Once upon a time, outdoor cooking mainly consisted of someone throwing pieces of meat on a grill occasionally. Those days are gone! In climates like ours in South Texas, outdoor kitchens expand our options and enjoyment. What’s not to love: fresh air, views and (not to put to strong a point on it) cooking smells remaining … outside. However simple or elaborate our set-up, we can also take a break to play in the yard.
The pandemic sent all of us outside; cooking and eating with space and air around us. But in South Texas, we were already outside. We knew the advantages of cooking outdoors, because it’s part of our heritage. Heat and odors don’t fill the house, and the cook has a breath of air – maybe even a breeze! Remember the phrase “summer kitchen?” For us, that’s pretty much March to November.
An outdoor kitchen is a huge selling point in every home price range. Modern amenities allow for expanded culinary adventures, right in your own back yard. What comprises an outdoor kitchen is in the eye of the beholder: it may be as simple as a lone gas grill with a cooler next to it or as complex as a built-in grill with six burners, a sink, a bar and a full sized refrigerator adjacent to a fireplace, 60” TV and seating area on a covered patio.
The point is that we like to be outside, we like to be together and we like to eat. We also like to share space with the cook, unless the cook is ourself and then we want company. After all, cooking is frequently a hard and thankless task. So much more pleasant in an outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor kitchens are increasingly being built into our homes. Sheltered, lighted, ceiling fans turning, fireplace just in case we get cool – these kitchens are spacious and well-designed. They take advantage of their exterior location and maximize access to views and entertainment while offering the best of modern technology.
A roof or cover of some kind makes it possible to cook outdoors in inclement weather. A firepit or chiminea makes it pleasant to be outside in the few cold snaps we experience. Okay, we should include ceiling fans, floor fans and water misters as well (this is South Texas!). No matter the climate, with the right outdoor setup, we can go outside to enjoy a meal al fresco.
So pull up a folding chair. Or relax on your outdoor sofa. Talk to the chef, and to each other. Enjoy the breeze, curse the humidity or watch the hummingbirds. You’ll go inside eventually ….
To discover other great homes with outdoor kitchens, call Phyllis Browning Company today.