Summer is in full swing and Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner! For many of us this means we have to get our backyard barbecue going for summertime dinner meals and outdoor parties. So, whether you have just pulled out the grill or you’re utilizing the whole backyard, here are 10 tips to create the perfect outdoor kitchen space to get your yard ready for action:
1. Get going on the yard work
If you haven’t already mowed the lawn and collected any plant (or people) debris, now is the time to do so. Clean up and seal any decking or patio area, get your plants tied back if need be and sweep up walkways to keep everything trip or slip-free.
2. Set up the lighting
Even though the golden summer sunshine lasts late into the night, the sun will go down eventually. Make sure you have outdoor lighting set up. There are a lot of great solar-powered options that work well in our Oregon summers.
3. Get your grill going
If you haven’t used your grill yet, be sure to clean it and start it up before you plan to cook anything. You want to make sure it’s prepped and ready for action when you have those steaks marinating.
4. Think about the layout
Are you or your friends and family dining outdoors? Be sure to set up tables, chairs and the serving table in a way that won’t stop you from dominating the grill. Too often the grillmaster has to juggle food that is done on one side of the barbecue while they are working to cook additional food. Instead of balancing everything on the barbecue, have a place to set your raw foods and a separate table for everything that has been cooked.
5. Get the furniture ready
June presented some odd weather for outdoor furniture. If you haven’t cleaned off your chairs and tables since the heatwave and subsequent rain and thunderstorms, now is the time to do so.
6. Set up a kid zone
Many of us here in Portland have standard yards with lawns and possibly a chicken coup or some plants. Unlike homes with pools, this means our yards are pretty boring for children. Set up a space with fun outdoor games like hopscotch, cornhole or horseshoes for kids to play while the adults chat.
7. Be sure to keep your pets safe
With people coming in and out of your yard, it’s easy for your dog, chickens, or indoor cats to slip outside and get separated from the party. Set up a pet friendly space where they can remain safe during your barbecue.
8. Prep the fire pit
Give your backyard a camping feel with a crackling fire when the sun goes down. Just be sure you aren’t fumbling in the dark for firewood or kindling. Get everything ready before the barbecue starts.
9. Remember to feed yourself!
The grillmaster sometimes makes all of the food and turns around to see it has all been eaten before he or she had a chance to take a bite. Set aside a plate for yourself before or while you are grilling to be sure you get to chow down.
10. Think about next year
Do you barbecue all summer long, but have no outdoor kitchen? It might be time to consider installing a permanent kitchen extension in your yard. If you add roofing or an awning, you can even use this outdoor space to smoke or grill something delicious all year round!
If you are considering building a backyard kitchen, we have fantastic countertop material. Contact us today to find out how we can help you create the perfect outdoor kitchen space.