Fire It Up!
Tips For Outdoor Grilling And CookingVictoria Rose, Writer
Summer is the perfect time for grilling in the backyard, enjoying time with family and friends. Many homeowners also take advantage of the warm weather to renovate their outdoor living areas.
When choosing a new grill for your home, be mindful of the following considerations.
Location, Location, Location!
The location of your grill is arguably the most important decision. Fires damage hundreds of patios, garages and homes every year because homeowners fail to put their grills in a safe spot. Take a look at your unit’s manual before deciding on a location. It should cover all of the specifics necessary for safe operation, such as the minimum distance from trees, shrubbery and buildings, as well as usage and maintenance information.
Your grill (or smoker) also should also be located in a very well-ventilated area with limited cover and far away from doors that lead into your home. Grills produce smoke, carbon monoxide and other toxic substances. If ventilation is a problem, you can install special vents over your grill.
Decor And Function
Homeowners and designers are coming up with fresh ways to seamlessly incorporate a large grill into the decor of a backyard, sometimes even making it the centerpiece. But a beautiful grilling/outdoor kitchen area still needs to be functional. The key is to create an open space for the grill master to maneuver and cook safely. Many grill setups include storage for tools, food prep and propane.
Lighting is also an important element. Grilling in the dark is not only difficult, it can also be dangerous. A properly lit grilling area allows you to see what you're doing — and adds ambiance.
One way to make your backyard stand out is to go with something a little less traditional. You have many options to choose from. One favorite is The Big Green Egg, a smoker with the convenience of a grill. Not only does the Egg impart a savory, smoky flavor to your meals, it also can be used to cook just about anything. Attachments are available that add counter space and storage.
A grill top that is far from ordinary is the Evo, a circular cooktop featuring a wide range of controllable cooking temperatures, making it ideal for any food or occasion.
Another sure-fire way to spice up an outdoor living space is with a pizza oven. Including one in your custom outdoor kitchen is like vacationing in Tuscany without leaving home. For something less ornate, Wayfair offers a beautiful-yet-pricey free-standing oven that is already assembled and ready to use right out of the box. Don’t let the simple look fool you — this oven can reach 1,000 degrees and cook a pizza in two minutes flat.
No matter which type of grill, smoker or oven you choose to heat up your outdoor living space, remember that safety is just as important as style.