How to Feature Your Grill in Your Outdoor Space

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So you’ve got the grill and you’ve mastered the skills of rotation and cross-hatching; still, the presence of your grill in your outdoor space falls flat.  While your burgers are delicious, your company is dwindling.  We’ll look at some ways in which you can make your grill stand out: after all, a king needs a kingdom.

Grills naturally attract attention: a culinary, outdoor stage where you direct the performance of the BBQ.  In order to accentuate your grill as a feature, you’ve got to have a good theater for your audience.  This means paying attention to the ambiance and atmosphere you create with your cooking space.  Is it inviting?  Is it comfortable?  Is it someplace you’d like to sit and stay for a while?  Finding ways to answer “yes” to any of these questions will immediately make your grill a bigger presence in your outdoor space.

The biggest way to accentuate your grill is to set up an outdoor cooking space.  This means not just having a grill in the backyard but counters to prepare on and easy access to grilling tools; some cooking spaces go even further with cabinetry, roofs, wet bars, fridges, brick ovens, marble countertops, and even stovetop ovens.  These outdoor kitchens will absolutely feature you’re grilling, and as they’re customizable you can create the BBQ pit of your dreams.  The problem is that these outdoor kitchens can cost anywhere from $5,000 to %50,000—which might be a bigger investment in your grilling than your family is comfortable with.  If you can swing it, great; if not, there are plenty of more reasonably priced alternatives to feature your grill.

The first is simply to have some seating and a designated space for your grilling.  A solitary grill around the side of the house is not an inviting place to socialize while the chef is at work; nor is it even space.  If you have a patio or a deck, use it.  Place some patio furniture (tables, chairs, lounges, benches) out there with your grill; you can even think of it as creating a theater to watch the grill-master’s performance.  Accentuate the grill with some lights and decorations.  While the heat will likely kill any flowers and plants, rocks and brick can look fantastic, and bordering your grill with them solidifies your grill as an integral part of your outdoor space.  You can also use these bricks and rocks to create an outdoor prep station by adding a countertop, which can be made from an old piece of hardwood you’ve sanded down and sealed.

If you can’t swing a permanent structure with the bricks and rocks, you can create a great prep table by re-appropriating an old dining table, sideboard, shelving unit, dresser, or nightstand.  These can look great in grassy outdoor spaces, and when paired with tiki torches, paper lanterns, and some strategically placed pots, flowers, and foliage, can accentuate the natural aspects of your cooking space.

Having a good grilling space is a great way to embrace and experience the benefits of domestic life outdoors; instead of gathering around the TV, you’ll be gathering around the grill.  And like TV, much of the enjoyment comes in how you experience it.  In order to make your grill a feature of your outdoor area, make sure your guests are comfortable, relaxed, and encouraged to have fun.

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