Americans love to grill: 75 percent of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker, and 63 percent use it year-round. Some grill lovers even fire theirs up for breakfast.
It doesn’t matter where you live or what you’re grilling — South Carolina hogs with a mustard-based sauce, smoked salmon in the Pacific Northwest, a seafood bake on Cape Cod, or the classic burgers and dogs on a weekday night — we all love to spend time around the grill and enjoy a meal cooked over an open flame.
If you’re firing up your barbecue for Memorial Day, you’re certainly not alone: It’s the second most popular holiday for grilling out, eclipsed only by the 4th of July. And it should be no surprise that May is also National Barbecue Month — the chilly weather has turned into sunny and warm days in much of the U.S., and we can almost taste summer.
45 percent of U.S. adults will purchase a new grill or smoker this year. So what’s hot in grills and outdoor kitchens now? After attending the annual HPBExpo in March, we think we know the secrets to perfecting the BBQ and outdoor experience. Here’s what we learned about the new features grill makers are packing into your favorite outdoor appliance and how new designs are reshaping the outdoor space.
Fired up designs in grills, outdoor kitchens
Awesome features are heating up high-end grills: The market’s top-of-the-line grills are packed with goodies and features that make the grill a true all-in-one cooking appliance. Some grills now feature built-in motorized rotisserie spits and LED lighting inside and out. Some lights lie inside the grill lid to illuminate the surface while you cook, and others serve as accent lights around the dials.
But one of the most visible additions to high-end grills is a glass-ceramic window. Grill masters seem to love a grill lid with a glass window that lets them peer into the grill to see cooking steaks and spot flare ups charring the meat; in fact, more than half of the serious grill masters we polled said this window helps monitor their food and many said it improves the overall BBQ experience. The glass ceramic can stand up to the scorching temperatures of any burner, and it’s another inviting component that attracts your guests to come stand around the grill.