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What Does An Outdoor Kitchen Island Kit Contain?

Outdoor kitchen island kits may include any number of appliances for outdoor cooking and entertaining. Some kits include a simple grill and refrigerator, while others contain many kitchen gadgets. Different materials may be available for the base as well, allowing you to choose colors best suited to your backyard.

The most basic element included in an outdoor kitchen island kit is a grill. Stainless steel is a common material used for grills, but others, such as wrought iron, may be available as well. The dimensions and special features of the grill also vary. A refrigerator for an outdoor kitchen island, when included in the kit, often matches the grill. Islands with stainless steel grills, for instance, may have stainless steel front panel refrigerators.

Other cooking surfaces available in outdoor kitchen islands include griddles, ovens, side burners, and even open fire pits. The size and number of additional cooking surfaces may vary considerably. For example, a kit may include one large oven, a smaller oven, and a single griddle, while some other outdoor kitchen island kits could contain one large griddle with no other cooking elements but the grill. All griddles, burners, and ovens included in a kit usually match the grill’s look as well.

Many kits contain kitchen amenities that could make your outdoor grilling experience easier. Small sinks for washing grill utensils and built-in trash receptacles, for example, are common elements for an outdoor kitchen island. Large counter tops for preparing food and under-counter storage cupboards are often available as well. Other items, such as ice makers, beer taps, and countertops tall enough to serve as a bar, could be useful for entertaining guests.

An outdoor kitchen island kit may have a base made from a number of materials to perfectly suit your outdoor area. Brick, granite, stone, and stucco are common materials and offer a rustic charm. Even marble may be utilized for a strong and beautiful island base. Other materials might be available for certain areas within the kitchen island. For instance, a kit might include porcelain tile countertops for an indoor kitchen look.

The shapes of island bases might also vary from simple rectangles and L-shapes to more complex designs. Size is also a consideration. Some kits have bases that are compact enough to fit in a small corner of the backyard, while others could cover a massive area with plenty of countertops and gadgets.

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How Can I Turn My Outdoor Grill Island into a Smoker?

For savory meat straight from the grill, nothing beats a smoker. Great grill recipes often require a smoker to bring out the best flavor in meat and fish. There are several free-standing appliances available to great grill gourmands. But why purchase a new appliance when you can easily adapt your grill island to smoke your meat for you?

Turning your grill into a smoker is easy. You’ll just need to purchase the right smoker box. A smoker box is a fireproof tin designed to create the smoke you’ll need to season your meat. All you’ll need to do is to fill the box with the wet wood chips of your choice – like mesquite, apple, and oak. Once the box is full, you will place the box just under the grill rack, against the strongest heat source of the grill. Once smoke begins to filter out of the box, your grill is ready, and you can begin smoking.

If you’re just starting out as a novice smoker, it’s best to start small. You may want to try our Bull Smoker box first. This box is small enough to use easily on most grills. The smoke output isn’t enough to flavor a large amount of meat. But it will give you a chance to test out smoking without investing in larger equipment.

For more advanced smokers, try the Fire Magic Grill smoker box or the American Outdoor Grill Smoker Box. Both boxes have more space for wood chips, so you can smoke a larger amount of meat. And both models have adjustable vents. This means you can control the amount of smoke the meat gets at any point in the cooking process.

If you smoke large amounts of meat, and need the most smoke possible, check out the Crown Verity Smoker box. Nothing holds more woodchips than this model. This model had enough space to evenly smoke and entire grill full of meat, and fits easily on most gas and electric grills.

No matter if you’re just getting started or looking to smoke an entire turkey, investing in a smoker box is a wise decision. It’s a little amount of effort for a flavorful payoff. So get ready to bring new life to your barbeque pork recipe. Get ready to add a richer flavor to chicken or fish. Either way, a smoker box will get you there.

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What Are the Benefits of an Outside Grill Island?

So, you’re considering adding a grill island or kitchen island to your yard? Congratulations! A grill island is one of the best additions a homeowner can make to their property.

For anyone who loves spending time in their yard, a grill island is a wonderful addition. It allows you to use your yard like another room of your house. With a grill island you can turn any summer get-together into a party they’ll never forget. The island will give you buffet space, and a place for your guests to eat. You won’t have to rely on old picnic tables or unsteady lawn chairs. Your friends will be relaxing with you in the nerve center of your yard. And having them sit closer will give you plenty of time to talk to them as you cook up your latest creation.

But a grill island is practical as well as fun. It’s a great security feature for your grill. If your grill is kept outside, it’s always in danger. That’s because a regular grill is an unsecured grill. And an unsecured grill can be damaged by weather, or stolen. Creating a grill island attaches this crucial tool to your property. And a grill island gives you great storage space as well. It allows you to store awkward grill tools, bags of charcoal, lighter fluid, and other items safely. And that goes for your perishable grill essentials as well. With a grill island you have a refrigerator to store food before you grill it. A grill island can even help you keep beverages cool for your guests.

And grill islands don’t just allow you make the most of your property. They increase your property value as well. Using a great grill island as one of many features in your back yard can make your house look more like a resort than just a simple hang out destination. Prospective home owners can easily see how owning a house with a grill island will increase the function of their lives. And that appearance of function pays off. Home appraisers see an increase in a houses value with the addition of a grill island. In some cases, that increase can be as much as $18,000 for the overall value of the house.

With great function, great security, a great look, and great value, why wouldn’t you invest in a grill island?

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What’s the Best Equipment for My Grill Island?

The best type of equipment for you island depends on what you like to do best. Once you’ve invested in this great addition to your backyard, you’ll want to show it off as much as possible. So play to your strengths! Decide what events will feature your new island, and get the equipment that would work best.

Do you like to host backyard games, and cook burgers and dogs for your guests?

Then you’re going to love our side burners. These additions can give your grill as many gas boilers and grill space as you need. To make clean up a snap so you can get back in the game, check out one of the concealed trash bins. And don’t forget about our great ice bins. They will keep the cans ice cold while you show off your skills on the gridiron. Or, if your team is a big one, look into one of our Kegerators. These additions will allow you to keep a full keg of beer ice cold for you and your team.

Do you like to host outdoor parties with great spirits and great friends?

If you like to show off your taste in wine, look into one of our wine coolers. With a 3.1 Cubic Foot Capacity, you can allow your guests to sample a small vineyard without ever leaving the yard. Got a great margarita recipe? Show it off using our custom built Margarita Center, complete with customer blender and glasses. Want to show off your bartending skills? Our Outdoor Bar extension is ready to help you out. It incorporates all the holders needed to hold your drinks. And incorporates a bar sink for quick clean up. But if you prefer to bring the bar to your guests, you won’t have a problem. Check out our Cocktail Station. This moving bar has everything you’ll need to mix drinks on the go.

Do you want to show off your skill on the grill?

No matter what meal you’re cooking for, we’ve got you covered. Our Breakfast Club grill attachment comes with stainless steel side cooker and thermostat controlled griddle plate. To cook the perfect steak, you’ll need our searing station. It uses infrared heat to help you to lock in flavor without taking up too much space. And to turn every party into a pizza party, check out our custom-made Chicago Brick Oven. Homemade pizza never tasted so good.

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Gas, Electric, or Charcoal: Which is the Best for My New Island?

So you’ve decided to get a new grill island… and a new grill to go along with it. But what type of grill is best? Even after using a particular grill for years, you may be interested in seeing what else is out there. Each of the three grills types have their strengths. So let’s go over the difference between gas grills, electric grills, and charcoal grills.

Gas: Gas is a cleaner and more versatile heat. You can control the heat output of Gas far better than Electric or Charcoal. And you can funnel Gas through a number of different accessories, like side burners and griddles. Gas heat is stronger than Electric heat. But like Electric grills, Gas leaves no discernible taste in the food it cooks. Gas also lights quickly, and the propane tanks which fuel most Gas grills are inexpensive. People who love a good smoky barbeque may not be fans of Gas grills. But Gas is the grill most frequently used by gourmet chefs and amateur grill masters alike.

Electric:  Electric brings all the great tastes of the grill, without the plumes of smoke. An Electric grill is clean, efficient, and ready to go as soon as you plug it in. Electric can come in small table top models, or big stand alone models.  Like Gas, an Electric grill can use its primary power source to power accessories and attachments. These Electric attachments help you cook your food using a number of different styles. Electric is very adaptable, and the control over the heat itself is excellent. But it may cook the food a little too cleanly for those who love their meat with a nice smoky flavor. And while an electric grill can get hot, it doesn’t get as hot as other grills.

Charcoal: Charcoal is a great overall grill. It gives meat a delicious smoky taste, and it’s one of the most adaptable styles around. With a Charcoal grill, you can use charcoal, charcoal with wood chips, or wood alone to cook your food. Charcoal allows you to get hands on with your meat because you are hands on with the fire itself.  And a Charcoal grill is the easiest to set up because it is not dependent on a source of gas or electricity. But unlike Gas or Electric, the temperature for a Charcoal grill can be sporadic. A Charcoal grill must be monitored carefully in order for the food to cook properly.  Depending on the cook, this can be a plus or a minus.

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3 Basic Outdoor Kitchen Island Layouts and Designs

Straight

The most basic design you can have for an Outdoor Kitchen Island is a simple straight line. Clean-looking & efficient, a straight Outdoor Kitchen can be as simple or as decked-out as you want it to be. It can house just a grill & some storage space or have all the trimmings! It depends only on the amount of room you have for it (and how much you want to spend on it!). This simple island from Fire Magic comes standard with an Aurora A430i Grill, Single Side Burner, & Side Panel Access Door.

 

 

L-Shaped

A step above the simple lines of the Straight Outdoor Kitchen, the L-Shaped Outdoor Kitchen adds just a little more function & eye-pleasing interest. Giving your guests a place to sit, the extra “arm” of the island is also a great place to add in more accessories – like a refrigerator or a beverage center! This particular island from Bull comes with a stainless steel sink & a 4.4 cubic foot refrigerator … along with an Angus Stainless Steel 4-Burner Grill. Something to keep in mind when setting up your L-Shaped Kitchen? Which way the wind blows! You want to make sure that the smoke from your grill will be blown away from your guests the majority of the time!

 

 

U-Shaped

For those who love to entertain, a U-Shaped Outdoor Kitchen is a great choice! With plenty of room for seating around the outside & plenty of room for accessories on the inside, a backyard barbeque with a U-Shaped Kitchen is sure to extraordinary! Go all out with your Outdoor Kitchen when you add accessories like a warming drawer, storage drawers, and even and AM/FM CD player!

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Top 5 Outdoor Kitchen Island Accessories

Trash Chute (w/ Cutting Board)

It’s inevitable that at some point during your outdoor dinner, you will have trash. Having a place to put it is key! This trash chute comes with an attached, sliding cutting board so that while you’re doing your prep work, you can simply slide the board to reveal the trash chute & dump your odds & ends! We’ve all worked with a “garbage bowl” before, but this way ensures that you don’t have a bowl full of food trash lying around for your guests to view … or for bugs to get in!

 

Kegerator

Having cold beer on-hand at all times makes you a great host. But don’t mess with buckets full of ice anymore – get a kegerator to add to your outdoor kitchen! Let your guests poor themselves a cold one anytime they’d like … and don’t worry about running out or the drinks getting too warm! This model has a front-mounted temperature display, so you’ll always know that your brew will be ice cold.

 

(Double) Side Burner

If you want to make your entire meal outdoors, a side burner is a must-have accessory! Perfect for side dishes in pots or pans, this accessory means you can have your burgers & brats on the grill … with the baked beans cooking right alongside them! No need to make all the side dishes inside while running back & forth to the grill for your main dish. Stay relaxed by keeping everything easy!

 

Warming Drawer

It’s nearly impossible to make a dinner where everything is ready at the same time. Instead of worrying about it, use a warming drawer to keep your main dish warm while you finish cooking your side dishes … or vice versa! This warming drawer can range in temperature from 90° to 220°! It also has a setting that allows you to choose “moist” or “crisp” so that your foods will maintain their proper textures.

 

Sink

Whether you need to clean up a mess, keep your hands clean, or just get a cool drink of water, having a sink as part of your Outdoor Kitchen is a must! This particular sink has an included soap dispenser so you don’t have to keep a separate bottle of soap outside.

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Should I Choose a Straight, L-Shaped, or U-Shaped Grill Island?

When deciding on a style of grill island, you may feel overwhelmed with choices. But there is a style and a size for every back yard. Here are some of the most common styles of grill island, and the advantages each one offers.

Straight islands are the simplest style available. They consist of one long straight bar, encompassing the grill and a few other tools. For small back yards, and for conservative budgets, straight islands are an excellent choice. They can easily be worked into other back yard features, like pools or patios.
Simple accessories are best for this type of grill island. A bar fridge will allow you to make the most of your countertop space, while still giving you a needed feature. Extra drawers will give you needed storage space and the ability to customize your space to your own tastes.

L-shaped islands are the next step up. More counter space and more gadgets come with the extra space. And L shaped islands can fit in with existing yard features, without crowding friends and family.  In many ways this style of islands is the best of both worlds. And its construction is great for those whose budgets are higher, but who don’t want to splurge on a big ticket renovation.
Adding an extra side burner or two will provide room to stretch out. Adding trash bins will allow for easy clean up. And with the extra space, more beverage accessories can be added. Consider an ice bin for your beverages, or a beverage center with this type of island.

U-Shaped islands are the granddaddy of them all. They allow you to have any number of accessories, as well as the best option for counter space. This format turns your new island into a full extended room outside of the house. Larger back yards will fit this style better, as they need plenty of room to spread out. A serious budget is needed to properly equip an island of this size. Only serious renovators should consider this style.
Because you have plenty of space, you should consider some specialty accessories like an outdoor searing station. If your get-togethers are large enough, you may want to invest in a PowerChef Hot Dog Cooker. Or, for larger crowd, check out the heavy duty accessories like the Rotisserie with Half Chicken Baskets or Rotisserie with Flat Baskets.

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Weekly Cooking Challenge: Bananas

This week, we’re taking part in a weekly cooking challenge that runs on Facebook. I think it would be great to get a few of you involved in it as well!  It’s called “The Weekly Cooking Challenge” (I have NO idea where they got that name!!) and I love seeing the creative things people come up with every week. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to get involved since we want to grill everything for our recipes and the weather doesn’t always play fair. But this week, we got to participate and we’re quite happy with the results!

This week’s ingredient is: Bananas!

We made Banana Delights. They are essentially banana splits made on the grill and they are delicious! We have some recipes below and of course … pictures & videos! We hope you enjoy.

Our first recipe is Chocolately Peanut Butter Banana Delights. Click here for a printable recipe.
You will need: Bananas, Peanut Butter Chips, Mini Marshmallows, and Chocolate Syrup. We also added chocolate chips to ours because we like chocolate!

Mini Marshmallows and Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips

How we did it:



Stuffing the banana with marshmallows, chocolate chips,
and peanut butter chips

We also made a Banana Delight with Heath in it … SO good! You can click here for a printable version of that recipe.


Bananas on the grill ... don't
they look goofy? But they taste
great!

Click on a picture to see it full
size.

What do you think? Have you ever heard of bananas on the grill before?

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10 Pumpkin Beers You Need To Try

October and November make manufacturers want to add pumpkin spices to everything they sell … and with good reason! Most of us want a little taste of something that reminds of us a nice, crisp fall day – and boy do pumpkin spices do that for me! Below are 10 pumpkin beers that are a mix of newcomers and old-timers (one is an “oldy-but-goody” that is being bottled for the first time this year). Make sure you give at least a few of them a try! Serve these in a pint glass at about 45-50°F. Keep them stored between 40-45°F.


The Fear
brewed by Flying Dog Brewery
Flying Dog brewed The Fear with a local pumpkin puree and a secret blend of spices, but once you take a sniff and a sip, those spices become quite apparent. The Fear has bold pumpkin pie flavor complemented by graham cracker and chocolate notes. Anything seasonally spicy or sweet will beautifully complement this rich and complex brew. This beer gets a B+ overall, which is very good. 9.00% ABV

 



The Great Pumpkin
brewed by Clipper City Brewing Co.
Clipper City (Heavy Seas Beer) adds the pumpkin during the mash at precisely the right time to create just the perfect balance of malt, hops, pumpkin and spice. The key to any good pumpkin ale is in getting the combination of malt, hops and spices just right. Clipper City has done exactly that. Cinnamon is especially prominent and alcohol is barely noted. Just released in September, The Great Pumpkin is already getting great reviews! This beer gets a B+ overall. 8.00% ABV.

 


Great Pumpkin Ale
brewed by Cambridge Brewing Company
Good Grief, it’s … Cambridge Brewing Company’s Great Pumpkin Ale!  Great Pumpkin Ale is being bottled for the first time in 22 years! CBC brews with local, organic sugar pumpkins (over 150 lbs in each batch) and they also use organic barley that was grown in MA. Great Pumpkin Ale is fairly sweet with a strong toasted malt and toffee flavor. It is certainly spiced, but not overly so. Seems the folks at Cambridge are pretty adept at brewing pumpkin beers. This beer gets an A- overall, which is excellent. 4.20% ABV



Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout
brewed by Cape Ann Brewing Company
Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout is a dark stout accentuated by flavors of the Autumn season. Using real Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, the Cape Ann Brewing Company took a fresh take on the common fall seasonal. This rich dark stout offers an inviting pumpkin spice aroma that gives way to the delicate essence of real pumpkin. Hints of chocolate and roasted malts melt seamlessly with cinnamon and nutmeg touches that really accent them well. This beer gets a B overall, which is good. 7.00% ABV.



Lips of Faith Kick
brewed by New Belgium Brewing
Kick is a rich and tart pumpkin/cranberry ale blended with wood-aged beer for a uniquely complex harvest season sour. This beer has a very nice tartness from the cranberries. The spice notes are subtle, but there. Nutmeg, all spice, and even a bit of vanilla are present. The beer pours a slightly hazed orange-amber color with a finger of white head. It looks as autumnal as it tastes! This beer gets a B+ overall. 8.50% ABV.



The Great Pumpkin
brewed by Elysian Brewing Company
Elysian makes sure this beer deserves its name: they put roasted pumpkin seeds in the mash and extra pumpkin is added in the mash, kettle, and fermenter. This results in a rich pumpkin smell & flavor. It’s a nice change from the “pumpkin” beers that get their aroma and flavoring mostly from the spices added. The Great Pumpkin is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, so it’s not that it doesn’t have a set of spices in it, just that that’s not what Elysian relied on. This beer gets an A- overall. 8.10% ABV.


T.R.E.A.T.
brewed by Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
This recipe won a gold medal at GABF in 2007 (back when it was known simply as Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter). TREAT melds rich decadent flavors into an enticing brew that is perfect for pairing with both sweet and savory dishes. Reduce this porter down to glaze grilled meats! More brewers ought to turn their pumpkin ales into pumpkin porters or stouts; the spices work just as well with the dark malts as they do with the pale ones. This beer gets an A- overall. 7.80% ABV.


Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin Ale
brewed by Uinta Brewing Company
Aged in oak barrels, Oak Jacked is somewhere between the average and good end of the imperial pumpkin patch. It smells like cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted pumpkin – but it is lacking on the pumpkin just a bit. It tastes like brown sugar and oak with a nice sweet pumpkin backbone. Flavor notes of nutmeg and cinnamon are there as well along with light, woody notes on the back end. It gets better as it warms. This beer gets a B+ overall. 10.31% ABV.


Pumple Drumkin Spiced Ale
brewed by Cisco Brewers Inc.
Pumple Drumkin Ale is a fall favorite. A deep orange hue and a subtle pie aroma meet a robust malt character in this ale which tastes like toasted pie crust in your mouth. It finishes clean & dry on the palate and leaves you wishing that every day could be autumn on Nantucket! The taste is sweet up front with flavors of pumpkin, caramel and spices. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is mild but complementary. This beer gets a B+ overall. 6.00% ABV.


Post Road Pumpkin Ale
brewed by Brooklyn Brewery
Blended with barley malt, pumpkins became a commonly used beer ingredient for early American Colonialists. Post Road Pumpkin ale brings back this tasty tradition. Hundreds of pounds of pumpkins are blended into the mash of each batch, creating a beer with an orange amber color, warm pumpkin aroma, biscuity malt center, and crisp finish. This is a great beer to add to the table for your holiday dining. This beer gets a B overall. 5.00% ABV.

Have you tried any of these? Are there others you would recommend?

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