Home Is Where the Grill Is

Grilling trends can inspire your outdoor cooking space.
Napoleon Prestige 500 gas grill

The winter chill has vanished, and Minnesotans are trying to soak up every degree above freezing. Which means … making use of the deck or any outdoor spaces! With advancements in grilling, grillers won’t even have to decide between charcoal and gas anymore when it comes to backyard burgers. We spoke with Julie Warner at Warners’ Stellian Appliance about trends in grilling, why we invest in outdoor cooking and why every house should have two grills.

Professional quality finishes and features are more than just a look. The trend popular in kitchens has made its way to the great outdoors. More powerful gas grills, built-in rotisseries that grill whole birds and side burners that can grill restaurant-quality steaks are just some of the features trending, according to Warner.

Grillers and entertainers alike are also looking into outdoor refrigeration as an accessory to add versatility. This dedicated feature means fewer trips indoors and is one of many ways Minnesotans are making their outdoor grilling venues mirror their indoor spaces.

“Especially because of the winter, making the most of your limited outdoor season is important to Minnesotans,” says Warner. Of course, there are people who grill outdoors year-round, but more and more Minnesotans are seeking to create an outdoor space worthy of a second kitchen.

If you’re looking to get into some serious gas grilling, Warner recommends grills with infrared burners for the highest and most consistent heat. Her pick is the Napoleon Prestige 500 gas grill, which has a charcoal option, so grillers can switch up how they want to grill. “You kind of have the best of both worlds. You can grill with gas during the week and have that barbecue experience on weekends,” Warner says.

If you’re looking for a little more heat, Warner recommends a Japanese Kamado-style smoker grill. The grills, which are generally egg-shaped, have been popping up in backyards across Minnesota. High heat in ceramic grills can exceed 700 degrees and allows for baking fresh pizza in addition to cooking dishes low and slow. A kamado grill can hold a 210-degree temperature overnight in January, according to Warner. “They’re for people who are really serious about barbecue all year round,” she says.

To get even deeper barbecue and smoky flavors, try a wood pellet grill. Hardwood feeds the fire, offering a deep flavor and more unique grilling experience. “It’s dummy-proof. People are fanatic about their pellet grills,” says Warner, who recalls a model last year causing a waiting list due to demand. Some models feature app-controlled software, among them, the popular Traeger models.

If you want to bring your backyard Pinterest board to life, local appliance stores offer more tips and trends. Warner recommends Warners’ Stellian’s Grill Expo, May 19-20, as another fun way to learn more about “all the latest and greatest in grills,” says Warner.

Whether you have a small charcoal grill or the works, everyone can enjoy the brief but beautiful northern summer.

“You have two cars at your household, why don’t you have two grills?” says Warner.