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Time to get cooking in your outdoor kitchen

Memorial Day is just a week away, and it’s time to get fired up with the hottest and newest stuff for your backyard kitchen. In fact, you’re going to need all that cool equipment not just for the holiday, but all summer long. Cooking outdoors is one of the best ways to keep from getting hot and bothered in your indoor kitchen.

There are lots of improvements, both big and small, you can do to expand your culinary options in the backyard. Here are a few of our ideas:

Great Grilling Gadgets

Adding a few utensils can expand your menu and make it easier to cook old favorites. How about a metal basket that will hold meatballs, or a motorized hot dog grill that plops on top of your grill’s grate? Or how about a burger or slider press so you can make those burgers faster, perhaps stuffing them with cheese, or other fun ingredients? Or try out cedar planks and baskets for roasting fish, always a ticklish food to handle.

A Second Grill

Why in the world would you want to have another grill when you already have the latest and greatest gas-fired barbecue?

Well, with the right kind of second grill, you can add even more versatility and variety to all that you cook outside. For quite a few years, we’ve all been switching from charcoal to gas. But now the newest grills — styled like Asian kamados from Japan — are creating a cooking sensation. These egg-shaped cookers use special organic lump charcoal and can grill, roast, bake or smoke. Prices for bigger models can run about $1,500.

Make mine pepperoni

There are lots of gadgets out there for toasting pizza on your current grill. But the real fun starts with a big splurge: installing a wood-fired pizza oven. The cost may be $3,000 to $10,000 or more, but if you’re redoing your outdoor kitchen, it might be tempting — especially for a family of pizza fanatics. It usually takes a couple weeks to install.

Plus, these outdoor pizza ovens are super versatile! They heat up to 500 to 700 degrees, allowing you to roast meat, fish, vegetables and bake bread.

Better ways to handle the mess

If you dread the cleanup after the cookout, look for the little robot cleaning machines that can zoom across your grate, or special brushes that help you steam away cooked-on food. And before you even start your summer cooking bonanza this year, take your grill apart and clean the grate and any other messy areas so that you can get off to a great start.

Remember you can find more outdoor kitchen ideas or hear segments from last year’s grilling show — along with more advice and do-it-yourself tips for your house, home, castle or cabin — at RosieOnTheHouse.com.

And, if you’re looking for the very best contractor or service provider for your home improvement projects, always trust a Rosie-Certified Partner – Arizona’s most trusted Referral Network.

As always, be sure to tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!