There are tons of benefits to cooking outdoors, whether you’re preparing a meal in the woods by your tent or in your backyard in the city. Fresh air is fresh air, and being outside while you enjoy your meal is the ultimate conclusion to your dining experience.
If you regularly host weekend gatherings, you probably spend time in the backyard with your guests. Maybe you even go outside to spend quality time with your family on occasion. If you’re not out there preparing food, you’re cheating yourself out of one of the best experiences you could have and/or host for others.
Outdoor dining is a spectacular experience
Boosting your vitamin D levels is included in the many reasons dining outside is beneficial, but that’s not the whole story. Sure, people feel better when they can feel the sun on their skin and low vitamin D levels have been linked to depression, but there’s more to the story than just hormone levels.
People today don’t get enough fresh air, nor do they spend enough time outdoors. Most people spend years of their lives working indoors for the majority of the day, get in a car to drive home, and spend the night in their house. The only time they are exposed to the outside world is while they’re moving in and out of their car or house. That’s not good for a person’s health.
For people who spend most of their days indoors, the moment they step outside for an activity, like a BBQ, they instantly feel good. Their mood improves and they can even start to become more social. This is no accident. Being in nature has been proven to increase energy and strength. And it doesn’t matter if it’s sunny and warm or cool – being outside feels amazing.
Fresh air is healthy
People who get fresh air and natural light throughout the day are less likely to feel stressed and get sick. They also experience faster healing times and less pain after surgery. It’s not just because of Vitamin D. There’s far more at play. The warmth of natural light is rejuvenating and there are many more processes happening in the body when exposed to natural light and outdoor air.
It’s safe to say that the only reason fresh air improves your mood, concentration, memory, and attention is because all of those things have been stifled by unnatural conditions, like being cooped up in an office building all day long. The average American spends 90% of their entire life in a building. Most of the time, they’re breathing in recirculated air, and it’s not entirely healthy.
Being outside helps the body relax into a more pleasant state because it removes the artificial components that suppress vital, healthy bodily functions. Fresh air is simple, but it helps people return to their natural state of wellbeing.
Eating is a communal experience
You’ve probably noticed that people love to go out to eat at restaurants in groups. Whether it’s two, three, or ten people, group dining is a big deal. There’s a reason restaurants have big booths with cushy seating that makes people feel comfortable enough to stay for a while and chat after dinner. Some families even bring card games to play after their meal. They could have easily made a meal at home or taken the food to go, but they want to be in the restaurant environment. It just feels more inviting because it’s cozy.
When it’s warm enough, many people prefer to sit outside on the patio to have their meal. If there’s enough space, most restaurants will offer outside seating. Outdoor dining is even popular in the winter when it’s cold, rainy, or even snowing. As long as the patio is covered and not closed to patrons, you’ll find people eating outside year-round. In the winter, restaurants simply turn on their propane-powered heaters that keep the chill out of the air.
Why would people eat outside in the cold when they could just stay at home and eat inside? The simple answer is that eating outdoors feels better. It’s a more dynamic, engaging experience that feels good.
When you combine the outdoors with the fact that sharing meals is a bonding experience, you have the ultimate recipe for a good time.
3 Ways to create the ultimate outdoor dining space
BBQs are nice, but they aren’t enough to create a full outdoor dining experience. If you’d like to have more than a simple BBQ in your backyard, here’s what you can do.
1. Get an outdoor kitchen
A genuine outdoor kitchen might include a BBQ, but it can also consist of a flat top grill, a bar, and an ice maker. There really are no limits to what you can do with an outdoor kitchen, so for the best ideas, visit this website for some design inspiration.
2. Tend your garden
Whether your garden consists of edible vegetables or not, a little attention will go a long way to create a beautiful ambiance for your outdoor dining experiences.
If your space needs some help, look into ways of sprucing up the plants in your backyard. You might just need a good landscaper, but if your yard is bare, it will help to get some plants. At the very least, add flowers in various colors and hang some potted plants along the edges of your fence.
3. Add some heat
While you could limit your outdoor dining sessions to warm weather, why not just get some patio heaters so you can stay outside even when it’s a bit cold? Heaters also come in handy when the night starts to fall and temperatures drop. Having a patio heater or two can extend the time you and your guests (or family) stay outside enjoying the night.
Cooking outside is the best experience
Now you know more about why cooking outside is better than being cooped up inside a small kitchen indoors. However, even if you can’t eat outside all the time, try to incorporate outdoor dining into your routine once in a while to get the mood-and-health-boosting benefits of being in nature.