Outdoor Kitchens Get a Major Upgrade
By Jennifer Colosimo | Photography by Claire Brock Photography
Come warm temps and waving neighbors, what would summertime be without Frozen Fridays? That’s what kicks off the weekend at Laurie and Kip Edenfield’s house. Friends trickle onto the patio, Kip fires up the grill and Laurie pours batches of her signature peach daiquiris (ones they hand-picked in North Carolina) to toast the pending respite. They gather to socialize, eat and often stay late cozied up around the firepit. It’s tradition—and not just theirs. Backyard oases are more prominent than ever as we rediscover the joys of entertaining outside; and now that it’s our choice again, the execution is hitting another level.
For the Edenfields, builder Van Page with Carriage Partners, LLC in Sandy Springs knew he had one job when he broke ground on their backyard—it had to be comfortable and incredible enough to want to hang out in all year long. It needed to be a fluid extension of the house, and the result easily invites guests from one area into the next via a covered living room, pool, fire pit and an outdoor kitchen apt for grilling, smoking, simmering Kip’s low country boils, blending and sipping Laurie’s frozen cocktails and simply being in with friends and family. Since completed, Kip and Laurie have rarely missed a warm-enough Friday and still enjoy it every weekend like they did on that first day.
What makes this particular outdoor kitchen so easy to enjoy is the outfit behind the stunning 7-seat stone bar. Kip installed the Napoleon Prestige PRO 825 built-in grill (his favorite accessory) featuring both infrared and sear burners as the main cooking appliance in their family’s outdoor kitchen. Sourced exclusively from BBQGuys, the Edenfields added tailored stainless steel storage components by BBQGuys Signature and finished it with a Blaze refrigerator and built-in power burner. In tandem with the Big Green Egg, there is plenty of square footage for cooking up just about anything.
“People come over here on Frozen Fridays and we always tell them we don’t know what we’re throwing on the grill, but it’ll be something,” said Kip. “We’ve got people over here from age six to our grown-up kids and their friends, to friends our age, and everyone is welcome. There’s a fridge full of drinks for kids or adults, and that’s just what we love—being able to spend time relaxing with our friends. This is a dream for us.”
Page will tell you, BBQGuys not only revved up the potential for the Edenfield’s backyard, but they’re changing the game for how easy it is to dream up outdoor kitchens. The decades-old dealer opened a satellite office in Atlanta last year, providing a candy store for contractors to elevate their clients’ spaces. They also give consumers a hands-on way to design it themselves, and they’ll tempt those interested parties even further with options like pizza ovens made in Italy, fryer baskets to perfect chicken wings fresh off the smoker, pellet grills for the nuanced chef, flat tops, warming drawers, ice makers, kegerators and more. You dream it, you design it and they’ll hand off those blueprints to your contractor for an easy, seamless process unlike what you’d get from a big-box store.
“People have no idea what they really wanted until they walk in our doors and see the possibilities,” said Charlie Bini, chief sales officer for BBQGuys. “They don’t realize that anything they’re used to cooking indoors, they can do it outside.”
“It’s really all about just wanting to get together,” added Bini. “Whether that’s with your family or the neighbors, it’s about being with people, enjoying your space and sharing good food and drinks. We love being able to help create that.”
With the outdoor kitchen installed, the only thing missing is a recipe to keep neighbors’ envy high. We tapped local pop-up chef and barbecue guru, Bryan Hull, @SecretPintBBQ, for something mouth-watering enough to impress your patio guests.
This recipe can be prepared ahead of time so all you have to do to finish the wings is give them a quick fry and toss in a super simple honey chili glaze. This can be done on a grill or smoker with your choice of wood chunks/chips. Chicken responds best to lighter or fruit woods, so I recommend going with oak, apple, cherry or pecan.