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The ideal outdoor kitchen

With so much control taken out of our hands over the last year, our relationship with our homes has reached a whole new level of importance. Now, with summer beckoning, whatever outdoor space we’re fortunate enough to have is even more valuable, and just begging to be enjoyed in the company of family and friends we haven’t been able to see or hug in what feels like eons, asap!

As our social lives gradually start to open up, so will our approach to outdoor living. People everywhere are taking a look at their balconies, decks, backyards and even front yards and seeing these spaces with new eyes and a new sense of anticipation. Yes, patios, porches, decks and gardens everywhere will be humming with happy chatter and sizzling barbecues, asap!

With those happy days on the way, it’s a great time to update your patio set up to get it ready for all the festive catching up we’re all looking forward to. After missing so many special holiday meals and celebrations, our barbeques are certainly going to have a big part in many happy outdoor reunions.

A BBQ that really delivers on performance is feeling like a real ‘must’ just about now. Thinking ahead, it’s reasonable to want one that will look great, year in, year out — even when it’s hit with everything Canadian winters dole out. (There’s nothing like the sad sight of a rusted out grill to convince you of that.) Replacing an old BBQ with a super durable, rust-proof stainless steel grill that’s made to last is always a smart move.

All told, this may be the year to move up to a grill that offers with more cooking space and more optimal features. There’s not much you can’t do with a generous cooking area and controls that let you grill different things at once.

Now’s also a good time to think about whether a state-of-the-art pellet grill should be your choice. These grills are super popular with anyone who loves real McCoy smoky BBQ flavours.

It’s also likely that many people are even going to take their outdoor cooking and entertaining up a notch by installing a full outdoor kitchen. Considering how much use will be made of them, setting up an outdoor fridge, refreshment centre and storage within handy distance of your barbeque will deliver a lot of bang for your buck, without breaking the bank. It’s like getting a whole new kitchen without going through the stress of a home reno.

Whichever type of BBQ or outdoor cooking set up you want to go with, one of Coyote Outdoor Living’s grills will fit the bill perfectly.

Good planning is everything. The most important step in your decision to build an outdoor kitchen will be choosing how to equip it. So aside from grilling to infinity and beyond, imagine for example, that ‘pizza night’ is a family staple, or that ‘stir-fry Saturdays’ are a regular event. Obviously your outdoor kitchen needs to be equipped to make it all happen. What are your favourite foods? How do you like to cook or flavour? How close by would you like your cool refreshments, refrigerated foods, warm plates? get the idea. So, let’s get started by going over the cooking, convenience, storage and accessory options that you need to consider as part of your new ideal outdoor kitchen plan.

Cooking Options

Outdoor cooking offers you lots of choices. Cook with gas, charcoal, hybrid (gas & charcoal), or hardwood pellets, and bring smoke into play for even more amazing flavour possibilities adding wood chips in your grill, smoker or ceramic oven. If outdoor space is limited, or if you’re just looking for that ‘outdoor’ authenticity in an ‘indoor’ situation, then you want to explore the many free-standing or countertop electric-powered options available. So, your choices, in a little more detail, are:

  • Gas – Propane or natural gas powered, these are probably the most familiar and common grills in use today, reaching ideal grilling temperatures in record time
  • Charcoal – That great nutty smell and taste that you don’t get anywhere else is not the fastest route to the plate but usually worth the wait
  • Hybrid (gas & charcoal) – For many it’s the best of both worlds, allowing you to cook to perfection at whatever pace your occasion demands
  • Lump Charcoal Ceramic – A technique proven over some 4,000 years, these egg-shaped ceramic cookers can cook it all, evenly and consistently. Cooking space however might not be large enough to meet all your needs
  • Wood Pellets – Generally associated with smokers, hardwood pellet cooking is fast gaining support from enthusiasts across the continent. You’ll need electricity to help pellet grills and cookers work their magic
  • Electric – generally a more compact option, it’s ideal wherever outdoor space is limited or you want the ‘outdoor’ cooking experience indoors
  • Portable – Do you and your friends and family like to picnic? Or are you planning on camping or RVing? Coyote’s portable gas grill will be perfect for you. It is small — it will fit in the trunk of any car — but powerful — it can reach 20,000 BTU. With 200 sq. in of cooking space, there’s room to grill up plenty of burger, hotdogs, and buns for your hungry crowd.

Consider how many people you’re cooking for, as this will help you determine the appliance size and heat levels you’re likely to need. For some, the versatility of a ceramic cooker with its broad grilling, smoking, slow-cooking and even pizza-baking capabilities will more than meet their needs.

For larger families or the constant entertainers, nothing less than a massive 1275 sq. in. cooking area and heat up to 110,000 BTUs will do! Simply put, there’s a cooking option (or two or even three) that fit your lifestyle perfectly.

Look for convenience details like interior grill lighting and backlit control knobs, power side burners, infrared rear burners, rotisseries among others. Not all equipment brands come with everything you’re looking for to achieve that ultimate outdoor cooking experience.

Entertainment Options

Enjoying outdoor living means spending as much time as you can outdoors. So the more you can bring and keep outside, the less time you will spend running inside! Keeping a few celery sticks on the chill, your drinks at their perfect serving temperature, or your oysters on ice, is easy if you’re equipped for it all. Here’s a few of the top-ranked entertainment option items:

  • Outdoor-rated Refrigerators – maybe even one for food and another for beverages
  • Refreshment Centre – great ones include a cooler, sink, condiment tray, cutting board, towel holder and bottle opener, at the very least
  • Warming Drawer – keep your dishes delightful and just the right temperature
  • Pull-out Ice Chest – look for at least 3.5 cubic feet to keep your party chillin’, and a built-in drain for easy cleanup
  • Drop-in Cooler – the best ones drop into a countertop for easy access. Make sure it’s insulated
  • Sink – even if you don’t go the whole refreshment centre route, you’ll likely still appreciate a sink

Storage Options & Accessories

You’re designing an outdoor kitchen to be a reflection of your personal tastes, so why not complete it with storage solutions and accessories that both match your vision and complement your cuisine?

Stay on theme and true to your dream (example: nothing matches stainless steel like more stainless steel). Look for the broadest product offering and diversity of combination within the same design.

Items like your dry pantry shelves, access doors and trash drawers should all work together harmoniously for the best effect. Where possible, look for combinations that make the most efficient use of your space, and try to group things as intelligently as you do in your indoor kitchen.

Strive for a beautiful balance between form and function.

Accessorize your cooking units for your style of cuisine. The best brands think of everything and produce individual grates specifically engineered to perfectly grill beef, chicken, fish and even vegetables, so be sure to check all the grate options before picking your main cooking unit.

With a ceramic cooker/smoker as part of your setup, be sure to optimize your culinary capabilities with its own selection of laser cut grates, a pizza stone, heat deflector and chicken throne, if available.

New accessories are always making a breakthrough, but here’s a few we think are going to be “must haves” for many outdoor enthusiasts:

  • Drop-in Griddle – ideal for those last-minute mushrooms or bacon topping for your burgers
  • Wok – go stir-fry crazy with a solid wok, ideally made from the same material as your high-end grill
  • Charcoal Tray – a great way to enjoy the best of both worlds if you didn’t go with a hybrid solution

Live it all, love it all — outdoors! With all the stress that the last years has thrown at us, the simplest, most essential parts of life feel so important. Cooking outdoors is really high on that scale. It’s a great, relaxing way to enjoy preparing meals, whether you’re on your own, cooking for two, or — finally! — grilling up a great meal for friends and family.

With all the Coyote models to choose from, we’re confident that you’ll find one that will turn living outdoors into ‘loving the outdoors’!

Check out this Sizzle the Spring special promotion on Coyote Outdoor grills — and get ready for the best summer BBQs, ever!

The pro’s of each product category

Large area grills are ideal for large group entertaining
Hybrids offer more choice in fuel, flavour and speed
Ceramic cookers are unmatched for compact versatility
An outdoor fridge is a smart convenience option
Electric grills are an ideal solution for urban dwellers

The con’s to keep in mind

Wood pellet grills require access to electricity
Smokers might not fit well with condo living
Outdoor refrigerators will require electricity
Ceramic cookers are less well suited to large scale cooking
A large gas grill is unlikely to fit your small balcony

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