Archive for the ‘Outdoor Kitchen’ Category

Buy a grill cover to protect your new barbecue grill

June 12, 2012

Warner Stellian prides itself on carrying appliances that truly fit anyone — from a replacement refrigerator for your budget kitchen to a high-end suite for your dream kitchen.

But as for grills, well, as my dad likes to say: “We don’t sell toy grills.”

Our Weber gas grills start at $399, definitely affordable for those who want to buy a simple grill that won’t kick the bucket after a couple years.

That being said, if you’ve invested in a beautiful gas grill (or smoker grill), Minnesota weather will do its best to blemish it with high humidity and extreme temperatures.

A quality gas grill cover with extend the life of your new barbecue.

Most grill covers are fitted around the center of your grill and hang straight down, sometimes stopping just above the ground.

Many barbecue grill covers use heavy-duty vinyl on the outside to protect the exterior of the grill, but use a more absorbent material on the inside to keep moisture from building under the hood of the grill (i.e. the grates and burners).

Many gas grill covers also include vents to pipe moisture out, but make sure they’re well positioned so they don’t let in the moisture they claim to keep out!

Just make sure to let your gas grill or smoker BBQ cool down before you cover it.

Most grill covers cost between $40 and $60, depending on the grill. Buy a grill cover and BBQ accessories over $50 from Warner Stellian and it ships for free in the U.S. See our selection:

Weber grill cover

Vermont Castings grill cover

Holland Grill cover

Big Green Egg grill cover

Primo Grill cover

American Outdoor Grill (AOG) cover

See our beautiful topless grills, LIVE!

May 8, 2012

I love my gas grill, but the configuration doesn’t make for easy conversation with my guests (OK, fine, guest).

Think about it: I flip the top to land about even with my mouth, which maybe doesn’t matter as I — like many I suspect — locate my gas grill against something (a wall, a deck, a fence) anyway.

How am I supposed to conversate? Who wants to gather round that?

Now imagine a setup where the grill is more like a cooktop setup…just open, with no top to baffle your babble or keeps guests away (my personality handles that just fine, thank you!).

OK, stop imagining; I found my picture of it.

Those who have lots of friends and parties (and are into that kind of stuff) will probably wonder why no one thought of this before. This being the DCS Liberty, which “even allows you to effortlessly host an omelet bar in your outdoor kitchen.” Well thank goodness!

It’s called the Liberty because all the individual applications free up your outdoor living design, unhinging it from all those icky conventions and letting you enjoy your outdoor cooking experience along with — instead of apart from — all your friend(s).

You can pretty much mix and match all the individual pieces in the DCS Liberty Collection to do whatever you want. This curved shape lets everyone gather round (pun intended).

DCS expert Michael Mahin will be traveling from Warner Stellian Appliance store to store this summer, cooking on the Liberty and feeding you ideas about outdoor entertaining. Stop by and ask him a lot of questions. He’ll be able to answer because he’ll be cooking topless…topless grill, that is.

Woodbury appliance store
Thursday, May 10 from 4 to 7 p.m.

St. Paul appliance store
Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 20 from noon to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 11 from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.

Maple Grove appliance store
Saturday, June 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Edina appliance store
Saturday, June 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Apple Valley appliance store
Saturday, July 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


2 gorgeous local outdoor kitchens

June 28, 2011

We were lucky enough to tour a pair of amazing outdoor kitchens recently with Elizabeth Ries of “Twin Cities Live” to highlight some of the newest ideas and also some things you can add to your own backyard without spending a bundle.

Carla Warner shares the importance of creating a comfortable space within whatever budget you’re working with.

>>Watch the segment

To me, that’s creating some warmth for late-night and late-season gatherings.

Here are my 2 picks:

For $999, this heater-on-wheels brings the party, playing your iPod from its own speakers while flashing LED lights to the beat.

For $149, Weber's wood-burning fireplace is specially designed for safe use around your family. Did someone say s'mores?

Outdoor kitchen ideas and photos

May 25, 2011

I’ve nearly given up on finding someone here in Minnesota who will send me photos of their outdoor kitchen to share (anyone?), and instead headed to one of my favorite design sites,, to lend pictorial inspiration.

Here’s a sampling of pictures of different styles of outdoor kitchen and living spaces from around the country:

Anna Marie Lewis traditional patio

bridlepath cabana modern pool
Derviss Design traditional patio
BBQ and Outdoor Kitchen contemporary landscape
Crosby Residence contemporary porch
Dining Space contemporary landscape
Anna Marie Lewis traditional patio
Outdoor Living with Water Gardens traditional landscape
Dena Brody eclectic patio

Dena Brody eclectic patio

Lorraine Vale traditional kitchen
Outdoor Kitchen/Loggia traditional patio
Outdoor Kitchen modern exterior
EC3 mediterranean patio
Portland Landscaping Overlook contemporary patio

Portland Landscaping Outdoor Living contemporary patio
Old World Custom Home mediterranean kitchen
Outdoor Kitchens traditional landscape

Totum outdoor patio heater plays your iPod

March 25, 2011

Remember that terrible snow we had this week? Sorry, that was my fault. I was dreaming of relaxing on my outdoor patio. So Minnesota had to punish me.

I, like most Minnesotans, love being outside. But our summer lasts just a few short months.

I was actually thinking how awesome it would be to have a patio heater so I wouldn’t have to wait until summer to enjoy the outdoors.

In terms of backyard ideas for the Midwest — especially one including outdoor dining or outdoor kitchens — patio heaters are a must. Otherwise, it can just get too cold in the spring to truly enjoy being outdoors, especially at night.

But this one I’ve been drooling over the last few months really offers something different.

First of all, you won’t find anyone huddling under this heater (available in natural gas and propane). The Totum envelopes up to a 10-foot radius with 360 degrees of heat and maintains the same level of warmth starting midheight. It uses infrared technology to heat up your entire body — not just from top down — along with surroundings, using indirect heat from 35,000 BTUs.

Second, it’s fun. It flashes different colored LED lights and connects to iPods and iPhones to play music straight from its tower.

Talk about a party-ready patio heater.

Talk about buying me one.

No, seriously…

>>See all the details & specs for the THLS09 here

Outdoor kitchen ideas: Viking gas wok/cooker

February 11, 2011


Viking outdoor wok / gas cooker

Wok this way.

In Minnesota, when the winter weather starts creeping above freezing, I start pulling my shorts out of storage.

And especially this past Super Bowl Sunday, I started thinking of how much I’d like having a kitchen outdoors.

Outdoor kitchen designs usually always include a gas grill. And sometimes, gas grills are built in to a grill island, which offers counterspace and — more interestingly to this blog — space for more outdoor kitchen appliances.

(I’m going to feature several outdoor kitchen ideas over the next week or so, so subscribe to my blog and you won’t miss any of the beautiful outdoor kitchens photos you know are coming. See instructions.)

Outdoor gas wok / gas cooker
from Viking Outdoor Kitchen

Unlike any outdoor gas burner, the Viking outdoor wok burner/gas cooker just has more power. The super-high 27,500 BTU burner handles huge stir-fry portions, and a center trivet converts for large stock pots – perfect for crab or shrimp boils.

All that power means you can saute super fast in the 20-inch wide steel wok, but the wok burner also has enough control to let you simmer at low temperatures.

You can choose to run the WFWT241T on either an LP tank or a natural gas line using an easy, push-button electric ignition. The large knob carries easy-to-read labels, but is childproof, so you don’t have to worry about curious little hands.

The removable, stainless steel pull-out drip tray and grease pan makes clean-up easy.

Plus, it just looks really good, doesn’t it?

Outdoor kitchen ideas: 3 sleek kegerators

May 4, 2010

I can’t imagine much I like better than enjoying a draft beer in my outdoor kitchen in the summer. But I can imagine that if I had my own kegerator in my outdoor kitchen — even if that were the extent of my outdoor kitchen — I wouldn’t leave my backyard.

If “kegerator” conjures up images of frat party ragers or that jury-rigged clunker your brother has in his basement, think again. Today’s beer dispensers are sleek and sophisticated, an some can spend nearly all year outdoors.

Here are three kegerators for your consideration.

DCS 24″ Outdoor Beer Dispenser

DCS, an extension of Australian appliance brand Fisher & Paykel, offers an entire suite of outdoor kitchen appliances.

This sleek, stainless steel outdoor kegerator (RF24T) is free-standing, but it can be slid under a counter and put between cabinetry as long as it’s given proper clearance on all sides.

At $2,499, it’s probably the most affordable in UL-rated outdoor beer dispensers.

Perlick Beer Dispenser

Perlick, known for commercial refrigeration, makes the only 3-tap beer dispenser available for homes, meaning you can serve up to three beers at a time (from a commercial-grade unit).

It’s UL rated for outdoors and can come either in a free-standing or built-in configuration. You can integrate it into your cabinetry, if you don’t like the look of stainless, with the optional wood panel overlay kit.

And green beer isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day. Would you believe that it’s Energy Star rated? It is.

This is a special order item, so call for pricing.

Marvel Outdoor Keg Beer Dispenser

Marvel is another brand known for its commercial-grade refrigeration and claims it has “the only cooling system capable of keeping a half keg of beer frosty cold, from start to finish, right out of the tap.”

Temperature controls are adjustable for serving different styles of beer, and this UL-rated outdoor beer dispenser can also be used for indoor applications.

But what I really like about this Marvel, are the casters. Liquid Meals on Wheels, anyone? You can wheel this puppy all around the backyard.

This is also a special order item, so call for pricing.

Gas grills – 5 options for any budget

April 28, 2010

Whether you’re shopping for your first gas grill or you’re looking to replace your old grill and wondering what’s available, here are five gas grills from entry-level to master griller.

Weber Q 100 LP Gas Grill

Weber Q 100 LP - $139

Nearly synonymous with grilling, Weber gas grills are what we think of oftentimes when we think about outdoor barbecues. I used to have the Weber Q Grill on the balcony of my apartment, but the optional rolling cart can be used as a caddy to transport the 60-pound grill for tailgaiting and other outdoor get-togethers. The disposable LP cylinders are available at hardware stores and are super lightweight.

The Weber Q Grill offers only 189 square inches of total cooking area, so it works best for single people, small families and quick meals.

Ducane 52″ LP Gas Grill

Ducane 31731101 - $299

If you’re looking to step up from a charcoal grill, but you’re not sure you can afford it, this 3-burner Ducane grill is your guy. For $299, you get 550 square inches of cooking area, 36,000 BTUs and electronic ignition.

The 2 built-in work surfaces (though I like to call them “counters”) work well for small backyards without a lot of furniture to prop plates and utensils on.

Holland Grill Epic Gas Grill

Holland Grill BH421AG-4 - $806

Most of my family own a Holland Grill. I got really nervous about grilling a bunch of burgers for a family get-together last summer, and my brother-in-law said, “It’s pretty hard to screw something up on the Holland.” That’s a pretty true endorsement, I’d say.

Because the drip pan is between the food and the flame, food can’t catch on fire (which is also why Holland offers its exclusive “no flareup” guarantee). Charcoal grill lovers will appreciate the distinct flavor Hollands give their food because the dripping sizzle and smoke in the drip pan, much like drippings on charcoal.

The Holland Epic gas grill, usually priced at $849, is on sale for $806. It’s definitely more of an investment, which is great for those ready to stop replacing their grill every few years. Plus, the cast-iron burner is guaranteed for the life of the grill. Who else does that?

Vermont Castings ‘The Grand’ Signature Series Gas Grill

Vermont Castings VCS5008 - $1,299

For those looking to get called up to the major league of grills, this Vermont Castings gas grill has just about everything:

  • 5 burners Huge cooking area (651 sq. in. of primary cooking area and 286 sq. in. of secondary cooking space)
  • 15,000 BTU side burner
  • 20,000 BTU infrared rotisserie burner and kit
  • LED flex light for night grilling
  • Stainless-steel sear plates (for restaurant-quality steaks)
  • Stainless-steel smoker box
  • Utensil hooks and condiment holders

Plus, this Vermont Castings grill is just plain attractive , with features like back-lit control knobs. That’s just cool.

DCS 48″ Gas Grill Head

DCS 48" gas grill head (BGB48) - $4,469

The DCS BGB48 gas grill head can be built in for outdoor kitchen applications or combined with an optional stainless-steel cart for freestanding use. This DCS gas grill head is for those wanting the top-of-the line grill: four 25,000 BTU U-shaped burners, infrared rotisserie burner, warming rack, smoker tray — you name it.

Plus, it can be purchased along with a suite of DCS outdoor appliances, like outdoor beer dispensers and outdoor patio heaters, for a streamlined look.

Weigh in: What’s the strangest/best thing you’ve grilled?

April 2, 2010

While my grilling exploits rarely exceed the pedestrian (burgers, brats, veggies), others get enviably creative with outdoor cooking recipes.

I’d love to hear what people have grilled themselves or eaten off the grill that’s a bit different. Or even a new twist on a BBQ classic.

Next weekend, April 10-11, we’re having our 4th annual BBQ Expo with grilling demos at all of our stores. From 10-4 Saturday and noon to 4 Sunday, we’ll fire up the latest gas, charcoal and smoker grills with everything from smoked sirloins to pizzas to even pineapple upside down cake. And it’s all the best you’ve ever tasted. (Trust me, because I taste a lot.)

Grilling geeks: this event’s for you. Come chew the fat with our expert grillers about recipes, techniques, tools — you name it.

Here are some ideas to get you started:



I could see this coming in handy at the cabin or tailgating party


Even pizza…

Alright, your turn: what crazy fare can be found on your grill?

Outdoor kitchen ideas: Part 2

January 18, 2010

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As Susan Serra, CKD pointed out in Outdoor kitchen ideas: Part 1, it’s easy to choose outdoor kitchen appliances like a geek in an Apple store (my words).

We Minnesotans get so excited when we get to spend time outside that doesn’t involve snow shoveling, it’s hard not to want it all when designing our three-months-out-of-the-year haven.

Be smart and think about your own entertaining and lifestyle needs when considering all the options in outdoor kitchen appliances.

Do you want a second kitchen or simply a spot to grill a burger and grab a beer while enjoying the great outdoors?

Gas grill

The workhorse of an outdoor kitchen, gas grills’ speed and convenience work best for weeknight dinners and impromptu get-togethers. If you’re looking to do more, some brands offer innovative features such as:

  • Searing zone to reach high temperatures (700 degrees!) quickly to give your meat a steakhouse-quality exterior
  • Rear infrared burner to deliver consistent, evenly distributed heat for rotisserie cooking
  • Smoker boxes to fill prepackaged hickory or mesquite chips, which give foods a distinctive, smoky flavor
  • Side burners to prepare sauces and sides like beans or vegetables or to keep food warm until it is ready to be served
  • Lighting to illuminate the cooking surface for late-night grilling

Charcoal grill/smoker

As our own grilling guru Stu Glock (also our rep for Holland Grill and the Big Green Egg) says, “You have two cars. Why not two grills?”

Charcoal grills, smokers  and/or cookers deliver flavor you can’t get in a gas grill — if you have hours to get it. Owners of the Big Green Egg rave about the unique flavor of their ribs, brisket and roasts they get in this ceramic cooker. Viking also makes a ceramic cooker, but with a stainless steel finish.

If you have the time to kick back and just grill, the extra time is definitely worth the flavor.

Warming drawers

Cut down on the running back back and forth from your main kitchen. Warming drawers keep grilled food warm (and sanitary) once prepared and work great for make-ahead dishes from your main oven.

I’d probably end up throwing some towels in mine to keep them cozy after a late-night swim. Now if I only had a pool..

Kegerator/beer tapper

Arguably as important as the grill itself is beer on-demand. Aside from the convenience, an outdoor keg fridge makes an unbeatable conversation (and party) starter. DCS, Viking and Marvel make draft beer dispensers specifically for the outdoors.

Outdoor kegerators come in built-in or freestanding. Again, if I only had a pool...

Wine chiller/beverage center

If you’re more of a wine-o than a beer gal like me, you might consider storing your bottles outside, in the proper wine chiller, of course. Look for models with precise temperature controls, racks to accommodate various bottle sizes and minimum vibration.

This Marvel Wine Cellar holds 54 bottles.

Beverage centers, though less precise in temperature control, make a viable option for combination beer/wine/soda, etc. storage.


“But I already have a wine fridge!”

But your wine fridge is 55 degrees, remember? Even your beverage center isn’t designed to refrigerate food and condiments. Please don’t keep your barbecue meats in a beverage fridge!

Ice maker

If mixed drinks and soda are more your thing, maybe you’d like an ice maker. Marvel‘s and U-line‘s have UL Listed suitable for outdoor use clear ice makers that store 25-30 pounds of ice.

Patio heaters

Denial: it ain't just a river in Africa. It's an outdoor barbecue in St. Paul in October.

I might not have a pool, but living in Minnesota, you better believe I have a patio heater. Fueled by a the same kind gas tank you use for your grill, these easily extend construction season into early winter (or “fall”).


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