The Outdoor Lifestyle Blog

Recent Posts

Thanksgiving meal ideas for outdoor kitchens

Posted by Emily Park on Nov 16, 2017 9:28:00 AM

Not a fan of standing around in the crowded, stuffy kitchen on Thanksgiving Day? Let your outdoor kitchen come to your rescue.

Here are several elements of a traditional turkey dinner that you can prepare in your outdoor kitchen. You’ll get an excuse to be outside and create more flavorful renditions of Thanksgiving fare.

The Turkey

Let’s start with the main course. You can prepare a whole turkey using your grill or smoker, just as long as it fits. (Of course, you’ll want to make sure it’s completely thawed ahead of time.)

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Topics: Cooking Tips

Cleaning Your Outdoor Kitchen’s Countertops

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Nov 10, 2017 9:50:20 AM

When you invest in an outdoor kitchen, you want to keep it clean and beautiful for years to come. We’ve already covered keeping your grill grates clean and cleaning and maintaining your fire pit, so this week we’re going to look at cleaning your countertops.

Here’s a quick guide to special cleaning requirements for the most common types of outdoor kitchen countertops:

Cleaning granite countertops

When your contractors installed your outdoor kitchen’s granite countertop, they most likely gave you instructions about how to keep it clean. Most granite kitchen surfaces have a sealant applied, and you should have been instructed on how to maintain this as well. (If Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen installed your kitchen and you can’t remember some of the details, feel free to contact us and ask for clarification!)

That being said, granite countertops only need very simple cleaning from time to time:

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Topics: Kitchens, Barbecue Islands

Make the Most of Your Tiny Backyard with These Upgrades

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Nov 2, 2017 6:57:09 AM

We love living in the San Jose area, but for some of us it means we’ve got pretty tiny backyards. (This trend is actually a fact of life for homeowners around the country, not just Californians.)

If you’ve got an itch to make your backyard into the ultimate place for relaxation and fun but feel like it’s just too small to work with, take heart! With some creativity and a few clever upgrades, you can make the most of your tiny backyard space.

Creative Landscaping

Have you ever seen an empty room and thought it looked cramped—until you fit your entire bedroom furniture set into it? Sometimes a blank, featureless space looks much smaller than it actually is. Adding a flowerbed, a garden path, or outdoor furniture can actually make your space look bigger, plus increase its usefulness.

Tired of mowing? Ditch the lawn all together in favor of a patio, deck, or even a rock garden, and use container-grown plants to add more interesting green spaces.

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle, Backyard Trends

Can I build an outdoor kitchen on my deck?

Posted by Emily Park on Oct 19, 2017 7:42:46 AM

 As you’re in the brainstorming phases of designing your outdoor kitchen, you’ve got many aspects to consider. One of the most basic questions is where you’re going to put it. Many of our clients choose to put their new kitchens on a patio—but what if the best space you have available is an elevated wooden deck? Can you build an outdoor kitchen on a deck?

The answer is yes—but proceed carefully. Here are some of the important questions you’ll need to answer before starting this project.

How much weight can my deck handle?

Your deck has been crafted with a particular amount of weight support in mind. If you have documentation from your builder or contractor, check to see its weight limits. Then plan the size, features, and building materials of your kitchen accordingly—keeping the weight far below the maximum. Remember that your deck will also have to support the weight of the people gathering around the kitchen as well!

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Topics: Kitchens

Fall entertaining ideas for your outdoor kitchen

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Oct 5, 2017 7:22:43 AM

Autumn is here, with its many occasions to celebrate! Whether you’re planning a Halloween get-together, a football tailgate, or even a “Friendsgiving” feast, make the most of the weather and take the fun to your outdoor living area.

Here are some ideas for perfect fall fun:

Decorate with nature’s bounty

Autumn is when nature puts out her most beautiful show of colors. When decorating your patio steps, tables, or outdoor kitchen counter, take cues from Mother Nature and incorporate natural elements as possible. (As an added bonus, it’s an easy and nearly fool-proof way to add seasonal cheer!) Possibilities include:

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle

Outdoor Kitchenettes for Small Backyards

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Sep 21, 2017 7:15:33 AM

Do you dream of having an outdoor kitchen, but are afraid your backyard is too small? You can still have a beautiful and functional kitchenette in your small yard if you plan carefully!

Pick what matters most

If you’re limited on space, focus in on only those appliances and tools that you really want. For most people, a high-quality grill is a must. (And keep in mind good doesn’t necessarily mean large—you can get a great grill that doesn’t take up all of your available space.)

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle, Kitchens

What appliances do I need for my outside kitchen?

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Sep 7, 2017 7:21:25 AM

Are you at the early stages of planning your outside kitchen? One of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself as you plan is which appliances you’ll want to include. Your outside kitchen should reflect your needs, so be sure to choose the appliances that fit your lifestyle and your cooking habits best.

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle, Kitchens

How to Check How Much Propane is Left in Your Grill Tank

Posted by Emily Park on Aug 24, 2017 8:30:22 AM

When you’re hosting a party in your outdoor kitchen, the last thing you want is for your gas grill to run out of propane halfway through cooking your steaks or while the chicken on your kebabs is still raw!

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Topics: Grills

Tips for Cooking Fish Fillets on the Grill

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Aug 10, 2017 7:45:20 AM

Maybe you’ve already mastered the perfect hamburger, the expertly prepared steak, and even gotten creative with your kebabs.

Ready for the next challenge? This week we’re talking about the process of grilling fish fillets.

Not only does fish have a distinctive and highly desired flavor, but it’s also one of the healthiest animal-based proteins available. Plus, fish is packed with essential nutritsn like vitamin D and omega-3s.

Let's get grilling!

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Topics: Grills, Cooking Tips

Kebab Recipes that Go Beyond the Ordinary

Posted by Emily Park on Jul 27, 2017 8:12:00 AM

Once you’ve mastered the perfect hamburger or the precisely done steak, consider getting creative with one of the other staples of the summer cookout: the humble kebab.

This simple dish—consisting of skewered meat and vegetables—has origins that go back to ancient Greece and the Middle East, when cooks would roast meat over hot coals or an open fire. So it’s no surprise that kebabs are so well suited for the backyard grill.

Once you’ve enjoyed the more traditional combination of chicken, bell peppers, red onion, and maybe cherry tomatoes over the flame, you might be ready to expand your horizons. Here are five creative kebab recipes to get you started:

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Topics: Grills, Cooking Tips