outdoor cooking

How to Design the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen Island in Lancaster, PA

How to Design the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen Island in Lancaster, PA

An outdoor kitchen is a valuable amenity that’s far more common today than it was even 10 or 15 years ago for Lancaster, PA, homes. It’s a tremendous time saver, for enabling homeowners to fully prepare food and drinks for guests in the same space as they entertain. Food preparation becomes part of the entertaining experience, rather than a chore that needs to be tolerated. Having the ultimate outdoor kitchen island is crucial to making this a reality.

Outdoor Kitchen Trends to Look for Next Year (2019)

Outdoor Kitchen Trends to Look for Next Year (2019)

While your exterior construction work is probably slowing down for the winter, fall is an excellent time to start planning for spring projects. If your State College, PA, clients are interested in adding an outdoor kitchen in the New Year, why not start the design process now? Ensure your designs look fresh by incorporating these outdoor kitchen trends for 2019.

Must-Have Outdoor Kitchen Appliances for Spectacular Outdoor Living in State College, PA

Must-Have Outdoor Kitchen Appliances for Spectacular Outdoor Living in State College, PA

The benefits of expanding outdoor living with a kitchen outside seem endless. In the warm seasons, homeowners with outdoor kitchens in State College, PA, get to cook in the open air and don’t have to miss out on the festivities when having friends and family over for a BBQ. To make sure they enjoy their outdoor kitchen to the fullest, equip your clients with all the essentials.

3 Features that Make Outdoor Living More Convenient in State College

3 Features that Make Outdoor Living More Convenient in State College

The patio or poolside is meant to be a sanctuary to which homeowners can escape after a long week at the office. This entails being able to dine, converse, and enjoy the scenery in a relaxing and effortless manner. However, many of your clients may still be struggling to cart food from the home to the patio and may feel cramped or uncomfortable in their outdoor oasis.

Last minute lunch on the Primo XL

I forgot to bring lunch to work today, so what's a guy to do?  Cook some chicken thighs on the Primo XL, that's what! A quick trip to the grocery store for some chicken, a little seasoning, and back to work to get everything cooking.  I started our Oval XL and stabilized the temperature around 325 degrees (this took about 15 minutes).  While it was heating up, I washed and dried the chicken, sprayed it with some cooking oil, and rubbed on some spices.  I seasoned 3 pieces with SeasonAll, 3 with an Italian Blend, and 2 pieces with nothing at all.  Variety is a beautiful thing!

I set up the grill for indirect cooking by using the firebox divider and putting lump charcoal in only one side, and put in the drip pan rack, ceramic reflector plate, and a foil drip pan on the other side.  I wanted to get the chicken up as high in the dome as possible, so I put in the regular cooking rack and then the extender rack, too.  Here is a picture of the set-up...

I like to use the Primo Remote Thermometer, which allows you to monitor the grate temperature and the food temperature simultaneously.  The grate stayed at 325 degrees for the whole cook without any adjustments at all, and 45 minutes later when the chicken internal temperature reached 190 degrees, I took the chicken off... I knew it was going to be good when juices squirted out of the chicken when I picked it up with the tongs!  Here it is just before I pulled it off, and then plated.

(If you look at the before and after pictures, you can see how little of the lump charcoal was burned during this cook.  Closing up the vents puts the charcoal out, to be saved for the next cook.  Cooking with the Primo is incredibly efficient, and very little cleanup!)

If you'll excuse me, I've got to go eat!  The smell from this chicken is awesome!

2013 Pennsylvania Garden Expo Pictures

Here are some pictures from the 2013 Pennsylvania Garden Expo.  We were the host of the "Ask the Experts" Area of the show, in the Featured Gardens Area.  Many green industry experts presented topics ranging from permeable pavers to LEDs in landscape lighting to how to stretch fresh mozzarella cheese!  Special thanks to Rynn Caputo of Caputo Brothers Creamery for the great demonstrations, and the great cheese!  We also had the opportunity to serve up pizza next to the front entrance to the show.  The pizza was cooked on our Wood Fired brick ovens by none other than Joe Mishler, Executive Chef at Devon Seafood Grill in Hershey, PA.

Many of our contractor customer were exhibiting at the show, building dream gardens that included outdoor kitchens, firepits, Chicago Brick Ovens, ponds, pondless waterfalls, landscape lighting, and so much more.  Essentially, if you could dream it for in your Outdoor Living Area, it was shown at the show!  We will be posting more galleries showing the work of the landscapers soon.

If you made it to this year's show, leave a comment below and let us know what you thought!  If not, come see us next year!

You’ll Never look at Pizza the Same Way Again!

Our customers rave about the BBQ Chicken Pizza that we serve them, so I thought we should share our recipe with you. Keep in mind that we cook ours on a wood fired Chicago Brick Oven, so we have the benefit of the smoky flavor that you can only get from a wood fire...but this is really good cooked in a conventional oven, too! Ingredients: Pizza Dough Chicken (Cooked, or buy rotisserie chicken and strip into bite-sized pieces) BBQ Sauce Cheddar Cheese (shredded) Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded) Scallions (chopped) Cilantro (chopped)

Directions: Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. In a conventional oven, preheat a pizza stone for about 1 hour.

BBQ Pizza
BBQ Pizza

Mix Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Toss Chicken with BBQ sauce. Place a ball of dough on a lightly floured table or cutting board, flatten into shape using your fingertips. Be sure it will fit on your pizza stone! Quickly add toppings to the dough: Brush a thin coat of BBQ Sauce over the pizza shell. Spread a generous coating of the cheese mixture over the sauce. Spread BBQ chicken pieces over cheese. Top off with chopped scallions and cilantro.

Transfer the pizza to the brick oven or heated pizza stone. In a brick oven, rotate 1/4 turn when the back edge starts getting brown. Repeat until cheese is melted and crust is well browned. In conventional oven, cook for 3 minutes, then switch oven to Broil. Continue to cook until done. Don’t let it burn! Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes, cut, and Enjoy!

Watson Supply is the PA distributor of Chicago Brick Ovens.  If you are interested in learning more about these ovens and this incredibly versatile method of cooking, please give us a call at 717-238-9730, and one of our experts will answer any questions you have.

What CAN'T you cook in a Wood Fired Brick Oven?

Joe Mishler and Ron Juchem

Joe Mishler and Ron Juchem

That's a good question, and Ron Juchem set out to discover the answer...

pizza and dutch oven in oven
pizza and dutch oven in oven
Dutch Oven
Dutch Oven
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Well, after weeks of Sunday experimentation with pizzas cooked in a Chicago Brick Oven, we know that you CAN cook pizza. I spent quite a few Sundays with Joe Mishler, Executive Chef at Devon Seafood Grill in Hershey, PA. Together we went on a culinary journey to explore what all could be accomplished on one of these Wood Fired Brick Ovens. With a bit of creativity, imagination, and just a few ingredients, we spent days coming up with many variations of what could be called pizza, from simple and traditional to gourmet, each one better than the last. We started basic, but the results tasted so good that we quickly got bold with our combinations and turned our backyard into an open air gourmet kitchen! We started with Margherita pizza (dough, sauce, mozzarella, basil, and spices), and ended up at BBQ Chicken Pizza and Seafood Pizza with shrimp & scallops. After discovering what all kinds of pizza we could create in this wood fired oven, I think the words “take-out” and “frozen” will leave our vocabulary, at least when talking about pizza!

Dessert pizza
Dessert pizza

You can only eat so much pizza, so we soon began experimenting with what else we could cook in our oven. Pork, Chicken, Seafood, Lamb, Beef, Desserts; the sky was the limit! Soon enough, our Sunday gatherings started to grow and we had progressed to serving up dishes like garlic infused flat iron steak, baby back BBQ ribs, whole pork tenderloins and herb crusted lollipop lamb chops. Desserts included cherry cobbler and peach cobbler pizza topped with mascarpone cheese and drizzled with honey.

So after weeks of cooking, we can’t really answer the question of what CAN’T be cooked in a Wood Fired Brick Oven. What we discovered was this: If it can fit through the door of the oven, you CAN cook it!

-Ron Juchem

Watson Supply is the PA distributor of Chicago Brick Ovens.  If you are interested in learning more about these ovens and this incredibly versatile method of cooking, please give us a call at 717-238-9730, and one of our experts will answer any questions you have.

Nothing beats pizza made with your own sauce!

Joe Mishler B&W

Joe Mishler B&W

We recently had the privilege of enjoying some pizzas cooked by Joe Mishler on our Chicago Brick Oven using Joe’s own sauce recipe. Joe is the Executive Chef at Devon Seafood Grill in Hershey, PA, so you could say that he knows cooking! The pizzas were some of the best we’ve ever tasted. Joe was nice enough to share his sauce recipe with us so that we could share it with you. Use this recipe as it is, or feel free to adjust amounts or ingredients to make it your own. Keep in mind, the fresher the ingredients, the better the sauce will taste. Also, cooking outside on a wood-fired oven adds smoky flavor and makes the whole experience even better. Enjoy! Pizza Sauce

15 oz can of tomato sauce 1 tbsp dry basil 1 tsp dry oregano 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp garlic powder (add extra for garlic lovers) 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Mix all together and blend well. For best flavor, make sauce 2-3 hours before use

Makes 4-5 16 inch pizzas

Chef using ladle to spread sauce on a pizza

Chef using ladle to spread sauce on a pizza

Pizza in wood oven

Pizza in wood oven

Subscribe to our blog for more outdoor cooking recipes, ideas, tips & tricks.  We feature Outdoor Living at its finest; Landscape Lighting, Water Features, Hardscaping, Outdoor Kitchens, Cooking, and more!  If you need help making your outdoor dream a reality, the experts at Watson Supply can help! Give us a call at 717-238-9730.

Everything You Need to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

It used to be that “outdoor cooking” meant simply throwing your food on a barbecue or fire pit. Thanks to the increase in popularity of outdoor living and especially outdoor cooking over the past decade, there are now many great choices for complete outdoor kitchens. At Watson Supply, we have everything you need to create a custom outdoor kitchen that fits your needs perfectly.

When you’re in your backyard enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, the last thing you want to do is go inside to prepare a meal. It’s no fun to be running in and out of the house, taking care of food preparation away from your guests. Create a functional outdoor kitchen that keeps everyone together and allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space more than ever.

The Right Equipment Makes All the Difference

The key to building an outdoor kitchen is including all of the cooking and food preparation equipment you love. While a traditional barbecue is handy in a pinch, a large, professional-style grille is the way to go for maximum outdoor eating enjoyment. Make a list of all of the different equipment you’d like to install in your outdoor kitchen:

  • Different cooking surfaces, such as grilles, ovens, pizza ovens and burners are available, depending on the type of cooking you like to do. Think about the types of food you like to prepare and plan a cooking centre that lets you explore your inner chef! Select a variety of interchangeable grilles for maximum flexibility.
  • A fireplace can make a great addition to an outdoor kitchen. Many can be used with a grill to warm food or cook things like hotdogs and marshmallows, and a fireplace creates an inviting atmosphere to keep your guests warm in the spring, fall and during cool summer evenings.
  • A sink and running water turns your outdoor cooking space into a real kitchen. When you’re preparing your food outside, it’s a hassle to have to run inside to wash or get water. A well-planned outdoor sink can easily be winterized when the cold weather comes, and reopened in the spring.

Once you know what equipment you want in your outdoor kitchen, you also have to think about how you’re going to build and install it. That’s where our design experts at Watson Supply can really lend a helping hand. We have the experience and product and materials knowledge to help you plan and build the perfect custom kitchen.

We’ll sit down with you and help you select things like your kitchen layout, patio and walkway pavers, electricity, lighting, ventilation and storage to ensure your outdoor kitchen is as convenient and practical as your indoor kitchen. With our experience, we can help you optimize these points:

  • Layout: Just like with like your indoor kitchen, your outdoor kitchen should be arranged in an efficient, easy-to-use pattern. Some customers even like to mimic their indoor kitchen layout so that they feel right at home cooking outside.
  • Pavers: Pavers and walkways can help visually separate your kitchen from the rest of your outdoor living space. This is especially useful if you entertain a lot and want to show off your dedicated outdoor kitchen area or create an adjacent eating area.
  • Lighting: Adequate lighting in your outdoor space, especially in your kitchen area, makes a big difference. When you have the right lighting, it’s as easy as cooking indoors. The easier you can see, the more you’ll be inspired to spend more time outdoors, cooking and entertaining.
  • Ventilation: You might think since you’re outdoors, ventilation won’t be a problem. However, depending on where you install your outdoor kitchen, the grills, cooktops or ovens can direct smoke and odors into your house. Think about placing them so they ventilate away from your home.
  • Storage: There never seems to be enough space to store all of the things we need for our kitchen, inside or out! Integrate storage spaces such as cupboards, drawers, bins and closets so that you have all the space you need in your outdoor kitchen.

Trust Watson Supply with Your Outdoor Kitchen

Our outdoor materials are designed to withstand the wear and tear of your family and the elements, so you can enjoy your high-end outdoor kitchen for years. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to do a DIY installation or require the help of a contractor. We can help you choose the equipment and materials and even put you in contact with a local contractor with the experience and reputation to take care of your installation.

Our entire team at Watson Supply looks forward to hearing from you and helping you create the ultimate outdoor kitchen. Before you know it, you’ll be grilling your favorite foods to perfection all while enjoying the great outdoors!