Take advantage of the fresh air and ambiance of your new outdoor kitchen by hosting get-togethers with friends and loved ones. Throw backyard shindigs the right way from the very start by following these 3 important tips:

Tip 1: Take your BBQ field training seriously

True BBQ fanatics consider the correct smoking, basting and roasting techniques to be art forms. Secret sauces and methods are developed and refined with diligent and relentless practice.

Don't neglect practice on your brand new outdoor kitchen grills, cook tops and ovens. Even if you can smoke a brisket on the cheapest campground fire pit, you need to learn the limits of any new cooking appliance or tool. Before hosting formal events on any new setup, do some trial runs of your current BBQ repertoire to find those temperature sweet spots and to better judge how long grilled items will take to fully cook.

Trial runs also help you to see which items you need to provide for guests when hosting events outdoors. When someone goes indoors to grab utensils or condiments, have an observer keep a list of those extras and use it to always have those items on hand in the future.

Tip 2: Lighting sets the mood

Forget glaring overhead "third degree dining" lights on your patio or over your outdoor kitchen. Think less "football field" or "operating room" and think instead "magical night time" or "elegant softness."

Choose string lights in vintage or globe designs for overhead illumination and use candles and lanterns on tabletops and seating arrangements. Flameless candles are battery-powered yet flicker like true candles. Children, pets and rambunctious grownups can't get hurt with them, so parties are safer.

Good pathway lighting to and from your home and your outdoor kitchen is also essential to avoid unfortunate injury or accidents. Have sconces, pathway lamps and lanterns strategically located to make sidewalks, driveways and doorways brighter. Ask the electrician who installs your outdoor kitchen to provide outlets and suggest exterior fixtures if you are still in the planning stages.

Tip 3: Separate the supplies

It's easy to have dedicated equipment for your outdoor kitchen when you do a small bit of planning. First, determine where you will store your supplies. If designing a new outdoor kitchen, be sure you have ample, secure storage for outdoor serve ware and cookware.

Large plastic totes with covers are another solution to hold outdoor plates and drink ware. If you take the time to arrange the items, you can pack dishes, platters, flatware and glasses in a single large tote, using cloth linens as cushioning. Another tote can hold frying pans, griddles and BBQ utensils.

The key is to never use the indoor kitchen equipment for outdoor use, and to properly clean and store the outdoor stuff so it's always ready to use.

If you take the time to practice your skills, illuminate outdoor social areas and acquire the correct tools, you'll always have successful culinary adventures at your outdoor kitchen whether it's poolside or on your deck or patio. Contact a design company, like All American Landscape Design Inc. or another location, for more landscape and kitchen tips.