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An Outdoor Living and Hosting Guide

by Albert Lee Appliance

When you have good weather on your side, there’s no better way to enjoy it than with an outdoor space that’s all your own. This summer, share your outside oasis with loved ones by making your backyard the place to be with the help of a few tips on hosting and cooking outdoors.

Why Host Outdoors?

Hosting outdoors means you get to create your dream outdoor living space and share it with your friends and family. With a little preparation and some handy appliances , you can enjoy lounging and eating in the great outdoors of your very own backyard. 

Preparing Your Outdoor Living Space for Hosting 

While there are so many ways to set up your outdoor living space, we’ve come up with few solid and simple steps to help get your backyard ready for guests. 

  1. Lighting 

    No need to move into the house when the sun goes down! Keep the party going outside by ensuring you have proper lights throughout the yard. Whether it’s string lights adding mood lighting for all your romantic dinner soirees, outdoor wall fixtures for a more even light throughout the night, or even motion activated floodlights, make sure your backyard has enough lighting for everyone to see their surroundings.

  2. Seating and Dining 

    You aren’t required to have an outdoor dining table or the nicest seats around, but having SOMETHING is crucial for throwing parties and just hosting guests in general. Make sure to find the right outdoor furniture to fit your style and hold the size of your regular dinner party. 

  3. Kitchen 

    Having an outdoor kitchen in your backyard creates a convenient and fun experience. Fill yours with appliances that you’ll use over and over again throughout the year. From a nice outdoor fridge to keep your beverages cool to a sophisticated grill that has the power to cook everything just the way you need – don't settle for less when you can have everything you want nestled in your yard.

  4. Plants, Decor & Accessories 

    The ambiance is almost as important as the food, so spruce your backyard up with natural details and unique decor that match your style. A few potted ferns or hanging vines can visually go a long way and set a subtle backdrop for your events. 

Something to think about ... 

Due to COVID-19, it’s important to keep people comfortable but at least 6 feet apart. Keep people separated by adjusting the seating so that everyone may continue to stay safe and still enjoy their time. 

How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night 

Hosting an outdoor movie night on a warm summer’s night is one of the most fun and easiest ways to throw a backyard shindig. All that’s required is a microwave for making popcorn (or a cooktop or range oven for popping kernels in oil), a couple of blankets to toss on the grass or seating area, and an outdoor television or projector for viewing the movies.

What could make your movie night even better is with a firepit giving off the illusion that you’re somewhere deep in the forest camping while you enjoy your film. This Blaze firepit is perfect for keeping you and your guests warm, roasting s’mores while you watch your favorite flick, and it produces very little ash and soot! 

How to Host Dinner Outdoors 

If you’re looking to host an outdoor party during dinnertime, make sure you have enough tables and chairs for all your guests to comfortably eat. It’s never fun trying to hold your plate while you grip a juicy hamburger or struggle to remove the bites from your shish kebab. Invest in large outdoor dining tables – or a lot of smaller side tables – and always make sure to have plenty of seating.  

And of course, the most important part of any dinner party is the food, so plan ahead and prepare a grill menu for your guests. An appetizer, main course, and dessert is the perfect amount of food to satisfy those grumbling tummies so that no one gets too hangry at the party. And don’t worry about it being too fancy, just make sure it’s good! Check below for some tasty recipes to cook outdoors for your next outdoor party you host. 

What You Should Be Grilling On 

Hanging in the backyard is always better with a grill cooking up something delicious. Spice up your summer happenings with a grill that speaks to you. 

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated design than that of the typical grill, a built-in grill , such as this DCS Series 9 or DCS Series 7 grill, may be more up your alley: The DCS Series 9 gives you an expanded workspace to prep your food and even provides you with intuitive 12-volt lighting to give your food the spotlight on all those sunset barbecues. And forget feeling limited with this built-in grill – the DCS Series 9 has a charcoal smoker tray, giving you the opportunity to enhance your barbecue flavors with either charcoal or wood pellets. Not to mention, it is equipped with an infrared rotisserie which helps control searing and can turn a 50-pound load! 

The DCS Series 7 conveniently comes with a dual-sided grate that gently cooks delicate bites on one side while the other side sears beautiful W lines into your food. Another innovative feature of the 7 is the temperature gauge which is designed for monitoring your pizza, or when using indirect heat from adjacent burners, for preparing roast meals. And speaking of roasting meals, the DCS Series 7 has an infrared rotisserie burner which makes for a fun and unconventional way to cook Thanksgiving dinner!   

Recipes for Cooking Outdoors 

If you’re new to cooking outdoors, or just are interested in trying something new, we’ve gathered a couple recipes for you to try: 

  1. Appetizer: Grilled Fava Beans
    Pair this with a glass of your favorite white wine to help enhance the spicy flavors! 

  2. Main Course: Grilled Shakshuka Pizza
    While you can make this item on the grill, it would taste even better in an outdoor pizza oven. 

  3. Main Course: Honey Porter Glazed Chicken Skewers
    Give your taste buds a combination of both sweet and savory with this dish. Throw it over some jasmine rice to really make the meal come together. 

  4. Dessert: Grilled Pears with Cinnamon Drizzle
    You can grill dessert? YES! We hope this recipe inspires you to try grilling more fruit to see what you like most. 

Outdoor hosting and cooking can be really fun, especially when done right. Give us a call if you’re interested in fixing up your yard and adding some appliances to spruce up your outdoor living space. Our Albert Lee appliance experts will be happy to help you along the way.