Have you ever considered cooking outside instead of inside? It may not be the norm or what you’re used to, but it can have significant benefits. In this article, we’ll go over what these are so you can consider cooking your next meal outside. Let’s get started!
1. Spend more time outside
With the rise of work-from-home (WFH) and remote work policies, many people are spending more time indoors than ever. Why not switch things up by cooking outside every once in a while? It’ll help you get some fresh air and sunshine. Plus, it can enhance your view and experience while eating dinner.
2. Improve your mood
Cooking outdoors also has benefits for your health. Sunshine can help provide needed vitamin D and getting into nature can boost your overall emotional well-being by helping you unwind and reducing your stress levels.
3. Enhance the flavors
When you cook outside, it’s easier to enhance the flavors of foods, especially meats. You can put them on the grill, in a smoker, and over an open flame. You may even invest in an outdoor kitchen or a pizza oven. The possibilities are endless.
4. Save money on eating out
If you cook outside instead of eating out, you could save a lot of money. And the food can still be as good or better than what you’d find at a restaurant. You just need to know the right recipes and use good ingredients. Plus, if you use natural fuels like charcoal or gas, it could help you cut down on your electricity bill (from not using your indoor kitchen).
5. Entertain friends and family
Of course, cooking outside is a great way to entertain guests. There’s usually more space to gather outdoors so it’s easier to invite more people. But whether you’re hosting a big or small gathering, eating outside can bring people closer together and can be a great way to celebrate special occasions like birthdays.
6. Get creative with the menu
Outdoor cooking also opens up new menu possibilities. You can cook things you wouldn’t otherwise try, such as kabobs or pizza in a fire oven—not to mention hot dogs and hamburgers that you can give a nice sear to.
7. Clean up easily
Cooking outside often makes for easier clean-up. Simply clean the grill with a wire brush and don’t worry as much about getting it perfectly clean since the heat naturally kills any bacteria. It’s also common to use paper products when eating outside so there aren’t any dishes to do afterward.
8. Lower your environmental impact
Finally, it’s sometimes easier to lower your environmental footprint by cooking outside. How? By using less electricity (and potentially gas) and wood or charcoal instead. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you respect the environment and leave it as you found it (e.g. when camping).
Promote Healthy Eating
Cooking outside often leads to choosing healthier foods to prepare. The popularity of grilling vegetables, fruits, and lean meats contributes to more nutritious meal choices. Preparing food outdoors can be a step towards a healthier lifestyle and diet.
Learning New Cooking Techniques
Embracing outdoor cooking lets you learn different cooking techniques. Master the art of grilling, smoking, and open-fire cooking, expanding your culinary skills and adding variety to your meal preparation.
Outdoor cooking ensures foods are thoroughly cooked at high temperatures, potentially reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses associated with undercooked foods. Proper food handling and cooking techniques outdoors enhance food safety.
Outdoor cooking allows the exploration of various global cuisines that use unique outdoor cooking methods. Experience diverse cultures through their culinary traditions, creating authentic dishes from different countries.
Engage Your Senses
Heighten Your Senses
Cooking outside engages and heightens your senses. The sound of food sizzling, the aroma of grilling, and the visual allure of char-grilled dishes create a complete sensory experience, making meals more enjoyable.
Prepare aesthetically pleasing dishes with the beautiful backdrop of the outdoors. The visual element adds to the overall enjoyment and satisfaction, making each meal a special occasion.
Convenience and Flexibility
Versatility and Adaptability
Outdoor cooking offers versatility and adaptability. Whether it’s a simple barbecue or an elaborate meal, adapt easily to different cooking styles and requirements, offering flexibility in meal preparation.
Efficiency and Time-Saving
Save time with efficient outdoor cooking appliances like grills and smokers that quickly cook various foods, allowing you to enjoy meals without lengthy preparation and cooking times.
Engaging in outdoor cooking fosters a sense of community and togetherness. It provides an opportunity for friends, family, and neighbors to come together and enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. Whether it’s a neighborhood BBQ party, a family gathering, or a friendly get-together, cooking outdoors breaks down barriers and encourages social interaction. Sharing food prepared in the open air allows individuals to connect, communicate, and collaborate, building stronger, more cohesive communities. It’s not just a meal; it’s a shared experience that nurtures relationships and fosters unity and understanding among individuals.
Adding it all up
At the end of the day, there are many good reasons to cook outside. You can spend more time outside, improve your mood, enhance the flavors, save money on eating out, entertain friends and family, get creative with the menu, clean up easily, and lower your environmental footprint.
But perhaps the best reason for cooking outside is to create lasting memories with loved ones. A nice dinner under the sky can be much more memorable than a typical meal around the dinner table. So do yourself a favor, and plan to eat your next meal outside. You won’t regret it!