How to Cook Up the Perfect Father’s Day Steak

Father’s Day is just weeks away, and many Moms are preparing to give their hubbies the day off from grilling duty with a Father’s Day menu that’s sure to delight his tastebuds. If you haven’t fired up the grill in a while, have no fear. Ace of Gray has 6 grilling tips for Father’s Day.

How to Grill the Perfect Steak

The man in your life may love a new pair of Costas, dependable power equipment, or a Tervis tumbler for his morning coffee. Whatever Dad loves to do, there’s one thing that’s the perfect complement to his Father’s Day gift: a juicy steak. Whether you’re ready to rise to the position of Grill Queen or you’re teaching your kid to be the house’s next Grill Master, your steak is sure to impress with these tips:

  1. raw steak ready to grillStart with a great steak. It’s Father’s Day! Dad deserves the best.
  2. Make it hot. If your grill isn’t piping hot before you start cooking, your steak will stick to the grate. Clean the grill before firing it up, and give it a full 15 to 20 minutes to preheat.
  3. Skip the marinade. Veins of marbling in ribeyes, porterhouses, and t-bone steaks make the steak juicy enough on its own. Marinating may actually dry out the meat once you drop it on the grill. If you picked up a flank steak or strip steak, marinate away!
  4. Drop the temperature. If you’re working with a thick steak (1 inch or thicker), start with high heat and reduce the temperature to ensure even cooking.
  5. Let it rest. Just like Dad, steaks deserve a break. After you take them off the grill, let steaks sit for 5-10 minutes before dishing up dinner.

To get a great steak, you need a great grill. Surprise Dad with a new electric grill, charcoal grill, or Big Green Egg smoker for Father’s Day. Ace of Gray has the grills, accessories, and rubs you need to make a delicious meal every time.

How the Big Green Egg will Change Your Life

Unless you’re friends with only vegetarians, you’ve probably heard the Big Green Egg hype from someone you know. This ceramic smoker can bake, grill, and smoke your dinner to perfection, giving you succulent, tender meat packed full of flavor. It’s easy to use, and versatile enough to anything from breads and desserts to fresh veggies for those vegetarian friends of yours. Still not convinced? Here are 4 ways the Big Green Egg will change your life.

    1. shish kebabVersatility. Do you want to invest in an outdoor oven? A grill? A smoker? With the Big Green Egg, you don’t have to choose! Seamlessly switch between cooking fresh, spiced vegetables and pie for dessert. Prepare oven-baked pizza with sausage you ground and smoked yourself.
    2. Flavor. Seriously, we can’t stress this enough. If you think slow cooked meals are overrated, all you need to do is stop by the Heart of Georgia Eggfest on June 3rd. With all the delectable treats cooked up by local Egg gurus, your tastebuds will soon be begging to take home a discounted Demo Egg.
    3. Endless options. It wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t warn you: an Egg may be simple to use, but with so many delicious possibilities, you won’t be able to help yourself from snagging recipes from your neighbors, searching for meals on Pinterest, and camping out on BGE forums to snag details on the tastiest summer dishes.
    4. Year-round use. Many people dismiss grills as “summer only” equipment, but you can fire up the Big Green Egg anytime. Transform the holidays with smoked Thanksgiving turkey or a slow cooked holiday ham. Your family gatherings will never be the same!

Visit Ace of Gray and transform the way you cook with Big Green Eggs, Eggcessories, and the best sauces and rubs.

Ahh, This Is the Life

Are you ready to kick back and relax? The right gear can help. Have your best summer yet with these summer living essentials from Ace of Gray.

5 Summer Living Essentials

You never know where the summer will take you. Be prepared for any adventure with these Southern summer essentials.

  1. camping couple silhouetteYeti coolers. Wherever you go, Yeti will keep your drinks cold, your food fresh, and your friends satisfied. Pack the cooler with burgers for a camping trip, level up your tailgate with glazed shrimp, or relax in the backyard with drinks on hand.
  2. Tervis tumblers. Refill as you go! Tervis tumblers are the summer essential if you don’t want to lug around a cooler. They’ll keep your coffee hot, your iced tea cold, and Summer You happy on the beach or at the lake. They also make great glassware for family parties. Because they’re made of durable, insulated plastic, you don’t need to worry about kids accidentally breaking them.
  3. Outdoor decor. You’re going to do a lot of lounging. Transform your outdoor living space with a few seasonal touches, from stylish and soft outdoor rugs to collegiate decor to show off your team pride.
  4. Big green egg. In the South, how you prep your meat is a big deal. After all, Georgians will use any excuse to throw a cookout! Fire up the Big Green Egg and experiment with your best recipes for the Heart of Georgia Eggfest on June 3rd. Don’t own a smoker? You can buy a brand new Egg (used only once during the festival) after Eggfest at a major discount.
  5. Rental equipment. Don’t waste your vacation fund on household projects and lawn upkeep. Ace of Gray has a full array of rental equipment available for summer projects. Just stop by and tell us how long you need it, and you’re on your way.

To find these items and more, visit the outdoor living center at Ace of Gray.

Dig into Gardening with These Essential Tools

April showers may bring May flowers, but they need a little help. That’s where you come in! A few afternoons of planting and tending to spring garden will have big returns as the season progresses. But if you’re new to the gardening game, what do you need to get started?

7 Essential Gardening Tools

  1. gardening toolsScissors. Scissors are one of those tools you can use anywhere. In the garden they’re great for snipping herbs, deadheading flowers, and opening bags of fertilizer. Get a heavy-duty pair with a comfortable grip.
  2. A soil knife. Serrated edges makes soil knives indispensable in the garden. Can’t get the right angle with your scissors or pruning tool? A soil knife can hack through weeds, roots, and woody stems.
  3. Pruning shears. Scissors and soil knives have their place, but nothing beats the sharp force of pruning shears when cutting back woody plants. They allow gardeners to make a clean, angled cut when shaping trees and shrubs.
  4. Weeders. Don’t give weeds a fighting chance. A weeder is an essential gardening tool because it helps you pry up crabgrass and weeds with taproots. Get rid of the whole plant, and you won’t need to worry about it growing back.
  5. A shovel. Scooping, digging, tossing fertilizer . . . a good shovel does it all! But not all shovels are created equal. Before snagging the first one you see, test it. You’ll want a shovel that’s comfortable in your hands, doesn’t strain your back, and has a blade that’s angled for maximum power.
  6. A hose. In the best of times, nature takes care of watering your plants. But Georgia summers are scorchers, so you’ll want a hose with a nozzle that allows you to spray just the right amount of water onto your plants.
  7. A rake. Instead of investing in a big fan rake, look for something smaller. Fan rakes are great for leaves, but shrub rakes fit into tighter spaces, making them indispensable for removing lawn debris.

Visit Ace of Gray to stock up on essential gardening equipment, building materials for raised flower beds, and colorful annuals and perennials for the spring garden.

4 Backyard Essentials for Summer

Outdoor living has come a long way since the days of foldout lawn chairs and handheld fans. Today’s outdoor entertaining areas range from poolside patios to outdoor kitchens, and each style has its own allure. But there are some outdoor living accessories that accentuate any space. Prepare your backyard for summer with these outdoor living essentials.

4 Outdoor Living Essentials

  1. outdoor furnitureFurniture. Outdoor furniture sure has come a long way. Instead of soft plastic lawn chairs that leave everyone’s legs striped red, modern outdoor furniture has all the elegance and comfort of indoor furniture. Accent your outdoor spaces with chairs, tables, and couches for maximum comfort.
  2. Landscaping. Bursts of bright flowers may paint a pretty picture, but landscaping can be functional as well as beautiful. Plant insect-repelling perennials for an outdoor entertaining area that’s as cozy as it is attractive.
  3. Decor. Give your outdoor spaces some personality. At Ace of Gray, we carry a wide range of outdoor decor to transform your lawn and patio. Accessorize your outdoor spaces with an attractive new bird bath, garden ornaments, weather-resistant throw-pillows, or collegiate gear to show off your team spirit.
  4. Grills and grub. No outdoor entertaining area would be complete without an electric grill, charcoal grill, or wood smoker. Delight your guests’ taste buds with succulent meats slow-cooked while you relax outside. We have a full range of grills and grilling accessories, as well as savory sauces and rubs to take your grilling to the next level.

Transform the way you see outdoor living. Visit Ace of Gray for grills, gear, and outdoor decor.

Simple Ways to Lead a Greener Life

April 22nd is Earth Day, an annual holiday for teaching people to protect the environment. There are countless ways for people to get involved, from sharing literature about environmental safety to making changes in their everyday lives. But let’s be real, no one wants to sell all their possessions and go live in a yurt. Go green (without going crazy) with these sustainability tips from Ace of Gray.

5 Easy Ways to Go Green

  1. Stop getting junk mail. What’s this? A way to save the environment and your sanity? Unfortunately it’s hard to eliminate junk mail entirely (there’s just so much of it!), but you can reduce the amount of ads junking up your mailbox. Contact the companies directly or sign up for a third party service that will remove your name from advertisers’ lists.
  2. water conservation conceptSwitch to reusable water bottles. Not only are sports bottles more attractive than the thin plastic water bottles you buy at the store, they’re drastically cheaper in the long run. Buy a water filtration system for your faucet, invest in a $20 filtered pitcher for the fridge, or go tap. You’ll never go back.
  3. Conserve water. Fix leaks ASAP, insulate hot water pipes, and use gray water (mostly clean wastewater from washing machines and other appliances) to water plants.
  4. Reduce gas emissions. Bonus: you’ll pay less for gas. Easy ways to make transportation eco-friendly include carpooling, keeping tires fully inflated, and making a list of errands before you leave the house so you won’t need a second trip.
  5. Reduce energy bills. Did you know that you can schedule an energy audit to see where electricity is being wasted in your home? Other easy ways to conserve energy include using energy-efficient light bulbs, relying on natural lighting, turning off the lights and thermostat when you’re not home, and only washing full loads of laundry and dishes.

Need more tips on going green? Visit Ace of Gray.

Yeti, the Tailgate MVP

Every tailgater has a list of Must Haves. For some, it’s a portable grill and a lucky spatula. For others, it’s a favorite drink, crisp and cold. But no tailgate is complete without a cooler. From tender patties and fresh toppings to refreshing drinks and icebox desserts, a cooler keeps the tailgate essentials ready to play. Without a good cooler, a summer tailgate is nothing more than eating chips in lawn chairs. But a cooler—and the game day essentials it defends—takes tailgating from a halfhearted party to an epic celebration. Which cooler do you trust to stand by your side while your team gears up to win?

Yeti, the Ultimate Tailgate Cooler

burgers and dogs on grillWhether you’re tailgating a Braves game, a United match, or preseason SEC football, your cooler should be stocked to carry your team to victory. Yeti coolers are tailgating MVPs. They’re designed for peak performance, with a spacious interior, straps and handles for convenient transportation, and maximum ice retention. No need to fear that your burgers went bad in the 95 degree Georgia heat. Yeti can keep food cold for days. When you’re ready to eat, just crack open the cooler and get cookin’. Yeti coolers come with hard and soft sides, and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can even get a team decal to show off your team spirit. And when you buy a Yeti cooler from Ace of Gray, you get free ice for life!

Is your Yeti a game day essential? Let us know why you love tailgating with a Yeti cooler!

How to Plant a Garden Quilt

Do you want a fresh, classic, and eye-catching design for the spring garden? We’re inspired by an innovative take on square foot gardening. Gardeners are digging into the past and finding new mediums to transform garden plots into lush, living quilts. If you want the sense of accomplishment of stitching a quilt without the aching finger joints and stuck fingers, this is one garden project to put on your list.

How to Plant a Living Quilt

  • flowerbed quiltStep 1: Collect your materials. If you have a favorite quilting pattern gathering dust in a box of your grandmother’s things, the time has come. Gather your pattern, stakes and string, a raised square garden bed (or materials for building one), tools for planting, and annual plants that will stay relatively compact and bloom often.
  • Step 2: Using stakes and string, mark off your pattern in the flowerbed. This may be easier if you transfer your pattern onto graph paper and measure it out.
  • Step 3: Plant your annuals, giving them a little room to grow, but positioning them closer together than you would in a bigger flowerbed.
  • Step 4: Remove the stakes and string, water your plants, and step back and enjoy your handiwork. Snap a few pictures for Facebook and tag family members who will appreciate the significance of planting a garden quilt with Grandma’s heirloom quilting pattern.

Whatever garden project you’re tackling today, Ace of Gray has the tools you need to succeed. Visit our garden center for plants, gardening equipment, and lumber to build raised flowerbeds.

Flowerbed Quilt

How to Organize the House (from Top to Bottom)

You’re up to your elbows in cleaning solution, diligently scrubbing at the baseboards, when you catch sight of the pile of junk shoved behind the armchair. You can’t clean around it, but if you move it, it will just migrate to another forgotten corner of the house. Ace of Gray has you covered. Learn how to organize your home (without going crazy).

Entryway Organization

  • Hang a double hook for each member of the family. Kids can hang their coats and backpacks, while parents can hang up jackets, seasonal accessories, and purses or briefcases.
  • Shoe cubbies keep clutter contained and prevent kids from tracking mud through the house.

De-Clutter the Kitchen

Don’t store stuff on the counter. You’ll only wind up with a messy-looking room (and a lot of crumbs under the cookbooks). Instead, maximize storage space by hanging hooks, magnetic strips, or small baskets on the inside of cabinets and doors. Store dry goods like cereal and flour in glass containers to minimize on unsightly, awkwardly-shaped boxes. Organize your pantry by type to keep food from getting lost or going bad.

Banish Bedroom Mess

  • backpack on comforterUse the hanger trick to weed unused items out of your closet. Turn every item of clothing to face one direction. After you wear and wash something, put it back facing the opposite wall. In 6 months, donate any items still facing the original direction.
  • Use chic storage boxes to hide clutter like dress shoes, winter scarves, and other items that don’t fit in your dresser.
  • Don’t have shelves in the closet? Invest in flat boxes for under-bed storage.
  • Store jewelry and accessories out of sight in a cute bowl or jewelry box to keep the bedroom clutter-free.

A More Beautiful Bathroom

  • Wall storage is a great way to utilize your smallest spaces. Hang hooks, shelves, or cabinets to hide clutter.
  • Organize items in a cart or small tray to skip the under-the-sink madness.
  • Organize the linen closet by type (sheets on one shelf, towels on another). Reserve floor space for baskets of odds-and-ends.

Need to get your house in order? Visit Ace of Gray for simple storage solutions.

6 Indoor Gardening Tips for Apartment-Dwellers

Your living space shouldn’t define your ability to garden. Flex your green thumb (no matter how small your home may be) with these gardening solutions for apartment-dwellers.

6 Gardening Tips for Apartments

  1. vertical gardenGo vertical. Don’t have space for an indoor vegetable garden? Get inspired by creative vertical gardening ideas and watch your tiny apartment burst into bloom.
  2. Hit the roof. If you’re lucky enough to have rooftop access to your apartment building, you have plenty of useable space for growing light-loving plants, potted trees, and other plants that may have a hard time flourishing indoors.
  3. Hang around. Hanging planters aren’t just for idyllic Southern patios. Hang a few well-placed planters in the kitchen for easy access to herbs and spices. Find brightly decorated pots to incorporate hanging greenery into your living room decor. If you have a balcony, you can take advantage of the roof overhang to give hanging planters better access to unfiltered sunlight.
  4. Short, squat, and in a pot. Container gardening allows apartment-dwellers to cultivate their favorite blooms small-scale. Do you have a balcony or patio that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight? Pot dwarf roses and enjoy!
  5. Hang out the window. What’s an easy way to make your apartment stand out from the crowd? Window boxes! Plant window boxes filled with spring flowers, an herb garden, or strawberries.
  6. Plant wisely. Want a plant that will add life to your apartment without requiring a lot of care? All succulents require to thrive is water every 10 days and 2-4 hours of direct sunlight.

Transform your apartment with fresh, vibrant herbs, succulents, and seasonal flowers. Visit Ace of Gray for plants, fresh tips on apartment gardening, and the materials you’ll need to build a DIY vertical garden.