An outdoor summer staple, grilling allows you to enjoy the sunshine and make healthy, yummy meals for your friends and family. Whether you’ve been grilling for years or are new to the game, chances are you have a favorite kind of grill. But if you’ve ever wondered about branching out, here’s our simple comparison of charcoal, gas, and smoker grills. And with the 4th of July just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to mix it up and try something new.
Charcoal grills arguably give you the most authentic grilling experience. Lighting the charcoal, watching the fire grow, and waiting until the grill is hot enough to get cooking is all part of the fun. While these grills do tend to be the smokiest, charcoal lovers claim this actually makes the food more flavorful. These grills are often smaller and more portable than their gas and smoker cousins. And if you want the flavor but don’t like waiting for the coals to heat up, try a chimney charcoal starter to cut the time in half.
Gas grills light quickly and easily with the use of propane, reducing the amount of time you have to spend waiting to cook your meal. These grills maintain a consistent temperature, which takes the guesswork out of cooking and makes the overall process easier. Cooking with a gas grill tends to go faster, and the minimal amount of smoke means you won’t walk away smelling like a campfire.
If you’re craving a different experience that could churn out some of your new favorite dishes, consider trying a smoker. While they may take longer to cook and don’t offer the same cooking-over-an-open-flame experience, meats tend to be juicier and more flavorful when smoked. And smokers can also be a great option for cooking desserts like an apple pie or peach cobbler.
Whatever your grilling preference may be, it can be fun to explore other options every once in a while! Who knows, you may get hooked on a new method just in time for that 4th of July party.
The first official day of summer is upon us and you know what that means – more fun in the sun! But sometimes summer entertaining can turn out to be far more taxing than it is relaxing – so why not pick this weekend to do a few things to make your outdoor space ready for any occasion? These three tips will help make sure you’re stressing less and entertaining more.
1. Create Conversation Nooks
The grill, the appetizer table, the drink station…these are all popular spots for your guests to hang out during summer barbecues. But take a look at where you might want them to mingle. Create gathering areas; make them big enough to be social but quaint enough to be cozy. Whether it’s chat sets for small spaces, dining tables where you can enjoy a meal or a board game, or lounge sets for conversations lasting into the night, just thinking about the function of each space can help you adjust outdoor furniture appropriately. Already have a patio set? Consider upgrading your outdoor patio cushions. You’d be surprised how inviting a fresh set of seat cushions will be on last year’s furniture.
2. Make an Outdoor Kitchen
Don’t have a built in grilling station outside? No problem. It’s easy to setup an outdoor kitchen – from grills to smokers or even an outdoor pizza oven, you just need to designate a space for the cooking magic to happen! Throw in a shade-friendly gazebo and you’ll have a perfect spot for people to chat up the grill master. Add an outdoor folding table for prepping, a spot for grill accessories and a patio cooler to keep some cold drinks handy, and your chef will be one happy griller! Of course if you want an all-in-one, a grill gazebo might be the ticket. Either way, it doesn’t take much to take your cooking outside.
3. Set the Mood for Entertaining
Outdoor lawn games, pool toys, drink stations…they all help create an inviting and entertaining addition to your summer party. Whether it’s setting up different areas for a bean bag toss, giant checkers or croquet, games are sure to be a hit for kids of all ages. Then think about placing different tubs around for guests to quickly grab a drink – galvanized steel tubs can denote adults-only beverages and colored rope handled tubs can hold child-friendly options. And don’t forget to add ambiance with charming string lights, lanterns, candles or solar-powered path lights. Fire pits also help light up the night and are perfect for smores!
Once you realize how simple these little projects can be, you’ll probably see tons of opportunities to update your outdoor living space. And your neighbors at Orchard are always here to help. After all, summer is all about being outside– so let’s get you out there enjoying the season!
We know your Dad is far from ordinary, so when it comes to gifting, don’t settle for just anything. At Orchard Supply Hardware, we’re here to help you pick out that perfect gift he’ll be talking about for years to come.
Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler (70 qt.)
For the all-terrain, all-the-time kind of Dad.
This baby has oversized wheels and stands up to any conditions. With a butler tray, cup holders, bottle openers and a mobile device stand, this cooler couldn’t be, well, cooler. And best of all, it’ll keep everything cold as ice for four days – perfect for a Father’s Day camping trip!
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Traeger Tailgater Grill
For the gourmet grill master kind of Dad.
Nothing will get him more fired up than this sleek little grill equipped with an LED display controller. Fuel his grilling desires with pure hardwood pellets and an electric auto-start ignition. But we have to warn you, with its foldable legs and compact size, Dad may just try to take this grill with him everywhere he goes.
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Wine Barrel Fire Pit
For the Dad who take his drinks seriously.
Your Dad is truly unique, much like his drink of choice. Give him the perfect place to enjoy his favorite wine, craft beer or aged whiskey with this rustic fire pit. But it’s not all for show – this fire pit has a stainless steel burner and is gas operated with impulse ignition. Cheers to that!
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For the Dad who knows how to kick back.
Add the finishing touch to Dad’s favorite space – the patio. Adirondack chairs harken back to the America of yesterday, reminding Dad of simpler times. Let him wind down and maybe even find a new spot for his afternoon naps with chairs that say “comfy” and “manly” all at once.
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Napa Valley Water Fountain
For the peace-and-quiet loving Dad.
Your Dad works hard, and he deserves to have a peaceful getaway. Give him the gift of relaxation with this beautiful running water fountain. Bonus points if he likes bird watching. Show Dad how much you appreciate him with his own little retreat only a few feet out the back door.
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If you have a special Dad in your life, it’s time to remind him how much he means to you. Stop by your local Orchard Supply Hardware and we’ll help you find that perfect gift. And to all you dads out there, Happy Father’s Day.
May not be available in all stores. See your local store for details.
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By using raised garden beds, you can grow herbs, flowers, and vegetables almost anywhere you want. With a nice flat location, the right materials, and a few feet of space, you can have a garden in the perfect spot for sun, shade, and aesthetics.
There are plenty of advantages, too. For example, elevated garden beds can lengthen your growing season. Plants tend to grow a little bit easier since the soil in a raised bed is less compacted, and if the plants have an easier time growing, then they usually have a higher yield. And gardening with a raised bed can be much easier on your knees and your back than stooping over and kneeling on the ground.
Raised bed gardens sound amazing, right? We think so, too.
Now here’s the best part: They’re super easy to make. The directions below are for a raised bed that’s about 4-ft x 8-ft, and holds about 32-cu ft of soil (give or take) but you can make yours any size that fits your needs.
✓ Four 1-in x 6-in x 8-ft boards (side rails)
✓ Four 1-in x 6-in x 4-ft boards (head rails)
✓ Four foot-long 4×4 posts
✓ Four 2-in x 2-in x 18-in stakes
✓ Deck screws
✓ Planting soil
✓ Safety gear (gloves, eyewear, etc.)
Raised Garden Bed Overview
- 1. First, build the side walls. On flat ground, line up the long side of one of the foot-long 4×4 posts perpendicular to the short edge of a side rail so that it makes an L-shape. Fasten them together with the deck screws. Repeat with another post on the other edge of the side rail.
- 2. Next attach another side rail piece above the first one so that you have a foot-high wall with the posts at the edges (make sure everything’s neatly lined up!) Repeat to build a second wall.
- 3. Now, let’s build the head walls. Stand the side walls upright with the posts on the outside of where you want the bed to go. Fasten the head rails to the posts with more deck screws to complete the frame. Again, take care to make sure everything lines up right.
- 4. Adjust the bed frame so that it’s level and in the position you want. If you have to move it or make adjustments, make sure the angles are still lined up.
- 5. Finally, reinforce the walls by placing a stake at the midpoint on the outside of each of the walls. Hammer the stakes into the ground so that they’re even with the top of the garden bed, then secure them with deck screws.
And that’s all there is to it! Pat yourself on the back, fill the bed with soil, and then tag us in your picture with #MyOSHProject