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Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Searches May 11, 2007 HPBA Montana Changeout Program A Success **HPBA** May 10, 2007 Alternative Energy Retailer – Oxford, CT Grill 'Em With Questions Do Your Homework Before Making Purchase **HPBA/Leslie Wheeler** Jackson Clarion Ledger – Jackson, MS May 11, 2007 Joan Cirillo (Associated Press) HPBExpo New “Must-Have” Gadget Perfect for Outdoor Grill Enthusiasts **HPBExpo** Business Wire – San Francisco, CA May 10, 2007 Montana Changeout Program A Success **HPBA** May 10, 2007 Alternative Energy Retailer – Oxford, CT The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has announced the successful completion of its Libby Wood Stove Changeout program, an effort coordinated with the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund and assist homeowners with the installation of cleaner-burning stoves. The DEQ says a full assessment of the program's impact on the region's air quality will be completed in the spring of 2008, but it has already reported that January 2007 was the cleanest January in the last five years in Libby, and preliminary results in an Indoor Air Quality Study, conducted by the University of Montana's Dr. Tony Ward, show a 72% drop in average particle counts inside homes with new EPA-certified units. Site of the two-pronged changeout effort over the last two years, Libby is located in the northwest corner of Montana in a bowl-shaped valley surrounded by steep mountains, with a significant portion of residents relying on wood stoves for heating. The region has an ideal topography for temperature inversions that can cause smoke from wood stoves to get trapped close to the ground and create potential adverse health effects, say EPA officials. HPBA, through its member companies, donated approximately $1 million in stoves, chimney venting and cash for installation to help families in Libby replace their old wood stoves. With EPA providing the community with grants to assist with the program, a congressional earmark provided additional incentives for families in the community. Campaign organizers also held a number of wood stove fairs that gave citizens a look at their options, with the energy-efficiency gains of new stoves motivating many homeowners to participate. Grill 'Em With Questions Do Your Homework Before Making Purchase **HPBA/Leslie Wheeler** Jackson Clarion Ledger – Jackson, MS May 11, 2007 Joan Cirillo (Associated Press) Grilling has never been so hot. The grilling industry is growing at a record rate, but that's made shopping for a grill a little like shopping for a car: How to decide among all the makes and models and accessories? "First step is to figure out your grilling personality," Steven Raichlen, award-winning author of 27 books and television host of Barbecue University, said in an exchange of e- mails. Be precise, because you're about to face acres of options. The grilling industry grew 66 percent from 1992 to 2006, based on shipments of grills, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. Last year was the industry's most successful, with nearly 17.3 million grills shipped from manufacturers to retailers, up 15 percent from 2005, according to the association. Leading trends were a growth in outdoor kitchens, portable and charcoal grills, along with grills with multiple burners and uses, say industry experts. Multifunction grills can include infrared burners for restaurant-style high searing, rotisseries, griddles and flat grill plates, drop-in smokers and side burners, among other features. It's not hard to see why grilling suits Americans today. "It's really a convergence of a lot of things going on," Raichlen said in a phone interview. For starters, "That casual lifestyle has permeated every part of our lives," said Leslie Wheeler, a spokesman for the barbeque association. "People like the casualness of eating and cooking outside." People are entertaining more at home, and a good number of new books and TV shows teach new barbeque techniques, Raichlen said. Home cooks are more educated, especially about international cuisine, and now prepare meals from start to finish on their grills, the author of The Barbecue! Bible said. And don't forget its advantage for the time-pressed: "There aren't any baking dishes to clean," Wheeler said. Manufacturers also have taken advantage of inexpensive labor in China to build increasingly sophisticated, but affordable, grills, Raichlen said. The result is a dizzying array of variety. Viking, a leader in equipment for outdoor rooms, offers more than 100 variations of outdoor kitchen products. A new line of gas grills this year includes built-in canopy lighting for night grilling and a 120-volt electric ignition system. Weber-Stephen Products, the 54-old company whose charcoal kettle grill is an icon, brought out its largest line this year with 23 new gas grills in colors including deep blue, green and copper. And Char-Broil's new Tec series combines gas and infrared heat grilling. So, where to begin when you want to buy a grill? Decide which of the four basic grill types you want. These include gas (the most popular for its ease and clean burn); charcoal (preferred by some for flavor and versatility); pellet (which uses wood pellets in various flavors such as oak, hickory or mesquite); and electric, good for senior citizens and fire-restricted dwellings. Frequent entertainers will want a large gas grill with four or more burners, or several grills. Those cooking for two will be fine with a gas grill with two or three burners, or a charcoal grill, Raichlen said. Enjoy the process? "You're a candidate for charcoal," Raichlen said. More destination- or result-oriented? "You'll probably prefer the convenience of push-button ignition and turn-of-the-knob heat control associated with gas grilling," he said. "My personal belief is that you should own both," he added. What about cost? Grills range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars. "People should think about a grill as an investment," Taming the Flame author Elizabeth Karmel said. "This is like buying an oven for your home. If you buy a good one, it will last you forever." Expect to spend $450 to $500 for a better gas grill, said Karmel. "Don't get seduced by all the bells and whistles. Think about your lifestyle and how you cook and if you're really going to use the side burners, for instance," she warned. "Most of the inexpensive ones (grills), $300 or less, are going to fall apart in three years," author and television host Rick Browne said. The self-proclaimed Doctor of Barbecue looks for even heat over the surface of the grill, a grill with at least three burners and versatility. He spoke from the road as he set out to tape his Barbecue the World show, for his sixth season of barbecue shows on PBS. Condominium or apartment dwellers with strict fire laws may need an electric grill but be sure it's high-powered, Adler said. Like a car, a grill needs cleaning and maintenance so be sure replacement parts are easily available, Weber-Stephen Products Co. spokeswoman Sherry Bale said. One final piece of advice from grilling expert Karmel: "Buy a bigger and better grill than you think you'll need because once you start using it, you'll find you're using it all the time." Top tips for grill buying Before you buy, keep in mind these simple priorities: Consider cost but view your purchase as an investment. Give the grill the wiggle test to be it isn't flimsy and parts are welded. Beware of add-on features like side burners, which hike costs. Ask yourself if you'll really use them. Look for good customer support and maintenance. Remember that grills, like cars, require cleaning and upkeep. Plenty of further information is available at these Web sites: www.hpba.org. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Web site. Includes information about the industry and tips for grilling. New consumer guide with advice on buying a grill, party planning and recipes may be downloaded at: www.hpba.org/nbm. vikingrange.com. Web site of Viking, a leading outdoor kitchen manufacturer www.weber.com. Web site of Weber-Stephen Products Co. www.charbroil.com. Web site for Char-Broil. Click on the new Tec series for an explanation of infrared heat. www.girlsatthegrill.com. Cookbook Author Elizabeth Karmel offers tips on grill shopping and grilling basics. Click on "grilling 101" for basic information. www.barbecuebible.com. Barbecue University TV Host and cookbook author Steven Raichlen advises how to buy a grill and more. www.bbqqueens.com. Tips and recipes from Barbecue Queens Karen Adler and Judith Fertig. www.traegergrill.com. Web site for pellet grills with video describing how the grill works. New “Must-Have” Gadget Perfect for Outdoor Grill Enthusiasts **HPBExpo** Business Wire – San Francisco, CA May 10, 2007 Gagetek Propane Tank Scale Takes the Guesswork Out of Gas Levels and Eliminates the Risk of Running Out of Propane Mid-Meal GRANITE BAY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Let the outdoor grilling season officially begin! Thanks to a newly developed electronic propane tank scale, running out of gas during a backyard barbecue or tailgate party is now obsolete. Designed by the Northern California-based specialty weighing company named Gagetek, the new propane tank scale is small in size, affordable and easy to use. Using a simple, one-button design with LED lights that alert the user to the amount of propane left in the tank and, most importantly, when it’s time to refill, the new electronic propane tank scale is designed for standard 20 and 30 lb. propane tanks commonly used on most barbecues, outdoor heaters and RVs. Powered by two AA batteries, the lightweight device (which weighs less than two pounds) is highly accurate as the LED set points are adjusted within ½ lb. In addition, the new propane tank scale is designed and durable for outdoor conditions. “Surprisingly, nearly 75 percent of propane gas barbecues currently in use today are not equipped with built-in propane tank scales,” said Al Werner, Gagetek general manager and product designer. “Not knowing how much propane is left in your tank is a nuisance at best and can be quite embarrassing for cooks who run out of gas in the middle of grilling dinner for family and friends. Consumers can feel confident our new electronic scale is an accurate and reliable solution to an age-old problem.” After three years in development, the new propane tank scale first became available to online consumers earlier this year. Affordably priced at $29.95 via the company’s Web site (www.gagetek.com), the patent-pending scale has already been recognized with a prestigious honor from a national specialty retail magazine in their “Outdoor Room Components and Controls” category, which was awarded at the 2007 Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association Expo held recently in Reno, Nevada. “Once word gets out about our new electronic propane tank scale, we believe grill enthusiasts everywhere will breathe a collective sign of relief,” added Werner. About Gagetek Launched in 1995, Gagetek is a Northern California based business that applies digital output sensor technology for use in transportation, material handling, and specialized weighing applications. A variety of Gagetek’s products range in scope from a Torsional Sensing Load Cell for use in cars (which detects occupant weight and position for passenger air bag deployment) to a custom-designed large animal scale (currently in use at various zoos and large animal facilities throughout the country). More information is available at www.gagetek.com.
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