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Let’s Celebrate The Barbecue!

The month of May calls for celebration, it’s National Barbecue Month! Have you been looking into getting an outdoor kitchen, or maybe a small permanent grilling setup, no better time than now, since we are celebrating the barbecue!

Outdoor kitchens are a great thing to have, and they are not just for the trendy west coast or the lovely south. They can accommodate the harsh winters of the North, if properly thought through, and besides who wants to sit inside after a long winter when you can enjoy the outdoors!

If you are thinking of building an outdoor kitchen, remember these points:

  • The  closer to your home your outdoor living area will be, means that you will inevitably use it more and get much more enjoyment out of it.
  • A roof is purely optional, but can make for enjoyment in the wintertime. Also consider a pergola for partial cover. A roof can turn the temperature down in the summertime due to the shade it provides.
  • Some people choose to include large fans that get the air moving on those hot humid days.
  • A great way to enjoy your outdoor living area during the winter months is to have some cozy furniture, blankets, along with a wind breaker made of trees or shrubs (depending on how high up your outdoor living area is).
Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace can add an extra warm and cozy feel during cool nights, and can even be enjoyed during winter months.

  • An outdoor fireplace is a great way to heat your outdoor space in the winter months as well, don’t forget the marshmallows!
  • A bar area is a perfect area for people to sit, gather, and talk, or for you to be able to prep your meals, instead of multiple trips in and out of the house.
  • More and more people are bringing the flat screen outdoors so they can watch their favorite shows or watch the big game outside.
  • Don’t forget your lighting! You’ll want to enjoy your outdoor living space at night, so you must not forget to light your space properly.
Outdoor Living-Lighting

Don’t forget to light your outdoor living area properly so you may enjoy every aspect at night!

Outdoor Living at Night

Different types of lighting provide different effects. Paver lights brighten up the floor so you can see where you are walking, while task lights provide light directed toward a certain area.

  • To soften the edges of all the hardscapes, you’ll want to include plants, annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, shrubs, or trees, depending on your design. Some annuals and perennials will bring in a fragrant aroma while sitting and chatting with friends. While herbs or vegetables would be very useful and close by in an outdoor kitchen.
  • A small water feature would bring your outdoor living space full circle, sitting on the cozy couch in your outdoor living area on a warm summer night listening to the water stream over the rocks, after eating a filling dinner prepared in your outdoor kitchen…who wouldn’t want to be here every night?!
Outdoor Living with Small Pond

An outdoor living area can be completed with a small pond, filled with small aquatic plants or even small fish.

Big or small, and outdoor kitchen can fit into most budgets. Let’s skip the kitchen this month and use that grill, okay maybe breakfast is a bit of stretch, but let’s try to use those grills as much as possible! To start you off here is a great recipe for NY Strip Steak. Happy grilling!

 

BBQ New York Strip

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Cup Worcestershire Sauce

¼ Cup Minced Garlic

¼ Cup Steak Seasoning

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

½ Teaspoon Dried Basil

½ Teaspoon Italian Seasoning

4 (1/2 Pound) New York Strip Steaks

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, steak seasoning, red wine vinegar, basil, and Italian seasoning. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag. Pierce steaks on all sides with a fork, and place in the bag. Gently shake to coat. Seal bag and marinate steaks a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard marinade. Place steaks on the grill, and cook 7 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.