Over the past four years, I have been writing my blog, OUTDOORLICIOUS! as much for me to get my thoughts out of my head and down on paper as for others to share and learn more about this niche in home décor and living. From time to time, someone will approach me about writing a guest blog. If I feel that the subject matter is a good fit for OUTDOORLICIOUS! and that readers will enjoy the post, I am all for having a day off, so to speak.
Today’s blog was written by Jane Campbell, marketing manager at Outdoor Living Brands. Outdoor Living Brands is the parent company of well-known outdoor lifestyle companies such as Archadeck, Mosquito Squad, and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives—all great companies which help you get the most out of your home’s exterior spaces.
Who doesn’t love the sight of a fire on a cool evening? The only thing better is when it’s outdoors. An outdoor fire area is the second most requested outdoor design feature according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. And it’s no wonder when sitting by an outdoor fire can bring people together so nicely.
An outdoor fire pit can be a simple feature to add to any home. You can choose to build your own stone and concrete outdoor fire pit, either at ground level or elevated, or to keep things simple, you can purchase a metal fire bowl or even a clay chiminea.
- Check your local housing ordinances for the rules concerning fire pits.
- Always site the pit well away from the house or any other structure.
- Take any wind currents into consideration when selecting a place for your pit. Too much wind will make it hard for a wood fire to draw – a gas powered pit might be a better option here.
- Watch out for any low hanging branches or nearby trees.
- Keep the hose and bucket of water handy in case the fire spreads.
- Never leave the fire unattended and instead of dousing the pit with water when it’s time to head in, spread out the coals or logs and smother it with a bucket of sand. This will keep the fire pit from having wet coals in the bottom the next time you go to use it.
- Make S’mores – yup, nothing beats this simple snack. Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows – need we say more?
- Hot Dipped Bread – You can use your long fork to heat up slices of bread and then dip them in a tasty assortment of spreads.
- Grill a chorizo – More upscale than a hot dog, slice up a choriz sausage and have everyone grill up their own for a sophisticated snack.
- Mull some wine – if you have a grill cover and an iron pot, you could use your fire pit to mull some spiced wine or cider as a nice pick me up.
- Pop some popcorn – you can still buy those old fashioned popcorn poppers that work over a flame. The kids will love watching the popcorn pop.
- Grill up some dessert – sure everyone goes for the S’mores but how about going bananas for a banana. Cut a slit in the peel, stuff with butter and sugar and then throw back on the grill until it’s bubbly and delicious.
- Grill your corn. Soak corn on the cob, husks on, in some water and then throw onto the grill and let them cook. Have a pot with some salted, melted butter and let people dip their cobs right in for a warm, tasty treat.
- Fire up some potatoes. Slice up some potatoes, add some butter, salt and dried herbs. Wrap the potatoes in foil and throw into the fire pit or on top of the grate. Turn occasionally and let cook for about 40 minutes.
- Make pizza. Love the taste of wood fired pizza? Well, you don’t need the expensive pizza oven to this. A grate and a pizza stone will cook small pizzas just fine. Set out a variety of toppings and have fun.
- Sit around and enjoy. Sure, cooking food is well and good but sometimes the best way to enjoy your outdoor fire pit is to just sit – and relax.
As the weather turns cooler, your outdoor space should include a source of warmth so you can continue to enjoy the outdoors all year round. You should be able to purchase a portable fire pit at a local hardware or department store. If you would like to install something more permanent you can rely on a professional deck designer to create something that you can use for the long haul.