Going green is becoming more popular these days, with people becoming more eco conscious and recognizing that going green is a great way to be kind to the environment and save a few bucks. Here are some tips on making your outdoor kitchen more eco-friendly, with the focus being your grill and refrigerator since these are the two major appliances you will see in most outdoor kitchens.
When designing any outdoor kitchen the first thing you pick out is a grill, which sets the tone for the other appliances. Most outdoor kitchens have gas grills, so I will begin there and as for charcoal grills, I will shed a little light on that subject later in the article, addressing an alternative to the not so eco-friendly lump of coal.
The best gas grill to consider if your goal is to go green is a Fire Magic infrared grill. Infrared grills use about 25% less gas, get 80% less flare-ups and are known to reach temperatures 25% hotter than most grills. This means you can cook without having to use a fire extinguisher. Depending on how often you barbeque these grills will have you running to the store 25% less to get your propane tank refilled, and if you’re a natural gas user you will be saving a few bucks on the PG&E bill. These grills will also cook your food a bit faster while providing even heat. I have used these grills personally and absolutely love the way they bring out the flavor in the food. They are extremely user friendly, even a novice can become a pro with an infrared grill.
If a charcoal grill is still your passion, my recommendation would be to consider an all-ceramic kamado grill like the Big Green Egg. Kamado grills are extremely fuel-efficient. You can retain low temperatures for up to 24 hours straight using a kamado grill, which gives you about 10-12 barbeques from a 20-pound bag of lump charcoal. Over the years an all-ceramic kamado grill will save you some serious bucks, and cut back tremendously on emissions. Although kamado grills are expensive, most have great warranties, take up less space, have tons of accessories and are considered the best even to the most devout purist.
The kamado works by using the ceramic to hold the heat. The charcoal is used to initiate the heat, but it is the ceramic that is used to cook the food, thus requiring less work from the coals themselves and minimizing the amount of emissions they normally produce. Ceramic grills like the Big Green Egg allow you to close the lid and let the grill do all the work so you can enjoy your guest. These grills are the only charcoal grills that are truly set it and forget it.
The next most popular piece of equipment people want in their outdoor kitchen is a refrigerator. Why not consider a cooler? There are two different ways you can accomplish this mission. The first option is to purchase a cooler pull out drawer made by Twin Eagles. A cooler pull out drawer allows you to use the same cooler you take to the beach and slide it into your outdoor kitchen, leaving it hidden inside the frame. The cooler pull out drawer looks great and is available in all stainless steel just like the rest of the equipment on your island.
The second type of cooler is known as a “drop-in cooler” made by sole this cooler is dropped right into the countertop. Drop in coolers function the same way as slide in coolers the only difference is where they are located. The benefit to a drop in cooler is easier access. Most people use a fridge mainly for keeping their favorite beverage cold; a cooler can do that and use exactly zero electricity.
Whether looking to purchase a gas grill, charcoal grill, or a refrigerator you can still go green. Going green with your outdoor kitchen is a great way to cut back on emissions and save money. You can have the outdoor kitchen of your dreams and still be friendly to the environment. Remember, if you can dream it we can build it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ivan Stewart has helped consult hundreds of people on the art of designing an outdoor kitchen. His motto is “if you can dream it, we can build it”. He recently took first place in a local barbeque competition in the East Bay. Ivan has helped many consumers learn how to choose and use a barbeque that will complement their lifestyle. When he is not helping clients, he is working at perfecting his craft as a pit master.