Rock Star DIY Backyard BBQ

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There are so many choices when considering setting up a new backyard BBQ, which can become a bit overwhelming and at times confusing. There are options out there, that just don’t make any sense to people and others find it a necessity, so let’s talk about a few ideas that we thing will make your personal Backyard BBQ area perfect for you and your guests and leaving them wanting to come back time and time again. That’s where the Rock Star reference comes in, oh also these are great DIY projects that will help you save some money, which can later be used on the meat and beer.

1. The Stone Island:

Many people think that having a stone BBQ island too expensive, but by using cast concrete blocks with a stone countertop, commonly found at your local home improvement store, you can easily and affordably create your own outdoor kitchen. You can find many DIY plans online, so there will be several options of material or layouts to choose from, so find one that best suits your needs and space. You can also discuss your ideas with someone at your local home improvement store, which can actually make this process a lot easier. When it comes time to do the heavy lifting, make sure to motivate your friends and family with a promise of celebrating a job well done with a nice steak dinner.

Image result for portable grill with stone facade

2. Combine the Grill and Smoker:

If one grill is good, then two must be awesome. Using these basic instructions and altering to allow for the installation of your favorite smoker, this island can hold both a grill and smoker station for the true barbecue enthusiast. Surrounding the grill and smoker with brick gives your island a solid look that will last through any weather. You can use the same brick and mortar laying instructions from the Stone Island example above.

3. The Grill Top Table:

DIY communal outdoor grill

Instead of being separated from guests while you’re grilling, make the chore part of the fun. A built-in tabletop grill allows every guest to cook their own meal while enjoying each other’s company. If your company has a lot of dietary restrictions, this grill gives everyone the option to make their food just how they like it. Use a round picnic table as the base and cut out space for the charcoal grill to sit.

4. The Portable Island:

In today’s world of the outdoor BBQ/Grill, the majority sold are portable. They are very functional and can look nice, but not always appealing to someone who wants to stand out from the rest of the BBQ enthusiasts. So by adding a few nice touches to your ready assembled rolling BBQ stand, you’ll be ready to show off what you’ve got. You can add upgraded stone panels to the sides of the grill stand, just below the prep islands to give it a more permanent fixture look rather than a roll away grill.

Outdoor BBQ on wheels

5. The 3 in 1 Island

All inclusive outdoor BBQ experience

Now let’s combine everything we want into one, so let’s add a grill, a smoker and an outdoor pizza oven. Now that’s a great combo? This may seem complicated, but it’s still a fairly simple DIY grill project for anyone no matter what building experience. This will allow you to show your inner grill master spirit off and shine like the star that you are! OK, I think I’m getting a little to excited about grilling, smoking and cooking a pizza at the same time, while enjoying a beer on my back patio. Whew, I’m glad it’s the end of the article. Now I know I said that this project is still a fairly simple DIY project, but let’s be honest, you need to be familiar with taking measurements, using power tools and not be afraid of using sharp objects, like a saw, but still I think that with the right direction, almost anyone can tackle this project. Just take your time and plan ahead.

Dos and Don’ts: Tips to Save Your Garbage Disposal

Dos and Don’ts: Tips to Save Your Garbage Disposal

Dos and Don’ts: Tips to Save Your Garbage Disposal

Just because the name of the item is “Garbage Diposal”, doesn’t mean you should shove any old garbage down there.
You may be using your garbage disposal incorrectly, which can not only void it’s warranty, but can also be very dangerous. So here are some important do’s and don’ts you’ll need to know when owning this handy kitchen tool to be safe, extend it’s life and save you money by not needing costly repairs.
DO: Read and Follow the Instructions in the Owner’s Manual
 
I know, every article always says read, understand and follow the owner’s manual, but not all articles are talking about a kitchen appliance that’s sole design is to shred and destroy items that fall into it’s munching path. So, it’s a simple request and step for someone to get a good understanding of this appliance simply by reading the manual.
DON’T: Dislodge Anything without Following the Instructions and Taking Safety Precautions
 
If something in the disposal get lodged in there, don’t stick your hand down there and start feeling around. Make sure the appliance it turned off, unplugged, or if hardwired, make sure the power is turned off at the circuit breaker. Follow the instructions in the Owner’s Manual to dislodge any items that get stuck in your garbage disposal.
 
DO: Follow These Simple Tips to Help Unclog Your Disposal
 

Never pour bleach, drain cleaners or other chemicals into the garbage disposal as they are corrosive and can damage your pipes. Follow these simple tips to unclog your disposal, and if those don’t work, you may need to get it repaired.

DON’T: “Sharpen” the Blades with Ice or Eggshells

I’m not sure where this myth came from, but people seem to think that Garbage disposals have blades, similar to a lawnmower or blender. It doesn’t, it has impellers that are blunt, not sharp. So, putting ice or egg shells down the disposal to sharpen the blades will not do any good. In fact, egg shells are not recommended for the garbage disposal as the membrane can get wrapped around the impellers and cause damage.

DO: Use Cold Water, Not Hot, When the Disposal is Running

While hot water does dissolve grease, it may actually do more harm than good and could actually push grease further into the pipes and create clogs. It could even cause your disposal to overheat. Cold water is better, as it helps grease to solidify and move more easily down the drain with the wastewater.

DON’T: Pour Grease or Food Scrap Down the Disposal

Never pour fats, oil or grease into your disposal or down your sink. Your disposal simply grinds items. Chasing it down with dish soap won’t always work either. Fats, oil and grease can congeal, stick to and build up in plumbing and clog the sewer. Food scraps are best thrown in the trash not in your disposal.

DO: USE Your Trash Can

Although a garbage disposal is durable, it is not indestructible. Disposals are designed to grind down soft food particles, not hard food waste like bones, corn cobs, fruit pits, and unpopped popcorn kernels. A good rule of thumb is if you have a hard time chewing it, your disposal will probably have a hard time grinding it. If you’re not sure about an item, it’s better to throw it in the trash. Avoid dumping other foods like pasta or rice as they expand in water and could clog your drain. Also, avoid starchy or stringy vegetables like celery, rhubarb, asparagus, potato and banana peels and coffee grounds.

Do you really know how to Use Your Dryer?

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Follow these Tips. Keep your dryer working.

Is your dryer effective?

The question isn’t “How long does a dryer last?”; it’s “How long should a dryer last?” And the answer depends on how well you’re able to maintain your dryer. The way to make it last the longest? Use it correctly and perform regular dryer maintenance. Not only will that keep your dryer functioning properly, but it will also give you the best results when it comes to drying your clothing.

How Long Can I Expect My Dryer to Last?

According to Consumer Reports, a dryer’s average life span is Ten years. But with advances in technology and owner’s taking better care of their appliances, some manufacturers say a dryer can last up to 25 years. Which, I personally can say my family’s last dryer lasted almost 20 years, before we finally couldn’t fix it to make it keep going. But like I said, it’s important to remember, a that clothes dryer life expectancy goes hand in hand with how often the dryer is used and how well you maintain the appliance.

OK, Now it’s time for some Dryer Maintenance 101

Follow these simple steps to ensure your dryer stays in tip-top shape for many years to come:

1. Read the manufacturer’s instruction manual.

This is one thing almost no one does. I’m guilty of this as well. I mean how hard can it be to use a dryer. Put the wet clothes in, select a setting and press start, right. But with the new dryer’s now-a-days, there are so many different options for each setting, for each item you want to dry and other quirky little things manufacturers add to your dryer to make it unique and more desirable than other models. So you need to understand that these settings options are there for a reason. Read through your dryer’s manual to see how you can improve its performance.

2. Divide loads by fabric weight.

 For faster, more even drying, dry the lightweight fabrics and heavyweight fabrics in appropriately sized separate loads.
Remove lint from the filter after each load. Even a little lint in the trap can cause inefficiency and longer dry times.

Keep the dryer clean.

Lint can build up in the vent and on the back of the dryer. For performance and fire safety reasons, it’s best to check these areas at least once per year to remove the excess lint. 

Related: How to Clean Your Washer and Dryer

Reduce the heat and drying time.

High heat isn’t necessary for every fabric. I know I was guilty of this. I always thought the higher heat would dry clothes faster and more efficiently. Well, that’s not always the case, plus it can damage your clothes. Another advantage of using lower heat settings is the fact that you save money, not only on electricity or gas, but again save yourself from having to by new clothes in case higher heat damages any. Next time, try this, start with a 40-minute, low-heat cycle. If your load isn’t dry, continue drying in 10-minute increments rather than starting another full cycle.

Take advantage of your dryer’s moisture sensor, if you have one.

 If your dryer is equipped with a sensor, make sure it is on, so you can avoid excessive drying. To ensure top detection, clean the sensor once a month.

Consider air drying your clothes occasionally.

Air drying clothes every once in awhile will not only give your dryer and pocketbook a break; it will actually help to prolong the life of your clothing.

If you properly maintain your dryer, you can depend on excellent results for several years. However, sometimes even the best dryers can have a hiccup here and there. Want to ensure you’re always covered for those unexpected repairs or replacements? Consider adding your washer and dryer to your home warranty.

So the moral of this story is, give your dryer some TLC and it will last longer and save you money in the years to come.