Posts Tagged ‘patio heater’

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?

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: 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, smokersĀ  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.

Refrigeration

“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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