5 Sizzling Tips for Cooking Outdoors

Sizzling outdoor grilling tips from Designers Direct House Plans is  just in time for Labor Day cookouts!

While summer may be coming to an end, there is still plenty of good grilling time left in the calendar. So whether you enjoy preparing traditional cookout food like hot dogs and hamburgers or like to be more creative with flavorful fish dishes or gourmet kabobs, you’ll need the right outdoor grilling tools and some sizzling cooking tips to create great dishes. The editors at Designers Direct House Plans have put together some of their best grilling tips so you can create some sizzling dishes in a great outdoor kitchen.

Designers Direct House Plans offers a wide range of homes with gourmet outdoor kitchens, like the Chateau Cove House Plan.



One of the key ingredients to most outdoor living spaces is the cooking area, since food and drink draw people together. Your outdoor cooking area can be as simple as a grilling station or the ultimate gourmet kitchen with a grill, sink, refrigerator, ice maker, even a beer tap and dishwasher. The only limitation is your imagination, and of course your budget. The most important piece of any outdoor living space is the grill, so be sure to decide wisely. There are so many things to consider like whether you want a built-in or freestanding grill? What size do you need (they range from 32” to 54”)? What features would you like – side burners, rotisseries, sear stations or infrared burners? Do you want to cook with gas, charcoal or wood? Or how about a high-end hybrid that can cook with all three?

This gorgeous house plan features a great outdoor living space that includes a kitchen, dining room and living area with fireplace.


Make sure you invest in some high quality cooking utensils and some grilling cookware like cast iron pans and woks. There’s nothing worse than cheap spatulas, forks and tongs that bend and rust. Beyond the basic three BBQ tools, you can find plenty of sets that feature all kinds of cooking gadgets. Many you’ll never figure out what they are for or use…so while it sounds exciting to purchase an 18-piece grill set, you might find more enjoyment by spending that same money on three stainless steel, high-quality cooking tools.


Some of us aren’t as patient as others when it comes to cooking, but if you could plan ahead just 24 hours to marinate your next dinner, you and your guests will certainly savor the tender beef, flavorful shrimp and chicken. It’s really quite easy and quick to put together a savory Italian marinade with extra virgin olive oil, traditional spices and of course fresh garlic. For the not so natural cook – there’s a bounty of marinades available in the supermarket where all you need to do is shake, pour and cover. Of course…you can’t take full credit for the great taste when you buy premade, bottled marinades.


The quickest way to ruin a good barbeque is to drench your meats in a thick sauce that is high in sugar because before you meat is thoroughly cooked the outside will be completely burnt. Add simple spices to your meats and then when there’s about 5 minutes left brush your chicken or beef with your favorite sauce and cook on low heat. A trick to cooking mouthwatering ribs is to cook them first in the oven and then finish them off by grilling them to capture that amazing smoky taste.


Nothing tastes better than a perfectly tender, seared juicy rib eye or strip steak. The trick to creating a perfectly seared steak is to coat both sides of the steak with salt, pepper, crushed garlic and olive oil (of course any other seasonings you like). You can also marinate the steaks a few hours before you plan on grilling. To really capture the flavor, you should wait to grill until the steaks are room temperature. Place the steaks over direct heat and sear for two minutes per side. If you don’t like rare meat then leave the steak on indirect heat for a few more minutes. Remember they will continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes even after you have removed them from the heat, so don’t overcook.

If you are craving a new kitchen, you will want to check out Designers Direct House Plans collection of Fabulous Kitchens.