Under the Radar

Science + Marketing = BBQ Dragon

bbqdragon1 The BBQ Dragon takes a scientific fact that's not subject to any sort of political dispute (oxygen fuels a fire) and builds a gadget designed to speed up the time it takes to heat the coals in your grill. It's a fan on a clamp, but it's fan on a clamp that's designed to look like a fire-breathing dragon. bbqdragon2 The BBQ Dragon sells for around $60 (two payments of $24.95 + $9.95 shipping and handling at their website but $59.99 from Amazon). For your money, you get a sturdy clamp with handles that don't heat up, a micro USB port so you can charge NiMh batteries if you decide to use those, a variable speed control for the fan and a flexible yet sturdy arm that allows you do position the fan where you think it'll do the most good.   bbqdragon3 The Dragon costs about 3x as much as the top-of-the-line Weber grill chimney but it promises to get your fire started a lot faster and eliminate both the potential spillage and the extra cleanup that comes with a chimney starter. The fan is a fan: it's not quiet. You're not going to have a moment of quiet reflection while you wait for the coals to be ready. But it will be faster. bbqdragon7 This one falls into the "makes a great gift" category: it's expensive enough to seem like a luxury item, it looks pretty awesome clamped to the grill and the griller/recipient probably doesn't know that he or she wants one unless they've seen the infomercial.

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