outdoor kitchen grill
Photo: Mark Lohman
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Essential: Grill

1. "You can get all you really need with a simple grill island," says Berry. But he adds: "Don't skimp on the grill itself, because that's what you'll use the most." As for equipment, be realistic about your needs. "Guys get excited about all the bells and whistles, like side burners," says Kevin Cunningham, owner of Ultimate Outdoor Kitchens in Geneva, Illinois. "But a 36-inch grill is perfect for most families." Cunningham likes grills with built-in infrared burners for searing and suggests springing for an electric rotisserie. Today even moderately priced freestanding grills offer infrared technology (Char-Broil's 42-inch model starts at $270). Add-on rotisserie kits run from $50 to $200 at most home centers—just keep in mind you’ll need a GFCI outlet nearby.

Bottom Line: A 36-inch grill set in a cart or island will do the job handily.
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