It goes without saying that your outdoor kitchen is an integral part of your home. It defines not only the way your outdoor area or backyard looks, but also how you use it and how you entertain with it. This is why it's important that you get it right the first time when you're designing and building yours. An outdoor alfresco area is more often than not a permanent fixture and making any significant changes can be financially taxing as well as disruptive and destructive. So how can Heatlie help out in this department?
Our Island Gourmet Elite is a premier option when it comes to choosing the BBQ for your outdoor kitchen. Not only is it made in Australia to an extremely high standard, but it looks great in almost any situation, works exceptionally well for what it is designed for and you won't be needing to replace it in a year's time because it's made to last. On top of this, the Island Gourmet allows you to customise certain things to provide you with the perfect BBQ for your needs. Let's have a look at all the options you can choose from below.
The Island Gourmet body is basically everything but the plate itself. The entire trim of the BBQ that is visible to the eye will be stainless steel, it just depends on which type of stainless steel you choose...
Standard Stainless Steel
As said above, all Island Gourmet's come standard as stainless steel, there is no powder coated option like the freestanding BBQs. Standard stainless steel is 304 grade, brushed stainless. This is durable and looks good (with a nice polish).
316 Stainless Steel
This is the next step up and comes with a significant price increase on the standard option. 316 stainless is highly valuable if you live near the beach and want a BBQ that is virtually invincible to the effects of seaside corrosion. Having said this, it still needs the appropriate care and maintenance to stay this way, as with anything.
The Island Gourmet only has two options for size at this stage, unlike its freestanding BBQ counterpart. Either size will be a good fit for different styles of kitchens and this allows you to pick the right one for your needs... or maybe have both?
You may notice that the plate is the same size as the cutout, this is because the trim hangs out and sits on a ledge. The Island Gourmet unit supports its own weight.
As the name suggests, the 600's cooking plate is 600mm wide by 540mm deep, with a total body cutout size of 850mm wide by 540mm deep. This is a compact outdoor BBQ option, which is rare these days.
The 850 is 850mm wide by 540mm deep and has a cutout size of 1105mm wide by 540mm deep. A bigger option that most would find can easily cook for a large group.
Mild steel is incredibly good at conducting heat. Despite being the cheaper of the two options, it is by far the plate we most recommend to customers. A mild steel plate will provide a superior cooking experience and after a decent amount of cooks will form a nice non-stick coating layer that only enhances the cooking experience more.
Stainless steel is often perceived as being high quality due to its higher price tag and the stigma behind stainless steel being high quality. Don't be fooled, stainless steel is a higher quality and more durable metal, only with everything else and not with cooking plates. Stainless does not conduct or spread heat overly well, and you will notice a concentration of heat over the burners.
The most unique aspect of a Heatlie is the ability to choose differing plate thicknesses. No other BBQ brand can offer this, especially not in a built-in outdoor kitchen.
The standard plate thickness, 5mm plates are perfect for casual domestic use and give you a normal BBQing experience.
Up until May 2021, Island Gourmets were only available with 5mm plates. However due to demand, we started manufacturing 10mm plates, and they became instantly popular. 10mm plates are generally used for commercial BBQ applications, i.e. when the BBQ is left on cooking for several hours at a time. This is because a 5mm plate may start to warp with too much heat exposure, so the extra thickness helps to prevent that.
Since the Island Gourmet is for domestic casual use only, the 10mm plates won't serve this same practicality, but they will give you an overall awesome cooking experience. It is said that a 10mm, mild steel cooking plate on a Heatlie is the best cooking experience we offer, and probably on the whole market.
Heatlie BBQs have long been known as flat plate specialists. It's what we built our name and reputation on and we are still proud of that today. However, with the invention of the Island Gourmet, we felt it was time to branch out and embrace something different. Enter the grill plate.
Island Gourmets are also different to that of the freestanding BBQ because you can change your plate at any time. Unlike our BBQs where the plate is welded to the body, meaning you need a whole new BBQ if you don't like your cooking plate, the Island Gourmet was designed to have the plate easily swappable. It simply slips into a couple of grooves at the back of the body and sits down in a brace. It can easily be lifted up and down with the included plate lifting tool which is inserted into the fat drainage hole.
Our standard and most popular BBQ plate - gives you all the cooking power you need with a whole lot less mess. You can contain all those lovely cooking juices to add flavour back into your food and dispose of them easily when needed through the fat drainage at the front of the plate.
The grill plate features a half grill, half flat. The back half is "grilled" although it may not be exactly the kind of grill you're thinking of. We use a water jet cutter to slice some holes in the plate. With a grill plate, you also need fat collection drip trays under the burner. The grill has a built-in "flame tamer" with a solid section that runs above the burner. This avoids too many flare-ups but you may still experience them.
This is purely a question of durability. The burners are hidden away under the plate, only rarely seen when you lift the plate up to clean, so aesthetics don't matter a whole heap here.
These are mild steel that is powder-coated black for extra corrosion resistance, however, due to exposure to heat and moisture, these burners will eventually need replacing. Proper maintenance and care can extend their life by many years, however.
Live near the ocean and need a better quality burner material? This is your best bet. Stainless burners offer the highest corrosion resistance. We have rarely if ever replaced stainless burners.
There is a tonne of great additions that you can utilise to improve your already awesome cooking experience on an Island Gourmet Elite. Some make a big difference when it comes to the appearance of your outdoor kitchen.
This gives you a more traditional BBQ look with a protruding hood. However, it still looks good and won't impact your installation much, other than requiring a 60mm clearance between the back of the plate and any wall behind, so that the hood can fully open. The main thing is how much extra versatility it adds to your cooking experience. Who needs an indoor oven?
These baskets sit internally on the back of the roasting hood shroud and allow you to cook foods, such as vegetables, that require less intense heat.
A flat grilled rack that will sit on top of your hot plate and allow you to elevate roasts off the direct flat plate heat.
If you don't have a hood, the stainless steel cover will protect both the plate and the trim from the weather. It's sleek, shiny and looks good. You should however always have your Island Gourmet Elite installed in an undercover alfresco area. Warranty is not covered for those not installed undercover.
Australia's Highest Quality, Most Customisable Outdoor Kitchen BBQ
There you have it, a complete rundown on what the Island Gourmet Elite can offer you when you're designing putting together your dream outdoor entertaining area. Drop into your nearest stockist today to check one out and get more info, or drop us a line direct and we'll be happy to help.
Also, don't forget if you can't be bothered designing and building your own outdoor kitchen at all, Heatlie offers an Island Gourmet Elite cabinet that made to fit and looks great.