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Modernize your Outdoor Kitchen

We’ve been basking in the sun for months now and many of us have regularly moved our meals outside to take advantage. In the process you might have found out the old, reliable grill isn’t so reliable anymore, or it’s finally time to make life easier by beefing up your backyard food prep and storage options.

Because you want your new outdoor kitchen to be effective for years, you should include the newest, highest-end technology you can. Here are some of the freshest appliances and concepts to include in your al fresco chef’s domain!

WI-FI/BLUETOOTH GRILLS

You may think this is a case of an appliance that doesn’t really need to be “smart,” but Wi-Fi-enabled gas and pellet grills can be monitored from inside the house or elsewhere in the yard for internal and external temperature, cooking speed and even give you a window into a closed smoker.

They “know” when the weather is cooler and add extra juice to heat the grill quickly and, if they’re gas-fueled, how much is left in the tank. The apps include recipes, step-by-step instructions and even tell you when it’s time to flip a burger — if you’re looking for that level of instruction.

PIZZA OVENS

These are much more versatile than their name implies, but they truly excel at baking this all-around favorite meal in minutes. Just make sure it’s big enough to accommodate the largest-sized pizza you’ll want to make.

Gas-fueled ovens are more predictable and easy to control, but many people considering a pizza oven purchase won’t settle for anything less than the full wood-fired experience with logs or pellets.

Meat and veggie dishes, flatbreads, casseroles, desserts and more also are fantastic out of these whether they’re brick, adobe or portable.

REFRIGERATORS

When these are used outdoors they must have the insulation and power needed to deal with unpredictable ambient conditions, so make sure it’s UL-certified for outside use. Some are now being made that can work either inside or out, something to consider if you think you might need this versatility.

A beverage or wine cooler may be all you really need out there, but remember most aren’t food-safe since they don’t get down to 40 degrees or below.

True refrigerators come in under-counter and full-size versions, and you’ll need to determine whether a freezer is worth the extra cost and energy.

BIOCLIMATIC PERGOLAS

If your cooking area won’t already be protected by a patio roof, these structures will give you the ultimate balance between protection and freedom with open sides and a roof that reacts to the weather via sensors to provide the sun and water protection you need — no more and no less.

Any rain or snow that accumulates there is conveniently drained via pipes along the columns to avoid any sudden showers. Conservatories made of iron and glass provide more protection and lend a more classical look, but should be shaded to prevent overheating in the summer.

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