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Comments by YACCS
Monday, May 29, 2006


Do you really need more than this?

Pimp My Grill
Mark Snyder

Published: May 28, 2006

A KALAMAZOO grill can suck a standard tank of propane dry in two and a half hours. Not that backyard grill-users would want to crank every burner simultaneously and reach the full 154,000 B.T.U. capacity of this $11,290, six-and-a-half-foot-wide brute


"Our gas line had to be doubled in capacity from the house," said Connie Dove of York, Me. She and her husband, Mo Houde, took delivery last year of a Kalamazoo Bread Breaker Two Dual-Fuel grill with an infrared rotisserie cradle system and a side burner.

They hooked the 600-pound stainless steel hulk into their home's main propane supply, choosing not to mess with standard tanks, which each hold only four gallons of fuel. That's enough to allow a typical backyard grill to run at maximum for 15 hours, according to the Propane Education and Research Council in Washington.

"It is very, very powerful," Ms. Dove said. "A turkey you can have in an hour and a half."

The Bread Breaker, which has a temperature gauge that reaches 1,000 degrees, is one of an increasingly popular breed of supergrills that are becoming backyard status symbols, as Americans, mostly of the male variety, peacock with an object that harks back to the earliest days of human existence.

As Memorial Day marks the official beginning of grilling season, many men will find themselves almost genetically drawn to throwing hunks of raw meat onto a fire and poking them with tongs. It's a pull that some will spend almost any amount of money to satisfy, said Pantelis A. Georgiadis, the owner of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, the grill manufacturer based in Michigan. "There is a market segment we call the 'man cook with fire' types," he said.

When Daniel Conrad, a lawyer, moved to Dallas four years ago from Pittsburgh to join the woman who would become his wife, his parents bought him a small Weber grill. "It wasn't big enough for my ego," Mr. Conrad, 34, said. "So I got this giant enormous Weber grill."

Now, he rushes home to his wife — and to his baby, a Weber Summit Gold D6, to slow-cook ribs or experiment with smoking turkeys. "Grilling has become my creative outlet," Mr. Conrad said. "The only two extravagances I have in my life are my car and my grill." He drives a Mercedes.

And like luxury car owners, many people who splurge on a grill that can simmer, bake and fry are looking to impress.

Last fall, Dave and Allison Petrullo of Commack, N.Y., installed a custom-built Cal Spas grill on their patio with an outdoor refrigerator. They spent more than $100,000 renovating their backyard with a new synthetic deck, masonry, a whirlpool and a pool waterfall, so $6,500 more for Mr. Petrullo to have a brick sanctuary with a Cal Spas grill as its central altar seemed like nothing. "I told him to just go for it," Ms. Petrullo said. "And get your dream barbecue."

Though they have actually cooked on the grill only three times since they installed it, it has been a hit with Mr. Petrullo's friends, who congregate around it at parties and give it a going-over like a pack of high school boys around a Corvette, Ms. Petrullo said. "They like to lift up the hood and play with the knobs," she said. "They open the doors underneath, and they open the fridge next to it to check it out."

If you can't good results with a Weber and charcoal, then you can't do any better spending more money. It's in how you cook more than what you cook on.

posted by Steve @ 1:47:00 AM

1:47:00 AM

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