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Outdoor Kitchens Make Summer Entertaining a Blast

Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, when increasing numbers of North Carolina residents enjoy cookouts is right around the corner. Are you ready for it? For many homeowners, outdoor kitchens help make summer entertaining a breeze.

Imagine: No more traipsing in and out of the house for drinks, condiments, or the ingredients you need to make your classic summertime dishes. No more worrying about letting bugs in the house, or accidentally letting pets out, or, worst of all, missing half the party because you’re in the kitchen prepping food. Depending on your space and budget, outdoor kitchens can go far beyond a simple grill and prep space to include all the amenities of your regular kitchen, only outdoors.

The Convenience of Outdoor Kitchens
Outdoor kitchens can put everything you need right at your fingertips, including a sink for hot running water, a refrigerator to keep drinks and ingredients cold, and stove burners in addition to the gas grill that often serves as the centerpiece of your outdoor entertaining area.

Prepare an entire dinner right in your North Carolina backyard without ever setting foot inside your house. Boil water for corn-on-the-cob, fry bacon for the perfect bacon cheeseburger, and then, just as you flip that burger for the last time, grab freshly sliced cheddar straight out of your outdoor refrigerator to top the burger, completing the perfect outdoor meal.

Outdoor Kitchens to Fit Your Landscape and Family
For practical reasons, your landscape design professionals often recommend locating the kitchen area close to your house, making it easier to run the pipes for water and lines for electrical. Your propane grill can use its own tank, housed neatly beneath the grill and hidden out of site, or can tap into your home’s gas supply for greater convenience.

When you work with your landscape design professional to create the kitchen of your dreams, think of the layout of your indoor kitchen. You may wish to replicate the placement of key appliances and cooking tools so that everything feels familiar. The refrigerator and grill should both be located close to a generous food prep area, with all your cooking utensils, pots and pans close at hand. Dishes and silverware may be in storage cabinets closer to the seating area. While grilling and preparing food, the cook should be facing outward towards guests, so that he or she can still be included in the party.

What Kind of Grill?
While propane grills remain the most popular choice for North Carolina cooks, you may consider adding a charcoal grill to your outdoor kitchen, too. Charcoal grills are growing in popularity for smoking meats or giving them that unique flavor that only comes from charcoal. You might also consider a rotisserie for roasting poultry or pig, creating pulled pork sandwiches like no other you’ve tasted, while providing a uniquely outdoor experience for your guests.

Don’t Forget Lighting
Summer parties often last late into the night. Don’t forget lighting solutions. so the cook can easily serve up dessert or grill a few more burgers for latecomers. Your landscaping design experts can show you the best ways to illuminate the paths from the house to the seating area and to the outdoor kitchen, as well, for the comfort and safety of your guests.

Make every summer weekend feel like a holiday with a custom-designed outdoor kitchen perfect for entertaining in your North Carolina backyard.