Enjoy Your Outdoor Kitchen All Year Long
With the proper planning and preparation, you can fully maximize the enjoyment of your outdoor kitchen all year long (even when the temperatures drop).
There are ways to do it and many homeowners are doing it. In fact, a majority of grill and smoker owners (61%) enjoy grilling year round. (Hearth Patio and Barbecue Assn)
Start In the Fall
Weekends are everything in the fall. The kids go back to school and start fall sports. Football games are in full swing and everyone is trying to extend their grilling season with one more barbecue!
You could bring a small grill and go to the stadium to tailgate, but you can never count on the weather. Instead, you can throw a "home-gate" party in your outdoor kitchen. Many outdoor spaces have been designed as additional Living Space. Homeowners add outdoor TVsand speaker systems, wet bars, and features that allow you to enjoy your time on the patio.
Fall is all about smoky wood fires so many homeowners try to capture that atmosphere by grilling over a a large wood fire. Impress your guests with all the flavors you can achieve only with wood grilling.
Remember that temperatures can fluctuate in the fall from cool to hot. Be sure you have portable shade for when you want to keep the heat off of you. Having a gas fireplace on the patio is also a great idea. When the weather turns a bit chilly, light up the fire and let your guests warm up around it. Infrared space heaters can go a long way toward making your winter grilling more comfortable too. The last thing you want to do is delay your meal because your not warm enough to cook it effectively.
One thing to remember is that you should cover the sink when not in use to keep leaves and seeds from falling into the drain.
November officially kicks of the holiday season. Your holiday get-togethers can stand out even more by brining outside flavors into the warmth of your home.
Slow roasted meats bring intense flavors and are the perfect pairing with wintertime. To manage this slow cooking method on your grill, the food is placed in an area where there is no fire below it and the slow cooking is done with the grill covered. You can also add the flavor of wood fire for "smoke roasting". The most cost effective way to do this is to get some little tin pans from the Dollar Store and put your wood chips in the pan, which you place on the grill rack. Once the chips fire up, the smoke begins to penetrate the meat and it's so wonderful to eat and serve.
If you have a Smoker, some offer gravity fed charcoal fire for heat. These are ideal for Thanksgiving Turkeys. It also frees up space inside in your oven for the other holiday dishes!
When you are doing the slow cook, the smoke roasting or the wood chips to cook your meat with, you are going to want to keep your outdoor grill/smoker in a conveniently located space so you can check on it periodically to be sure it doesn't start on fire or that it has enough but not too much smoking going on. You can be in and out of the house in minutes.
Also, with the shorter days, it is wise to have lots of outdoor lighting so you can see the food on the grill and it provides great ambience in the summer.
Don't make outdoor kitchen unusable during the cold seasons. Adapt with these tips and make yourself and your guests a meal to remember.