Lawn & Garden

2011 Trends in Outdoor Entertaining

Kalamazo Outdoor Gourmet Kitchen. Photo: Joshua J Phoenix, Owner HD Estates

When home entertaining moves outdoors with the warmer weather, the gourmet cooking experience doesn't have to be confined indoors, helped by a variety of products shown at this year's 2011 Kitchen & Bath Show in Las Vegas. From the cooking experience to the guest experience, the Show offered up numerous innovations.

Outdoor Dishwashers & Range Hoods
Now there's no need to sacrifice enjoying the outdoors when it comes time to clean up. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet has expanded beyond its grills and outdoor refrigerators to offer the first outdoor dishwasher, specifically designed to deal with dishes that have been sitting outdoors or hard-to-clean pots and pans used over a grill. Built to withstand extreme outdoor conditions, hot and cold, the dishwasher offers many features for big-time entertainment, including capacity for 12 full place settings and special supports for wine glasses.

Another exhibitor, Air King , specializes in customizable range hoods, which keep barbeque smoke and odors from ruining your backyard event. Bringing Air King's professional expertise to the consumer, the Outdoor Kitchen Professional Range Hood series, which are Energy Star qualified, comes with a range of size and blower options.

Outdoor Entertaining
Outdoor entertaining is, of course, all about ensuring a great time for your friends and relatives. Eldorado Stone , with its Eldorado Outdoor products encompassing stonework and cabinets, has focused on adding luxury to backyard spaces. The company displayed a complete outdoor living space at the Show, using its “building block” construction, which allows installation by either a contractor or, to save time and money, an experienced DIYer.

For enjoying TV or listening to music outside, why not a fireplace, too? In addition to its range hoods and shelving products, Raw Urth Designs offers a number of eco-friendly outdoor fireplaces made from recycled steel, using green manufacturing techniques. Or if you're having a group of beer drinkers over, True Professional Series ' Beverage Dispenser might be for you, an Energy Star rated product that keeps your brews at the perfect temperature, and features a lock to keep out minors.

Even outdoor pests have not been overlooked. Danver Stainless Steel Cabinetry , a top manufacturer of outdoor kitchen equipment, exhibited a perimeter insect control system for backyard cooking and entertainment areas. It automatically sprays a fine mist of insecticide, two or three times a day, to zap the mosquitoes and other biting insects that could disturb your guests.