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Fall is a great time to cook outdoors so we are giving you three easy tips to get your outdoor kitchen up and running! (Image: Ashley Hafstead)

3 tips for setting up and using an outdoor kitchen

One of my favorite additions we made to our house is the outdoor kitchen on our covered porch. It is the ultimate place for entertaining, given that it is right next to our dining room and kitchen, and we get so much use out of it.

My favorite time of year to cook in our outdoor kitchen is fall; it's cool, but not cold, and everyone can comfortably enjoy hanging outside. I've curated a few tips and tricks to building your own outdoor kitchen and preparing a fabulous fall meal al fresco!

1. Setting Up An Outdoor Kitchen

This can be as elaborate or simple as you like. If you are renting instead of owning, buy pre-made rolling carts or cabinetry with counter space that your Green Egg smoker or grill can easily fit into instead of spending big on custom cabinetry. The company Werever is a great resource for outdoor cabinetry as well. You can always think out of the box by taking an old farm house table and cutting a hole to fit your Green Egg smoker. Just remember to carefully read your grill and/or smoker’s manual and adhere to all of the safety requirements to be safe.

It is helpful to sketch out your ideas and jot down measurements of your space before you start buying anything. Depending on your budget, you can have all the bells and whistles inside your home brought outside in your outdoor kitchen. Put in a sink, or even a mini fridge for some beers. However, that can get pretty pricey. A more budget-friendly route is to just opt for cabinetry, which is great for storing all your outdoor grilling and smoking accessories, with a counter to prep and serve food on, in addition to the grill and/or smoker.

2. Accessorizing Your Outdoor Kitchen

The most important advice I can give you when it comes to decorating your outdoor cooking area is keep it simple. The only things that should be on your outdoor kitchen counters are items that can be useful when cooking. Try storing all of your unsightly grilling items such as tongs, meat thermometers, aluminum foil, etc. in your outdoor cabinetry. Wooden cutting boards not only look great but also serve as functional serving trays and cutting boards for all your grilled and smoked goods!

3. Throw the Ultimate Fall Grilling Party

When you think of fall and grilling/smoking outdoors, think warm and hearty items such as smoked ribs and rotisserie chicken made right on your grill. Pairing smoked corn with grilled onions and broccoli are healthy and tasty side dishes. One of the best parts about having an outdoor kitchen is that your indoor kitchen stays spotless —you can do all your prep, cooking, and serving outside. Whatever you choose to cook and whatever your palette, get outside, enjoy the fall weather, and have fun cooking a great meal with your closest friends and family.