Your outdoor kitchen certainly did its job this summer.
In addition to serving as a place to prepare meals, it was a place to convene with friends, enjoy a cool drink, or just simply relax.
But the days are starting to get just a little shorter, and it feels like there’s something more behind the cooler night temperatures.
Indeed, summer is coming to an end and the autumn weather is starting to settle in.
Just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean that your time enjoying your outdoor kitchen must come to its seasonal conclusion just yet.
From where we’re sitting, you’ve still got a couple of good months of enjoyment ahead of you in your outdoor kitchen. With a few adjustments and preparations, there’s no reason you can’t get it a little closer toward being an all-season outdoor kitchen.
7 Outdoor Kitchen Ideas to Extend Your Enjoyment
Readying your outdoor kitchen for continued use during the seasonal shift into autumn and beyond doesn’t require much. In fact, some of its elements you used all spring and summer will still have a place in your outdoor kitchen during the penultimate season of the year.
- Fire pit
- Firewood holder
- Portable grill or smoker (or both!)
- Thick blankets
- Seating area accouterments
- Overhead cover
1. A Fire Pit
An obvious addition (if you don’t already have one), but indeed a necessary one.
One of the most fun and valued additions to ensure continued enjoyment of outdoor kitchens during these colder months is the fire pit.
From a utilitarian standpoint, the fire pit provides the necessary warmth to combat the chill of the season.
But just as it did during the warmer months, a fire pit serves as a focal point in an outdoor kitchen setup, one that encourages visitors to gather around and spend time. And because of its function, a firepit on an autumn evening is all the more inviting.
But wait, there’s more!
With the right accessories, such as grill grates or cast iron pans, a fire pit becomes another cooking element in your outdoor kitchen. Over an open flame, you can cook a wide variety of dishes, from meats to roast vegetables and even the classic marshmallow s’more.
|Did you know … our Outdoor Cookin’ Chiminea is designed to meet all three uses as we just described. In addition to being a portable firepit that’s easily assembled, our steel chiminea fire pit comes with a grill grate that you can cook on. With some practice, foods prepared over a bed of coals in this modern patio chiminea can rival those cooked on a traditional outdoor grill|
2. A Firewood Holder
A counterpart of sorts for your firepit, a firewood holder stands as an indispensable companion accessory to a fire pit.
In addition to giving you a cache of dry, ready-to-burn wood, a firewood holder all-but-eliminates the need for frequent trips to fetch more wood while enjoying a fire. Additionally, by keeping firewood off the damp ground and organized, the wood remains dry and less susceptible to decay or pests, guaranteeing a better burn quality and flame consistency.
Did you know … our Outdoor Cookin’ Chiminea is designed with built-in storage for firewood?
Still, having extra firewood stored elsewhere and ready to go is never a bad idea. Who wants to stop enjoying a fire to haul wood?
3. Portable Grill, Smoker
First and foremost, your outdoor kitchen is a kitchen. It’s meant to be cooked in.
However, autumn weather can be a bit more temperamental than other seasons. In addition to the occasional rain storm, there’s also more temperature fluctuations (warm days, cold nights). What’s more, the deeper into the season you get, the colder it is, meaning morning and evening frosts become reality and there’s also room for the occasional unexpected early snow.
With that, the components of your kitchen – especially what you cook on – need to be protected from the elements.
Portable grills and smokers make it easy to get what you prepare food to a place where they aren’t going to be subjected to the autumn weather – however it looks. And just as easily as it is to put either away, they can be brought back out when needed.
Did you know … Our TG Series Grill is a portable grill? A versatile cooking implement, the TG meets your cooking needs where you are – from the tailgate to your backyard. And we also make it possible to make your ugly drum smoker mobile, too. With our Smokin’ Ugly Wheel Kit, it’s easy to move your UDS wherever you need.
4. A Bevy of Thick Blankets
Having thick blankets readily available in your outdoor kitchen during the fall is a must for practical reasons. As the temperature drops, they provide a means for much-needed warmth and insulation, ensuring that you and your guests stay comfortable while enjoying the outdoors.
Besides warmth, they add a tactile, homey touch, elevating the ambiance of the space. In essence, they can serve as decor.
However, they can also serve a more practical purpose – protecting seating areas from dew or moisture that may accumulate during autumn evenings. Draped over furniture, you can prevent your seating from getting damp and ensure that your guests can sit comfortably.
5. Seating Area Accouterments
Seating area accouterments, including thick cushions, pillows, and an area rug, can significantly upgrade an outdoor kitchen, especially during the fall. These elements, while seemingly simple, can transform the comfort, aesthetics, and functionality of the space.
- Comfort: As temperatures drop in autumn, the added plushness of thick cushions and pillows ensures that guests remain warm and cozy. They act as insulators, providing a barrier against cold furniture surfaces. An area rug underfoot further adds warmth, protecting feet from chilly floors and making the area feel more like an indoor extension.
- Aesthetics: Fall evokes feelings of coziness and warmth. Incorporating textiles and soft furnishings in autumnal colors and patterns can help capture this essence, making the outdoor kitchen resonate with the season. These elements can quickly refresh the look, introducing new textures and layers that elevate the overall design.
- Functionality: Beyond comfort and aesthetics, these accouterments also have a protective role. Cushions and area rugs can shield furniture from the elements, prolonging its life. Moreover, the rug can delineate space, subtly marking the seating area as distinct from other functional zones in the outdoor kitchen.
- Inviting Atmosphere: An inviting seating arrangement encourages guests to linger and relax. A well-dressed area with plush cushions, soft pillows, and a cozy rug inherently feels more welcoming, enticing guests to stay longer and fostering deeper connections.
This is another outdoor kitchen trend of 2023 that you likely already have and put to good use during the summer. It’s also a component of your kitchen that serves both form and function, so to speak.
When it comes to cooking, having adequate lighting is essential for both safety and precision. Especially when it’s getting darker, sooner, proper illumination ensures you can see what you’re doing and avoid accidents. Whether we're chopping vegetables, marinating meat, or following a recipe, good lighting allows you to work just as you would indoors.
However, the need for good lighting extends beyond the practical aspect of cooking. In the fall, good lighting lets you – and guests – enjoy the space long after the sun has set. With the right lighting, we can transform our outdoor kitchen into a cozy and inviting space. LED lights offer the advantage of adjustable colors. By customizing the hues and intensity of the lights, you can create a warm and welcoming ambiance that enhances the overall experience.
7. Overhead Cover
Speaking of protection from the elements:
An overhead covering, whether it's an awning or a portable canopy, is an absolute must for an outdoor kitchen in the fall.
As the weather becomes more unpredictable, with occasional rain showers and falling leaves, having a roof-like structure provides protection from the elements for you, your guests, and your outdoor kitchen’s amenities.
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas to Stretch Your Season to the Max
While there’s nothing to be done about the change of season, there’s no reason the natural flow of things should stop you from using your outdoor kitchen as much as possible. With a few slight changes or additions, you can enjoy the autumn just as much as you did the spring and summer.
Already Looking Forward to the Summer?
Check out our piece on must-have summertime outdoor cooking equipment: