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Your clothes fit your personality, your car most likely reflects your character ... so why not have a grill that gets you?
Chef Kathleen Daelemans of Public Television's "Getting Thin & Loving Food with Chef Kathleen" has spent her fair share of time on the barby and she knows the better you like yours, the more you'll use it.
Here are her tips for buying the best barbeque for you:
Americans purchased over 17 million grills last year alone! Stand up gas grills are leading the pack in sales, covered stand-up grills lead the category in charcoal grills and the debate over cooking methods — gas versus charcoal is hotter than ever.
Buying the right BBQ for your culinary personality is paramount to having a smoking hot summer love affair cooking in Mother Nature’s kitchen. Do your homework. Most grill websites have comprehensive buying guides listing product features and comparisons, safety information and the pros and cons of gas and charcoal grills.
In addition to this readily available information there are some other very important things to consider.
Before you buy your first or second unit read this list of BBQ Best Buy Do’s and Don’ts to determine your BBQ Personality so you can enjoy summer suppers and family reunions all season long.
Determine Your BBQ Personality with These Easy Do’s & Don’ts
BBQ Best Buy Do’s:
- Consider the number of days you’re likely to use the grill you choose
- Consider who will be doing most of the cooking
- Consider the cook’s skill levels and personal style
- Do consider the amount of space you have for cooking and entertaining
- Do consider ventilation and safety
BBQ Best Buy Don’ts:
- Over spend.
- Buy a unit that’s more complicated than you want to deal with.
- Buy a charcoal grill if you’re going to think of firing it up as a chore
- Buy a gas grill for the convenience if you really don’t enjoy the flavor
The Best New Grills of 2007
For the (Table) Top Chef…The Table Top Grill
For the Boho Chic – Eva Sola’s Table Top Grill is the ultimate form of intimate culinary self expression and makes a big statement in small settings. Its compact size makes it perfect for easy outdoor cooking and romantic starlit meals. Simply place the porcelain grill on the table, light the charcoal, and add all your favorites: shellfish, asparagus, pepper, chicken wings, etc. The options are endless and the setting for a delightful dinner is complete.
Turn any picnic into a barbecue. Bring the new Table Grill along to the beach or the park and prepare a fun barbecue together with friends and family. The compact size and handy handle make it easy to carry around.
The Table Grill measures 12" in diameter and is about 7" high with the base.
Eva Sola Table Grill Top and Grill Accessories $339, free shipping. Handcrafted Teak Furniture Set $722, free shipping. Magnetic Spice Holders 45.00 with free herbs and spices, free shipping. www.skagenhus.com
For Those Longing to Be Under the Tuscan Sun…
The Outdoor Artisan Pizza Oven
Kalamazoo Gourmet’s outdoor pizza oven transforms any backyard into a Tuscan cook’s paradise. The Pizza Oven is convenient, easy to use and cooks just like a traditional brick oven - there's even a smoker drawer that imparts authentic wood-fired flavor.
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet has taken the classic arch-topped pizza oven design and updated it in stainless steel for convenient outdoor use. The gas-fired countertop design is a perfect addition to any new or existing outdoor kitchen. The Outdoor Artisan pizza Oven features a professional baking stone and a digital thermometer that precisely measures the stone's temperature. An integrated smoking drawer creates authentic wood-fired flavor. Available for liquid propane or natural gas. Large enough for a 17" round pizza. Outdoor Artisan Pizza Oven, $3,990, 1-800-868-1699, www.kalamazoogourmet.com
For the Culinary Rocket Scientist…
The Big Green Egg
For the Culinary Rocket Scientist – The Big Green Egg incorporates the ancient principles of cooking food in clay vessels using the sun with the technological developments in ceramics created in the space program to create the Big Green Egg, “The World’s Best Grill Smoker”.
The Big Green Egg® is a grill, a smoker and an oven made from space-age ceramics and fueled by natural lump charcoal. The thick ceramic walls make it fuel efficient, extremely durable for cooking in any kind of weather and cooler to the touch than metal grills, making it safer from burns. Any food cooked in the unique EGG® will be unbelievably moist and flavorful, better than all other barbecued food you've tasted. Big Green Eggs come in several sizes. The Big Green Egg comes in several sizes. Prices start at $399. www.biggreenegg.com
For The Felix Unger
The Weber Genesis E-310
One of the hottest new gas grills from Weber the Genesis features sizable cooking areas, stainless steel work surfaces, and bold colors. This gas grill features an enclosed cart with painted steel doors, stainless steel handles, and accent-colored painted side and rear panels. The porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates are excellent at creating wonderful sear marks.
The legendary cooking system, rated at 42,000 BTUs, includes three stainless steel burners, porcelain-enameled FlavorizerR bars, and an electronic crossover ignition system with a center mounted thermometer. This grill also includes six tool holders, a total cooking area of 637 sq. inches, and two stainless-steel work surfaces that are both stylish and provide plenty of room for all grilling necessities.
For the Architectural Cook
Fire by Design – The Phoenix Grill from Wittus combines modern styling with state-of-the-art technology, excellent design and superior craftsmanship for the grill enthusiast with contemporary taste and classic needs.The Phoenix grill, created by award winning Danish architectural designer Bent Falk, is intended to be used as an outdoor barbeque grill or simply enjoyed as outdoor sculpture. The Phoenix is made of corten steel, well known for its durability and comes in un-oxidized but will naturally form a rich reddish brown coating that makes each grill unique. This protects the inner steel and makes them virtually maintenance free for years and years to come.
The Phoenix grill has an adjustable grill rack made of heavy, solid stainless steel 5mm rods. The innovative design features stay-cool handles, a built-in warming and frying surface in back where you can simmer sauces or sauté vegetables, and a neat way to store the grill rack when not in use.
The chimneys create a strong draft that allows you to build faster fires. Then they “funnel” the smoke up and away from the chef – and nearby guests. The Phoenix comes with removable stakes to secure it on a lawn or at a beachfront location. And when winter rolls around, light up a roaring wood fire as a warm gathering place après skiing, skating, or sledding.
Phoenix measures 6’2” h x 24”w x 20”d and weighs 220 lbs. The Phoenix Grill, $900, www.wittus.com
Garden furniture & grill accessories
Skagerak Teak furniture set: Ideal for small spaces and area's with a variety of sitting options. All items in this set are light weight and easily folded for storage by one person. Elegant furniture in uncluttered design, enhanced by the pale wood – helping to generate a friendly and welcoming atmosphere throughout the home, on the terrace or by the pool. Set includes two folding teak directors chairs with washable canvass, One folding teak nautic table and One folding teak & washable canvass foot stool. Price: $936. Free shipping, Skagenhus.com
Rechargeable lantern + lights: Just because the sun went down, they shouldn't have to call it quits on the backyard barbecue. This lightweight portable lamp and set of four lights make lighting up the night as easy as can be, and their minimalist designs are beautiful to behold. The lantern sits on a discreet charger until ready for use, then gives 6-10 hours of bright, cordless light.
A slight turn of the base controls illumination, so it can either create a soft glow or a bright light for checking the burgers. The four lights may be used together in their charging base or used separately, like candles. Both lamp and light can also be lit while charging. Made of durable, impact- and water-resistant plastic with included long-lasting LED bulbs and rechargeable batteries. Lamp measures 8 5/8" x 14 1/2" high. Each light measures 1 1/4" x 6" high. Price $249, redenvelope.com
All-Clad BBQ set in case: Made from the finest quality, highly polished 18/10 stainless steel with All-Clad signature handles, crafted for comfort and performance, The set includes a turner (spatula), brush, fork, locking tongs, all in a handsome carrying case. Price $99.99, Available at Macys.com, Sur La Table and fine gourmet stores.
Magnetic spice rack: This innovative new style of spice storage proves to be both a useful and attractive way to display herbs, spices and other ingredients. Constructed of stainless steel with a clear window front and magnetic bottoms, these spice jars are accompanied with a steel platform which may be mounted on your wall or within a drawer. Each jar comes with a clear adjustable lid that acts as a shaker, or it may be removed for spoon access. Jars measure 2 1/2 x 2 571061 Magnetic Spice Holders Price: MSRP 45.00 with 8 containers & stand. skagenhus.com
Taylor Weekend Warrior Digital Fork Thermometer: Measures internal temperatures throughout the cooking process with stainless steel tines and displays temperature digitally via an extra-large, backlit LCD in the handle. Price $17.99, amazon.com
Taylor Weekend Warrior Grill Thermometer: Placed directly on the grill to indicate the appropriate temperature for various foods and features a temperature range of 100 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Price $9.99, amazon.com
Taylor Weekend Warrior 2-Event Big Digit Timer/Clock: Can time two events simultaneously and counts up or down in hours, minutes or seconds. $13.99 Available at Lowe’s.
Taylor Antimicrobial Instant Read Thermometer: Measures food temperatures instantly through a durable stainless steel stem, and comes with a patented calibration wrench and antimicrobial pocket sleeve. Price $14.99, amazon.com
THANK A MARINE…
Command of the Grill: A Salute to Steak™ A fundraising cookbook from Weber, Command of the Grill: A Salute to Steak™. Every penny of the $10 purchase price goes directly to four worthy charities that support wounded Marines and the families and the children of Marines killed in action. $10.00 www.weber.com
Kathleen Daelemans is the author of the New York Times National bestseller Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen, 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss and the host of Public Television’s Getting Thin & Loving Food with Chef Kathleen. http://www.kathleendaelemans.com .