Barbecue vs. Grilling: What’s the Diff?

grillQuestion: Do you know the difference between the barbecue and grilling?

Second Question: Do you care?

I was getting ready to grill a few burgers when my neighbor walked over. We struck up a conversation about yard work, planting and my grill. You would never guess that an innocent conversation would turn into an outdoor cooking learning experience. It started when he asked a very innocent question. “Getting ready for a barbecue?”

“Nope,” I responded. “I’m firing up the grill for some burgers.”

“That’s what I said; you’re getting the barbecue going.”

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Tips For Grilling In Small Spaces

kamado ceramic grillA spacious backyard is not needed in order to create a great grilling environment.  Even urban lifestyles with some outdoor space can have enough room to be able to have an ample sized barbeque and not the kind that is set up on two cinder blocks either.  In reality, only a small space is needed even in the largest setting because the grilling space only takes up a couple of feet, so you really only need enough room for the grill and some space between you and the entrance to the home.  Another thing to keep in mind is to not set anything combustible next to the house.  Be sure to know the rules and guidelines of your apartment or condo for grilling outdoors, there may be some limitations to know beforehand.

How much room does a barbeque actually need in order to enjoy grilling and keep the space comfortable?  6 feet is the usually the norm for a small place to set up your outdoor grill and the biggest grill that will fit in the allowed space is the one you should get.   Even if the grill is a tight fit, you will use it more and have better cooking results.  Be sure to take down different measurement ideas to be able to accommodate this. There are many residents who have figured out a way to edge in a 7 foot grill and a cooking island to do all the preparation on the deck or allotted space.   This is a very important aspect because a smaller grill will limit your size capacity for certain meats.  Will you be content with just limiting your outdoor cooking to burgers and hotdogs, or is taking up a couple more feet worth more food options?

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Basic Anatomy of a Pizza Oven

outdoor_pizza_ovenAre you thinking about adding an outdoor pizza oven to your back yard living area? If so, then it’s probably a good idea to understand the basics of pizza oven construction. The good news is that the basic design of this type of oven has been the same for generations. Have you seen drawing or pictures of American Civil War cooks baking bread in an earthen oven? What about World War II bakers cooking in makeshift ovens while serving in the Pacific, Africa or anywhere else bread needed to be baked? Think about all of the images you’ve seen with wood fired ovens grills in magazines, books and even movies… it’s the same basic oven.

Before deciding on your pizza oven purchase I suggest that you read over this article and look at the large selection of outdoor pizza ovens available from Outdora.

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Let the Sun Shine Through – Learn Proper Greenhouse Cleaning

greenhouse_cleanRegardless of what type of greenhouse you may purchase from Outdora, there will come a time when the covering of your structure needs to be cleaned.  But what is the proper way of cleaning the “windows” of a greenhouse and why is that important.

A clean greenhouse surface is very important in the success of any type of greenhouse production.  It allows the maximum amount of sunlight into the environment, reduces possible plant diseases and just gives the greenhouse area a professional appearance.  But before you jump onto a spring window-cleaning spree, one must first learn how to properly clean each type of greenhouse covering.  Keep in mind though, that regardless of the type of cover always clean the area with the vents and doors wide open.  This will prevent any buildup of toxic chemicals.

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The Pros and Cons of Greenhouse Coverings

greenhouse_typesGreenhouses can be covered in one of three materials.  This includes glass, polycarbonate, and plastic film.  Each one of these materials has pros and cons associated with it.  So before you decide on a certain greenhouse structure or shape, consider the covering.

All coverings should go through a checklist that includes cost, ease of repair, durability, weight, how much light goes through the material and how much heat is released through the material.

Glass Paned Greenhouse

The Large Royal Victorian Greenhouse sold by Outdora is an excellent example of a glass paned greenhouse.  This type of greenhouse covering is durable, has low maintenance cost, absorbs photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) easily, releases excess heat during the night and has a low transmission rate of UV light.

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Got Weeds? – Learn How to Take Care of them Organically

weedsIt seems that weeds just appear out of nowhere.  One day, the garden space is gleamed of all plant life that has gone into winter slumber.  The next day, you look out and find a jungle where your rose garden used to be.  When this day comes along, do not reach for a chemical solution, but instead try some of these time-tested techniques for organic weed control.

Natural Preemergant Herbicide

 

Treating your space before the weed seeds germinate is one technique that can be used to control weeds.  These seeds could have been disturbed by existing weeds in the garden or blown in from the surrounding area.  Regardless of where they came from the simple solution to this problem is the application of corn gluten meal.

Corn gluten meal is a by-product of corn processing and is normally used as feed for numerous animals.  It was only discovered by chance that it controlled weed seeds by preventing them from germinating.

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Picking a Campsite Cooker / Grill

dual_burner_gas_grillAre you going camping? Are you going once, several times, with one or two people or a group? Does your campground allow for open flames, gas grills, campfires? How are you going to cook your food? If you’re planning on cooking for more than one or two people then looking into a few different cooking options is worth a few minutes of your time.

Before deciding what size camping grill or cooker to purchase you should probably evaluate your needs. This part of the process is actually pretty easy. Look at your level of camping skills or what type of camping you do, the number of people you are going to cook for and what your budget will be. That’s it! Once you answer those questions you can move forward.

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What Type of Camp Cook Are You?

camping_cookDoes your camping menu consist only of toaster pastries and a cooler stuffed with drive through combo meals? Or does your campsite cuisine require cast iron cookware, a secret recipe for Dutch Oven cobbler and selecting new camping grills and accessories for camp cooking that can be found on www.outdora.com?

Before you can plan your camping trip menu you need to determine what type of camp cook you are. That helps determine what equipment you’ll need. Here are a few, slightly humor-filled, examples of different types of camp chefs. You may fit into one, or somewhere in between, these descriptions. Each description also includes a tip and equipment suggestion. Keep in mind; this is not something that requires you to check off on different skill levels as if you were getting a karate black belt or culinary degree. Practice and experience helps. Every time you camp out, your ability to serve up a great plate of chow will increase.

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Outdora Awarded by Twin Eagles as Top Retailer!

Just in time to ring in the 2012 Barbecue Season, Outdora was awarded a top retailer award by Twin Eagles, manufacturer of luxury outdoor kitchen grills.

The Outdora Showroom, located a half-block off the Sonoma plaza, displays high-end outdoor kitchen appliances including a full Twin Eagles island featuring a 36″ Twin Eagles Built-In Grill with Rotisserie & IR Sear Zone, Double Access Doors, Dine and Breakfast Club, Door and Drawer Combo, Pullout Paper Towel Drawer and Wide Outdoor Bar.

Don’t fret if you live outside the San Francisco Bay area, as all Twin Eagles products are for sale on Outdora’s ecommerce site.   Outdora offers free shipping in the contiguous USA and no sales tax outside of California.

So, why not welcome the barbeque season with a Twin Eagles Grill from their top retailer?  Call Outdora today for more information.  877-688-3672.

Stuart & Christina Twin Eagles

A Guide to a New Garden Season: Handling Seedlings

seedlingsPart of any gardening project that deals with seeds also deals with seedlings.  All seeds started indoors will need to be transplanted but knowing when and how is the trick.

The reason for transplanting is multifaceted.  The first reason is that it gives one the chance to examine their seedlings.  Separating those you will keep from those that you will not saves time, money and resources.  It gives one the chance to start over, if need be.  Without this personal connection with ones plants, the health and wealth of your seedlings may not be apparent.

Transplanting seedlings furthermore creates plants with stronger roots.  They no longer have to compete with their brothers and sisters for food or space.  It also allows the plant to absorb as much solar radiation as possible, which improves the effence of photosynthesis or the plant’s food making process.  Plants that can make their food without competition produce stronger stems and leaves.  This equates out to a healthier plant that can produce more and is less susceptible to pests and disease.

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