Some things are destined to be paired. Salt and pepper. Harry and Sally. A fine summer evening and the open grill. For cooler climes, some indoor options offer solutions that are just as sizzling.
Not everyone can be so lucky as to have an outdoor kitchen for these warm summer days. If the only steak-grilling and patio-partying you do is in your dreams (or at the neighbor's), then try these tips and products designed to help you bring the outdoors inside and transform your kitchen into a summer entertainment epicenter.
Sear-ious Indoor Grilling
The Teppanyaki Grill from Cook-N-Dine fuses furniture and fire in one stainless steel appliance. With its sleek profile, the Teppanyaki (from Japanese, "teppan" meaning iron plate, "yaki" meaning grilling) fits seamlessly into your kitchen as either a table or a flat cooktop. When turned off, the smooth surface can be used to as countertop space.
The Miele CombiSet Indoor Grill, available in Fall 2008
For a grill that accessorizes your usual cooktop, the Miele CombiSet Indoor Grill brings the outdoor grill inside without taking up too much space. The CombiSet stands apart from your cooktop while its optional grill plates make grilling veggies, meat and fish a breeze. The Indoor Grill CombiSet will be available in Fall 2008, but until then Miele's Barbecue CombiSet fits the bill for cooktop grilling.
The Sanyo Smokeless Indoor Barbecue Grill and Breville Indoor BBQ and Grill 800GRXL
But if smaller is better, then portable indoor electric grills work in a pinch. The Smokeless Indoor Barbeque Grill from Sanyo offers 200 square inches of grilling surface at 1300 watts, while the Breville Indoor BBQ and Grill 800GRXL amps up the power to 1500 watts and offers 289 square inches for your sausages and patties.
All the Blended Beverages You Can Drink
The Gas Powered Party Blender and a peek under its hood
Sure, a regular ol' blender might do the trick, but this massive 85-ounce Gas Powered Party Blender can make enough margaritas for a party of any size. Powered by a 43 cc, 2 stroke variable engine, this bad boy comes complete with a working throttle and handlebars.
The Hamilton Beach Dual Wave Versatile Blender
If you're looking for a large blender with a little less hair on its chest, try the Dual Wave Versatile Blender from Hamilton Beach. With the option of using either an 80-ounce pitcher or two 16-ounce cups, this blender packs a punch without consuming your counter space.
DIY: Mini S'mores Grill
When it comes to the art of marshmallow toasting, techniques range from gentle warming to burning and charring. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that a microwave just doesn't cut it for making s'mores. Check out this slideshow how-to from Instructables.com on making a mini-grill for all your s'mores needs, and remember to take precautions when using open flames.
Compost Under Your Countertop
Nature Mill Composter and Cabinet Kit
Party's over and it's time to clean up, but don't toss the leftovers in the trash. Try an automatic indoor composter, like this one from Nature Mill; your scraps can create rich soil for your potted plants, small garden or window boxes. What seems like it might be a bug-ridden, smelly time is a clean, quick, compact and relatively unaromatic experience thanks to the sawdust, baking soda and carbon filters included with the composter. (Nature Mill promises a "mild aroma similar to sourdough, mushrooms, or damp straw.") Check out a composter with an accompanying cabinet kit that allows nature to take its course while tucked away under your counter.