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GardenSMART Episode

Show #51/6612. Front Yard Makeover-Outdoor Kitchen Area

Summary of Show

Pergola
Eric is talking with Raul Hernandez with Forever Redwood and comments there was a lot of really productive back and forth on what really needed to go into this space? What works best in this area? Forever Redwood has so many options. Some are big pavilions and gazebos but Eric was particularly drawn to the PERGOLAS and the very classic garden pergolas that Raul's been making for 30 years. The process focused on figuring out what was the right structure for this space. They have an excavated flat area with a retaining wall. It's not a huge space, but is going to be full sun without something to provide shade, plus something is needed that kind of encloses this garden/kitchen room. Eric and Raul settled on an amazing structure, a pergola that attaches to the house.
For More Information Click here

Like Adding A Room To Your House
One thing Eric loves about these large outdoor garden structures is that you're really ADDING A WHOLE NEW ROOM to the house. When you see this finished product it's not a kitchen, but instead literally looks like a sunroom was added onto the house with this structure.
For More Information Click here

Pergola Installation
This was INSTALLED in three days, so it was fast to go up. Raul explains the process from their standpoint. Once the customer signs off on the working drawings, they build it completely, ship it with custom assembly instructions, so it then can be installed in several days. You don’t have someone in the backyard cutting and squaring, just put it right up.
For More Information Click here

Fire Pit
When the weather starts to change, we get that itch to crank up the FIRE PIT. From simple to elaborate a live fire is just mesmerizing. Eric next meets Alison, from Solo Stove. Much of this show is devoted to elevating your outdoor space, Eric thinks there's nothing more mesmerizing than a fire. He loves fire pits in the garden. This stove is amazing.
For More Information Click here

Provides Tons Of Heat
This is a very small space. We added an outdoor kitchen here with a garden that surrounds it. So there wasn't a whole lot of space to build one of the more conventional stack stone fireplaces or big fire rings. What Eric loves about this little bonfire is that it's super portable yet it puts out TONS OF HEAT. Looking at it one might think it's really, really small, will it work for a party of six or eight people? It absolutely does, it's wonderful.
For More Information Click here

Fire Pit Design
Eric would like to talk about the DESIGN and what makes this different. This unit is made with stainless steel. It's going to get a really lovely patina after you burn in it several times and that provides a lot of charm. The airflow is such that it recycles the air and the secondary burn allows for a really clean, efficient burn. One thing that none of us like when sitting around a campfire is being the one person that's downwind. Then you're getting billows of smoke the whole night long.
For More Information Click here

Pizza Oven
Although it is indeed a PIZZA OVEN, it can be a multifunctional appliance as well. And, that’s something Bruno thinks many people, who don't have experience with pizza ovens, don't understand. He likes to think of it more in terms of a brick oven than a pizza oven because there's almost nothing one can't cook on them. In fact he would say there's almost nothing that can't be improved upon, from a flavor standpoint, when cooking with a brick oven. Folks all the time look at it and say, "okay, well how often am I going to make pizza at home?” His response is anything that you can cook in your home oven can be cooked with this oven.
For More Information Click here

Quality Of Construction
The QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION with this oven is amazing. When looking at different pizza ovens and brick ovens there are some on the market there are very inexpensive and made with very thin, either stainless or sheet steel. Clemente ovens are designed to last a lifetime. They are heirlooms you will hand down from generation to generation. This product will withstand all the elements, it's made out of food grade, stainless steel and certified as such. The quality of the material in the oven really does matter.
For More Information Click here

What Can We Cook In A Pizza Oven
Eric would like to discuss WHAT ONE CAN ACTUALLY COOK on this oven. We've mentioned a few things like bread, but could one cook a steak on this. Absolutely. Found on the side of the oven is the Clementi multi-cooking system. Just turn it all the way around, it's actually been stowed away. The oven has a beautiful ceramic glass door, so you can see the fire if baking in there.
For More Information Click here

Outdoor Kitchens
James, with RTA joins us to talk about OUTDOOR KITCHENS. Eric thanks James for joining us. In the last 10 years outdoor kitchens have exploded, we're now seeing them everywhere. There's nothing to not like about outdoor kitchens, they're amazing. James agrees he's seen the explosion as well. For the last 10 years. going back to when he first started in the industry, there's been a lot more interest, people are really looking into sprucing up the outdoor space in their yard.
For More Information Click here

Customizable Outdoor Kitchens
One thing Eric thinks is amazing about the modern outdoor kitchens is how CUSTOMIZABLE they are. Technology has made it so much more convenient for the customer and that has been a really big thing for the outdoor kitchen industry as a whole. Eric and James are standing in front of one that's really made it incredibly easy for people to not only get but importantly to be able to customize. And that's a big thing for customers, they want to be able to customize their outdoor kitchen to their space. Pretty much whatever one could imagine they want to add to their outdoor kitchen is possible.
For More Information Click here

Assembly Of Outdoor Kitchen
This project has a fairly tight, intimate space. So something really, really big wasn't going to make sense. But there were six or seven incredible options that Eric felt were ideal for this space. It was easy to select one in particular. Then when it arrived he had the pleasure of putting this one together, ASSEMBLING it. He looked at it and immediately knew he could most likely do this. And was amazed at how simple it was with just locking channels.
For More Information Click here

LINKS:

Forever Redwood
Redwood Furniture: Pergola Kits, Pavilions & Tables | Forever Redwood

Solo Stove
Solo Stove - Bonfire + Yukon Smokeless Fire Pits. Pizza Oven. Camp Stoves.

Clemente Pizza Oven
Clementi Medium Pulcinella Wood-Fired Pizza Oven - Dean's Stove & Spa

RTA Outdoor Kitchens
Ready-to-Assemble Outdoor Kitchens - RTA Outdoor Living

Plant List

Show #51/6612. Front Yard Makeover-Outdoor Kitchen Area

Transcript of Show

Outdoor living spaces are the perfect way to connect the garden to the home. The one thing that Eric loves, perhaps as much as gardening, is cooking. In this episode GardenSMART visits a great outdoor cooking area surrounded by a garden designed specifically for the space.

We've been working on this outdoor kitchen for some time and one of the important pieces that make all this work together is a structure that provides shade and definition to the outdoor kitchen space.

Eric is talking with Raul Hernandez with Forever Redwood and comments there was a lot of really productive back and forth on what really needed to go into this space? What works best in this area? Forever Redwood has so many options. Some are big pavilions and gazebos but Eric was particularly drawn to the PERGOLAS and the very classic garden pergolas that Raul's been making for 30 years. The process focused on figuring out what was the right structure for this space. They have an excavated flat area with a retaining wall. It's not a huge space, but is going to be full sun without something to provide shade, plus something is needed that kind of encloses this garden/kitchen room. Eric and Raul settled on an amazing structure, a pergola that attaches to the house. It's roughly 12 by 14 feet with six inch slats. Eric wonders does it have about a 30% shade factor? Raul feels it’s at least 30 or 40%, most likely more? Shade factor is commonly underestimated because the sun is rarely directly overhead. Instead the area gets shade from the rafters and from the slats since the sun, for the most part, hits the area at an angle. Underneath is a sweet spot, you still can see up, you can still see the sky but you're going to get over 50% shade most all the time.

Eric would like to talk about some of the larger garden structures that Forever Redwood makes. As mentioned there are many pavilions, gazebos, and pergolas, everything from very classic styles to some super modern stuff. And they’re all really, really cool. Where do the ideas originate? Raul always lets their customers do the designing, it’s fairly typical that they'll send some conceptual drawing that their engineer or architect came up with. Right now they're doing a project for the city of Carmel, Indiana. They have a winter wonderland park they set up every November through March. They had Forever Redwood build a 70 foot long by 34 foot wide pavilion that they could take apart every year, then put it back together in November. So instead of building it with lag bolts, the normal way, this structure has sleeves and stainless steel carriage bolts because they're going to be taking it apart and putting it back up every year for the next 20, 30 years.

They've done all kinds of jobs, jobs for the Miami Dolphins, the San Francisco Giants and the White House. What really sets them apart is, and they joke about this, they now have more engineers than carpenters because that's what it takes to make sure they provide a unique design. They tell people all the time, tell us what you're dreaming, if you can describe it, we can draw it, if we can draw it, we can build it.

One thing Eric loves about these large outdoor garden structures is that you're really ADDING A WHOLE NEW ROOM to the house. When you see this finished product it's not a kitchen, but instead literally looks like a sunroom was added onto the house with this structure. The structure gives it definition, it gives it substance and that it makes it so much more functional and it becomes truly a year round space.

This was INSTALLED in three days, so it was fast to go up. Raul explains the process from their standpoint. Once the customer signs off on the working drawings, they build it completely, ship it with custom assembly instructions, so it then can be installed in several days. You don’t have someone in the backyard cutting and squaring, just put it right up. They can do pretty much whatever you need, they only say no when it's structurally unsound and even then they will usually be able to figure out a workaround.

Eric loves the fact that everything that Raul's made, that he has seen, is in that old world craftsmanship mindset. It's not like things that are typically made today, it is the way things were made a hundred years ago when craftsmanship actually mattered.

When Raul started this company he went to Home Depot and bought a how-to build a picnic table book. He didn't know anything about carpentry but also picked up a book on the arts and crafts movement, it was one of the first catalogs that came out in 1908. He said, "okay, that's what we've got to do." Just make a thicker version of it, go with the traditional old arts and crafts design. And they've always stuck to that motif. But mostly it's their customers, it really is, Raul just insists that it be a thick timber design, because they like to keep that old fashion thing alive. It’s woodworking, they have a shop with 170 employees in Mexico. But it's not a factory, he'll never let it be a factory because then you lose the flexibility, then it's got to be a cookie cutter solution.

And a cookie cutter approach would definitely not have worked for this site. This location had to have something special, something that attached to the back of the veranda. It had to be custom made, custom sized, everything had to be custom. You can't do that if you're cranking out twelves by twelves all day long, all of them the same.

One thing Eric thinks entirely worth mentioning is that with all the effort and time that is put into a garden and all the enjoyment we get out of our garden he thinks it's so important to go with something that is timeless. If you go with a gazebo that is designed to last three years, yet you're building a garden to share with your kids and enjoy for the rest of your life, it doesn't make sense. That's one thing about the design and build that Raul does, these are designed to be structures that will grow and age and patina along with your garden. They become part of the actual fabric of the garden. And, Eric thinks that makes them just that much more special. Raul agrees one may pay twice as much or three times as much for that bench but it's going to last 10 times longer. And it's something special, it's a piece of art, something that will always be there. And the story behind it too is an amazing story along with beautiful craftsmanship. It feels like it actually belongs in the garden. Eric definitely wanted natural wood in this garden, not plastic or metal. This structure really makes this outdoor area special. Eric thanks Raul, it's been wonderful spending the day together.

When the weather starts to change, we get that itch to crank up the FIRE PIT. From simple to elaborate a live fire is just mesmerizing. Eric next meets Alison, from Solo Stove. Much of this show is devoted to elevating your outdoor space, Eric thinks there's nothing more mesmerizing than a fire. He loves fire pits in the garden. This stove is amazing. When thinking about what fire pits have been historically, traditionally there haven't been a whole lot of updates in the world of fire pits until now. And, many of those changes are unbelievable, Alison would say they're magical. It burns so clean and so efficiently. When it goes into the secondary burn it looks like magic.

This is a very small space. We added an outdoor kitchen here with a garden that surrounds it. So there wasn't a whole lot of space to build one of the more conventional stack stone fireplaces or big fire rings. What Eric loves about this little bonfire is that it's super portable yet it puts out TONS OF HEAT. Looking at it one might think it's really, really small, will it work for a party of six or eight people? It absolutely does, it's wonderful. They're standing by it now and Alison is actually getting extremely toasty. And, it's versatile for this type of space - keep it outside or put it away. Use it today then go camping with it tomorrow, it is a perfect fire pit for, really, everybody's needs.

Eric would like to talk about the DESIGN and what makes this different. This unit is made with stainless steel. It's going to get a really lovely patina after you burn in it several times and that provides a lot of charm. The airflow is such that it recycles the air and the secondary burn allows for a really clean, efficient burn. One thing that none of us like when sitting around a campfire is being the one person that's downwind. Then you're getting billows of smoke the whole night long. With the Solo Stove there's very little of that. Unless there's a super aggressive wind, it's a very clean burn, almost smoke free and the heat just rises straight up. It's amazing. As they're standing here Alison is getting pretty toasty, there is a lot of heat being put out, and with much less smoke. Which means that even as close as they’re standing to the fire pit they won't go home smelling like a campfire. And, there a very few sparks which is very important from a stand point of inadvertently starting a fire in your yard or while you're out camping. Eric wonders why that is? Alison thinks it's because of how clean and efficiently it burns. If worried about that, they do sell a shield that goes over the top so if any big embers were to pop up it would catch them. It really just comes down to your comfort level, but they’re very close to the fire and nothing's popping out. It's also super affordable and requires almost no effort from a standpoint of installation. One can install it anywhere and can store it anywhere which is really important for homes of all sizes. If you have a place to keep it out all year long, that's fabulous, keep it out. If you want to build a ring around it, or an enclosure, you can do that too, or keep it out for a burn and then put it away when you're done. It adds so much to this space. And depending upon whatever size group, whatever's going on, move it around, configure it however you want. It adds so much. It's beautiful, you want to sit around and enjoy this fire pit.

Cooking with wood adds so much flavor to food. Eric's first foray into cooking with a wood oven has been exciting, they're more versatile than one might imagine. And are perfect for so many of our favorite meals. Eric welcomes Bruno to the show. Thank you so much for joining us. Bruno is with Clementi, the maker of this beautiful pizza oven. Among the many, many things that Clementi manufacturers the pizza oven is the cornerstone of any amazing outdoor space. One certainly can't argue with the beauty and functionality of this pizza oven. The rise of the pizza ovens in the U.S. market has just exploded over the last several years.

Although it is indeed a PIZZA OVEN, it can be a multifunctional appliance as well. And, that’s something Bruno thinks many people, who don't have experience with pizza ovens, don't understand. He likes to think of it more in terms of a brick oven than a pizza oven because there's almost nothing one can't cook on them. In fact he would say there's almost nothing that can't be improved upon, from a flavor standpoint, when cooking with a brick oven. Folks all the time look at it and say, "okay, well how often am I going to make pizza at home?” His response is anything that you can cook in your home oven can be cooked with this oven. And, you'll add an additional flavor profile to whatever you're cooking inside this oven. And that’s because cooking over wood adds so much flavor. Wood has its own personality depending upon the kind of fuel you're using. Whether oak, hickory, etc., all impart a unique real wood flavor. And that's what makes it remarkably different than cooking with gas, whether roasting or brazing.

Everyone is cooking bread nowadays. If you want that authentic rustic sourdough loaf, there's no substitute for a brick oven. Bread requires really, really high heat and high heat over a sustained period of time. Eric loves that little bit of smokiness that gets imparted into the loaf when cooked with real wood. There's just something that changes bread completely cooking with this oven, you know right away that it came out of a wood oven.

The QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION with this oven is amazing. When looking at different pizza ovens and brick ovens there are some on the market there are very inexpensive and made with very thin, either stainless or sheet steel. Clemente ovens are designed to last a lifetime. They are heirlooms you will hand down from generation to generation. This product will withstand all the elements, it's made out of food grade, stainless steel and certified as such. The quality of the material in the oven really does matter. When you heat something up to 800 degrees the construction matters. The metal of an oven is being imparted in small doses into the food. Substandard steel that's not certified food grade will weep chemicals into food over time. And that's exacerbated with extremely high temperatures.

Eric would like to discuss WHAT ONE CAN ACTUALLY COOK on this oven. We've mentioned a few things like bread, but could one cook a steak on this. Absolutely. Found on the side of the oven is the Clementi multi-cooking system. Just turn it all the way around, it's actually been stowed away. The oven has a beautiful ceramic glass door, so you can see the fire if baking in there. You don't have to remove the door in order to see what's going on. But if you go ahead and remove it, the grill feature then just slides right in. Place food on the grill accessory. There is food grade refractory material throughout and that's going to maintain temperature. And it’s not going to weep any kind of chemicals into your food.

Eric next wants to talk about the tools. These are works of art. The tools are also made in the Clemente factory. The three piece tool set, comes with a wire brush, which is needed for cleaning the deck surface, then the standard wheel which is what you would use to remove the pizza and then the small turning wheel which is going to allow you to turn the pizza which helps get the uniform color on the pizza. With this oven you're cooking a pizza in a minute and a half. It will take longer to make that pizza and roll the dough out than it is to get this thing up to temperature and cook the pizza.

It’s all impressive. Eric thanks Bruno for showing us this pizza oven.

Outdoor cooking is something Eric loves to do year round. Cooking outdoors makes the preparation of food interactive and places us right in the middle of our favorite space, the garden. And there are so many options for outdoor cooking available today. At GardenSMART we've spent the past year cooking up a storm on a number of favorite grills and ovens.

James, with RTA joins us to talk about OUTDOOR KITCHENS. Eric thanks James for joining us. In the last 10 years outdoor kitchens have exploded, we're now seeing them everywhere. There's nothing to not like about outdoor kitchens, they're amazing. James agrees he's seen the explosion as well. For the last 10 years. going back to when he first started in the industry, there's been a lot more interest, people are really looking into sprucing up the outdoor space in their yard. With outdoor kitchens, the construction and the technology has really come a long way to meet the demand of customers wanting to spend more time outside.

Outdoor kitchens have really evolved in the last 5-10 years. The old school outdoor kitchens were really, really heavy construction. They were something one had to build from scratch almost and oftentimes required a lot of masonry work. Now there are these wonderful modular units that most people can put together fairly easily at home.

One thing Eric thinks is amazing about the modern outdoor kitchens is how CUSTOMIZABLE they are. Technology has made it so much more convenient for the customer and that has been a really big thing for the outdoor kitchen industry as a whole. Eric and James are standing in front of one that's really made it incredibly easy for people to not only get but importantly to be able to customize. And that's a big thing for customers, they want to be able to customize their outdoor kitchen to their space. Pretty much whatever one could imagine they want to add to their outdoor kitchen is possible. Depending upon the space that you have, you can pretty much lay out almost anything you could imagine. RTA has what are called predesigned or out of the box designs, which of course go back to convenience. Maybe somebody doesn't have big design aspirations, if so visit their website and pick from the predesigned options or the already put together layouts. They have a custom design tool as well and a design team that handles original ideas. That means most anything one can imagine can be found in the predesigned plans and put together in several minutes. But if looking for something more elaborate, a custom layout, one can work directly with their design team. And the design team can then put together a design in one day. This allows you to customize an outdoor kitchen for your space. If you have a pergola or are trying to put the kitchen up against a wall or in between pillars or posts, really anything your imagination can comprehend, by working with a designer, you can get those thoughts on paper.

This project has a fairly tight, intimate space. So something really, really big wasn't going to make sense. But there were six or seven incredible options that Eric felt were ideal for this space. It was easy to select one in particular. Then when it arrived he had the pleasure of putting this one together, ASSEMBLING it. He looked at it and immediately knew he could most likely do this. And was amazed at how simple it was with just locking channels. It took him probably an hour to put the whole thing together. James explains, this is the Moks collection, which is by far the most convenient option. Depending on one’s skill set it can be put it together, like Eric said in 30 minutes, an hour. It's like, boom, you've got an outdoor kitchen in your backyard.

And it’s a great longer term investment. It's basically like adding a room to the house but at a fraction of the price. And it really opens up many different possibilities. This little outdoor space is surrounded by a vegetable garden. Think about coming out here in the evening, picking some fresh vegetables and putting them right on the grill. Plus there is a refrigeration unit to keep things cold. This is just perfect for this space.

Eric thanks James for joining us. It's been wonderful and educational spending time together. Now it's time to get the grill going, make a run to the market to grab our favorite outdoor cooking treats, then settle in for the evening.

LINKS:

Forever Redwood
Redwood Furniture: Pergola Kits, Pavilions & Tables | Forever Redwood

Solo Stove
Solo Stove - Bonfire + Yukon Smokeless Fire Pits. Pizza Oven. Camp Stoves.

Clemente Pizza Oven
Clementi Medium Pulcinella Wood-Fired Pizza Oven - Dean's Stove & Spa

RTA Outdoor Kitchens
Ready-to-Assemble Outdoor Kitchens - RTA Outdoor Living

Plant List

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FEATURED ARTICLE
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By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Have your hanging baskets seen better days? It’s normal, by midsummer they are ready for a little TLC to bring them back to their former glory. To learn more click here for an interesting article.


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