Category Archives: Blog

Don’t Hide Behind Your Grill Covers, Get Out There and Tailgate!

The best grillers know that grilling season doesn’t end on Labor Day. Tailgating season truly hits its peak with football season and there are plenty of reasons to take off the grill covers and hit the parking lot. For those who haven’t tailgated before – or at least haven’t hosted before – the proposition of grilling can be a bit overwhelming. This is especially true when you consider each and every year Americans at games across the counry are stepping up their game. We want to make sure everyone takes advantage of every opportunity to grill. Today, we will take a look at the essential equipment to own that will give anyone the confidence to tackle the tailgating challenge.

Folding Table – When purchasing a folding table for your tailgate, it’s important to keep durability and convenience in mind. Depending on the vehicle you are bringing to the game, space will be at a premium. Be on the lookout for a folding table that has strong reviews for it’s ability to be transported easily and withstand a fair amount of weight. You will want your main cooking station to be your new folding table.

Cooler – Having a cooler you can trust to keep things cold on gameday isn’t just important because of the beverages. When you’re transporting your food, you need to know that it’s remaining at the proper temperature. A reliable cooler can make all the difference. There are plenty of reliable coolers on the market that can promise temperature control for days at a time.

Grill and Grill Covers – There’s a great selection of portable charcoal grills that can be brought to any stadium in the country. We recommend charcoal grills for tailgates as most stadiums now have special trash cans available specifically for charcoal ashes. This helps keep you and your tailgating party safe on game day.

Grill Tool Carrying Case – Whether you have all the tools you need or want a separate set for the tailgate, you have options for grilling cookout kits. Most tailgates require a couple of skewers, a fork, a spatula, a pair of tongs and a brush.  Your carrying case can be laid out on your folding table and kept sanitary for a hassle free cooking experience.

Once you have all of the essentials, there’s only one more step to follow. Select your grilling cuisine and get to work! Whether you take off your grill covers to make burgers and dogs or elevate the tailgate with steaks and gumbos, the options are limitless on gameday.  Happy grilling!

 

Don’t Put Those Gas Grill Covers on For The Winter Quite Yet

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone and it’s easy to get dejected about the end of summer season. However, grilling season is just getting good! If you’re like the majority of people who only grill burgers and dogs during the summer, it’s time to change it up. As the leaves fall in your backyard, the prices of beef will be dropping as well.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “this year is expected to be the largest commercial beef production year since 2011.” It’s a simple case of supply and demand. With more beef out there, consumers will benefit from competitive pricing. Let’s take a look at some of the best meat dishes for fall that will help you put off putting on your gas grill covers for the winter season.

BLT Burgers – We poked fun at grilling enthusiasts who only make burgers and dogs, but there is no denying how delicious a good burger can be! This fall make the switch to 90% lean ground beef and ditch the bun. By weaving four bacon pieces together, you can create a bacon bun that will have you saying good bye to carbs and hello to the flavor.

Grilled Cheesesteak Packs – Ever consider making Philly cheesesteaks on your grill that aren’t terrible for you? Probably not – but you can. A nice lean flank steak takes center stage in this dish. You can slice steak to desired thinness and mix it with peppers, garlic, onions and some salt and pepper in a bowl. From there you move the mixture to some tin foil and wrap them up for your grill. After about ten minutes on the grill, unwrap them to throw on your cheese of choice. We recommend provolone. Cover them up for two minutes and you have a healthy cheesesteak dish that your whole family will love.

Sirloin Steak Skewers – When it comes to affordable meats that offer great taste and low-fat content, you can’t do much better than a sirloin.If you’re in a time crunch during back to school season, consider steak skewers. Steak, peppers, scallions and folded up tortillas can be skewered quickly. Throw on some salt and pepper and some olive oil and seven or so minutes on the grill should provide you with a medium rare steak that is too good to be true.

 

The Importance of Outdoor Grill Covers

The grill has become the staple of the backyard. So many people either purchase a standalone grill for their backyard or have one installed in a brick wall they have built. Others have gas grills installed next to their fire pits. Millions of people gather around the grill during the spring and summer months each year. Today, we will discuss the importance of outdoor grill covers.

Prevent Weathering

Weathering can happen to even the best grills on the market if you leave them outside long enough. If you don’t have room to store your grill in the winter months, it’s a good idea to purchase a grill cover. The grill cover helps to protect the grill from rain, the wind, rust, dirt, and other environmental items that can damage it.

Keep Pests Out

A grill cover is also good for keeping pests out. This includes bugs, bees, wasps, squirrels and other animals who might want to make a home inside the grill. Grills are a popular place for bees and wasps to build their nests because of the shade. A grill cover can prevent these bugs and animals from finding a home inside the grill, either under the grates or where the propane tank is stored.

Ready to Use

A grill that has a cover on it whenever not in use will always be ready to use once the cover is removed. You won’t have to clean the grates or spend time removing a nest of wasps when you utilize a grill cover. You will spend less time scrubbing the grill to prepare it for a meal when you use a cover, which means you have more time to enjoy family and friends.

Looking for outdoor grill covers that fit your grill properly? Contact Creative Covers today to have a grill cover custom made to fit the grill you own.

Three Tips for Getting More Life Out of Your Grill

We’re getting closer to the summer months, which means it’s grilling season.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not putting in the time to keep your gas grill cleaned and well-maintained. You will not only have to make repairs or replace the grill sooner; your food will suffer too. Luckily, it is not very difficult to keep up with grill maintenance, and most tasks will only require a few minutes of your time. Here are several things we would like you to do to get more life out of your grill:

Check Your Grill for Any Leaks: This is one of a few safety tasks you should do before you operate a grill. You’re literally playing with fire so it’s best to heed on the side of caution at all times. First and foremost, you should always make sure that your gas cylinder is not over-filled. Propane expands so, by law, you can only have a cylinder filled up to eighty percent. Second, check your hoses for any leaks using a soap and water solution. It’s never a good idea to use a flame. If you notice any leaks, replace them immediately before use. Also, be sure to place the in a well-ventilated, open spot.

Clean Your Grill’s Grates, Lid, and Exterior: You’re dealing with grease here so your grill is bound to get dirty. Before you start cooking, be sure to pre-heat the grill to remove any leftover debris on the grates with a bristle brush. You can clean the grate more deeply once the grill is turned off and cool, using regular dish soap. It’s recommended that you remove the grill tray after using it to remove the excess grease. You should also clean the lid and outside of your grill with a non-toxic, non-abrasive cleaner at least once every few weeks to ensure it keeps its shine.

Use a Grill Cover: Let’s say you purchased a really expensive grill; would you then allow it to withstand the elements on its own? That wouldn’t be a good idea. We highly recommend you check out island grill covers so you can make sure your grill isn’t exposed to rain, dirt, and other things that will cause your grill to rust or become damaged any other way. At Creative Covers, we provide grill owners with customized island grill covers sewn specifically to your grill’s dimensions. Call us today at (800) 970-0901 to order your custom grill cover.

Covering the Winter Patio Basics

curved-sectional-sunbrella-coverThe weather is starting to cool down. The air is getting crisper. Staying outside for long periods of time doesn’t feel as comfortable without 12 layers of clothing and a small fire going. Yes, winter is quickly approaching and snow is on the horizon. We have the option of moving all of that furniture indoors, but heaving it all back and forth doesn’t sound like our idea of a good time. Even though most patio and backyard furniture is designed to remain outdoors, there are still certain precautions that should be taken in order to preserve your precious furniture for years to come.

Treat According to Material/Framework
The beauty of patio furniture is that like real indoor furniture, it comes in all types of shapes, colors, sizes, and materials. The different options we have for patio furniture means we can really customize our backyards to the style that we like. It also means that we are faced with understanding how to care for each type of framework and material. Metal, like aluminum and steel need preventative rust care as they are more prone to natural rusting over time. Natural materials like teak and wood need a simple oil covering, but their durability makes them able to last the winter outdoors. Plastic is the most low-maintenance of all materials, as it just needs a simple hosing down to clean.

Cover Your Furniture
After you have vacuumed and dusted off the cushions, removing any seasonal debris that has already tried to take up residence in the seats of your chairs, you should cover your furniture. Breathable fabrics for your outdoor sectional covers and other patio furniture are perfect for this time of year as it helps to air out the furniture while also preventing further debris to fall on the furniture. Decaying debris can leave hard to remove stains on your cushions, ruining it or causing costly cleaning repairs.

Store Properly
Last but not least, once it is all said and done, the furniture is cleaned and covered, it is time to begrudgingly usher in the end of summer and store your patio furniture accordingly. Store frames right side up to help remove any residual moisture. This prevents water that is trapped inside the frames from freezing over the winter and ruining the furniture from the inside out. Most patio furniture is made to withstand staying outdoors, but others like mosaics and plastics need to be stored indoors to also prevent cracking, and the dislodging of pieces.

We’re all sad to see summer go. Grills are being replaced with fire places and cold drinks with hot teas. None of us are ready to let it go. With these preventative measures for your patio furniture, your outdoor sets will be as good as new when summer comes back before you know it.

Outdoor Gas Grill Covers and Other Winter Preventative Grill Maintenance

Let’s start with some good news. The first official day of the fall season may arrive this week, but grilling season is far from over! You can still enjoy grilling deep into autumn. With that being said, it’s important to understand that your grill needs to be winterized before the first freeze. Keep an eye on the forecast and take advantage of these winterizing tips to ensure your grill is ready to rock and roll at the first hint of spring.

Start With Some Heat – The easiest way to ruin the value of your grill is to leave residue on your grill and throw on your outdoor gas grill covers for the season. You’re going to open up your grill in the spring and it’s going to be covered in filth. This will not only lead to an extensive cleaning, it could lead to lesser taste in future uses. Instead of waking up to a headache, turn your grill to high heat and close the lid for 15-20 minutes. This will eliminate the residue left on the grill.

Grill Grate Cleaning – Just as you wouldn’t want to skimp on your outdoor gas grill cover, you shouldn’t skimp on a great grill brush. Utilizing a wire brush and scraping the surface while the grill is hot is best. Afterwards, let your grill get cool and break out the soapy water. You can take off the grill grates and scrub thoroughly. Afterwards, rinse with hot water and put your grill grates back on.

Soap for the Outside – Leave out the soapy water from the grill grates and wipe down the outside of your grill with a rag. Also, open up the lid and make sure both sides get wiped down. Avoid using anything other than a rag unless you absolutely have to. Certain scrubbing devices can do damage to the exterior.

Have the Right Outdoor Gas Grill Cover – We offer grill covers that are tailored to match your grill. This is important. A proper fitting grill cover can ensure that dirt and debris don’t seep into your grill. If at all possible, after applying your grill cover, roll your grill into a covered location. A garage would be great, but a carport or something similar will do just fine.

A little preventative maintenance can go a long way. It can extend the life of your grill and maximize the flavor you get out of your grill for years to come.

It’s Grilling Season: Don’t Forget the Importance of Grill Maintenance

Blue Grill Cover

Whether you and your family love traditional summer favorites like hot dogs and burgers or you like to make the grill your official summer cooking destination for everything from chicken and kabobs to pizza pies, there’s nothing like a meal fresh off the grill. We want to ensure that you get to enjoy these meals summer after summer and it’s why we offer outdoor grill covers to protect your grill from the elements, but it’s also why the theme of this post is grill maintenance. There are things you can be doing after every meal to ensure that your grill can be relied upon for delicious meals day in and day out.

There’s a lot of strain put on your grill during the summer months and maintenance is a must. Without it, you run the risk of lower temperatures, increased sticking of food to the grates and uneven heat. As soon as you take off your outdoor grill cover, every meal should begin with some high heat. Turn your grill on high heat and close it. Allow for 10-15 minutes of burning to turn any leftover residue from your last meal to ash. A high quality stainless steel brush should then be used to wipe away debris and provide a clean grilling surface that will help ensure what you put on the grill is all that you eat and all that you taste.

It’s a good idea to clean your cook box at least once per month. Obviously, this should be done when the grill is completely cool. Remove cooking grates and any bars. Use your grill brush to find all grease and debris in the area that’s been left over from previous cooking sessions and move them to the bottom tray. It’s then simple enough to discard and have your grill in tiptop shape.

Beyond the interior of your grill, don’t forget to acknowledge the cleanliness of the exterior. In particular, wipe down the side tables regularly. This is not only key  to maintaining a proper appearance, but it’s also a great way to keep your family safe through sanitation as side items will be placed on those side tables regularly. Microfiber towels are the best tool for this job, but you can use paper towels as well. Keep one of outdoor grill covers on when the grill isn’t in use and your grill will look as great as the food you are making tastes.

Tips to Store Your Grill for Winter

winter grillWhile many of us enjoy the summer and autumn seasons, winter is well on its way which means it’s time to start preparing for the cold months that lie ahead. As you transition to winter and begin to tuck away your summer and autumn items, don’t forget to properly pack away your grill. In the midst of switching wardrobes and home decorations, many forget about their outdoor grill and leave it outside and unprotected in the cold where it usually hides under a foot of snow. It’s not until spring rolls around that we remember our grill and by then it’s too late to save because it’s rusted and worn down. Don’t let that happen this year; take good care of your grill this winter by following these tips.

Watch the Weather

Although you can grill year-round, most associate grilling as a summer and fall activity. If you want to grill for as long as possible before the cold really kicks in, keep an eye on the weather. As with any season, weather can change quite fast. Know when temperatures are really beginning to drop and when days are extra windy.

Give Your Grill a Thorough Cleaning

Once you decide it’s definitely time to cover the grill until spring, give it a good cleaning before you store it. Make sure all the coal and grease buildup is removed and there is no food residue on or in the grill or its parts.

Ensure it is Dry Before You Store it

Never store away a wet grill since water can damage it, causing rust. After you clean it, make sure that all parts are dry.

Store it Indoors, If You Can

To ensure the best protection and keep your grill in tip top shape, if you have the room, store it indoors. A garage, laundry room or enclosed balcony are suitable areas. This way your grill is not exposed to the harsh winter elements.

Detach the Propane Tank

For safety measures, you should take off the propane tank to prevent an accidental fire. You can store it in the cold, but avoid keeping it in the garage since there is a risk of pressure buildup.

Keep it Protected with a Grill Cover

 Covering your grill with an island cover will protect it from outside elements, keep it well maintained, and keep it clean. If you have a patio furniture set with a table and chairs, make sure you keep furniture protected with outdoor sectional covers as well. These will shield your furniture from harsh weather conditions, prevent paint from chipping and rust from building.

Fall is Coming: Get Your Grill Ready the Right Way

football

Fall is finally here. Autumn brings us many great things like cooler weather, beautiful leaves, and most importantly, football. While it may be time to pack away your swimsuits and beach chairs, don’t rush to put away your grill just yet. If you’re like most, you turn your house into football game day headquarters during the fall months. And what’s a good football game without some outdoor cooking?

Fall is the Prime Time to Grill

According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 76% of consumers polled in a survey said that fall is the prime time for outdoor grilling because of the cooler weather. Despite daylight-saving time making days shorter and nights longer, about 75% of consumers indicated that they intend to use their grills well past Labor Day.

Why is Grilling so Popular?

Outdooring grilling is a favorite activity that people love for a number of reasons. Aside from the obvious of grilling tasty foods like burgers, hot dogs and steaks, and adding more flavor to foods, grilling is a simple and fun way of bringing your friends and family together. While grilling certainly makes for a great activity, especially during football season, it’s important to take good care of your grill to ensure it performs at its best year-round. A well-maintained grill will not only keep your food safe but bring out the best flavors in your favorite foods.

Make sure your grill is ready to fire up this fall with these tips:

  1. For safety precautions, set up you grill in an open, well-ventilated space at least 10 feet from your house. Make sure it is away from overhead surfaces, dry leaves and other objects.
  2. Place a grill pad under your grill before you start cooking. This will protect your deck or patio from any drips of grease that may miss the drip pan.
  3. After each use, clear away grease and ash by removing the bottom tray from under the grill and removing the excess grease.
  4. Keep the grate clean and brushed. Turn the grill on pre-heat and once it is hot, use a stainless steel bristle brush to remove any ash and debris. For a deep clean, remove the grates when the grill is cool and using dishwashing liquid scrub it with a wire brush.
  5. Don’t forget to clean the outside of your grill. You can use a paper towel and cleaner and carefully wipe away about dust or debris.
  6. To ensure your grill is protected when not in use, cover your grill with an island grill cover. This will prevent leaves, rain or snow from covering your grill which can cause damage. It also keeps bugs and outside animals away from it.

Home Improvement 101: Going Beyond Backyard Basics

home improvement concept The real estate market in the United States has been on a rebound since the dreaded 2008 recession which is good news for realtors, homeowners and home hunters! In fact, the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index report, published in June by the National Association of Realtors®, found that the real estate climate remained strong in many local markets. Also noted in the report, Realtors are strongly confident about the real estate outlook over the next six months.

However, homebuyers are facing a tight inventory on the market.  This is subjecting millennials (ages 25 – 34 years old), the largest portion of homebuyers accounting for 32% of all buyers, to a house hunting challenge. And interestingly enough, millennials make up 68% of first-time homebuyers which shows a generational shift. The reason as to why the market is tight and challenging for homebuyers may be due to the fact that current homeowners are opting to take on home improvement projects rather than selling their house.

Big Boxed Gains

Two national home improvement stores, Lowes and Home Depot, experienced an increase in their stock prices by 40% compared to last year’s numbers according to a recent article from US News. What does this mean? More people are hitting the stores to purchase supplies and materials for home improvement projects. And given the massive jump, home improvement stores took in revenue of $144 billion in 2014 which is safe to assume this year’s profits are expected to be more. But out of all the major chains and over 5,300 stores across the nation, Ace Hardware took the win for the highest customer satisfaction.

What Are Homeowners Improving?

backyard kitchen Statistics from a three-year period, 2009 to 2011, show that homeowners spent a total of $359 billion on home improvement projects. These numbers indicate that homeowners are willing to spend a few dollars to improve their houses and the improvement movement is booming; just in 2012, they spent $284 billion. But that’s not all – figures from 2014 were reported at $303 billion and 2015 is expected to exceed $320 billion according to the Home Improvement Research Institute. This begs the question: what projects are homeowners taking on?

For starters, the average amount spent on all home improvement projects came to $3,200 where 57% of owner-occupied housing units made improvements (43.7 million housing units out of 76.1 million). Of those homeowners who decided to take on home improvement projects, 37% were do-it-yourselfers and 63% hired professionals. While there were plenty of renovations that involved various interior updates, approximately 20 million projects that took place were exterior improvements. About 20% of those projects consisted of backyard upgrades such as patios, detached decking, outdoor kitchens, landscaping and more.

More homeowners are turning their backyards into year-round living spaces with things like fire pits, speaker systems, lighting and anything else you can imagine. Outdoor cooking spaces are among the most popular improvements that include high-end grills with grill covers, counters with storage, hidden mini-fridges and covered decking. It’s without a doubt that backyards are no longer that drab space behind your house because homeowners are taking them to the next level.

Not to mention, real estate experts agree that renovating your backyard will be a distinguishing factor if you decide to place it on the market. If two homes are for sale in the same area that are similar in size, the one with the stellar backyard can be expected to sell faster and first.

Are you ready to improve your backyard’s appeal and function with the above trends? Start designing your backyard paradise and let Creative Covers create a custom grill cover to protect your new investment!


 

Sources:

  • http://www.realtor.org/reports/realtors-confidence-index
  • http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/default.aspx?indid=1031
  • https://www.hiri.org/?page=Media
  • http://www.statista.com/topics/1732/home-improvement/
  • http://www.census.gov/how/pdf/home_improvements_text.pdf
  • http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/08/05/why-millennials-are-dominating-the-housing-market
  • http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/mutual-funds/articles/2015/07/27/why-lowes-and-home-depot-stock-is-soaring