grilling · Outdoor Kitchen

Buy a grill cover to protect your new barbecue grill

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

cooking · grilling · Outdoor Kitchen

See our beautiful topless grills, LIVE!

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.

 

Innovative Features · Outdoor Kitchen

2 gorgeous local outdoor kitchens

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?
grilling · Innovative Features · Outdoor Kitchen

Totum outdoor patio heater plays your iPod

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

Appliance Design · cooking · Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen ideas: Viking gas wok/cooker

 

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 · Product Roundup

Outdoor kitchen ideas: 3 sleek kegerators

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.