Get Fired Up!
Spring and Summer wouldn’t be the same without the backyard tradition of cooking (depending on your definition), a few tasty cold beverages, and deep conversation around the fire. Everyone has their own way to go about it, and some are content with the standard and time-tested rusty charcoal grill, and perhaps a few New England meteorites (i.e small boulders) arranged in a circle for roasting marshmallows. Perhaps you prefer this minimalist sentiment when it comes to things, but have you seen some of the amazing permanent kitchens being built? In some cases they rival an indoor setup, all the while giving you the freedom to experiment with little worry of setting off the smoke alarm.
Nothing screams “pro” like putting together an amazing meal on elegantly simple and durable cooking surfaces such as these. Stainless steel gas and charcoal grills, as well as pizza ovens have really taken off in recent years, and it’s no surprise. There are many other creations to be made on an outdoor grill beyond the usual burger and hotdogs. Anyone that has had the experience of biting into a perfectly cooked marguerite pizza, flavored with the hint of wood smoke will tell you that there is little more flavorful (TIP: Use cured hardwood such as oak, hickory, mesquite, or even apple for best results). I have a friend in Texas who had a beehive shaped oven installed, and after a short learning curve began cranking pies out like it was his job, and shortly became the hero of his “ranchette” (5-10 acre ranch) subdivision. Being outdoors while spending mealtime not only allows for conversation and creativity, but a chance to view and enjoy your garden, manicured lawn, or whatever else you have to gaze upon. If lucky, you can catch a sunset while you’re out there too.
Get Bold! (Perhaps Boulder)
You may not have heard of Fire Boulder yet. YardScapes is the exclusive dealer of these awesome monoliths, which come in three main styles. The first is the most “natural” and consists of a carefully selected and shaped boulder. The center of these are skillfully carved out to accommodate a traditional wood-burning fire, or your preferred solid fuel. This is the type we have in our Tipi behind World Headquarters, chosen for it’s simplicity, as well as the authentic feel in a traditionally built structure. The second, and most popular is also a single stone, this time plumbed with natural gas or propane fittings. The burner can be topped with lava rock, or any other approved media for a truly unique and clean-burning gathering point. The last type combines gas fueled flame and water for a truly unique audio and visual effect. When the flame is off, the fountain portion can continue to run and thus provide a soothing trickle.
Traditional Fire Pits
Fire Boulders are awesome, but some prefer traditional circles fashioned from multiple stones or brick. Ramiro Parra, our Head Mason, has done multitudes of dry-stacked and mortared structures that will last for generations.
We briefly touched on a few different solutions for a different outdoor experience. Are the ideas spinning yet? Feel free to browse our galleries in the Design/Build categories for more examples of outdoor kitchens and fire pits. Something I didn’t mention, as with all projects involving natural stone is that every single piece will be unique. While a certain style of masonry can be replicated from site to site, there will never be the same exact stones placed the exact way.
Thank you for reading, and feel free to email or call us at (860)350-APES if you would like to discuss any of your ideas.