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After a week of very cruel weather, the temps this past week have been comparatively balmy. Welcome to Calgary and welcome back the backyard barbecue.
Long gone are the days of tossing some burgers and dogs onto a flimsy grate over a rickety bucket powered by lump charcoal and lighter fluid.
Today, the backyard ‘Cue is much more sophisticated, with grills offering more options than cooking over an open flame and accessories that take your grilling game to the next level.
Here are some insights from Napoleon into trends that will become more popular this year.
The Backyard Tailgate: With the advent of more sophisticated backyard and landscape designs, which often includes outdoor TVs, the tailgate party can move to your yard. When the summer turns to fall, and the days get cooler, more backyard enthusiasts are investing in outdoor fireplaces or patio heaters to extend their use of their outdoor space. Put on the game, fire up the grill and cook up all your pre-game favourites at home — the bonus is access to indoor plumbing.
Charcoal: What’s old is new again. Backyard grillers are showing increasing tendency to want to cook over charcoal, citing the flavours from cooking over charcoal, as well as the affordability of charcoal grills. Modern charcoal grills also make it easier to get the barbecue to the desired temperature and keep it there. Even if you already own a gas grill, you can still enjoy the flavours that come with charcoal cooking by using a charcoal tray. Place it over top of your burners, fill with charcoal and let it heat up to get a new flavour experience.
Smoked Meals: More and more grill enthusiasts are investing in smokers and for obvious reasons. Cooking big cuts of meat, think brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, turkey, low and slow with a steady flow of smoke surrounding the meat results in a juicy, flavourful meal. But the value of a smoker goes beyond meat. Side dishes — baked beans, mashed potatoes, soups and even desserts are given a whole new flavour experience when smoked.
The Wow Factor: Not only do today’s high-quality grills get hot and stay hot, they also look good. Functional storage cabinets, infrared burners, rotisserie capabilities, smoker tubes and cosmetic enhancements (think knobs that light up, proximity lighting) make your barbecue more than just a place to flip burgers. Napoleon reimagined its Prestige Pro series with that in mind, a combination of form, function and luxury.
Gourmet on the Go: There was a time when cooking on the go on a portable grill, unless you were committed enough to pack up your backyard grill, was done on a flimsy little device that barely got hot enough, had little cooking space and rusted out after one weekend of use. Today’s portable grills are more sophisticated than ever. Stainless steel burners to heat up porcelain-coated cast iron grills, dual burners, temperature gauges and easy ignition make cooking on the go just as easy as doing it at home.
For more information, go to www.napoleon.com
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