Nexgrill’s Smart Grill Makes Grilling Easier Than Ever

Nexgrill’s Smart Grill Makes Grilling Easier Than Ever

If you upgrade to a smart grill, you can become a barbecue boss.

Read on to learn how new technology can take your grilling game up a level.


metal tongs picking up hot charcoal
Charcoal grills require constant monitoring to keep the temperature even. (Martin Bohac, Pexels)

The Downside of Traditional Grills

With charcoal grills, it’s difficult to maintain a steady temperature. You frequently have to add more charcoal to keep the heat at the temperature you need. 

Even with heat-efficient propane grills, you’re constantly monitoring your food so you don’t overcook it or burn it to bits. 

And with both, there’s no room for multi-tasking — the food requires your undivided attention. 


Temperature display on the Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill
The Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill maintains a consistent temperature throughout the grilling process. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The Perks of a Smart Grill

The Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill takes the guesswork out of grilling. It grills, sears and bakes with epic precision. 


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The state-of-the-art LED touch-screen control panel operates on a finely tuned algorithm that can maintain even cooking temperatures for hours. That means no more fiddling with knobs to maintain your grill’s internal temperature. 

Because it’s wifi-connected, you can remotely monitor and control your food temperature through the Nexgrill app equipped with NEX-fi.

All you need to do is insert the digital thermometer probes into your food and choose your temperature. Set the grill on a timer or have it will shut off when the food reaches the exact temperature that you desire. 

Now, you’re free to do whatever else you need! Prepare side dishes inside without having to walk out to check on the grill every few minutes. Or break free from behind the grill to mingle with guests. 

The Nexgrill app also offers recipes, grilling tips and a community to share your experiences with other grillers. 

Wi-fi not working? No worries! The Neevo 720 Smart Grill can also fire up the old-fashioned way — with no app or automation required. 


Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill
Two side shelves offer added prep space. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

More About Nexgrill Neevo 720 Smart Grill

The Neevo 720 Smart Grill has just over 455 square inches of total cooking space, 44,000 BTUs of total cooking power, and a removable grease tray for easy cleaning. 

Preset modes include auto-warm and self-cleaning — just like your kitchen oven!

Two side shelves offer added prep space, and moving the grill around is easy with its two-caster and two-wheel configuration. 

Watch the video to learn all about this Best New Product!

Find the Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill at The Home Depot.


Further Reading

Everything You Need for the Perfect Picnic, According to Tikok Picnic Planners

Everything You Need for the Perfect Picnic, According to Tikok Picnic Planners

Summer is quickly approaching and, of course, it’s the quintessential season to spend some time outdoors with your favorite people. If you’d like to stray away from your go-to patio dining spots, you might want to consider a picnic. Picnics don’t have to be just gingham and grass — they can have plenty of their own personality and character. In case you haven’t heard, picnic planners on TikTok are focused on taking picnics to the next level. 

I talked to two luxury TikTok picnic planners, Jocelyn Chin of Picnic and Chill and Val Villamizar of High End Picnics New York, to learn what they think you need for your picnic this summer. Here are their top tips for a tip-top alfresco spread. 

Deciding where to have your picnic is key. Choosing a park, a beach, or a locale where there is people-watching may give you something extra to talk about as you toast with friends or family. 

Chin says, “Our favorite type of picnic would definitely have to be somewhere with great views. This elevates your picnic experience because the view definitely sets the tone for the picnic.” Though some clients, she adds, opt for “a picnic spot that is more meaningful.” Although the vista is important, Chin says most importantly, the picnic is about the people. 

Use pillows to accentuate the space. 

By simply adding a few decorative pillows, a boring picnic set-up suddenly has ambiance. Pillows are aesthetic and functional — you can use them to lie down or rest comfortably. 

“Pillows can really set your picnic apart,” Villamizar asserts. You can also try to plan your picnic around different themes. The bohemian theme is currently trending and Villamizar says the color white is the anchor for that kind of look. 

Add a coffee-style table. 

Using a small folding coffee-style table shows you’re taking your picnic seriously. The table makes it easier for people to enjoy their food and also is a change from just a picnic blanket, Vlilamizar explains. 

If you don’t want to invest in a picnic table, you can also use a mini folding table so that noshing on your favorite cheese and crackers doesn’t get messy. 

A floral bouquet can instantly bring your picnic setup from ordinary to classy — all the most eye-catching picnic photos have flowers on display. 

If live flowers aren’t in your budget, you can also try adding fake plants. Villamizar likes to shop at places like Home Depot and Amazon for “luxury” picnic goods that won’t break the bank.  

Get a custom picnic basket.

It seems unnatural to have a picnic without a basket. Chin loves the Picnic and Chill basket that doubles as a charcuterie board for its function and chic look. If a cute photo op is partially motivating your picnic, having a basket in the scene is a must.

Think about small details.

Villamizar says at a picnic, “You want to do something different from what you would do at your home or would do yourself.” She recommends ordering gold silverware for a cutlery option, as well as adding a table runner. And of course, you can’t forget the napkin holders. “You can use different colors,” she says, and try to match it with your pillows and bouquet. 

A fun way to capture your picnic moments is to give each of your guests a chance to take a picture with a Polaroid camera. You can have a tangible keepsake of your picnic instead of scrolling past the photo on your phone. Of course, if you don’t want divorce yourself from your digital life, Chin recommends bringing a bluetooth remote selfie stand to get everyone in the picture. 

Rudri Bhatt Patel

Contributor

Rudri Bhatt Patel is a former attorney turned writer and editor. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Saveur, Business Insider, Civil Eats and elsewhere. She lives in Phoenix with her family.

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7 Easy Outdoor Decorating Tips for Enjoying Whatever Outside Space You Have

7 Easy Outdoor Decorating Tips for Enjoying Whatever Outside Space You Have

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Summer’s definitely here, but it’s never too late to start sprucing up your backyard, deck, patio, or even a tiny terrace with outdoor furniture, textiles, lights, and special entertaining touches. Outside decor trends don’t shift quite as quickly as interior ones do, but that doesn’t mean changes aren’t afoot at all in the outdoor market. You can do plenty of things to make your space feel fresh for 2022, and with just a few key tips, hanging out solo or hosting a group can be so much easier and more enjoyable.

Here, we’ve stolen inspiration from some of our favorite house tours and asked a couple of experts for their outdoor decor ideas, too. Pick one or more, and get ready to kick back and relax in your own outdoor oasis all season long.

Set a stylish but sturdy foundation with furnishings in strategic colorways and fabrics.

The bulk of the upholstered outdoor furniture is white, cream, or tan, which can be beautiful but isn’t always the most practical option. Some companies are starting to offer darker colors and more technical fabrics, though, both of which can keep your pieces looking fresher longer and with less maintenance. “Extending the comforts and design of your home into the outdoors has been an ongoing trend and led us to create modern outdoor pieces and lean into non-traditional upholstery colors such as black,” said Sebastian Brauer, senior vice president for product design, development and metaverse at Crate & Barrel.

“Our urban-style outdoor Dune collection was designed to resist the elements, like heat and moisture, and create an outdoor gathering space that is cool, comfortable, and welcoming.” The biggest upside of darker upholstery? It’ll camouflage dirt better in between deep cleans while delivering a bit of stylish edge to your outdoor setup.

Buy: Dune Outdoor Furniture Collection, Starting at $349.00 from Crate & Barrel

Bring some of your favorite indoor decor pieces outside.

“We’re leaning into a happy profile in our outdoor spaces,” says designer Breegan Jane, who recently made over her outdoor space in partnership with Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. “I’m seeing the indoors coming outside, which is opposite of what you usually think of — it’s usually bringing the outdoors in, but this year we’re really wanting our outdoors to be an extension of the indoors.”

Think strategically with your indoor touches. Why not mount a mirror on an exterior wall to make a smaller patio feel palatial, as Jane has done in her space above, or add a piece of art for a touch of personality? Don’t forget textiles, either: Roll out an indoor-outdoor area rug to define your space, and invest in all-weather pillows and a throw or two as well. Hang gauzy outdoor curtains for another pop of color and pattern. All of these pieces will add texture and dimension to the space. 

Mix fake plants with real ones.

It may sound counterintuitive, but Jane says you can make watering a little easier on yourself with some realistic-looking but faux container plant babies — even outdoors. This is a great strategy on a small patio or tiny terrace, where space is at a premium, and you might not get great light throughout the day. Stores like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx have styles in an assortment of sizes and fun pots, including planters on legs and stands, which can help you create levels. Don’t forget hanging planters, too, to work your vertical space. Group fakes with your real plants that have the same sun and watering requirements. This trick makes them blend in better and can fool your company. 

Buy: Set of 2 10in and 12in Wicker Footed Planters, $49.99 $39.00 from Marshalls

Add color with painted features.

Bold paint can jazz up your outdoor spaces, too. Choose an exterior formula that will stand up to the elements, and consider using it on a trellis, planters, a patio floor, retaining walls, fences, or even exterior trim. If you love the painted mural or arch trend, you can also bring these ideas outside, too, just as homeowner Liz Klafeta did on her Chicago rooftop with these bold, bright graffiti murals.

Set up a serving station in your space.

Have a freestanding bar area, as seen in the house tour of Kate Richards of Drinking with Chickens here, or a fancy outdoor kitchen? Lucky you! That said, you don’t need either to build out a convenient entertaining spot. Instead, try repurposing a potting table as a serving station. Fill the basin with ice to use it as a cooler for drinks, and set out apps on the tabletop. Be sure to stock up on glasses, straws, and drink koozies for this spot, too. You can also do this with an outdoor bar cart or a tray table, like the one Jane used above, if you’re extra short on space.

If you have room for it, consider a water feature.

A water feature might consist of a little tabletop fountain for soothing background noise for a small space, or an outdoor bathtub or shower for a larger one. Couple Franz and Patsy Knapp designed and built out both in the backyard of their Australian home.

For something with extra character, look for vintage pieces at a salvage yard or ReStore. If you have a garden hose and get a shower kit, an outdoor shower is doable without plumbing! You can also try turning a stock tank into a small above-ground pool.

Warm up your space with lots of lighting.

The key to keeping the outdoor parties going all night long is layered lighting from multiple sources. Your mind might go to hard-wired barn lights and gas powered in-ground fire pits, but smaller-scale budget solutions are all you really need. Hang bistro lights between trees, and bring in candles or oversized lanterns for a warm glow. Just keep lantern designs minimal (glass and a metal frame, for example) so they don’t take up lots of visual space.

For task or reading light, try a portable LED table lamp that you can power up with a USB cord. Jane likes to work smarter — not harder — with solar lights that use the sun to charge up during the day; you can see them hanging in her space above, right over the sofa. She also suggests smaller, freestanding fire pits for extra ambiance, too.

Danielle Blundell

Home Editor

Danielle Blundell is AT’s Home Director and covers decorating and design. She loves homes, heels, the history of art, and hockey—but not necessarily always in that order.

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Cornhole Game: How to Build the Board

Cornhole Game: How to Build the Board

Cornhole, a game that’s been around for centuries, is a popular pastime for tailgate entertainment or backyard fun. You just need a cornhole board and some bags — and a free afternoon with family or friends!


History of the Game

Many people believe a cabinet maker in Germany invented the cornhole game in the 14th century. 

As the story goes, Matthias Kuepermann found a group of boys throwing stones into groundhog holes for fun. Worried for their safety, he crafted the cornhole board, replacing groundhog holes with wooden boxes with round holes and stones with bags filled with dried corn.

Because of its simplicity, the game hasn’t evolved much. These days, the corn-filled bags are sometimes replaced with plastic and resin beads. But some die-hard cornhole enthusiasts insist on using real corn kernels.  

Players in the United States even compete at state and national levels. And now, there are efforts to make the cornhole game an Olympic sport

You can build a cornhole board for your backyard. The process is simple, but it might require a few specialty tools if you don’t already have them on hand!


Child grabbing a cornhole bag from the top of a cornhole board game in a backyard.
Whether you’re passing time in the backyard or competing for bragging rights, the cornhole game is a fun activity for all ages.

Building Your Own Cornhole Board

Materials

  • (2) 2-by-4-foot by ½-inch plywood
  • (4) 2-by-4 studs
  • (4) 3/8 by 4-inch carriage bolts
  • (8) 3/8-inch washers
  • (4) 3/8-inch nuts
  • (16) 3-inch wood screws
  • (24) 1-½-inch wood screws
  • Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
  • Drill
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • 6-inch hole saw
  • Miter or circular saw
  • Carpenter square
  • Tape measure
  • Sander and/or sandpaper
  • Exterior paint or wood stain and spar varnish

Hands holding a pencil and a carpenter square on top of a piece of wood.
Use a carpenter square to get accurate angles for your cornhole game’s leg pieces.

Cut the Cornhole Board’s Wood Pieces

Using a carpenter or speed square, mark 25 degrees and cut along that angle. Then mark a straight line 12-and-1/4 inches from the angle’s long side. Repeat this three more times to create your boards’ legs.

For the frames, you’ll need four straight cuts at 21 inches and four straight cuts at 48 inches.

Edge of a piece of wood cut at 45 degree angles.
The 45-degree cuts on the leg pieces will make them easier to fold

Now back to your leg pieces. You need to cut them on the square side to make them easier to fold and unfold. Mark 1 inch in from each side and 1 inch down on each side. Connect those marks with a straight edge to draw a 45-degree angle on each corner. Cut the two triangles on each leg.


Assembling a wood rectangle.
Lay your cornhole game frame on a waist-high table for easy drilling.

Assemble the Frame

To mark the hole for the legs to attach to your frame, measure 1 and 3/4 inches from one side and 1 and 3/4 inches from the short end. Drill all the way through with a 3/8-inch drill bit. Then set aside.

Drilling in a a screw to a piece of wood clamped down on a table next to Titebond III Ultimate wood glue.
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue will keep your frame in place and add some waterproofing to your cornhole game.

To lay out your frames, lay two 48-inch pieces parallel to one another and set the 21-inch pieces at the ends, between them. Apply a bead of wood glue rated for exterior use, like Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue, and attach the pieces together with 3-inch screws.

Apply more wood glue around the top of your new frame, and set the 2-by-4 sheet of plywood in place. Attach it with 1-and-1/2-inch screws through the plywood into the frame below.

To create the hole for the bean bags, mark 9 inches from one end, then measure and mark the center of the board near that 9-inch mark. 

Using a 6-inch hole saw, cut a hole with your mark at the center. A hole saw this large can be a little tricky, so take your time!

Flip the board over to attach the legs.


Drilling a leg onto the underside of a cornhole game board.
Folding legs will save storage space.

Attach the Legs

On the end of your board with the hole, set your legs in either corner with the longer part of the angle on top. Clamp the leg half an inch from the end and use the existing hole in the leg to drill a 3/8-inch hole through the frame. Then sand the ends of the legs to round the cut angles.

Next, slide a carriage bolt through the hole from the outside, then one washer, a wood leg, another washer and finally the nut. Hand tighten.

Repeat as necessary until both of your cornhole boards are assembled!


A stained cornhole board game with red and blue bags.
Stain your cornhole game for a finished look or customize it by painting it with your team colors.

Add the Finishing Touches

No matter which finish you choose for your boards, first sand them thoroughly

Start with 150- or 180-grit sandpaper. Once you’ve sanded all of the surfaces, step it up to a 220- or 300-grit sandpaper to create that smooth, slick surface that’s synonymous with cornhole boards!

Gloved hand applying stain to a cornhole game board.

Staining: In long, even strokes rub your wood stain with the grain of the wood. Follow with a clean rag to wipe up the excess stain. Once it has dried for a few hours, start applying a clear topcoat, like spar varnish, that is safe for outdoor use.

Let the coat completely dry before sanding with 220-grit sandpaper, wiping clean and applying another clear coat. Repeat for a third time.

Painting: If you’re choosing to paint your boards, select an exterior semi-gloss paint and make sure your design covers all the wood on the top so the surface will be appropriately slick. Several coats might be required.

Once your topcoat or paint is dry, you’re ready to start keeping score! 

To get your backyard ready for more summer fun, add some hanging string lights. Use planters or shepherd’s hooks to keep the good times going past sundown.


Further Reading