Gadgets that make 4th of July more enjoyable

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This year’s Independence Day will see 46.9 million American’s hit the road and travel at least 50 miles or more to celebrate. For those staying close to home or hosting a party, here are some high-tech gadgets to make your festivities more enjoyable.

If your celebration includes grilling, the Grillbot is a grill-cleaning robot that does the messy cleanup for you with three replaceable wire brushes and three motors.

Controlled by a CPU chip and sensors, the unit is completely autonomous and runs on rechargeable batteries. It offers a timer so you can set it up post-grill and run it for as long as you need without having to keep an eye on it. It also comes with an alarm that will let you know when it’s finished or if the unit is overheating. The brushes can even be popped out and are dishwasher safe. The Grillbot retails for $89.95 at Amazon.com and includes free shipping.

Most Canyon Lakers run their barbecues using a propane tank, and to make sure you don’t run out of propane, a propane tank gauge can come in handy. The Gaswatch Tank Level Indicator goes a step beyond standard gauges by adding Bluetooth connectivity that’ll let you check the propane level from your smartphone and sound an alarm when it’s low. The Gaswatch Tank Level Indicator retails for $29.95 at Amazon.com.

To make sure your meat is cooked to perfection, try the Meat and Food Thermometer by Sunbest. It’s a highly-rated instant-read food thermometer that will solve your frustration about overcooking or undercooking your meats, food and even liquid. The materials used are lead-free. The Meat and Food Thermometer retails for $22.99 at Amazon.com.

The iGrill Mini from Weber uses a wired probe to measure the temperature of a piece of meat while it’s cooking and it connects with an app on your iOS device. It will let you know when something has reached its desired temperature, even up to 150 feet away. The iGrill Mini retails for $28.99 at Amazon.com.

You can also turn your outdoor grill into a pizza oven with the High-heat Nonstick Pizza Pan from Williams-Sonoma. The PFOA-free nonstick surface is safe for temperatures up to 660 degrees Fahrenheit. The perforated design absorbs and transfers heat to prevent your crust from burning. This product retails for $31.96 at Williams-Sonoma.com.

Need more Ice? Try the NewAir Freestanding Ice Maker that produces 50 pounds of ice per day. It requires no installation; just plug in, add water and wait up to 15 minutes to enjoy your first batch of ice. Ice is created as frequently as every seven minutes so you don’t have to wait long to chill your drink. An indicator light lets you know if water needs to be added or if the ice basket is full. It also includes a self-cleaning function for minimal maintenance. The NewAir Freestanding Ice Maker retails for $359.95 at Amazon.com.

For a more budget-friendly option, try the Della Portable Ice Maker that can easily produce up to 26 pounds of bullet ice cubes in 24 hours. It’s integrated storage bin is well-insulated and is able to hold two pounds of ice at a time. Enjoy a batch of ice in as little as six minutes. The Della Portable Ice Maker retails for $89.97 at Walmart.com.

With temperatures in the high 90s and 100s over the holiday week, a mister is a great way to stay cool. Orbit Underground Misting System includes everything needed to easily assemble 10 feet of mist cooling line with no special tools needed. The system can be expanded up to 250 feet with sufficient available water pressure. Its half-inch PVC pipe works with PVC cement. The Orbit Underground Misting System retails for $34.64 for 10 feet at Amazon.com.

You can also try MistyMate 16031 Cool Patio 30 Deluxe Misting Kit that is an outdoor mist system and includes 30 feet of half-inch braided hose and mounting brackets for easy installation. Its optional pump installed in the line will push the system to perform similarly to a high-pressure patio misting system. This product retails for $59.99 at Amazon.com.

For a more portable option, pick up the CoreGear Slim Personal Mister and Sprayer that is a 30-ounce bottle and has a wide neck, making it easy to fill with ice and water. No batteries required; it’s ready after 10 pumps. The mister comes with a lanyard and bag clip for easy portability. The CoreGear Slim Personal Mister and Sprayer retails at $14.99 at Walmart.com.

If you’re lucky to be by the pool, at the beach, or out on the lake this holiday, take along the Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker by Sharkk. This highly rated speaker offers the longest Bluetooth range on the market, up to 60 feet for uninterrupted music streaming and 100 feet of connectivity.

The connectivity range makes it the ultimate portable speaker. It also offers the highest waterproof rating of IP67 and is solidly constructed and features a rubberized coating that makes it shock proof and dust proof. With one full charge, your speaker can last for up to 10 hours of play and you can use the built-in microphone and voice prompts to answer phone calls or to use the Siri function. The Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker by Sharkk retails for $39.99 for the 20-watt version at Amazon.com.

Something fun to keep the kids cool this holiday is a snow cone maker. The Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker offers enough shaved ice for up to five snow cones in minutes. Simply add ice cubes and use the handle to lower the ice press and engage the interlocking safety feature. Turn the machine on with the toggle switch and press down on the ice pusher. Use the scoop to transfer the shaved ice from the removable ice bin to the four BPA-free reusable cones or the 12 paper cones; top the snow with homemade or store-bought syrup or juice. A pop-out tray holds four cones and the ice bin is dishwasher safe. The Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker retails for $69.95 at Target.com.

For a more budget-friendly option, try the Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker that is lightweight and easy to use. It offers a side tray that holds two snow cones and includes two reusable plastic cones and a built-in safety switch. The Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker retails for $39.99 at Target.com.

Wishing everyone a fun and safe Fourth of July.

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Kerry Keith