The Outdoor Lifestyle Blog

Michael Dougherty

Recent Posts

Would You Rather Have a Fire Pit or a Fire Table in Your Outdoor Kitchen?

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Mar 28, 2019 8:00:00 AM

When you picture yourself sitting around a fire in your backyard with family and friends, what type of fire do you envision? Is it a traditional fire pit, or is it a trendy fire table?

While fire pits and fire tables both make for great additions to an outdoor kitchen, they each infuse a vastly different aura into your outdoor living space. Can't decide which type of fire feature is right for your space? Keep reading.

Read More

Topics: Fire Pits, Fire Tables, & Fireplaces

Herbs You Should Grow in Your Outdoor Kitchen

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Mar 21, 2019 8:03:00 AM

If you have an outdoor kitchen, then you probably think that cooking is fun. You also likely believe that cooking outdoors is really fun. However, we'd like to argue that you haven't had enough fun cooking outdoors until you've cooked outside with herbs that you grew yourself.

Now, that's fun.

What herbs should you use? We're SO glad you asked! There are countless delicious herbs out there worthy of your tastebuds, but there are a few that are ideal for the types of foods you'll be preparing in your outdoor kitchen.

Read More

The Best Curtains or Blinds for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Mar 14, 2019 7:58:00 AM

Pergolas are a great source of shade when you need protection from the sun overhead.

But what about in the morning or late afternoon hours when the sun isn't directly over your head? Sometimes it's slightly to the east or the west, and it's shining right into your outdoor kitchen while you're trying to grill out.

Pergolas are no help at this point, but curtains are. You can attach curtains or blinds to your outdoor kitchen pergola, and turn your outdoor living space into an open air dining and living room that's protected from the sun.

The great thing about blinds is that they can easily be used for privacy or protection from the sun, but they're less permanent than a wall or fence. Blinds can easily be pulled up, and curtains can be tied back. 

Read More

St. Patty's Day and Your Smoker: Let's make something!

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Mar 7, 2019 10:42:48 AM

Just because you're celebrating St. Patricks Day doesn't mean corned beef and boiled potatoes have to be your meal of choice.

There are a variety of Irish-inspired dishes you can make in your outdoor kitchen that transcend the norm and still have plenty of St. Patty's Day flair. We hope you'll try one (or all) of these winning recipes that can be deliciously prepared in your outdoor kitchen's smoker.

Read More

Topics: Grills, Cooking Tips

Fireplace Maintenance for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Feb 28, 2019 8:02:00 AM

Nothing warms a space quite like a fireplace -- and we're not just talking about in the literal sense. Fireplaces have the potential to turn just about any space into a cozy, inviting one, which is why they are such a popular feature in outdoor kitchens and patio areas. 

To ensure that your fireplace truly enhances your outdoor living space, though, you must properly maintain it. Let's discuss necessary maintenance tasks for outdoor fireplaces, whether wood-burning or gas.

Read More

Topics: Fire Pits, Fire Tables, & Fireplaces

6 Pro Tips for Cooking Outdoors

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Feb 21, 2019 8:03:00 AM

Cooking is one thing. Cooking outside is another.

Not that it's difficult to cook outside; it's just that the outdoors provides a unique environment with unique challenges and options for cooks at all levels. If you do not take these challenges and opportunities into account, then you're missing out on the chance to make your food that much better. 

Here are our best cooking tips for creating an above-average outdoor dining experience for your hungry friends and family.

Read More

Topics: Cooking Tips

Make a Simple Romantic Dinner That Tastes Like You've Been Prepping All Day

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Feb 14, 2019 8:05:00 AM

It's Valentine's Day. Yay! An excuse to eat chocolate and buy flowers and eat out at your favorite fancy restaurant!

Unless you forgot to make reservations at your favorite fancy restaurant... In that case, you're in desperate need of a Plan B. 

All is not lost because you forgot to reserve your favorite table at your favorite dining spot on February 14th. In fact, we'd venture to say that you'll be better off savoring a romantic dinner at home with your sweetheart in your very own backyard.

We know you weren't planning to whip up a romantic dinner in your outdoor kitchen this evening, which is exactly why we found three easy dinner recipes that will still taste like you've been planning for weeks! 

Read More

Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle, Cooking Tips

A Chocolate Lover's Kitchen

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Feb 7, 2019 9:54:48 AM

It's February, and regardless of how you feel about Valentines Day, if you're a chocolate lover, this just might be your month. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate is everywhere, taking on the shape of hearts, making its way into packages shaped like hearts, and coating sweet strawberries resembling hearts. It's all about love — love for that special someone expressed through a common love for chocolate.

But why wait for someone to gift you with a decadent chocolate heart on February 14th? Why not create your own chocolate heaven in your own outdoor kitchen? Try these delicious treats:

Read More

Topics: Cooking Tips

What Type of Swing Should I Install in My Outdoor Living Space?

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 31, 2019 8:04:00 AM

Who doesn't love getting on a good swing every now and again? For many, swings takes us back to our childhoods when we'd play in the backyard or go to the park just to get on a swing and imagine that we were flying. 

While you've probably given up the fantasy of flying at this point in your life, there's still something magically relaxing and even fulfilling about being on a swing. If you agree, then why don't you have a swing in your backyard living space?

Ensuring that you have comfortable seating in your outdoor kitchen is one thing, but a swing — that's another entirely.

When you're ready to install a swing in your backyard living area, the first thing you'll need to decide is what type of swing you want. Let's look at your options.

Read More

Topics: Outdoor Lifestyle, Backyard Trends, Outdoor kitchen design

Tips for Teaching Kids to Cook

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 24, 2019 8:00:00 AM

The kitchen can turn into a pretty messy place — with or without a child's help. If you are cooking with a kid, though, you can expect it to get even messier much faster.

In this article, we'll talk about the best ways to teach kids to cook, not so much with the goal of helping you avoid a mess, but instead with the intent of making memories and instilling in them an invaluable skill.

Read More

Topics: Cooking Tips