Setting Up an Outdoor Barbecue Area for Warm Weather Fun
If you’re new to the Philly area, you’ll soon learn that when it gets even just a little bit warm (60, 70, or even 50 degrees), your neighbors will start to dust off their grills. Grilling season is definitely a big deal in the city.
If you’re new to the Philly area, you’ll soon learn that when it gets even just a little bit warm (60, 70, or even 50 degrees), your neighbors will start to dust off their grills. Grilling season is definitely a big deal in the City of Brotherly Love — it’s a time for getting together, sharing laughs and great food. Here are some ideas for how to set up your own outdoor barbecue area for warm weather fun this year.
The fall and winter seasons have probably left their mark on your outdoor patio or deck, so the first order of business is to do some spring cleaning. Sweep up any leftover leaves (bugs like to hide there) and power-wash your patio or deck clean with deck wash or a similar product. Wipe down all tables and chairs to remove the layer of grime that wind and dirt has left behind. And of course, don’t forget to thoroughly clean your grill using a wire brush and spray cleaner specifically designed for this purpose. Remove any old coals and rinse it thoroughly to ensure that your grilled food tastes fresh.
The way you set up your seating in your outdoor barbecue area will have a significant effect on how comfortable your guests are when they visit. You want to create a communal atmosphere where people have room to relax and stretch their legs, but are still in a formation that allows for light conversation. Set up four or five chairs around a patio table, two or more lounge chairs nearby in a V-formation and a weather-resistant patio seating set with two individual chairs at either side and a patio sofa at the center. Position the grill at least three feet from the seats.
Light Up the Area
The lighting around your barbecue area is also important for creating a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for your guests. If you have some leftover white or yellow Christmas lights, line your deck or your patio furniture with them. Turn them on at dusk and enjoy the scenery — your guests won’t want to leave.
No plan for outdoor entertainment and dining would be complete without addressing the need for bug protection. Citronella candles are effective at keeping pests away, and thankfully there are attractive candles and bowls available that can double as decor for your patio. For instance, a handcrafted citronella candle made with a ceramic bowl (pottery) or bamboo material will probably be a very nice addition to your outdoor area. Place a candle at the center of every table. Also, keep a selection of insect repellent sprays handy in a bucket for your guests to choose from. And if you have a problem with pesky wasps and flies, you might have to hang a trap not too far from the grilling area.
It will probably take you just a few hours to set up your Philly outdoor barbecue area for unlimited warm weather fun at home this season with friends and family. Happy grilling!
Image Source: Flickr/John Liu