Cooking outdoors is a great way to relax with family and friends. Warm weather, cold drinks, and the smell of a barbecue all combine to create a quintessential American experience. People love being outside and they love eating — when you put these two together, it’s a perfect recipe for entertainment success. While the standalone grill is still a classic favorite for outdoor cooking, true grilling enthusiasts are looking for more variety and convenience.

Outdoor kitchens provide many advantages over traditional grilling spaces. When using a standalone grill to prepare meals, much of the food preparation is done inside. Appetizers and side dishes are often prepared in the home’s kitchen, trapping the cook inside while everyone else is outside enjoying the day. This also forces you to carry food, dishes, and utensils back and forth, from the house to the grilling area, for every item you’re preparing. You end up working twice as much to enjoy half as much time with your guests.

An outdoor kitchen can help solve all of these problems, while providing you with an elegant entertainment space that will impress all of your guests. Outdoor refrigerators, sinks, and stoves make it easy to prepare every course in the grilling area — letting you enjoy the day with your guests instead of spending it inside. Fully stocked outdoor kitchens let you prepare an entire meal without having to make trips back and forth to your kitchen for utensils and dishes. Trying to cook one meal in two kitchens is twice as much work for the same result — with outdoor kitchens, you get the convenience of a single outdoor workspace that has everything you need for a successful barbecue.

One of the great advantages of cooking outside is keeping your home cooler during the summer months. Preparing a full meal often requires you to have your oven and several burners on at the same time — pumping tons of heat into a home that you’re trying to air condition. With an outdoor kitchen, you can move all of your cooking outside during warmer weather. Outdoor kitchens have all of the appliances and amenities of an indoor kitchen, making it easy to prepare all of your favorite dishes while beating the heat. And, just because you’re outside, you don’t have to give up any of the entertainment options you enjoy inside.

Enjoy a cold drink from the outdoor refrigerator without the mess or hassle of coolers and bags of ice. Or, get a drink from the fully stocked outdoor wet bar or beer dispenser. You can keep all of your favorite regular and adult beverages at the perfect temperature for a summer day with these outdoor appliances.

The selection of outdoor furniture has come a long way since the days of folding patio furniture. High quality, comfortable furniture is available for outdoor kitchens — everything from chaise lounges to outdoor couches are available in a wide variety of materials and styles. Relax on your outdoor sofa while watching your team on an all-weather outdoor television.

Flatscreen TVs are available for your outdoor space as well, making it even easier to entertain outdoors. The TVs are designed to withstand the weather and heat, and have crystal clear screens for great viewing.

Outdoor kitchens are one of the most versatile, convenient ways to enjoy time together outdoors. With all of the options and features available, it can be overwhelming to try and design and install your own outdoor kitchen. Doing it right is better than doing it over, so consult with experienced professionals when deciding what kind of outdoor entertainment space is ideal for your needs. You’ll be happy you did.