Fireplaces, fire pits and fire tables — many fired up with real flames — were among the hundreds of products on display. Also featured were everything from petite portable grills in vibrant colors, to luxurious outdoor kitchens complete with multiple-burner grills, wood-fired pizza ovens, rotisseries, refrigerators and dishwashers.Here is a sampling of innovative indoor and outdoor heating, lighting and cooking items for summer 2010:
Earth's Flame. This environmentally-friendly fire grate, designed to reduce emissions in wood-burning fireplaces, was presented with The Green Award during the Vesta Awards ceremony at the Expo. The grate, which can be retrofit into most fireplaces, addresses the three T's of good combustion: time, temperature and turbulence. For details, visit earthsflame.com.
Ironwood Sculpture for Fire. New from FireGear, this is the ultimate fire pit. Each unique sculpture is assembled from logs, pinecones, twigs and leaves, all handmade from raw steel that develops a rust-colored patina over time. The sculptures are available with or without a base, in a range of heights. Prices start at $7,000; details at firegearusa.com.
Venturi Flame. Billed as the "fire with a new twist," these swirling flames from Outdoor GreatRoom can be installed on tabletop fire pits or in fireplaces. Contained in glass chimneys, they run on gas or gel fuel. Prices start at $249; details at outdoorrooms.com.
Illuminations Electric Fireplace. Designed to create a romantic ambience in any room, this collection of wall-mounted electric candles by Fireplace Xtrodinair from Travis Industries is really more for lighting than heating. The candles come in sleeves of beeswax or translucent calcite stone. , are fitted with 4-watt, 70-hour bulbs and are grouped in clusters of three to a dozen. Magnetic-impulse flame technology causes the flames to flicker against mirrored or black interior walls. They can be installed as single-sided or see-through fireplaces, and are operated by standard wall switch or remote control. Details at travisindustries.com.
Element grill by Fuego. Sleek and minimalistic, the compact grill was designed by Robert Brunner, an industrial designer formerly with Apple computers. Fitted with locking casters, a temperature gauge and optional swing-out prep table, the cylindrical Element offers four cooking options: gas grill, roasting lid, pizza stone and griddle. Available in four colors, the grill has stainless-steel burners and handles, a cast-iron grate and propane storage behind a removable front panel. Base price is $449, details at elementbyfuego.com.
Jean Patteson can be reached at 407-420-5158 or email@example.com.
Accessories. These focus on time-saving and easy-living solutions. Included are four-in-one barbecue tools, flexible- neck utility lighters and flexible steel skewers.
Cleaners. Items include the Gas Grill Splatter mat for protecting surfaces against greasy spills, and the Grand Grill Daddy grill brush with built-in steam jet.
Portability. Many grills and smokers are durable but lightweight and collapsible.
Multitasking. Grills come with extras such as multiple burners, infrared rotisseries, storage drawers, lights and meat coolers.
Outdoor kitchens. These have everything, including the kitchen sink: food-prep areas, barbecue grills, pizza ovens, smokers, refrigerators, dishwashers, bottle rails and cocktail bars.
Fireplace and stove trends
There is a new focus on technologies and fuels that reduce the environmental impact of hearth products while increasing their efficiency.
These include ethanol gels and pellets made from corn, cherry pits and wood.
Fire as art.
Sculptures of faux logs or river rocks, flames that swirl or dance to music, and fire pits that double as water features are among the creations.
Glass beads in a variety of colors replace faux logs and rocks.