From tailgating parties to barbecue nights and backyard cookouts, there is nothing quite like the experience of feasting outdoors. Cooking outdoors not only provides a refreshing change of scenery but is also a great way to add a little spark to family dinner time.
So when the weather is right, it’s a good idea to wave goodbye to the confines of walls and dining tables, and cook up a feast under the stars.
If you’re looking for ways to spice up your outdoor cooking experience, below are 4 tips on how you can cook, dine, and entertain your friends and family with style.
- Build A Space You Love
When creating an outdoor cooking area, your goal should be to build a space where you feel at home and inspired to fire up your grill and get cooking. Working in a space you love is the best way to foster your cooking skills, let your imagination run wild, and whip up some scrumptious meals.
So focus on building a cohesive, practical space that meets all your cooking and prep needs yet feels stylish and sets the mood for the night. There are plenty of ways to incorporate your personal decor style and work with your surroundings to amp up your outdoor kitchen area and make it feel lively, warm, and inviting.
For instance, if you’re surrounded by greenery and plants, pick out warm, earthly paints for your walls to immerse your outdoor kitchen into nature.
Or, if you prefer a bolder style, add a splash of bright yellow, cobalt blue, or whatever eccentric shade gets your creative gears turning to your space. You can also add in fun outdoor appliances and try your hand at new cooking methods to keep yourself and your family excited and involved.
Lighting is another way you can set the mood for your outdoor kitchen. From twinkling fairy lights to overhead lanterns, there are a variety of ways to elevate your space with lighting. Make sure to have plenty of illumination for when the sun sets, both for visibility as you cook and dine, and for setting the mood of the evening.
You can also check out some other affordable ways of decorating your home here.
- Prioritise Functionality & Comfort
In addition to making your outdoor cooking area feel homely and inviting, you should also focus on creating an area that is super convenient to use. If you’re currently working with a single grill tucked away in the corner of your garden, focus on incorporating some small changes to elevate your space.
You don’t have to install fancy storage and giant grills — even a simple shade and a comfy seating area can significantly enhance the usability of your outdoor kitchen space.
You can start by setting up a mini refrigerator for easy access to ingredients such as meat and veggies. Also keep a couple of foldable tables near the grill to have cooking utensils and serving platters within your reach while you cook. Plus, you should consider keeping an umbrella or installing a pergola structure to provide shade on warm and sunny days.
Then, make sure you stock up on tables and comfy chairs enough for all your family members and some additional guests. You could also switch this out for a long counter space with fun barstool seating for an extra touch.
Lighting is another important functional consideration. Make sure you have fixed outdoor lighting so you can whip up some delicacies and share a meal even in the dark. Install bright lighting near the cooking space so you can clearly see what you’re doing while you dice away, but focus on warmer, more ambient light in the seating and dining area.
- Think Outside The Box
While a good old, traditional family grilling session always makes for a hearty meal, you can take it further up a notch by experimenting with new cooking methods, appliances, and recipes.
For instance, you can incorporate a charcoal barbecue into your outdoor kitchen setup, or try out the rotisserie attachment of your handy old grill. You can also try your hand at wood chips and smoking to add a fun twist to your classic barbecue recipes.
And if your family loves an American Southern-style barbecue, you can get your hands on a smoker and try out different proteins in your monthly family cookout.
You can also make the family outdoor cooking night more interactive and exciting with your very own Ooni pizza oven. Amp up the interactivity factor and competitive spirit by letting your family create their own pizza topping combinations and rate each other’s creations. At the end of the night, announce the winner of the family pizza contest and pitch in to get them a small prize.
Botanex has a good collection of Ooni pizza ovens that you might want to check out.
Finally, you can think about setting up your own on-theme interactive bar where your guests can customise their cocktails or mocktails to pair with some sizzling barbecue.
Lay out a chequered table, bring out the fancy glasses, and create your own farmer’s market-style chalkboard sign announcing what drinks you’re serving. Allow your guests to spice up their drinks by choosing toppings from a selection of fresh herbs like fresh mint, basil, or a sprig of lavender.
- Outsource Outdoor Cooking To A Private Chef
If you think the ideas described above are too complex, you can always outsource the job to a private chef. This is a great option if you’re hosting a large gathering or event, and it can take a lot of the stress out of entertaining.
A private chef can work with you to create a menu that fits the theme of your party, and they’ll take care of all the shopping, cooking, and cleanup. This leaves you free to mingle with your guests and enjoy the party.
And That’s A Wrap…
So whether you’re looking to elevate your outdoor kitchen space or simply want to try something new, these tips will help you make the most of your outdoor cooking experience. So fire up the grill and get cooking!