POOLS, SPAS & PATIOS ARTICLE: GOOD FOOD AND WARM FIRE PART #1
Good food and a warm fire: Where to put your grill
Today, many components can be added to your landscape to enhance its entertainment value, but good food and a warm fire are two classic features that can be combined with great effect. In the backyard, this is typically accomplished by combining a fireplace with an outdoor kitchen/grill area. To complete the trifecta, an appropriate patio or deck can be installed where your family can enjoy these elements. In many cases, these features are often paired with a pool or hot tub, as they work to expand the space by creating an outdoor room for you and your guests to enjoy in conjunction with the aquatic activities. When the temperature cools down in the evening, friends and family do not have to leave, as everyone can gather around the fireplace for warmth.
WHERE TO PUT YOUR GRILL
To create this outdoor retreat, one of the primary considerations is where to position the grill within the landscape. First, any code, zoning, or safety considerations must be addressed, like distance to flammables, other structures, and property lines. Often, grill manufacturers will have schematics showing what they recommend, and municipal building regulations or perhaps even homeowners’ association guidelines must be taken into consideration.
The most convenient location for an outdoor grill is nearby the backdoor of your home, as it provides easy access to your kitchen inside your house. Fully equipped outdoor kitchens can be self-contained, but, in many applications, the grill station will include a cooktop plus a few other amenities, but your main kitchen is still required for different aspects of meal preparation. It may also be desirable to use your grill between peak and off-peak seasons, when you will be dining inside your home.
Other locations you should consider are those where others will be gathered (e.g. adjacent to a pool) so the cooks are involved in the action. Food is a good motivator, people tend to gather close by in any event, and cooking is a big part of the entertaining experience. You should also consider which way smoke may travel. On rural or more exposed properties, for example, providing wind protection or orientating the grill so it is not open to prevailing winds is necessary. This will also make it more comfortable for the cook and, in extreme cases, wind can extinguish the grill, which can be frustrating to deal with. Further, for safety reasons, your grill should be kept away from areas where children are actively playing.
Originally published in Pools, Spas & Patios - 2018 Annual Issue.
Download the entire original article. Pool and Spas 2018 fire.pdf1.37 MB