Most everyone loves tech gadgets these days, but dads are the original tech-lovers.

Dads have been fawning over gadgets for as long as I can remember. So if you’re looking for a gift idea for
your pop, you cannot go wrong with something that either plugs into electricity or runs on batteries.

One of my favorite gadget gifts in recent years is the Thermapen IR, a digital meat thermometer for the grill, oven, air-fryer, or sous vide.

The probe folds into the handle and it runs on a replaceable battery. Since the battery is only turned on when the probe is extended, it lasts for years. In three years I haven’t had to replace the battery.

The Thermapen IR has an infra-red temperature reading that is touchless and can let you know if the griddle is hot enough for searing that piece of meat that’ll be on your plate soon after.

It’s simple technology, but sometimes simple is better.

All dads love power, and he might feel some satisfaction knowing he can provide backup electricity in the event the power goes out.

The EcoFlow Delta portable generator is rechargeable, runs on a heavy-duty battery itself but can power up to 13 things at once. It has 6 AC plugs, 4 USB, 2 USB-C ports, and a DC car power outlet.

I tested it out earlier this year by plugging in a 50″ LCD TV and a laptop computer. They stayed playing for over 6 hours and the read-out showed there was still enough electricity to continue powering them for another 10 hours.

For backup power, I plugged in a full-size refrigerator (an older one that is not exactly energy efficient), and the EcoFlow kept it running for over 10 hours.

The generator/battery is very quiet and could not even be heard while I used it to power a portable movie projector, iPad, streaming stick, and external speaker for a backyard movie night.

It charges to full in about 3 hours and can be stored in a closet for an emergency. It’s also great to take along for camping and tailgates, as it weighs about 30 pounds and has two handles, making it easy to carry.

If dad is a music lover, you can upgrade his sound system with a turntable.

In case you’ve missed the news the past several years, vinyl records are back and considered very cool and
hip. You’ll likely see turntables, record players, and vinyl albums of new artists in most retail stores.

When I stopped by Walmart the other day, turntables and records were prominently displayed.

Audio-Technica makes some well-respected turntables in the $100 range.

Crosley sells suitcase-style portable turntables with built-in speakers and Bluetooth connections.

If dad is still using the turntable he had in college, it can probably be upgraded.

The House of Marley sells a very cool-looking and great-sounding Stir It Up turntable with a built-in pre-amp, so it’s ready to plug and play in any stereo system.

If he doesn’t have a working stereo, the Stir It Up turntable can be plugged into a computer or connected to a Bluetooth speaker.

If he’s from the generation between vinyl and CD, he might like a retro-style cassette player.

Crosley brought back two of its cassette players in recent years after sales exceeded expectations. The cassette players look like the ones sold in the 1970s and 80s and also include connections to play music from USB drives, SD cards, AM/FM radio or through a Bluetooth-connected speaker.

One model even has two shortwave radio bands if he wants to move around the dial to find underground stations playing music.

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