The Hearth and Grill Shop would like to thank you for your participation in this year’s Backyard Challenge. Once again, we had a record year for contestants with 36 teams entering for the 9th Annual Event. Judging was very competitive and the margins between teams were very close. Over $7,000.00 in cash and prizes went to this year’s winners.
Fortunately, the rain held for most of the day with only a few of us getting wet at the end.
We would like to thank this year’s sponsors: Big Green Egg, Weber, Firemagic, American Outdoor Grill, Looft Lighter, Tennessee Golf Cars, Witt’s BBQ, & Salt Rox and all their representatives. Thanks again to Jeff Bassemier, Don Murphy, John Tucker, Ross Johnson, Mac, Ed Reilly and Ron Beagle for their time and demonstrations.
Wings from the BGE Demo Area
Best Ribs ever so said the Judges
Ricky Sullivan & Jeff Bassemier
The judges also deserve special thanks. I know –“poor, poor, Judges”. Tasting and Judging 5 entries from 36 teams in a very small amount of time is harder than you think. The judges gift for next year maybe an industrial size bottle of TUMS.
This is Serious Man!
Customers Enjoying the Cook-Off
Serious Work in Judges Room!
Congratulations to all of those that placed in a category and a special Congratulations to our Grand Prize winner, The Q Crew. Brandon Stinson and his team have competed in the Backyard Challenge for 3 years and they put it all together this year to take home a Big Green Egg as the Grand Prize winner. If you did not place this year, try again at our 10th Annual Backyard Cook-Off next spring. Attached are the results for this year’s event. Check to see where you placed over all and in individual categories.
It’s been a Long Night & Day!
And the Winner I….!!!
Saucing it up with Team Man Wagon
We haven’t even cleaned up from this year and we are already thinking about next year.
The Hearth & Grill Shop’s 40th Anniversary is next spring and we want you back to help us celebrate by being one of the 40 teams in the Backyard Challenge next year.
Great Tasting Chicken
I Be So, So… Proud!!!
BBQ Team Sharing the Goods!
We cannot say thank you enough. Your dedication and passion for Bar-B-Q and Competition is truly appreciated. Please feel free to forward this email to family and friends, so they have a link to all of the days fun and festivities.
Finding the Best Ribs for Judging
We look forward to seeing everyone next year.
Sincerely and Thanks again,
Jeff M. Lunsford
The Hearth and Grill Shop
It is that time of year again! Bar B Q time at The Hearth & Grill Shop. Join us for our 9th Annual Backyard Challenge amateur BBQ Cook-Off! Hopefully, this letter will look very familiar to you, if it does not, then we invite you to join in on the fun. We invite you to bring your grills, your smokers, your tents, your banners, your lawn chairs, your techniques, your innovative ideas, and most importantly your passion for competition, BBQ, and smoking.
This year’s competition will be held on Saturday, June 1st at The Hearth & Grill Shop. Another record number of 32 teams participated in last year’s event and the number of teams competing has grown larger each year, so booth space will be at a premium. Competition space will be first come – first serve, so enter as soon as possible, to guarantee your spot for this years Challenge.
This year’s entry fee is a flat rate of $75.00, which covers both the Gas and Charcoal Divisions. The entire entry fee goes directly to the Cash Prizes. Once again, the format will consist of Gas and Charcoal Divisions. Each Division has a Chicken and Rib Category. Cash and prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in each of the four Categories. The Grand Prize, a Large Big Green Egg, goes to the team that shows the best overall score in the Chicken and Rib Categories in BOTH the Gas and Charcoal Divisions. The Dessert category will not affect the Grand Prize standings, however, there will be a cash prize and bragging rights for the winner of the Dessert category.
There are a few changes to aid in the exit strategy from the competition area to get your team out as quick as possible. First, breakdown your area before you are instructed to move your team vehicle in for loading. Second, please do no block the lane while loading. Third, we ask that you do not bring a BBQ Rig or Trailer over 10’ long. If you receive permission to do so, be prepared to be one of the last participants to leave the competition area.
The changes that we implemented for parking last year greatly helped, so keep in mind the following parking changes that we will continue this year. First, NO parking will be allowed in the Competition Cooking Area at any time, Unload and Load Only. Second, parking is at an extreme premium. Each team will be allowed ONE (1) Team vehicle and ONE (1) Team parking space near the Competition Cooking Area. All other teammates, family and friends are to park as advised by the competition staff. Lastly, RV parking and electricity for RV parking is limited. Once again, First come – First served.
The most important rule for the day will be HAVE FUN! We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your continued participation in this event. Enter now and get your team together for the 9th Annual Backyard Challenge BBQ Cook-Off. We look forward to seeing you at set up on Friday, May 31st.
Thank you for your participation in advance. For questions or concerns please contact me.
1) Entry fee will be $75.00 to enter in either or both divisions: Charcoal or Gas
2) Chicken and Pork Ribs (no country ribs). You must enter both the Gas and Charcoal divisions and have entries in both the Chicken and Rib categories to be eligible for Grand Championship.
3) All meat must be inspected, in original store package and in a cooler with ice, and must be held at or below 40 degrees.
4) After meat is inspected, you may begin to marinate products. Meat inspection will start at 6:00pm Friday though 8:00am Saturday.
5) No food products are to be sold or given to public from cook sites.
6) A 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner will be awarded in both Divisions and in each category.
7) Turn in times: 11:30 am Chicken; 1:00 pm – Ribs; 2 pm – Dessert. 2:30 –3:00 pm Awards.
8) You will have five (5) minutes before and five (5) minutes after the hour to turn in your entries to judges.
9) Containers for judging turn-in will be provided. You must turn in at least 6 samples. Example: 6 ribs; 6 chicken thighs, etc.
10) Entries will be judged on appearance, tenderness/ texture and taste in accordance with Kansas City BBQ Society rules.
11) When you finish cooking, a container will be provided for your hot ashes, excess grease etc. please use this container to avoid fires and help keep your area clean.
12) Your cooking area must be as clean as you found it. Garbage containers will be provided. Must have a gray water (SANITIZING SOLUTION) container and cleaning containers with a solution of water and bleach.
13) Do not have any open fires on the ground. Use a charcoal starter (chimney or start the fire in your cooker). All grill fires must be contained.
14) You will have a 10 x 10 cook site area designated for you. Those needing more space need to notify the Backyard Challenge Coordinator for possible consideration as available.
15) NO Trailers over 10’ will be permitted. No Exceptions – No Discussion.
16) PARKING – Each team will be allowed ONE (1) Team vehicle and ONE (1) Team parking space near the Competition Cooking Area. All others associated with the team are to park as advised by the competition staff.
17)There is no parking allowed in the Competition Cooking Area, only unload and load.
18) There will be an exit strategy and participants will be instructed on how to exit the Competition area. At the conclusion of the event, please begin to break down your area and you will be instructed on when to bring your team vehicle to the competition area. When loading – do not block the exit out of the competition area.
19) RV and overnight parking is limited. First come, First serve. Electricity is limited to the RV parking area.
20) Access to electricity and electric extension cords will be available on a limited basis and may not be available to all areas of the competition. Those requiring an electric outlet need to notify the Backyard Challenge coordinator prior to the event for possible consideration, as available.
21) You may cook with gas, wood, or charcoal.
22) Water and ice will not be provided.
23) A MANDATORY cooks meeting will be held Saturday, June 1st at 8:00am to go over rules and questions.
24) No pets, fireworks, or firearms are allowed on grounds.
25) Failure to follow the above rules may cause your entry to be disqualified.
26) Value of Awards will be in excess of $7,000 in cash, prizes, and products.
27) Set up times will be Friday, May 31st, 6-10pm & Saturday, June 1st, 6-8am. NO exceptions. Overnight security will be provided for the event and access to restrooms will be available.
28) You must be 18 years of age to compete. 18 or younger, a parent or guardian must be present at all times.
29) Hearth and Grill Shop, vendors, sponsors and any other participating entities shall not be held liable for any injury or loss.
30) The decisions by the judges will be final.
31) Be Competitive, Help your Neighbors & Have Fun!
The Hearth and Grill Shop’s Backyard Challenge Bar B Que Cook-Off has two categories, Chicken and Ribs. For the Rib category, we specify that the ribs be Pork and have to be either, baby back or spare ribs – we do not allow country style ribs in the competition. I like spare ribs, a.k.a. St. Louis Style Ribs, however, I prefer the baby backs for cooking at home and most of our Cook-Off competitors do as well. There are as many different recipes and techniques for quality ribs as there are people cooking them. The combination of the ingredients and techniques below yield delicious ribs every time.
I want to taste three things when I eat ribs. First, is the flavor of the pork. There cannot be enough said here about the importance of quality ingredients. Fresh, never frozen, ribs from a reputable butcher, is the way to go. Ask the butcher to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. When ribs are smoked too long, the only taste that is left is smoke and spice – the true identity of the meat is lost. I smoke my ribs, especially, baby backs a little less, usually around 3 hours total with few minutes of resting before serving. The second thing is the spice of the rub. I use a quick marinade and a dry rub right before the racks go in the smoker. The third thing is smoke balanced with the sauce. I like dry rubbed ribs finished with a little sauce to keep the meat moist. I do not prefer heavy or overly sweet sauces, so I lean toward a vinegar sauce for a balance of flavors.
4 Slabs Baby Back Ribs, rinsed and patted dry.
For the Wet Marinade:
¼-Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
¼-Cup Orange Juice
¼-Cup Jack Daniels or your other favorite whiskey or bourbon
¼-Cup Soy Sauce
Whisk all the ingredients together. Place the ribs on a sheet pan and liberally brush the vinegar mixture on with a basting brush. This can done the night before and then left uncovered in the refrigerator or apply the marinade and leave them at room temperature while making the rub and preparing your grill.
For the Dry Rub:
Ribs never been rubbed this good!
2-Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
2-Tablespoons Sweet Paprika
2-Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1-Tablespoons Black Pepper, ground fresh
1 ½ -Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1-Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1-Teaspoon Onion Powder
1-Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or to taste
Mix all ingredients together and reserve.
For the Vinegar Sauce:
2-Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
½-Cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
2-Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1-Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1-Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes – this adds a little zip,
for extra hot sauce use 1-Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
In a medium sauce pot whisk together the vinegar, ketchup and hot sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat to warm and dissolve the sugar. Do not boil. Allow to cool and reserve. This can be made ahead of time, several days in fact and the flavor gets better.
For the Smoker:
Saucing it up for Talk of the Town with Meryl Rose
Being Tennessee’s Largest Big Green Egg Dealer, we are always going to recommend the “EGG” as the preferred smoker; however, any smoker will work, as long as the temperature can be maintained at 250 degrees.
Reserved Vinegar Sauce
2-Cups Hickory Wood Chips soaked in water for at least 1 hour.
Preheat your Big Green Egg to 250 degrees. Liberally rub the rib racks with the reserved spice mixture on both sides. Let the racks rest with the rub on them for 30 minutes before placing on the smoker.
Place the racks, bone side down, on the cooking grids and drop a handful of soaked chips on the coals. More wood chips can be added as necessary. Cook the ribs for 2 hours. Baste the ribs with the vinegar sauce every 15 minutes for the third hour. Shut the Smoker completely down and allow the ribs to rest in the smoker. Remove the racks to a warm platter and baste again with the sauce. Cover with foil and allow to rest again for 15 minutes. Cut the ribs and arrange back on the platter with one more sauce application.
The new Broilmaster gas grills offer more cooking configurations than your kitchen stove – including searing, grilling, broiling, smoking, slow roasting, indirect cooking, and baking.
Broilmaster Premium Gas Grills are The Hearth and Grill Shop’s “Go To” grill for durability and impressive performance. All Broilmaster Gas Grills feature a heavy cast aluminum housing for heat distribution and retention, which carries a Broilmaster Lifetime warranty. The Stainless Steel H-burners in the economy H series have a 10-year warranty and the Stainless Steel Bowtie burners in the P3X and P4X series feature a Lifetime warranty.
With its twin burner controls, Broilmaster offers the ultimate in temperature management. Many of the Broilmaster grills at The Hearth and Grill Shop utilize adjustable, multi-level Stainless Steel cooking grids for durability and versatility in cooking.
With the Broilmaster Gas Grill you have the ability to build your own grill with post mount, patio mount or cart mount options. Any of these mounting options may be upgraded to Stainless Steel, which carries a Lifetime warranty. Other options include side burners, fixed or drop down side and drop down front shelves. Most models can be equipped with either a rock grate and briquettes or “Flare Busters”.
Broilmaster’s exclusive Smoker Shutter system – available for the P3X and standard on the P3SX – acts like a set of stainless steel blinds positioned between the burner and your food. Open the shutters for conventional grilling and searing over high heat. Close the shutter for indirect grilling, smoking, and baking.
Available in natural gas or propane gas models, not only is the Broilmaster grill “The Most Durable Grill Known To Man” it is also one of the most versatile.
Take an everyday staple like salt and accentuate the flavor and eye appeal of your food by cooking and serving on a Salt Rox Blox. Salt Rox Blox are carved from 500 million year old Pink Himalayan Salt from the Himalayan mountains.
For a Perfectly grilled whole chicken with crisp skin and moist white and dark meat finished at the same time – try this simple technique. The chicken should marinate at least 6 hours, but over night is preferable for maximum flavor. The heat and weight from the Salt Rox Blox ensures the chicken will be perfectly seasoned, cook evenly, and the skin will crisp to grilling Nirvana.
For the Chicken:
1 (4 to 5 – pound) Chicken
With the chicken breast side down on a cutting board, using a chef’s knife or a pair of kitchen shears, cut the chicken on either side of the backbone from the neck to the tail. Repeat on the opposite side and completely remove the backbone from the carcass.
Turn the chicken breast side up on the cutting board and with the heel of your hand press down in the center of the bird to crack the sternum. Press down hard enough to flatten the chicken into two equal attached halves. Place in a shallow dish for marinating.
For the Seasoning/Marinade:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 lemon, zest and juice, + a little juice to drizzle at the end
2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin olive oil + some to drizzle at the end
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
In a mixing bowl combine the garlic, rosemary, chili flakes, black pepper, and lemon juice & zest. Then whisk in the oil.
For the Salt Rox Blox:
1 each 8” x 12” Salt Rox Blox
1 Tablespoon, Safflower oil
Preheat a Big Green Egg, Weber Kettle, or other charcoal grill to medium heat, building the fire on one side of the grill. Place the cooking grids on the grill and place the Salt Rox Blox inside directly over the fire to preheat for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing some of the excess olive oil to drain off. Brush the side of the Salt Rox Blox that will be placed on the chicken with the oil. Place the chicken skin side down on the opposite side of the hottest coals. A good trick is to have the drumsticks the closest to the direct heat, as they will take a little longer to cook. Place the hot Salt Rock Blox on top of the chicken and cook skin side down until the skin becomes crispy and browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Set the Salt Rox to the side and turn the chicken over to finish cooking another 15 to 20 minutes. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove the chicken to the warm Salt Rox and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest 5 to 10 minutes before carving to allow all of the juices to be reabsorbed.
Carve the chicken into serving pieces and drizzle with a little more lemon juice and olive oil. Serve right on the Salt Rox Blox.
The Hearth and Grill Shop is your Outdoor Grill Super store for Charcoal Grills and both Natural and Propane Gas Grills. Come by this Saturday to see The Best Chicken Under a Salt Rox Blox in action as we cook on a Big Green Egg.
Spring has sprung and Easter is this Sunday. This is a quick lamb preparation with all the good things of spring. The preparation time is minimal and the outcome is a flavorful grilled lamb dish, just in time for Easter. There is not a better way to celebrate Easter, than bringing the wonderful Spring flavors of lamb, lemon, olive oil and fresh herbs together.
¼ Cup Virgin olive oil, a little extra for drizzling
2 Lemons, juice & zest
1 Tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
1 Teaspoon red chile flakes
12 ½’- thick lamb rib chops, frenched, ask your butcher to do this for you.
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
In a shallow baking dish, toss the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme, and lamb chops together, making sure to coat both sides of the lamb. Allow to marinate at room temperature, while the grill is prepared.
Build a medium – hot fire in your Big Green Egg, Weber Kettle, or favorite charcoal grill. Season the lamb chops on both sides with the kosher salt and fresh pepper. Grill the lamb chops, turning once, 2 – 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Allow the chops to rest for a couple of minutes. Drizzle with olive oil.
Serve with a simple field greens salad, roasted new potatoes, and grilled “First of Spring” asparagus.
Are you considering a New Fireplace, Gas Logs or Outdoor Grill for your deck, patio or Outdoor Kitchen with all the amenities? Come visit The Hearth & Grill Shop’s exhibit booth at The Home Decorating and Remodeling Show to get started.
This is the 29th Annual Home Decorating and Remodeling Show and The Hearth & Grill Shop has been a participant for every one of them! This years show will once again be held at the Nashville Convention Center. The dates are September 7th, 8th, and 9th. For more Home Decorating & Remodeling Show information please follow this link: www.nashvillehomeshow.com
The Hearth & Grill Shop will have our most experienced Fireplace and Grill Technical Staff to answer all your questions. We will feature live burn displays for you to see all of our products in action. The Hearth & Grill Shop works with Residential Home Owners, Interior Designers and Home Building Contractors in selecting the highest quality solutions for all your outdoor grill enjoyment or any of your Fireplace needs. Come out and see us the weekend of September 7th thru 9th at the Nashville Home Decorating & Remodeling Show. The Hearth and Grill Shop is Nashville’s Fireplace and Grill Superstore serving Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, Hendersonville, Gallatin, Middle Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama for almost 40 years.
The time for a Fire Magic Stainless Steel Gas Grill has come; summer is here and Fire Magic wants you to make owning the stainless steel grill of your dreams a reality. The Fire Magic Echelon Diamond portable gas grills and Fire Magic Echelon Diamond built-in island gas grills are some of the finest made along with the Fire Magic Aurora portable gas grills or Aurora post mount gas grills. Fire Magic is the ultimate outdoor barbecue grill- in the game since 1937, Fire Magic makes premium all commercial grade stainless steel gas grills in Southern California, American made.
Echelon Diamond E790i Built-In Gas Grill with Magic View Window
It doesn’t get any finer than the Fire Magic Echelon Diamond Series Gas Grill- family friends and, at the lively center of your outdoor living environment, the world’s finest island grill. The Echelon Diamond Gas Grill Collection features sublime craftsmanship and superior technology that make these grills the gold standard for outdoor cooking. Experience grilling performance at its zenith with the Echelon Diamond Gas Grill Collection from Fire Magic by R. H. Peterson.
Aurora A430s Stand Alone Grill with Rotisserie
The Fire Magic Aurora Gas Grill Collection holds the high quality, durability and outdoor cooking versatility you have come to expect from Fire Magic Outdoor Grills- cook all of your meals on a Fire Magic Aurora Grill! Fire Magic is the Premium gas grill selected by grill aficionados around the world. Thanks to its heavy duty construction and Fire Magic’s 75 year knowledge of constructing outdoor products built to last, you can be sure that you’ve made the right choice when selecting a Fire Magic Gas Grill. Get The Gas Grill of Your Dreams!
All Fire Magic Echelon Diamond & Aurora Gas Grills feature the best engineering of any gas grill available including a 12″ deep firebox to provide the most complete convection cooking available, cast stainless steel “E” burners for consistent, even heat distribution, push-to-light ignition system, spring-assisted lid for feather-lite lifting, the highest BTU ratings per square inch available, sleek styling with seamless control panel, built-in thermometer with integrated meat probe, recessed backburner, built-in storage rack for rotisserie spit rod, removable warming rack, stainless steel flavor grids and easy to use drip collection system. Fire Magic is sure to please for a lifetime and is backed by the best warranty in the industry!
Get a Fire Magic gas grill today and transform your backyard into a gourmet restaurant to the envy of all your neighbors.
The Hearth and Grill Shop would like to thank you for your participation in this years Backyard Challenge BBQ Cook-Off. Once again, we had a record year for contestants with 32 teams entering for the 8th Annual Backyard Challenge BBQ Cook-Off. Judging was very competitive and the margins between BBQ Grilling and Smoking teams were very close. I heard from several of the Backyard Challenge judges say that the entries this year were well above average and judging was difficult. Over $7,000.00 in cash and prizes went to this years winners.
The weather was great, the BBQ Food Entries were incredible and the competition was ferocious. Thank you all for making our little Backyard Challenge BBQ event bigger and better each year.
We would also like to thank this years sponsors: Big Green Egg, Broilmaster, Weber, FireMagic, American Outdoor Grill, Looftlighter, Tennessee Golf Cars, Witt’s BBQ, Fireplace Xtrodinaire, and their representatives. Thanks again to Ross Johnson, Collin Johnson, Gary Meyer, Ed Reilly, and Don Murphy, for their time and demonstrations.
The Backyard Challenge judges also deserve special thanks for the difficult job they had eating all the delicious chicken, ribs and desserts. It is a tough job, but someone had to do it!
Congratulations to all Backyard Challenge contestants that placed in a category and a special Congratulations to our Grand Prize winner, 3 Rusty Nails. Charles Snoody and his team have competed in the Backyard Challenge for years and put it all together this year to take home a Big Green Egg as the Grand Prize winner. If you did not place this year, try again at our 9th Annual Backyard Challenge Cook-Off next spring. Attached are the results for this year’s Hearth and Grill Shop Backyard Challenge event. Check to see where you placed over all and in individual categories.
Look for your invitation to the 9th Annual Backyard Challenge BBQ Cook-Off next Spring via letter or email.
We cannot say thank you enough. Your dedication and passion for Bar B Q and Competition is truly appreciated. Please feel free to forward this email to family and friends, so they have a link to all of the days fun and festivities.
We look forward to seeing everyone next year!
Sincerely and Thanks again,
Jeff M. Lunsford
The Hearth and Grill Shop
We have youtube video clips of each team listed below. You can also visit the Hearth and Grill YouTube Home Page at http://www.youtube.com/hearthandgrill to also view the clips. In the coming days and weeks you should be able to Google your teams name and find your video. We will be posting more pictures and videos of the Hearth and Grill Backyard Challenge BBQ Cook-Off in the coming days. So please check back to the Hearth and Grill Blog for more news about this years Backyard Challenge!
Entire Day Video of Backyard Challenge BBQ Cook-Off
Be it a Cart model, free standing, stainless steel grill or a Built-In grill for an Outdoor Kitchen, choosing the correct Stainless Steel Grill can be daunting with the number of manufacturers, grades of stainless steel, and possibilities available. We at The Hearth and Grill Shop have answered thousands of questions about Stainless Steel Grills and have sold hundreds of Stainless Steel Grills. With that experience we have come up with some tips and thoughts to consider when purchasing a stainless steel grill.
Stainless Steel Portable Grill by Firemagic
Stainless Steel Natural Gas Grill by American Outdoor Grill
Outdoor Stainless Steel Built In Grill by Firemagic
High Quality 304 Stainless Steel Grill
All that is shiny, is not necessarily, the best in a Stainless Steel Grill on the market today and if the price looks to good to be true? – There may need to be an investigation into the grade of stainless steel used. A good quality stainless steel grill and components are a must for dependability and performance. Just because a gas grill is stainless steel, does not mean that it will last or keep from rusting. 430, 430 rolled stainless steel and higher grades are in the market at lower costs; however, if your decision for stainless steel is based on durability, settle for nothing higher in grade than 304 stainless. Manufacturers, such as, FireMagic and American Outdoor Grill use both mirrored and brushed 304 Stainless Steel throughout their grills, resulting in excellent performance, durability and long warranties. FireMagic and American Outdoor Grill are available in natural or propane gas and are field convertible.
Small to Large Stainless Natural Gas Grill
Most manufacturers that produce quality 304 stainless steel grills, readily offer the grade of stainless steel being used, but if the grade of stainless steel is not evident on the grill you are interested in, try the “magnet test”. Take a simple refrigerator magnet and see if it will stick to the grill in question. If it is stainless steel and the magnet sticks, it is NOT a grade of stainless you will want to purchase for the long run. 304-grade stainless steel has a significant amount of chromium and nickel in it and will not rust. Because of the blend of metals and less steel, a simple magnet will NOT stick, but that is exactly the material you are looking for. 304-grade stainless steel is not an inexpensive material, however, you get what you pay for. Keep in mind that the cost of the grill is significant, but the cost of replacing a lower quality stainless steel unit in a few short years with a new one, will most likely be much more. If you purchase an inferior quality grill for an outdoor kitchen and have to replace it in a few years, because it has rusted out, most likely the next grill you choose will not fit back into the original opening. Which means you will not only have to pay for a new grill, but you will also have to spend money to retrofit your island.
Manufacturers place warranties on products based on how long they think that product will last or they will create a warranty on a higher end product that they are willing to consume, to sell the product. Grills are great example of this. Less expensive grills found at the box stores will feature warranties that cover materials for 2 or 3 years and that is about how long that grill will last. A lifetime warranty on a grill does not mean that it will last forever. It really means that the manufacturer feels comfortable enough with the quality of the parts that they will not have to be replaced consistently. To some degree, warranty replacement parts have already been factored into the original sale price of the unit. Lifetime warranties on the housing of the grill, the burners, and cooking grids are the best place to start.
Stainless Steel Gas Grill Storage Cabinet
High Quality Stainless Steel Cooking Grids
High Quality Stainless Steel Accessories for Built In Outdoor Grills available from the Hearth and Grill Shop
This one may have not come to mind, but we hear it consistently. A customer builds an outdoor kitchen ten years ago and it has served them well, now they would like to upgrade to a newer grill with more features. They pick out a new grill, but now have to modify their grill island, at great cost, to fit the new grill. FireMagic built-in stainless steel grills have been manufactured for over 70 years. With that experience they understand that even if you change model numbers and features over the years, do not change the cut out dimensions for the components. A FireMagic E660I will fit in the opening that was required for a FireMagic Regal II from 15 years ago. If you purchase a FireMagic Stainless Steel Grill today and one 10 years from now you should not have to modify your island unless you choose a larger or smaller grill.
Have your grill and components professionally installed by the company you buy them from or a certified gas technician. There may be the need for an electrician and potentially a plumber depending on the components. If you are considering an island under a covered area there may also be the need to incorporate a Stainless Steel Ventilation Hood. Again, the quality of the material will determine its durability and performance. Built-in grills and components will require over size gas lines for installation with gas shut-offs. Existing gas lines may not be adequate for the additional gas required by components. After installation, have your grill routinely serviced by a certified technician. The warranty on the grill may also improve by having the grill professionally installed and you can be sure that your investment will be working at maximum performance and efficiency. Having the grill routinely serviced will keep that grill performing at peak levels and increase its longevity. The Hearth and Grill Shop not only sales the best grills on the market today, but we also install and service them as well.
Jeff M. Lunsford
The Hearth & Grill Shop