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Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Grills

For our new June 2011 Beach Houses We Love issue, I set up shop in a backyard with seven mini grills for an afternoon of barbecuing and product testing. These little charcoal cookers are great for tailgating and small gatherings, but what you really want to barbecue on on a regular basis is a Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Hybrid grill.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet's Hybrid Grill K1000HS.

The company has been building high-end outdoor grills ever since it launched in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1906. (The company is still based there and continues to build its grills there, too.) In 2005, it redesigned it entire line and the collection has been once again been upgraded, this time to make all 12 models hybrid grills, meaning you can cook with gas, charcoal, or wood on all of them.

The system works like this: Drawers are located above the gas burners but below the cooking surface. You can cook with gas by simply leaving the drawers empty. You can cook with charcoal or wood by filling the drawers with either material and using the gas burners to light them.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet's Artisan Fire Pizza Oven.

The new hybrid grills will be available beginning later this summer—though they are certainly a luxury: The models start at just under $10,000.

Another popular product from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet is its pizza oven, launched last year. The outdoor, countertop oven cooks pizzas from below with it two independently controlled burners and a flame at the back helps browns the top. The oven heats up in 20 minutes, then it takes just two minutes to cook a pizza (six to cook a calzone).

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