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Outdoor Kitchens? (and grilling goodness)

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Let's see if this gets bounced...

Anyone have any suggestions on help for an outdoor kitchen? I've got a tiny galley kitchen but a good size backyard, so rather than pay 30K+ to refurbish a kitchen, I'd like to spend half of that and do a nice one outdoors. Anyone done it? Any professionals to recommend?

Costco, Central Market and Johnny G's have become my stops for Grilling season. The mini bell peppers from Costco have been fantastic. Stuff them with ground sausage from Johnny G's, wtih some cheese and sundried tomato, or grill them empty, peel the skins, then stuff them with soft cheese.

Also picked up some wonderful golden cauliflower from Central Market. Trimmed it, rubbed it with butter, seasoned it with Penzey's Foxpoint and some smoked seasoned salt, then wrapped it in foil and left it on the grill for 40 minutes. Have a new favorite summertime vegetable.

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Central Market
4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

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  1. i hope this thread takes off and people start chiming in.
    austin is blessed with so much heat and sunshine for a large part of the year that an outdoor kitchen is not as much a "luxury" as it would be in my native land of boston.
    even so, i come from an italian family, and we had brick ovens outside for summer cooking.

    your grill suggestions sound great!
    sadly, i am single and am an apartment dweller right now, which is pretty much a double whammy.
    we have some grills on the complex, and they are quite nice, but you have to wait your turn.
    it just takes too long for my meal-for-one to even bother.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dinaofdoom

      Take a look at the Weber Q grills. I use one just about every day, I use the Q200 on a stand as the workhorse of my cooking. Cast iron grates, even heating, fairly portable. Downsides - burner holes clog easily (I use it way too much) and if you don't use a large propane tank, it uses the off-size camping propane bottles which are hard to find.

      You can get a Weber Q100 (http://preview.tinyurl.com/29g5wfd ) Faster than a hibachi, relatively cheap, solidly built very portable and take it anywhere in your apt complex or a a park.

      On the outdoor kitchen front, I'm getting some flagstone laid down, a pergola cover starting to look at BBQ islands. Costco's got a monster, don't know if the grill is any good, but I guess with Costco I can get it replaced if I need to. I'm stunned by the cost of the inset grills, often pricing out at $4K.

      I'd like to get a big green egg (or generic) and a gas grill, but the cost may end up with a charcoal smoker added on the side or building out the frame.

      1. re: dinaofdoom

        I'd love to hear from some people that have outdoor kitchens and what they find themselves using the most. Like, how much storage do you have and is it enough. i have a gas grill right now, but I really want to go back to charcoal - with an outdoor kitchen is one preferable?

        1. re: allyson

          I use both gas and charcoal. In the past two weeks, when I've cooked outside probably 10 times and every time it was gas, primarily due to limited time. Plus, as my small charcoal grill has become more seasoned (okay, dirty?) I find that I'm getting a lot of the flavor I've had from charcoal.

      2. If you are going to drop serious coin on an outdoor kitchen, you have to get a big green egg. I can sear a bone in rib eye at 700 degrees in just a few minutes or slow smoke a pork shoulder for 16 hours at 225....with one small load of charcoal.

        Check out BBQ outfitters out by steiner ranch. They do cooking demos all the time and will be happy to show you the ropes. I bought mine used somewhere else and they still taught me how to use it. I haven't burned food since I got this thing either.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LakeLBJ

          Thanks for the info. I've got a big offset smoker that I love, but when I want to fire it up, it takes a bit of work but I can put in 40-50 pounds of meat. So my seal-a-meal gets a workout.
          I do want to checkout the generic version of one, Sam's has one for a few hundred bucks, don't know what I'd be missing out on if the ceramic is nearly the same and the lid holds up right.