Warmer weather signals the perfect time to take the art of entertaining into the great outdoors. Long gone are the days where a grill, a folding table and chairs constituted a patio. Today’s outdoor spaces are viewed as extensions of our existing living spaces. The experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery offer tips to turn your outdoor space into an alfresco culinary oasis with these thoughtful enhancements.
Whether built-in or freestanding, the grill is the focal point of every outdoor kitchen. Start with high-quality construction and features that make your cooking experience easier. When selecting a heating element, the choice of a gas versus charcoal grill ultimately comes down to taste versus convenience. Fans of charcoal and wood grills claim to appreciate more flavorful results. Gas grill advocates prefer the convenience and easy maintenance of propane. Can’t decide? Have it all with a grill that allows you to cook over an open flame, sear on electric grates and smoke-in natural flavors. Above all, don’t isolate the cook! Keep the location of the grill close to the entertainment.
Patio perfect entertaining
Preparation is key for flawless entertaining, so prepare your outdoor kitchen with practical features. Think through the features of your primary kitchen and bring those elements outdoors. Functional additions like a side burner and warming drawer will provide more space to cook, keep prepared food warm and minimize extra trips in and out of the house. Treat your guests to ice cold beverages straight from an integrated refrigerator and ice machine. A built-in trash chute will help minimize insects, while a weather-rated sink and pullout bar faucet allows for quick rinsing of meats, fruits and veggies on the spot.
Light it up
Once the grill and functional additions are selected, make sure the space is well lit for night time entertaining. Place task lighting above cooking stations to prepare food. A decorative chandelier, ambient wall sconces and freestanding lanterns can be used to create the perfect ambience for sitting and dining areas, as well as points of entry. Consider accent lighting to illuminate trees, wash walls and light pathways and trails.
Today’s outdoor kitchens are an extension of the indoors.