Premium Grill Benefits: 5 Reasons to Go Upscale With Your Barbecue

Toronto premium grill benefits

With the right design, an outdoor kitchen and entertaining space can become a backyard oasis that expands a home’s living space.

If your goal is to create an outdoor cooking area that projects a stunning high-end look, a premium grill is a must-have.

Creating a luxury outdoor kitchen and using a cheap grill makes as much sense as wearing a pair of Crocs with a tuxedo or parking luxury cars in a rundown garage. The entire aesthetic is just plain wrong.

A premium grill does cost more, but as that familiar expression goes, “you get what you pay for”.

Here’s a more original and thoughtful way to justify spending more to get more with a grill, using the words of a writer from the 1800s: “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

What premium grill benefits should buyers be aware of when they’re putting together an outdoor kitchen design? It all comes down to looks, functionality, and durability.

5 premium grill benefits

Many people think that a premium grill is one of those larger, fancier, more expensive barbecue models they’ve admired on display at their local big-box store.

While these types of barbecues are an undeniable step up from the inexpensive, low-quality models that can found elsewhere in a store’s grill department, they’re actually just barely scratching the surface of what is truly “premium”.

Any discussion about high-end grills involves premium brands such as DCS, Kalamazoo, Lynx, Komodo Kamado, Coyote, and Alfresco being part of the conversation.

A natural gas or propane grill is the foundation of an outdoor cooking space. Choosing the right grill model can be the make-or-break difference between being merely content with your outdoor kitchen or the area being one of your favourite home spaces.

And it’s a premium grill that is found in the finest outdoor kitchens.

These five premium grill benefits explain why it’s worth going upscale when buying your primary outdoor cooking appliance.

1. Premium grills are built to last

DCS premium grill

Even with proper care and maintenance, cheap grills are notorious for rusting after a short amount of time.

Either you or someone you know has had that frustrating experience where a relatively new barbecue is found to be showing signs of rust, despite the fact a grill cover was always used.

If any grill is kept outside, using a good cover certainly helps to prolong its life. A grill used in Canada is still going to have to contend with extreme temperature shifts and moisture that collects underneath its cover, however.

That’s one of many reasons the quality of a grill’s construction materials is so important.

Cheap grills keep costs down by cutting corners on virtually all aspects of the manufacturing process, starting with the construction materials.

Budget grills rust quickly because the metals they use (including steel, iron, and aluminum) are typically low-grade and sourced overseas. They are often made from thin steels and inferior cast aluminum, which doesn’t offer much durability.

One of the biggest premium grill benefits is that they last much longer than cheap grills because metals of a superior quality are used in the manufacturing process. Cheap steel manufactured in many countries, for example, includes a lot of recycled materials and can’t compare in quality to most North American-made steels.

Premium grills from manufacturers like Coyote and Alfresco are commonly made with 304 stainless steel (also known as 18/8 stainless steel in the commercial cookware industry). This thicker, higher quality steel provides excellent corrosion resistance and more grill durability.

Starter switches on cheap grills are notorious for how quickly they stop working. With a premium grill, you get better hardware and components that last longer and are more dependable. Lynx grills, for example, use high-performance ceramic and brass burners that won’t need replacing after only a few years.

The design and construction of a premium grill also pays more attention to important details like how the grill is welded. Cheap grills have poor designs with seams and gaps that let heat escape and cause a mess with leaking grease.

2. A premium grill just looks and feels nicer

A major incentive in taking on any home upgrade upgrade project is to make your living space look its best and be something you can’t wait to show off to visitors.

As the focal point of an outdoor cooking space, the grill is going to get its fair share of attention. You don’t want a low-end grill to detract from the high-end aesthetic of an outdoor kitchen that includes cabinetry, countertops, and additional appliances.

Even a grilling novice will immediately recognize the higher level of quality that a premium outdoor cooking appliance displays, compared to a cheap grill.

Those higher quality materials, heavy-duty construction, and the meticulously crafted design result in a sleek, finely-tuned outdoor cooking appliance.

Special aesthetic touches like integrated illumination via backlit designer knobs and high-intensity halogen lighting inside the premium grill cover not only enhance the look of the appliance, they also have practical applications. 

The “touch test” is another of the premium grill benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. A luxury grill just feels nicer to the touch and provides a more satisfying tactile experience.

Superior grill quality becomes evident in the small details like having knobs that turn smoothly and consistently, or doors and drawers that open and close easily. And one of the real tests of a grill’s quality is whether or not these parts still work perfectly after a few years of use.

Keep in mind that another benefit of buying a premium grill is that they come with better warranties than cheap grills.

3. You get a better, safer cooking experience

open DCS grill with chicken on rotisserie

Our summers in Canada are all too short. Who wants to waste the limited amount of outdoor enjoyment time the summer offers dealing with an undependable, frustrating-to-use grill?

Premium grills provide a more consistent level of functionality and dependability, which translates into a better outdoor cooking experience.

Standard features on premium grills like long-lasting ignition switches that always work and spring-assisted lids that easily open and close are the kinds of smaller user-friendly details that you’ll appreciate after years of using cheap grills.

Grills with better designs and high-quality metals do a better job at retaining heat and distributing the heat more evenly, which results in a more reliable cooking performance.

A higher quality grill is safer to use, too. In addition to the aforementioned lighting features they include, premium grills also use advanced heating systems that allow you to use different temperatures across the cooking area. This not only gives you more flexibility when grilling different types of food, it also minimizes the occurrence of dangerous flame flare-ups.

Having a grill with a reliable ignition switch naturally makes the appliance safer to use as well. You won’t need to go through the nerve-wracking experience of standing over a grill to light it with a match or stick lighter because that darn starter switch stopped working!

And let’s not forget the convenient smart features included in some models of premium grills, which simplifies the grilling process even more. Find out more about this premium grill benefit a little further on in this post.

4. A premium grill gives you the option to customize

Another reason a premium grill is a must-have for an outdoor cooking space is you’ll want to take advantage of the ability to customize it for your kitchen design.

Luxury outdoor kitchens typically don’t have standalone grills – they incorporate the grill right into the kitchen’s countertop and cabinet design.

This built-in design creates a clean, seamless look and allows the kitchen to be set up for an optimal level of convenience and work efficiency for the chef(s) when preparing and cooking meals.

Even a big-box store’s best grills tend to only come in one or two sizes. Premium grills offer many more size options and allow you to customize extras like the sizes of warming drawers and side burners.

Additional outdoor kitchen appliance options that expand the cooking space’s versatility include products like refrigerators, flat-top grills, pizza ovens, and beverage centres.

You can ensure the kitchen’s aesthetic remains consistent by choosing outdoor kitchen appliances and accessories with finishes and styles that complement each other and your grill.

5. Smart grill technology makes outdoor cooking easier

MyChef iconSmart technology has made its way into many of the appliances we use, from refrigerators with touchscreens that allow you to order groceries to dishwashers that can send a message to your smartphone telling you when the wash cycle is done.

Grills are another home appliance that have convenient smart features available. You won’t find them on grill models that can be picked up at the local big-box store for a few hundred dollars, however.

It’s only the high-end barbecues that integrate this state-of-the-art technology into their designs, such as the Lynx Professional Smart Series of grills.

These grills use Lynx’s innovative MyChef technology. Check out a few of the impressive things this intelligent tech can do when you’re grilling:

  • voice or smart device-activated commands can start the cooking process and adjust temperatures
  • sensors in the smart grill keep cooking temperatures at the perfect level
  • the grill is connected to an online database with hundreds of recipes and instructs you on how to get the best grilling results
  • updates to the grill’s learning module are made based on the user’s input and cooking habits
  • a smart phone or tablet app monitors temperatures and cooking times and sends you an alert when the food needs to be flipped or is done

Perfect your outdoor kitchen space with the right premium grill

Have these premium grill benefits convinced you that they’re worth the investment?

Enjoying a superior outdoor cooking experience starts with your grill, so don’t settle for anything less than one of the top premium grill brands.

Outdoor Kitchens & Cabinetry only works with the finest grill manufacturers, including Lynx, Alfresco, Coyote, and DCS.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to look at your premium grill options for your outdoor kitchen project.

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See also:

7 Outdoor Kitchen Trends That Will Transform Your Outdoor Living Space In 2020

Grilling and outdoor entertaining go hand in hand, with the experience moving well beyond how things used to be with a backyard get together.

Remember when an outdoor cooking area consisted of a standalone basic barbecue and a small rickety side table overloaded with meats, condiments, grilling tools, and the chef’s open beer?

Your guests might dine at a picnic table in need of a new coat of paint and relax in uncomfortable folding or Muskoka chairs.

That has now given way to decidedly more upscale outdoor cooking and entertaining spaces and experiences.

outdoor kitchen trends toronto

Outdoor kitchens are the most popular kitchen upgrade project

Forbes recently wrote that “outdoor kitchens and living areas are trending strongly and richly, with more enhancements than ever before”. Google “outdoor kitchen trends” and you’ll be met with 163,00,000 returned results.

The American Institute of Architects’ recent Home Design Trends Survey provides further evidence of the growing popularity of outdoor kitchen additions among homeowners and design professionals.

500 members of residential architecture firms were asked about their predictions for home design trends.

45% of the surveyed architects forecast that outdoor kitchens would be the most popular kitchen product and feature in the coming years.

7 outdoor kitchen trends and essential design features

The more sophisticated designs of modern interior kitchens are being utilized in the outdoor space, whether it’s a smaller setup in the corner of a deck or a larger, more elaborate outdoor cooking and entertaining area. Outdoor kitchens typically range from 100 to 400 square feet.

We took a look online at what real estate and home design professionals are projecting to be the hot outdoor kitchen trends, as well as what essential features they believe should be included in any outdoor living space that a homeowner wants to stand out.

With the right design and luxurious amenities, you just might find that your outdoor kitchen and lounging area even displaces the living room as your home’s go-to social hub!

1. A versatile, premium grill that’s built to last

The grill is an outdoor kitchen’s centrepiece, so choosing a high-quality cooking appliance worthy of a professional chef is essential for any upscale exterior kitchen.

Premium grill brands like Alfresco, Coyote, Lynx, and DCS make fine-tuned products that are far superior to even the highest-end grill models you’ll find in your local big-box store.

It starts with the construction. Any grill needs to be able to withstand the rigours of Canadian weather, even if an outdoor kitchen and the grill itself are covered up during the winter.

Premium propane and natural gas grills use high-quality stainless steel and construction materials to ensure long-lasting durability and reliable performance.

Grills with expansive cooking surfaces and handy extras like a smoking box, rotisserie, warming and grilling racks, a warming drawer, and side burners are a must-have for anyone who takes their barbecuing seriously.

Today’s luxury grills also come with some very swanky features that would have seemed unimaginable back in the days when grease-caked charcoal grills were the standard tool for barbecuing. Here are a few examples of some premium grill features:

  • integrated illumination with backlit control knobs, interior lighting, and halogen surface lights
  • advanced electro-mechanical valves to automatically maintain the preset surface temperature
  • smart controls that respond to voice commands or a smart device
  • a heat-treated hood assist system that makes opening the grill hood almost effortless

Another of the growing outdoor kitchen trends includes incorporating a built-in grill into the kitchen’s design, as opposed to having a standalone grill. This saves space, looks professional and elegant, and makes for a more efficient workspace.

2. Stylish, yet durable built-in cabinetry

You can’t call a space a kitchen without cabinetry. Naturally, an outdoor kitchen requires a special type of cabinetry.

It must be durable enough to handle being outdoors, while still maintaining the exterior cooking space’s stylish aesthetic. It needs to maximize your storage space as well.

Stainless steel is the material of choice for custom and semi-custom built-in cabinet systems used in the majority of outdoor kitchens.

Brands like Brown Jordan and Danver are made with commercial-grade stainless steel for superior durability. Powder-coated finishes ensure the cabinets stay rust-free for many years.

Stainless steel cabinets have a sleek look that can be customized to match your style preferences and to conform with your grill system and other outdoor kitchen features.

Another weatherproof cabinet option is a hi-density resin cabinet system, such as what NatureKast offers. Their cabinets replicate the texture and natural colour of real wood remarkably well.

Marine-grade aluminum kitchen cabinets are also engineered to withstand harsh weather and climates. Quebec’s Urban Bonfire is one of the leading manufacturers of this type of outdoor cabinet.

outdoor kitchen with grill and grey cabinets

Danver cabinets were used for this outdoor kitchen.

3. A resilient outdoor kitchen countertop

An outdoor kitchen countertop has three main functions. It has to:

  • have a resilient surface that can handle the requirements for a food prep area
  • be engineered for long-lasting structural and aesthetic integrity in an outdoor environment
  • visually complement the kitchen’s other stylish features

Some of the more common types of countertop materials include marble, granite, porcelain, soapstone, and concrete.

One of the outdoor kitchen trends we’re seeing more with countertops is to use surfaces made with sintering technology. This high-tech manufacturing process produces extremely durable surfaces that are highly customizable.

Any higher quality outdoor kitchen countertop will be non-porous and provide strong resistance to abrasions, stains, chemicals, and ultraviolet light (which will prevent the surface’s colour from fading over time).

4. An efficient, full-service food prep area

A well-designed outdoor kitchen should include a full-service food prep area. A practical layout for everything facilitates an efficient workflow.

The need for good lighting and an ample amount of counter space are a given.

Having all the amenities you’ll need to handle all of your food prep within easy reach is helpful, too. With so much to do getting your guest’s meals ready, there’s no time to waste shuttling in and out of the house to retrieve a needed item!

There are a full complement of interior kitchen amenities that can be added to an outdoor kitchen. Here are a few examples:

  • faucet and sink
  • built-in countertop side burners, flat top grill, and fryer
  • outdoor pizza oven and countertop oven
  • built-in countertop steam table
  • pullout electric warming drawer
  • refrigeration and ice-making appliances

5. Plenty of refrigeration

Let’s look a little closer at refrigeration in an outdoor kitchen. After all, ice and keeping things cool go hand in hand with cooking and lounging outside when the weather warms up.

Ensuring an outdoor kitchen is fully equipped to take care of both the host’s and guest’s refrigeration needs is the ultimate in convenience for an outdoor entertaining space.

Once again, having enough refrigeration in your outdoor cooking area saves you from making trips to your indoor fridge or freezer to restock on meats.

It saves guests from needing to make trips inside to get a fresh cold drink. You also won’t have to keep coolers or tubs of ice filled with bottled beverages scattered around your outdoor entertaining area.

There is no shortage of outdoor kitchen refrigeration options available. Top outdoor appliance brands like Alfresco and Lynx offer under-grill refrigerators, wine fridges, built-in under-counter fridges, and professional fridge/freezer combos.

How about adding an outdoor ice machine? Lynx has an energy-efficient luxury appliance that can produce almost 40 pounds of ice and provides audible alerts and programmed cleaning reminders.

6. Décor that coordinates with your home’s interior

The attention you pay to the design and décor of an indoor living space should extend to the outdoor living space as well.

The modern trend of “style continuity” in the home (where there’s a natural decorative flow from room to room) drives another of the outdoor kitchen trends gaining traction with designers.

More and more, the décor of outdoor kitchens installed on decks or patios is coordinated to align with and complement the style of the interior kitchen or the closest room to the outdoor kitchen.

Decorative flair can also be added to the already-impressive looks of a premium grill, cabinet system, and countertop in the form of cabinet backsplashes and decorative moulding elements.

7. Add-on features that elevate your outdoor living experience

We’ve covered a lot, but there’s still more you can do to elevate your outdoor living experience. Some add-on features and design elements to consider are:

  • an outdoor fireplace or fire pit
  • a TV mounted in your cabinetry
  • an integrated sound system with hidden speakers and wiring
  • high-end outdoor furniture
  • landscape lighting to boost the ambiance in your outdoor lounge area
  • a herb garden close to the food prep area
  • an outdoor kitchen island that has multiple uses as a supplementary food prep area, extra storage space, and as a flat surface for guests to use

Start adopting these outdoor kitchen trends for your cooking space

All of these outdoor kitchen trends and essential features will contribute immensely to the enjoyment of any outdoor cooking and entertaining space.

If you’re planning to upgrade or add an outdoor kitchen in your home, request a design consultation with Outdoor Kitchens & Cabinetry today.

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