Q. How do you get an insanely great outdoor kitchen complete with kickass grill equipment…yet avoid spending boatloads of cash?
A. Do an Alfresco Artisan outdoor kitchen!
Artisan is a line of outdoor appliances by our friends at Alfresco. If you’ve followed my blog or watched any of my YouTube videos, you know that I’m a big Alfresco fan. Actually, I believe that is the best of the premium gas grills.
Artisan is what I call the “stealth Alfresco”.
For a fraction of the cost of an Alfresco, you are able to get:
– virtually the same cooking system
– the same open air plenum which cools the front of the grill, preserving it’s delicate wired innards
– the same silicone-sheathed wires and igniters which are heat resistant up to 600 degrees
– the same in-home warranty
– built and assembled ENTIRELY in the same plant in sunny California
The Artisan comes in 2 sizes for built ins – 32″ and 36″
It offers a rotisserie, optional infrared sear burner that can be installed/removed with the ease of a pin and lights on the knobs and one (very bright!) light in the hood canopy.
The DCS BH1-36-R-L 36″ Grill Reverse-Sears a Steak to Bitchin’ Results
by Senor Smoke
I reintroduced the DCS to my grill arsenal about a month ago. I was pretty psyched to start using it again due to all of the changes DCS had made to their 36 and 48 inch grills. The grills have been advertised as still being incredibly hot YET due to their new valves they are now able to control and stabilize heat at much lower temps.
I decided to test the DCS grill’s ability to handle disparate temperature settings by cooking a thick steak with a technique I borrowed from the world of barbecue – the reverse sear.
Reverse-searing is used when you have a thick cut of meat and want to see edge-to-edge pink throughout the cut, as opposed to the bullseye effect where you go from charred on the exterior, to grey, to pink to blueish pink in the middle. With the reverse-sear you will cook the cut at a much lower temperature for an extended period of time, and it is ultimately finished off with blazing heat to get the char that locks in the juices. So in essence you are reversing the normal grilling routine where people will sear first, then switch to a lower temperature.
The test would be performed with a beautiful, thick, lusciously-marbled strip steak. I started off giving it a quick massage with extra virgin olive oil, hit it with the Jake’s Grillin coffee rub, a layer of Jacobsen’s sea salt and then she was ready for the grill.
I had preheated the DCS for about 10 minutes and had the far right burner on low while the far left burner was on medium.
The steak was placed on the LOW side for about 12 minutes (six mins per side) and I moved them at a 45 degree angle every 3 mins to get my crosshatch marks. I observed no flareups and the grill hovered around low-mid 300’s for the entire duration.
After the 12 mins were up the steak was registering an internal temp of around 70 degrees. I turned up the left burner to high and after waiting about a minute I placed the strip on there and the SIZZLE began. I immediately started seeing some flareup action so I moved the steak around a little bit in order to control the flame. Three minutes on one side and a repeat on the second side and I was registering 130 on the instead read so it was time to pull off to get my medium rare.
I let the steak sit for about 15 mins (temping) which allows the muscle and connective tissue to relax and also causes the juices to redistribute making the cut far more tender.
When it was time to cut into it I realized I had nailed my medium rare, pretty much edge to edge.
This little experiment showed me two important things about the DCS grill.
1 – it continues to handle flareups very well. The grill was red hot and that steak was well marbled so it did flare up, even with the grease management system. However after moving the steak a little bit, the flareups quickly dissipated. That’s more than I can say about some premium gas grills I have used that will continue to have a burning flare even after the meat is pulled away from it.
2 – the grill was able to operate with the burners at two very different temp setting without much carryover with the heat. It seemed as if the grill was cooking with separate temperature zones which is a very useful feature.
More DCS Grilling to come soon. Enjoy the pictures from the cook and remember that we ship DCS grill nationwide and will match any price offered to you by an authorized dealer.
Strip steak goes on the DCS BH136RL for some low temp cooking
Temperature reading on DCS 36″ Grill
Quick flareup as the steak is brought the higher temp side.
Grill Strip Steak on DCS Grill – Curtos.com
Beautiful char on DCS 36 Grill
Beautiful medium rare thanks to the reverse sear technique on a DCS grill
After making a variety of changes to their grills over the last few years, Viking decided to take a different path with their iconic outdoor business. Let’s just say they became more…feline.
The new Viking grills looks suspiciously like Lynx grills because they are Lynx grills. Take a look at the specs on each 36″ grill
From the Lynx website: LYNX FEATURES Two cast brass burners and one ProSear 2™ Burner (total 73,000 BTUs)
935-sq.-in. cooking surface (640 primary, 295 secondary)
Hot surface ignition system
Control illumination with blue LEDs
Dual halogen grill surface lights
Heat stabilizing design
Fluid rotation handle
Lynx Hood Assist Kit
Premium smoker box included
Stainless steel grilling grates
Dual-position rotisserie with heavy-duty, 3-speed motor and rear infrared burner (14,000 BTUs)
Ceramic Briquettes facilitate even radiant heat distribution
Heavy-duty welded construction eliminates gaps where grease and moisture can collect
Now let’s take a look at the info sheet available for the new Viking 36 grill. Model number is VQGI5360 for 36″ grill head and VQGFS5360 for grill head and cart which no longer have to be purchased separately:
VIKING FEATURES 36”W. GRILL HEAD AND CART – VQGFS5360
x Two cast brass burners and one ProSear 2™ Burner
x 935-sq.-in. cooking surface (640 primary, 295 secondary)
x Dual-position rotisserie with heavy-duty, 3-speed motor
and rear infrared burner (14,000 BTUs)
xControl illumination with blue LEDs
xHot surface ignition system
xDual halogen grill surface lights
xPremium smoker box included
xStainless steel grilling grates
xCeramic Briquettes facilitate even radiant heat distribution
xHeavy-duty welded construction eliminates gaps where
grease and moisture can collect
Hot damn, even the verbiage is the same.
So where do you go with this? I checked out a bunch of skus and it seems that the Viking is typically about $200 higher than the direct comp from Lynx.
So not a huge difference. I was hoping to see some type of Viking consumer program but I have not heard anything at this point. I do know that the Viking undercounter refrigeration is no longer made by Perlick, instead that job is being handled by another synergistic sister company – Marvel – and the prices are lower than what Lynx offers. So even with the grill being slightly more expensive, you will probably be even in $$ or slightly lower with Viking if you are doing an outdoor kitchen.
What sets the Alfresco ALXE grill series apart from other premium gas grills is its ability to allow you to cook with solid, natural fuel such as lump hardwood charcoal or wood.
Using wood or hardwood charcoal is a game changer as the Alfresco’s gas ignition system allows for easy lighting (usually 5 minutes unlike 15-30 for a kamado) and once the fuel it lit, you can turn the gas off and just cook with fire.
The insert is called a SFI-POD and sells for $575. It is 12″ across and 19″ deep.
My only beef is that I would have liked to have seen more headroom between the grates and the fuel source but b/c of Alfresco’s design the insert simply cannot drop down any further within the firebox.
This is a must-have for Alfresco owners. If you need one, please email or call me and I will facilitate for you!
I used to get asked “Why do you make those Appliance Dude videos?”
And my answer was(is) always the same:
I helped this gentleman in Sonoma California with some questions on his outdoor kitchen and lo and behold, a new Alfresco 42″ ALXE and 65K BTU Versa Power Burner were on the way to him…and an invite for me and the Mrs. to visit when we are in the wine country. Gotta love it!
The new Alfresco ALXE242SZ grill and Versa Power burner on cart.
This is a great pic of an Alfresco grill outdoor kitchen. Why?
It really articulates the broad array of options that you have when piecing together an Alfresco kitchen. Warming drawer? Check. Sink package? Check? A variety of storage sources? Check.
In this kitchen the following was used, from left to right:
We are enjoying a beautiful Indian summer here in Westchester County which has provided continued opportunities for summer grilling. Even with the higher temps, fall decorating abounds and in this photo provided by one of my Scarsdale customers she decided to frame her Alfresco grill with a mum plant. Anyone for grilled butternut squash?
The grill under the cover is an Alfresco 42″ ALX2-42SZ which is their 42″ offering with a sear burner. This is the most popular ALfresco model and now is the time to act on ALX2 models as they will soon go on clearance to make way for the newer ALXE models.
If you are interested in purchasing an Alfresco grill please visit our showroom or visit our Alfresco online showroom
An Alfresco ALX242SZ grill in Scarsdale NY. The mums certainly provide a beautiful Autumn framework!
Here is an Alfresco 42″ grill in Bronxville NY accompanied by storage doors, a side burner and the Alfresco URS-1 28″ fridge. The line is about 9 ft long and shows that you don’t have to build something that Frank Gehry would be envious of when it comes to designing an outdoor space. There is enough here for cooking, prepping and plating…job well done by another happy Curto’s customer.
Here’s a Wolf OG54 54″ outdoor grill in lovely Bronxville NY.
Customer also purchased Wolf drawers, side burner and SubZero outdoor fridge. Suffice to say, they love it!
Read more about the Wolf Og54 grill and my experience with its 36″ version at the Curtos.com blog.
Wolf OG54 54″ built-in grill along with side burner, drawers and not seen this shot a SubZero outdoor fridge.