Love to grill? QVC's David Venable swears by these 8 products
QVC's resident foodie talks grills, platters, and even that famous Corky's BBQ sauce
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Summer isn’t just a time for taking vacations or working on your tan line—it’s also an open invitation to start cooking again, which, according to QVC’s resident foodie David Venable, is important not just for sparking joy, but for strengthening relationships with those you love. And when it comes to cooking in the summertime, what better way to do it than with a barbecue?
We recently spoke to David and got his tips for how to host an amazing barbecue, including what to serve and how to do it, but we didn’t stop there. As the host of two of QVC’s most popular shows, including In the Kitchen with David, David not only knows what goes into throwing an unforgettable barbecue, but he also knows which products can really help get the job done, so we asked for his favorites.
Here are eight David Venable-recommended QVC products you can shop for now that are great for grilling.
1. This Cuisinart charcoal grill that’s great for grilling everywhere
If you love barbecues and you’re eager to get the season off to a wonderful start, one of the first investments you’ll want to make is in a good grill. Many foodies—including David—prefer a charcoal grill because the briquettes help deliver a delightful smoky flavor, which can help make your meals even more delectable.
In particular, David likes this 4.2-star rated Cuisinart 14-inch grill, which offers a 150-inch square inch grilling surface, because it’s portable and so convenient, especially for busy families. “Barbecue happens every day of the week, regardless of the weather,” said David. “Even on a rainy or a cloudy day, you could be under an awning and still be barbecuing with it [because it’s portable].”
2. This versatile tool kit that works for all sorts of grilling
Artists paint and grillers sear succulent meats. But much like an artist would need “lots of different equipment to create beautiful art,” so too do grillers, and that’s where this 18-piece BBQ grill tool set from Picnic Time can really come in handy.
“If you’re going to be at the grill, you need your brush, you need your tongs, you need your spatula, skewers, and whatever else you’ve got going on,” said David. Having all those essential tools in one place—which you will with this versatile set, which comes in a case—means you’ll not only have everything you need to prepare a great meal, but you’ll have an easy time storing it all in one tidy place when you’re done.
David also noted that it can make a fantastic present, too. “Anyone who loves barbecue can always appreciate a set of tools [and] a set like this makes a great gift for someone who loves to barbecue because it’s specifically tied to what they love.”
3. A smart meat thermometer so meat is sizzling to perfection
A meat thermometer that provides quick, accurate readings is important no matter what kind of cooking you’re doing, but it’s especially crucial for grilling because, as David says, the last thing you want to do is have to cut into a gorgeous piece of meat in order to see whether or not it’s really done.
While there are many meat thermometers on the market, he likes the 4.6-star rated Yummly smart meat thermometer because you can sync it right up to your smartphone. “If you’re going to be spending a lot of money on steaks, you want to be able to know internal temperatures—I mean, this is so important when you’re dealing with thicker cuts of meat,” said David.
It’s also essential, he added, in order to prepare food the way you and your family really enjoy it. “That way when you bring it to the table, it’s something everyone can be proud of and excited about—not to mention, hungry for.”
4. A Corky’s BBQ set that’ll make your mouth water
If you want the country’s finest lobster, says David, you go to Maine. But if you want the best barbecue, “you go to Memphis, and if you’re in Memphis, you go to Corky’s.” This famed restaurant is known for causing a scene (in a good way). In fact, David noted that during lunch and dinner, “traffic patterns change because so many cars are trying to get in the drive-thru.”
“Every region of the South has a different style of barbecue,” he added. “I grew up on [a] vinegar-based sauce but I’ve come to appreciate this sweet, tangy Corky’s sauce so much, so it’ll make a real difference on your summer barbecue table.”
As a Southern barbecue institution, Corky’s is beloved among BBQ enthusiasts, including David, who says he keeps a couple bottles in his fridge. But you don’t have to be from the South (or even visiting the South) to get a taste of this delectable sauce for yourself. Pro tip? According to David, Corky’s pairs well with chicken wings. Just season it first with Corky’s, and then “brush a little sauce on there, and [you can] make what’s called a muddy, or a competition wing.” Not only that, but he says it works well with everything from beef ribs to pork shoulder, and more.
5. These charming Temp-tations products that’ll pop right off your picnic table
Any long-time QVC fan knows that ceramic ovenware from Temp-tations isn’t just pretty, it’s also incredibly useful. But according to David, this popular brand also makes some exquisite kitchenware—and not all of it ceramic-based—and it can help make your summer barbecues even more memorable.
One of his BBQ must-haves is this 4.5-star rated Temp-tations 16-inch oval platter, which is decorated in eye-catching lemons and palms, and which he likened to the one he grew up with as a kid. “Any time we would eat outdoors, Mom would say, ‘Get the big [green] turkey platter from Thanksgiving,’” said David. “We didn’t have a lot of fancy things growing up, and so we used a lot of things for multipurpose.”
The beauty of this platter is that it’s just as versatile as his family’s big green turkey platter, only this one is “so summery and so seasonally appropriate, it just helps you celebrate the whole atmosphere by again, dressing the table so it’s really commemorating the season and the time that you’re spending together.”
Another Temp-tations goodie to add to your shopping cart are these 4.8-star rated 16-ounce glass tumblers. You’ll get four in each set and can choose from five different color options, and David thinks they’re absolutely perfect for summer beverages and entertaining. “I love making a signature cocktail for a summer barbecue, so I love having these matching glasses because I just think it really adds to that whole party atmosphere,” David added. “A party atmosphere that we’re approaching cautiously, and in small groups, but I think if we play our cards right, we’ll be back together again soon.”
- Get the Temp-tations 16-Ounce Glass Tumblers, Set of 4 at QVC for $21.48
- Get the Temp-tations Lemons and Palm Oval Platter at QVC for $22.95
6. A multi-purpose bamboo cutting board that’s great for serving, too
Cutting boards are a kitchen essential, and the best ones offer up a durable surface for all your slicing, dicing, and chopping needs. But they’re also useful in other ways. “I believe everybody who does grilling should have a great cutting board because all meat needs to rest when it comes off the grill,” said David.
To that end, this David-approved 18-inch by 13-inch bamboo cutting board covers a lot of bases. Stain-resistant and made with drip grooves for easy cleanup, this 4.1-star rated board is built for everyday use. Beyond offering a place for meats to rest when they’re off the barbecue, David believes that it can also be ideal for serving, especially for bite-sized nibbles.
“I’m a big fan of nibble boards—and I refer to them as ‘nibble boards’ as opposed to charcuterie because charcuterie is fancy and it took me a long time to learn how to pronounce it,” he said, laughing infectiously. “I love putting nibbles on a cutting board—if you’re serving it outside, it feels a little more rustic. So, a piece like this is really multipurpose.”
7. This classic grilling apron that’ll keep sauce off your clothes
It might seem unnecessary to some, but a good grilling apron can go a long way when you’re preparing barbecue. Don’t believe it? Just ask David.
“I’m a big believer in looking the part,” he said. “I mean, if you’re going to be outside, and you’re going to be enjoying this kind of cooking, it’s important to have the wardrobe in terms of what’s going to be most important to you.”
Because barbecue can be so “deliciously messy,” it helps to have an apron like this canvas option from Foster and Rye because it’s not only durable, but it’s easy to clean. “It can be worn and brushed off and cleaned easily, so it helps you look the part but also, lets you stay somewhat neat and tidy.” That is, neat and tidy until you get to the fun part: That moment when it’s time to feast.
“I always say,” he added, “once you sit down at the dinner table, if you don’t get sauce all over your mouth, you’re doing it wrong.”
8. A checkered tablecloth so you can host in style
Do you really need a tablecloth for a picnic table when you’re hosting a barbecue? Absolutely, says David, or else “it just doesn’t feel like you’re outside.”
He prefers the classic look of a red-and-white checkered tablecloth, and you can grab one from Design Imports on QVC right now. This cotton, totally machine-washable option is perfect when you want to add a little country flair to your backyard soiree, or even if you just feel like setting the mood when you’re about to put a spread out on the table.
Even better, it’s 60-inches by 84-inches wide, so it’s large enough to fit all kinds of tabletops, and most of all, set the stage for you to have what counts the most when it comes to good barbecues—a great time with your loved ones.
“When people come together because of the food—the food is what brought them to the table, but it’s the relationships that’ll keep them around the table and keep everyone engaged and keep stories alive, and keep the bonds strong,” said David. “Let food be what brings you together and let the relationships and laughter and love be what keep you together.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.