During these unprecedented times, as the fear of going out during the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a part of our lives, more and more people are spending time in their own kitchens.

Instead of going to restaurants, we are making our own meals. Instead of eating out, we are eating in.

For many, especially during the hot summer months when you don’t want to heat up the house and might just need to get outside, that means turning to your outdoor kitchens and grills.

If you’re looking for ways to expand your outdoor horizons, then Gas N Grills, located on Livingston Ave. just west of E. Bearss Ave., might just have everything you’re looking for. Not only does the Lutz location offer grilling accessories, charcoal and wood chips and propane, the store’s selection of grills can help transform your outdoor cooking space into a charming culinary oasis.

“We specialize in high-end grills, mostly outdoor kitchens with built-in grills,” says Gas N Grills owner Joe Baker. “We have pretty much everything.”

Gas N Grills has been around since 1989, and like many specialty businesses, has experienced its ups and downs, from the economic crash in 2008 to the current online ordering revolution during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Before the 2008 crash, Joe says that built-in outdoor kitchens were all the rage, but he adds they are coming back.

At his store, Joe offers everything from the usual Weber and Broil Master grills to a number of high-priced stainless steel beauties from top name brands like Alfresco, Blaze and Tec. 

But, the first thing you notice when you walk in, aside from the wall of replacement parts that make up a large portion of Joe’s business, are the Saffire Grills, which are similar to the more-well-known Big Green Egg grills but are even better, says Joe.

Both are what are known as kamado grills, which are kettle-shaped and made with a ceramic shell that offer a ton of grilling and smoking versatility.

The Saffire uses charcoal, and can be used to grill, smoke, bake, roast and BBQ. Not only can you cook steaks and burgers on it, you also can slow-cook some ribs, and even use it to make a true wood-fired pizza if you so desire.

“It gives you better results than a regular grill,” Joe says. “The food stays so juicy that once you eat something cooked on it, you will never go back to just a ‘regular’ grill.”

The Saffire grills are definitely a little pricey — they are available in multiple sizes but a medium-sized one will run you roughly $1,000 — but they all come with a lifetime warranty and Joe says it will probably be the last grill you’ll ever buy.

In fact, that’s the case with many of the grills Joe sells at Gas N Grills, which are more for the dedicated and serious grilling enthusiasts who like to cook outdoors more than they do inside, moreso than the usual weekend chefs just looking to cook up a few burgers and hot dogs.

At Gas N Grills, the high-end grill selections feature large cooking areas and perks like rotisserie kits, side burners, adjustable warming racks, shelves, cabinet storage and even blue LED lights for nighttime grilling.

What you won’t find at Gas N Grills are the same, basic $199 grills you see lined up outside the bigger box stores, especially during the spring and summer.

“We don’t carry what they carry, we sell better quality grills,” Joe says. “We target those customers who are looking for a better cooking experience. People who know the difference are very interested in what we have. Spending $1,000, though, may be overkill for some people. But, I have customers who cook on their grills five times a week.”

Gas N Grills also sells camping stoves, turkey fryers, pizza ovens and a wide variety of grilling accessories, to go along with its brisk online sales of various grill replacement parts.

Gas N Grills is located at 14615 Livingston Ave. For more information, visit GasNGrills.com, call (813) 972-4984, or see the ad on pg. 32 of the latest New Tampa issue, which features a coupon for $2 off any propane fill.

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