When the weather’s fine there’s no better place to spend the afternoon or evening than in the garden with friends, family and some freshly-barbecued food. The weather might look bleak right now but spring will come around in no time.
Get ready to enjoy the pleasures of alfresco cooking by filling up that empty patio space with some furniture and an inexpensive barbecue.
Choose your dining furniture
There’s a wide range of outdoor furniture available covering a variety of styles to suit both your taste and budget. Some comfortable but waterproofed seating is best and wicker armchairs with padded seats are a traditional option. Metal chairs, including cast aluminium, are robust and lightweight enough to be moved around, plus virtually no maintenance is needed. Most garden furniture sets will come with a matching table and it’s a good idea to include a large parasol with a tilt function to ensure enough shade is provide when sitting outdoors .
Charcoal and gas barbecues
The choice of fuel required to cook with is largely a matter of personal taste although many experts claim that grilling on charcoal yields the best results. Charcoal bbqs provide high temperatures, as much as 300°C, and will therefore cook meat fairly quickly; some practice will be needed for first timers. If you’re also looking for that smoked flavour when cooking meat or pork then charcoal is the right option. Gas versions are easy to clean, have better temperature control and can also heat far quicker than charcoal.
Additional points to remember
Always check out how much free space you have on the patio or garden before heading out to buy furniture and barbecue equipment. There are plenty of differently-sized bbqs including the space-saving kettle designs and the larger portable wagons, permanent brick or half-barrel versions. Also think of investing in some additional items such as lighting; this can include dual heater/lamps for attaching to a parasol interior or brass table top lanterns. Some hanging plants for the patio area make a nice touch or even a free standing water feature if you really want to splash out.
There’s no need spend a huge amount of money to create an outdoors seating area and most of the equipment is generally inexpensive. High quality products are usually the cost-effective option as minimal maintenance will be required throughout the year and the items will provide long-term use.
Image by LorE Denizen, used under the Creative Commons license.