The appliance industry’s hottest items are dedicated to outdoor kitchens. Under-counter refrigerators, ice machines and wine coolers now sit side by side with built-in grills, warmers and burners. I have to tell you that requests for outdoor appliance repairs have increased at C&W Appliance Service because many grill masters don’t do enough research and planning before building their outdoor kitchens. Be sure to purchase components that are rated for outdoor use, or you may find yourself hot under the collar when they break down.
Here’s what to look for when planning your outdoor retreat.
Information Overload: Ask your sales representative or designer if the appliance is rated for outdoor use. What temperatures can it handle? Where should it be placed? What should you watch for regarding outdoor kitchen repairs?
Shocking News: You already know that water and electricity don’t mix. Make sure your new appliances have the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) Rating for Outdoor Use. Don’t forget grounding and GFCI outlets.
Keep Cool: Outdoor ice machines and refrigerators need stronger motors and more insulation to keep contents cool and temperatures consistent. Scotsman ice machines are not rated for outdoor use but can be used and function best when the weather is between 60 to 80 degrees. Viking’s ice machines are rated for outdoor use, and the same temperatures are recommended. Sub-Zero outdoor refrigerators are rated to operate between 50 and 110 degrees. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s specifications before you buy.
Staying Under Cover: The best location for your outdoor kitchen appliances is under a roof, so that they get a little protection from fluctuating temperatures and other weather conditions. Keep cords, hose, tubing and water lines protected, too.
Venting: You have the choice of using built-in or freestanding appliances in your outdoor kitchen. Built-in appliances vent from the front and can fit flush with counters and framework. Free-standing models, which ventilate from the rear and sides, require more clearance. They both need to be covered on the top, sides, and back or you’ll increase the odds of outdoor appliance repairs.
Polished Appearance: Not all stainless steel is the same. Look for high-gauge 18/8 (grade 304) stainless for your appliances. Lesser-quality stainless or plastic-wrapped steel is likely to rust. Viking offers a limited lifetime warranty on rust-through for its outdoor grills and other appliances. High-quality stainless is offered on outdoor appliances from Dacor, Sub-Zero, Wolf, U-line, Viking and some other brands.
Maintenance: Even though some refrigerators and ice machines are rated for outdoor use, they cannot withstand freezing temperatures. You should shut off the water source, drain the lines and clean the appliance before unplugging it for the winter. C&W Appliance Service offers routine maintenance to winterize your equipment.
Warranty Coverage: Be sure to read your warranty. Although UL-rated outdoor appliances are built to withstand rain, manufacturer liability is limited if the equipment is exposed to hurricanes, splashing pool water, spray from a hose and flooding higher than 1/8 inch.
Outdoor kitchen appliances have gotten pretty sophisticated. You can chill wine and cook on a burner while you grill with gas or infrared heat. Viking even makes a fancy charcoal smoker for old-school guys like me. Of course, it’s gravity-fed and stainless, and looks much nicer than my old pit — automatically lighting fresh coals as the old coals burn off. There’s not much for me to do except to swab the meat with barbecue sauce! Here’s one of my favorite barbecue recipes from Sub-Zero & Wolf. I hope you enjoy it while visiting with friends and family in your outdoor kitchen.
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch slices
1 red pepper
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch slices
1 tablespoon ginger juice*
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper sauce**
Zest and juice of 1 lime
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds pork tenderloins, silver skin trimmed off, cut into 1 1/2-inch thick medallions
7 strips quality thick bacon, cut in half
Preheat Wolf Barbecue Grill on medium high for 10 minutes with hood closed.
To make the salsa: Place the red pepper and pineapple on the grill. Allow the pepper to char on the outside, turning as needed. When mostly blackened and charred, place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes, then remove, stem, seed and peel off the blackened skin. Finely dice and return to the bowl. Set aside. Cook the pineapple 10 minutes or until slightly charred, turning slices over halfway through cooking. Remove from grill to a cutting board and cool slightly. Dice into 1/4-inch pieces. Place in bowl with red pepper. Add ginger juice, pepper sauce, lime zest and juice, scallions, sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Wrap each pork medallion in 1/2 piece bacon strip and secure 3 bacon wrapped medallions on one long metal skewer, allowing for about 1/2” between medallions. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining medallions.
Place pork medallions on hot grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Cook with hood closed as much as possible. Turn skewers over and continue to cook for 4 more minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150°F. Continue to grill another 2 minutes. Remove from grill and cover with foil. Serve with salsa.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
* To make ginger juice: Lay a clean kitchen towel on surface. Using the fine side of a grater, grate ginger onto towel. Gather corners of towel and squeeze ginger juice into small bowl, wringing firmly. Measure 1 tablespoon; and add to salsa. Discard ginger pulp.
** Green Tabasco sauce.
To learn more about C&W Appliance Service, the only Sub-Zero Premier Partner and factory certified Sub-Zero & Wolf appliance service provider in the Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio area.