The Outdoor Lifestyle Blog

Emily Park

Emily is an outdoor enthusiast who loves gardening and can't resist the smell of burgers on the grill!

Recent Posts

Bring in the New Year with a Private Backyard Party

Posted by Emily Park on Dec 28, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Are you ready to ring in the New Year? For some people, big flashy parties in the city surrounded by strangers is the only way they’d have it. But for others of us, we’d prefer something a little more personal and low-key.

If you love noisy bars and clubs, by all means, get out there and party. But if huge crowds and blaring music aren’t your style (or if you prefer to blare music of your own choosing!) why not host an intimate party in your outdoor kitchen?

Not only will you avoid battling traffic as your first experience of the new year, but you can make the most of the beautiful custom outdoor living area you’re so proud of.  

Here are 12 steps to hosting New Year’s Eve your way:

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle

Electrical Safety for Your Outdoor Living Area

Posted by Emily Park on Dec 7, 2017 8:42:18 AM

The evenings are getting longer, and if you’re enjoying your outdoor living area in the winter (and we hope you are!), chances are you’re running your lights more often than usual. This fact, combined with the fact that many people enjoy decorating their outdoor living spaces for the holidays, means it’s a good time for a reminder about outdoor electrical safety.

Here are some basic safety tips that can save you a lot of headache down the road!

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle

Don’t Let Winter Freeze You Out! Try These Outdoor Heating Options.

Posted by Emily Park on Nov 30, 2017 7:29:02 AM

The holidays are here!

That means it's time for get-togethers with loved ones, parties to host, and delicious holiday meals to prepare.

You don’t want to close up your outdoor living area for the winter—after all, we live in sunny California, not frozen Michigan!

We’re all about continuing the fun of your outdoor kitchen through fall and winter. But since the occasional San Jose evening can still get a bit too chilly for comfort, it's time to look at some man-made heating options that help you keep your outdoor kitchen comfortable throughout the winter. 

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Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle

Winterizing Your Outdoor Kitchen

Posted by Emily Park on Nov 24, 2017 8:17:00 AM

Cooler temperatures are on their way, and for some of us that means it’s time to close down the outdoor kitchen for the season.

Of course, there’s still plenty of fun you can have in your outdoor kitchen during fall and winter—especially if you have an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to cozy up around. But if you know you’re not likely to spend much time outside until spring, you’ll want to make sure everything is properly prepared for the dormant season.

Here’s a checklist of tasks to winterize your outdoor kitchen:

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Topics: Kitchens, Fire Pits, Fire Tables, & Fireplaces

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

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

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

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

How to Choose the Right Grill for You

Posted by Emily Park on Jul 13, 2017 9:01:00 AM

The season for outdoor living is here, and your backyard is calling.

If you’re dreaming of inviting your friends and family over for perfectly juicy hamburgers or mouthwatering steaks, it may be time for you to invest in your own backyard grill.

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Topics: Grills

Serve Up These Cool Treats for Hot Summer Days

Posted by Emily Park on Jul 6, 2017 8:03:00 AM

Sun’s out and summer’s in full swing! We know you’ll want to take advantage of your outdoor living area during the long, carefree days of summer. After enjoying perfectly grilled hamburgers or a juicy steak that’s cooked to perfection, something cold and sweet is sure to hit the spot!

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Topics: Cooking Tips