Features that are popular this year are infrared technology and LED (light-emitting diode) lights for nighttime cooking, says Jennifer Wilson, spokeswoman for Lowe’s Inc. home-improvement retailer, based in Mooresville, N.C.
The infrared technology is imbedded in the base of the grill underneath the cooking surface to cook meat evenly and seal in the juices, Ms. Wilson says.
“One of the great things about infrared, it’s dummy-proof. You can be a dummy griller and still come out with a gourmet end product,” she says.
Grillers can add some side items to their grills, such as a rotisserie charcoal pan for gas grills, a smoker box to add barbecue flavor, and a cedar plank to place on the grill surface for cooking salmon and other fish, Mr. West and Ms. Wilson say.
“Some of the higher-end grills are almost like art,” Mr. West says. “They’re finished nicer. There are seamless welds in the hood that give less areas for it to fail.”
Once a grill has been chosen, there are a few decisions to make about location and design of the outdoor living space.
“It’s a great idea to arrange furniture around the grill, because it can become the focal point of an outdoor living space,” Ms. Wilson says.
Outdoor living spaces that include a grill might be located on a deck, patio, cooking island or outdoor kitchen. They may include a kitchen area with built-in refrigerator, sink and faucet, cabinetry, countertop space and drawers for storage and food warming. There also might be seating, an umbrella, a bar and a firepit or fireplace.
“It’s easy. It’s like in your own kitchen, where you want easy access,” Ms. Litchfield says.
Drue Lawlor, principal of Education-works Inc., an interior design firm based in Dallas that produces seminars, says it is important to consider how the griller plans to cook and entertain and how often.
Otherwise, beginning grillers may get carried away and purchase a grill with features they won’t use or one that does not do what they want it to do, Ms. Lawlor says.
Lighting is another consideration for optimizing a grilling space.
“Just like in the kitchen, you want to have good task lighting so people can see what they’re doing,” she says. “They may have all the bells and whistles on the equipment, but they can’t read it.”
The grilling space may need weather and sun protection, which can be provided by an overhead shade structure, such as a trellis, cabana or roof, Ms. Litchfield says.View Entire Story
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