly soon after its arrival.)

We understand that you’re a great BBQ-er, but having great-tasting BBQ sent to you from coast to coast each month is tough to beat. (If you want to try to take credit, you can toss the ribs on your own grill for a quick heat-up and pretend you made them yourself. Maybe your family will even humor you for a change and buy your story.)

Buy for $90 on Gold Belly

Best BBQ Subscription Boxes; Southside Market box

Southside Market Sausage of the Month Club

If your favorite type of barbecue tilts more toward smoked sausages, the Southside Market has you covered. With this subscription, you’ll receive a collection of sausages each month that deliver impressive flavor. Each monthly subscription arrives with a recipe card too, so you can create meals with these sausages.

This is authentic Texas BBQ that you’ll love to try each month. And if the kids take one look at the sausages, say yuck, and demand hot dogs, all the better. More for you.

Buy for $50 on Southside Market

Best BBQ Subscription Boxes; Pig of the Month Club

Pig of the Month BBQ Subscription Box

For those dads who love the sides that go with a great barbecue dinner almost as much as the BBQ meats, this subscription box gives you the best of both. You’ll receive a new collection of food each month, including the possibility of ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken, sausage, baked beans, and desserts.

There’s even a couple of months where a Bloody Mary mix is part of the box. (Yeah. That seals it for us too. We’re ordering it right now as we type this.)

Buy for $71 on Crate Joy

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

10 Best Grill Lights: Give Your Superstar Grilling the Spotlight It Deserves

grilling lights
(Getty Images)

Before you ask, yes you need grill lights. When you have the urge to grill, as a serious dad/grill-master, you know that it doesn’t really matter what time of the day or season of the year it is. Grilling time waits for no man. As long as the sun is visible, you’ll have plenty of light for a successful grilling session. But sometimes, the sun refuses to operate on your grilling schedule. #Rude

And you can’t always count on a bright moon giving you the light you need for grilling after dark. It’s quite the conundrum for those of us who are willing to fire up the grill 24/7. Whether you’re Jones-ing for a burger and some delicious sides at 11 p.m. or you want to grill a breakfast steak at 5 a.m., you don’t need the sun, the moon, or your car’s headlights when you have one of the best grill lights on hand.

LED grill lights provide just the right amount of light, so you can keep up your perfect grilling record, even after sundown or before sunrise. The saying on your dad grilling apron promises top-notch grilling results after all, and you don’t want to make it a liar.

We’re sure that the best grill lights on our list will let you grill at any time you want. Whether you want to follow grilling tradition and crack open a beer for your pre-dawn breakfast steak-grilling session is up to you. No judgment here. (If it’s a weekday, though, we guarantee that your boss will judge. Fair warning.)

Best BBQ Grill Lights

Best Grill Lights - Weber handle light

Weber Grill ‘N Go Handle LED Grill Light

For a hands-free light that you can mount to the grill, this Weber clip-on light is a great choice.

It connects to the handle of the grill, so when you lift the lid, it will point down onto the grill grates, adding the light where it’s required while leaving your hands free to move the food. It uses an LED light that runs from batteries. It’s motion-sensitive, which conserves battery power.

If you want to hold onto it to provide precise light in any particular location, this LED grill light will pop loose from the grill quickly. Best of all, it has a teeny-tiny grill printed on the top side of the light. If that doesn’t guarantee a BBQ grill light that you can trust, we’re not sure what would.

Buy for $30 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights - Zeust grill light

Zeust Sirius 2.0 BBQ Grill Light

The Zeust Sirius 2.0 grill light is the perfect option for those who are serious (see what we did there? — Dad joke!) about grilling.

It has a high-quality light, made from materials that Zeust guarantees will be melt-proof. (You might not think being melt-proof is all that important until you buy a sh*tty BBQ grill light that melts all over your burgers.) #Level10Disaster

This model has an IP55 weatherproof rating, so you can leave it attached to the grill all year round. This is version 2.0 of the Zeust light, which we can only assume means it’s twice as good as version 1.0. (Sure, you could wait for version 3.0, but you shouldn’t be greedy. Version 2.0 will do the trick for most people.)

Buy for $30 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights; Char-Broil Grill Handle Light

Char-Broil Handle LED Grill Light

Grilling in the dark has its advantages. The kids will be in bed — hopefully — and won’t be demanding to help, which primarily involves bugging the crap out of you. The neighbor won’t be sneaking over, acting as if he hasn’t eaten in a week, trying to guilt you into giving him a burger without just coming out and asking for one.

You can just enjoy your grilling time. This Char-Broil light clamps onto the handle of the grill for convenience. The LED bulbs are bright and will last a long time, which is important, because after you’ve experienced the peace and serenity of grilling at night once, you may wonder why you’ve ever grilled in the daylight.

Buy for $19 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights - Broil King grill light

Broil King Handle-Mount LED Grill Light

If you want a quick-mount/quick-unmount BBQ grill light — leaving more time for grilling — the Broil King grill light has an adjustable strap that has enough flex to it to simplify the mounting process.

The Broil King light has a rectangular shape, which spreads the light across a large section of the grilling surface. You’ll be able to see the grilled meat and the vegetables at the same time. (Whether that’s an advantage is up to you.)

Buy for $17 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights - Big Green Egg Night Light

StarBright Grill Light for Big Green Egg Grill

The Big Green Egg grill is a popular choice for those who like to grill at a precise temperature in a unique grill design.

The egg shape of this ceramic grill requires a special type of LED grill light to fit the unit properly. This model clips onto the grill’s handle, using its round shape to aim the light downward. It has a power button on the front for convenience. It’s rechargeable through a USB cable, which is a significant advantage over the long run versus throw-away alkaline batteries.

The round grill and round light match up so well that it makes it look like you know what you’re doing. For most of us dads, this is a significant cause for celebration.

Buy for $25 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights - Weyape Grill Light

Weyape Grill Light for BBQ

For those with huge grills, finding enough light to illuminate the entire grate area can be a challenge. This Weyape light can rotate up and down 180 degrees and left or right 90 degrees after mounting to the handle, so you can see whichever part of the grilling surface needs your attention.

This is a tough LED grill light, made to resist heat and weather. In fact, Weyape says this light is the perfect choice for grilling in the rain at night. (We’re not sure why we haven’t tried this yet, but it’s now on our bucket list.)

Buy for $21 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights - LED Concepts Grill Light

LED Concepts Gooseneck BBQ Grill Light

As you can see, a popular design among the best grill lights involves clamping a light to the handle of the grill, almost like a porch light for the grill, hovering over the cooking surface. However, when you have a grill with a lid that doesn’t accommodate this type of light, you’ll need a different type of design.

This gooseneck grill light can clamp to a few different sections on the main part of most grills, and you then can use the adjustable gooseneck to aim the light properly. The base of the light has magnetic properties, which help to hold it in place securely.

With a 22-inch neck on the light, it’s easy to adjust the lighting’s direction to wherever you need it. This is an insanely important feature. For example, if you aim the light through the window just right and use the on/off switch, you may be able to use Morse code to signal to your wife inside the house that you need another beer. (We’re guessing she’ll ignore you, but being an optimist is what makes the world go around, so give it a shot anyway.)

Buy for $19 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights - Cuisinart Grill Light

Cuisinart Grilluminate Torch Light

Sometimes, you simply need the maximum light for grilling. Simple, small lights just won’t do the trick. When you need precise grilling results, such as perfectly hitting medium-rare in a ribeye, a tiny, weak light isn’t going to cut it. m Instead, a BBQ grill light that calls itself the “Grilluminate” is the answer.

This Cuisinart light has two separate LED light bars, each of which is ready for individual positioning adjustment. Each bar has a high and low setting as well, so you can turn up the light whenever needed.

Each light bar requires three AAA batteries, so the operational costs for this light can add up pretty quickly if you use it a lot. But when it comes to shining the most light on your night grilling process, this double-barreled LED grill light is up to the task.

Buy for $20 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights - Kosin grill light

Kosin Barbecue Grill Lights With Magnetic Base

If your grill simply cannot accommodate a clamp-on LED grill light, this set of two magnetic base lights will attach anywhere on the grill you need light. The adjustable 4.5-inch neck on the light gives you the ability to aim the light as desired too.

Although these lights have water and weather resistance, you don’t have to leave them attached to the grill all of the time, as they pop loose quickly, thanks to the magnetic design. They’ll work for a reading light, for camping, or for bringing extra light to detailed tasks anywhere in the home.

They work so easily and efficiently that you may have to hide them from the rest of the family, or when it’s time to do your night grilling, they will probably have conveniently disappeared into your child’s bedroom, where electronics go into the Twilight Zone, never to be seen again.

Buy for $14 on Amazon

Best Grill Lights; Energizer head lamp

Energizer Rechargeable LED Headlamp

If you’re trying to grill over a large area, having an LED grill light that mounts to the grill may not work very well. Instead, you may need the light to follow you as you walk from the prep area to the grill to the keg to the grill over and over (with maybe an extra stop or two at the keg).

This headlamp might not be your first choice as a BBQ grill light, but it’ll do the job nicely. It also works for those who hike, jog, or camp, giving it plenty of versatility.

It has a rechargeable battery, powered through an included USB cable, which makes it convenient to use without the expense of throw-away batteries. If you’re worried about looking silly while wearing a headlamp, you shouldn’t. What could be more “dad” than wearing a headlamp while grilling at night?

Buy for $25 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

Paws Whatever You’re Doing, The Golden Retriever Experience Is Open Fur Business

Soak up some puppy love at the Golden Retriever Experience
(Instagram/thegoldenretrieverexperience)

Adopting a dog is an enormous responsibility, one that unfortunately isn’t feasible for everyone. During the beginning of quarantine, people flocked to adopt animals before realizing their pre-COVID lifestyle wasn’t necessarily compatible with pets. As a result, shelters were flooded with animals once people returned to work – a sad situation to be sure, and one that the Golden Retriever Experience (GRE) is trying to mitigate.

Located in the English West Somerset district lies every dog lover’s dream – a haven filled with a pack of trained golden retrievers who eagerly await their many visitors. Nicolas Grant-St James and his daughter Lauren would do anything for their dogs, but after realizing not everyone had the opportunity to own dogs themselves, they set out on a journey to fill that void.

Nicolas is known as the UK’s dog whisperer, and his passion for understanding and training dogs was fundamental to the GRE’s early days. Initially, the duo formed a training program to help others understand dog psychology as well as train their canine companions. Their own pack of Golden Retrievers helped clients work through the training process, and understandably, the pups quickly stole the show.

With encouragement from friends and clients alike, the father-daughter duo opened their very own “Disneyland for Dogs” in 2017, a place where everyone is welcome to soak up all the puppy love they could possibly want.

“The GRE has been built on the life-long love and dedication we’ve felt, and continue to feel, for the countless Golden Retrievers that have graced our lives,” the GRE’s website explains. “It is this love that we want to share with the world, especially those who aren’t fortunate enough to own a dog themselves, by inviting people to join our incredible pack of goldies for some much-needed doggy cuddles.”

The fluffy getaway even welcomes dog-friendly pups to visit with their owners, making the whole experience a family affair. Accommodations for guests with disabilities are also available, ensuring the park is open to any and all dog lovers. If you find yourself desperately missing some canine companionship, there may be no better place than this slobbery safe haven.

Father Figures: Just Us Guys

“Ever since I can remember, my dad has always given me everything I’ve ever wanted.

That may sound like I’m gloating but I’m really not. I think it shows the never ending love he has for his son.

My mother passed when I was 9 years old, after that it was just him and I for a while. Just us guys.

I’ll never forget eating Papa John’s pizza every Monday night watching WWE RAW. I am still a big fan to this day and he is a big reason for that.

I love you, Dad.”

– Chase Brooks

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