Preparing Your Outdoor Patio for the Ultimate Summer Kickback

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Good friends, good times, and good food are the main ingredients for summertime gatherings that you will always remember fondly. Another way to elevate your summer hang out is with the right equipment. For a patio that will be the envy of the neighborhood, consider updating your outdoor kitchen space and adding some new summer barbecue accessories. These ingredients will make up the special sauce for throwing a memorable summertime BBQ with your nearest and dearest. 

Top-Rated Equipment for Outdoor Kitchens

For an outdoor barbecue, a grill is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can own. When choosing the grill of your dreams, there are three primary types you’re able to choose from. Let’s take a deep dive into the most popular types of grills, along with their specific functions and uses. 

The Grill

One of the main benefits of a gas grill is the fact that you don’t have to wait for coals to heat up. Simply flip a switch and you’re ready to go. Depending on the model, you also have more control over the temperature, giving you more options for your BBQ menu. 

  • The Premium Grill: If your outdoor kitchen doesn’t require all the bells and whistles of the luxury models, the premium gas grill is a more affordable option but still good quality. The heat retention capabilities are reliable, giving you consistent results, but compared to the more expensive grills, the maximum temperature is usually around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have elaborate barbecue ideas and just need something for basic grilling, the premium model is a safe bet. Plus, it usually comes with a 10-year warranty.
    • Our brand recommendation: Delta Heat
    • Best grilling technique: Direct heat grilling
  • The Luxury Grill:  If you’re looking for a lean, mean grilling machine, you can’t go wrong with a luxury gas grill. Equipped with the highest quality materials and features, not only do they typically have lifetime warranties, but they’re also visually appealing and have a long list of different uses.

    These higher-end grills are usually built with 304 stainless steel, the same found in commercial-grade kitchens. The different functions give you more consistency with your grilling, allowing you to impress your friends and family with restaurant-quality BBQ but with a homemade flavor that’s even more delicious. 
  • The Kamado Grill: Used for thousands of years, a ceramic Kamado grill has many uses such as grilling, barbecue smoking, and baking. Along with a gas grill, the charcoal Kamado will give the backyard chef more cooking options and great tasting food. Because of its ability to evenly distribute and retain large amounts of heat, the ceramic material is excellent for grilling flavor-packed BBQ.
    • Our brand recommendation: Kamado Joe
    • Best grilling technique: Two-zone grilling

Pro-Tip: Be Mindful of Grill Size. Gas grills are available in a range of sizes, including small, medium, large, and extra-large. We recommend one of the larger sizes for more versatility; even if you’re only cooking for a small group, you can turn off burners you’re not using. And if you have a larger get-together, you can easily cook plenty of food for everyone. 

Natural Gas vs. Propane: Which is Right for My BBQ?

Natural gas and propane are both the same in price and cook at similar heat levels, so the decision should be based on what you have access to in your home. Converting from one fuel type to the other is not advised because it can void your warranty, so keep that in mind. That’s why you should be 100% sure about choosing the right fuel type before making a major investment.

Built-in vs Freestanding Grill

Installed directly within your barbecue island, a built-in gas or charcoal Kamado grill will give your outdoor kitchen a more put-together look. By adding a customized design to a main hub of activity, you will also ramp up your home’s value. 

One of the main benefits of a free-standing gas or Kamado charcoal grill is that it gives you more flexibility, allowing your grill to be moved around on a cart wherever you need it. Look for a model with an enclosed storage area, giving you a safe and convenient place to keep your fuel and accessories. For gas grills, a side burner is also an important feature to look for because it gives you more surface area for preparing side dishes. 

Summer Barbeque Accessories

For the Feast

While the type of grill and patio design make up the main ingredients for a successful backyard barbeque, the accessories are the essential spices you need for that special flavor that pulls it all together.

Nothing is worse than barbecuing for friends and family and then not having the right utensils within arm’s reach — except for burning precious meat of course. Whether you’re an experienced barbecue chef or a beginner, this checklist will ensure that you don’t forget any important BBQ tools: 

  • Sturdy tongs
  • Spatula 
  • Rimmed baking sheet 
  • Cooling rack
  • Grill brush 
  • Carving board
  • Meat thermometer
  • Metal skewers

For the Scene

While enjoying your outdoor chowdown, be sure to set the scene with these summer patio essentials.

  • Citronella candles: Don’t let pesky mosquitoes ruin an otherwise fun and enjoyable afternoon or evening BBQ. Keep the bugs away with citronella candles placed around the perimeter of your yard. Also, have a can of bug spray handy, in case of any invading marauders that get too close. 
  • String lights: The soft lighting of string lights is perfect for adding a warm glow to the backyard atmosphere after the sun sets and your get-together stretches into the evening. 
  • Speakers: Whether you are entertaining a small group of friends or throwing a neighborhood party, setting the ambience with some background music is always a great idea. Consider some portable bluetooth speakers and check out our playlist on Spotify to get you started!
summer grilling

Safe Party Ideas 

Don’t forget to be safe this summer. If you plan on hosting multiple barbecues and gatherings, you’ll want to consider the safety of your friends and family. According to the CDC, wearing a mask isn’t required for small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends. However, for small groups of both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, they recommend social distancing and wearing a mask to avoid transmission of COVID-19. The CDC also recommends frequently disinfecting shared spaces to reduce the risk of infection. 

Ideas for Entertaining

  • Theme Party: Whether it’s a Hawaiian luau or a patriotic-themed 4th of July extravaganza, everybody loves a theme party. Make it easy for your guests by providing fun costume accessories and also get them into a festive spirit with lively decorations.
  • BBQ Recipe Contest: If you have extra grills and burners, get your friends and family excited about the art of barbecue by having a grilling contest.  

This summer, make your get-togethers the ultimate ‘staycation’ when you transform your backyard into a BBQ haven.

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