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Get the 2018 outdoor cooking must-haves to heat up your grilling season |

Get the 2018 outdoor cooking must-haves to heat up your grilling season

“It’s going to be a great grilling season this year, and there are a few outdoor cooking innovations on the market that will make you rethink everything you know about grilling,” said Jim Grigsby of Oklahoma City.

Grigsby should know. As the third generation owner of American Propane, Oklahoma City’s oldest grilling and propane vendor, he has been around grills as long as he can remember.

Founded in 1936 by his grandfather Jim Grigsby, American Propane opened its doors as the first propane retail store in the state of Oklahoma. Since then, they have expanded past solely selling propane, becoming one of Oklahoma’s premier outdoor kitchen and living stores.

At their retail location off North Broadway Extension, the company now offers customers the ultimate shopping experience based on Grigsby’s personal knowledge and love of the grill industry. With the latest in BBQ grills, accessories, and gadgets he has a few favorites to get you ready for summer.

Jim Grigsby. Photo provided by American Propane.

Grill innovations

Every now and then, a piece of equipment comes along that gets even the most seasoned grilling pros excited. For Grigsby, that product is the Primo G420 Ceramic Gas Grill.

“This is an introductory unit from the Primo Ceramic Smoker line,” he said. “Known for their insulated kamado style grills, this gives the moisture people long for on a gas grill without having to open up a bag of charcoal.”

Primo Oval G 420. Photo provided by American Propane.

The Primo Oval G 420 transcends standard gas grills by integrating a premium grade ceramic shell.

“Unlike metal gas grills that radiate high amounts of heat and pull the moisture out of food, the ceramic shell of the Primo Oval G 420 acts as an insulator to retain more heat and preserve the natural moisture and oils of the food,” Grigsby said. “It really can take your grilling to the next level.

This unit comes currently in a freestanding and built-in unit.

Hottest grilling accessories and gadgets

What happens when you pair the oldest form of cooking with brand-new technology? Well, you get the grilling gadgets that take you from amateur to pro. The Weber iGrill is an app-based thermometer that allows you to track temperatures from your smart phone while either grilling or smoking.

“It’s really accurate and so easy to use,” Grigsby said.

Photo provided by American Propane.

Sold in either mini or standard size, this thermometer can give you a range of different internal temperatures offering you preset functions or the ability to cook the food to your liking. Simply insert the temperature probe(s) into your meat and track the doneness of your food from your smart phone on the Weber iGrill app, without having to lift the lid.

“Another great new accessory is the Bison Airlighter, a cordless lighter that will start up wood based products (charcoal, pellets, chunks) in 60 seconds or less,” Grigsby said. Powered by the use of disposable butane canisters, you can truly go from zero to lit in seconds.

Photo provided by American Propane.

“We have so many customers who complain of lighter fluid taste, and this gadget has truly solved that problem, giving you a clean flame in a torch like effect,” Grigsby added.

Sold in a small or large size, this has become one of our bestsellers among our smoker customers. 

Outdoor kitchen: Creating an experience

Photo provided by American Propane.

In recent years, more and more people have upgraded from owning a grill to building outdoor kitchens.

“Sure, grilling is a method to cook your food, but it is also a way to entertain or bring the family together,” Grigsby said. “So, people have expanded from having a grill in the backyard to creating outdoor cooking and entertainment spaces.”

In fact, American Propane adapted the idea at their showroom, where Grigsby  built an area for customers to try out the products.

“Many times our customers come in and really don’t know what they want without proper explanation or trying out a few units,” Grigsby said.

American Propane carries three major outdoor kitchen brands including DCS, Lynx and Blaze. All employees know the brands they specialize inside and out.

Photo provided by American Propane.

“We aim towards a more limited approach because we want to carry brands that all cover various needs in an outdoor kitchen, while also not confusing them with an over abundance of lines with virtually the same features,” he said.

These brands also offer customers different price options.

“We sell the brands that we have based on which products have stood the test of time and held up to the standard of quality we expect on our showroom floor,” Grigsby said.

And quality does matter in outdoor kitchens.

“Obviously, as a grill guy, I am a fan of outdoor kitchen, but when it comes to investing in something like this, quality matters,” he said. “Don’t skimp on gear. One of the main issues we seem to encounter is customers installing cheap equipment off the internet in a beautiful space. Then, they have to rip it out and replace it because it doesn’t last.”  

Kicking up the flavor

Speaking of quality, kicking up the flavor on your food is big this year – and the way to do it is with quality, local seasonings.

“Our favorite spices and sauces that we carry are from local Oklahoma vendors,” Grigsby said. “Being a family-run operation, we love to see other local companies and vendors succeed.”

Photo provided by American Propane.

If supporting other local businesses makes food taste delicious, it’s even better.

“We really love how both seasonings and sauces give an extra pop to whatever food you throw on the grill. One of our favorite staff picks for a sauce would have to be the Gailmaro Argentine Sauce,” Grigsby added. “Made locally by the Hefner family, this is a versatile sauce that provides an explosion of flavors to enhance meats, sandwiches, or burgers.”

Photo provided by American Propane.

“Besides just spices, we also offer wood chunks and chips to give flavor to any grilled or smoked meats,” he said.

Some of Grigsby’s favorite flavors to incorporate into grilling include pecan, cherry, alder, and apple.

“Simply putting these in a stainless steel smoker box can enhance any meal,” Grigsby said.

Ready to get cooking?

American Propane offers fun cooking demonstrations in partnership with The Oklahoman’s Food Dude, Dave Cathey, as well as several metro-area chefs such as Josh Valentine (Top Chef) and Kurt Fleischfresser. These cooking classes give the customer a new take on outdoor cooking, breaking away from the typical burgers and hot dogs.

Grigsby said people are already calling to reserve their spot.

“Please come out and join us sometime this year,” he said.

Cooking class schedule

April 19         Cinco de Mayo – featuring the Oklahoma Pork Council
May 17           BBQ Month – guest chef to be announced
Sept. 13          Ladies Night – featuring the Oklahoma Beef Council
Oct. 25           Theme TBA – featuring both pork and beef councils 

For more information, visit or visit them at grilling showroom in Oklahoma City.

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