The advantages of cooking outdoors

Who can believe how quickly this year is flying by? With the official arrival of spring, I am looking forward to the next few months of warm weather and all the activities that go along with the heat. 

One of the things that characterises spring and summer for me is cooking outside.  With so many hours spent inside the office or the car, it is often enjoyable to spend evenings outdoors, surrounded by natural air instead of air conditioning. And with so many external cooking options available, you seem to be able to vary your cooking style and ingredients just as much as if you were preparing meals in the kitchen.

The most traditional means of cooking outside would have to be the humble barbecue.  However, in saying that, it would seem that barbecues have become anything but humble! This simple implement has evolved with a great deal of styles now available to fit any budget.  Whether you want a smaller, portable unit that can be carted around with you or a larger built-in system, it seems that there is a barbecue to suit almost anyone. 

If pizzas are more your thing, you could consider investing in an outdoor wood fire pizza oven.  As an alternative to the barbecue, pizza ovens often require less cleaning and maintenance, and are usually a very attractive structural feature in your backyard.  As quite a novel backyard addition I daresay that news of your oven will spread quickly and you could become renowned for your pizza creations. 

If you prefer cooking outside all-year round, and the size of your outdoor area permits, you may like to go to the extreme and install a full outdoor kitchen, complete with weather proof bench tops and appliances.  These can be quite expensive and must be carefully planned (after all, once built they cannot be moved around), however could make sense if your passion is the outdoors. 

Cooking outside can also have some social benefits over using the ordinary kitchen.  Being outdoors often allows the cook to enjoy the company of family and friends as they prepare the meal, as opposed to being in a separate kitchen environment. 
Whichever method you prefer, the act of preparing food outside can be a great way to enjoy the warmer months of the year to the full extent.  Just remember to be take fire-precautions and try to be as environmentally friendly as possible. 

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 13/09/2010 at 12:23 PM | Categories: Around the house -


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