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Summer Entertaining and Dining

Summer brings with it the perfect recipe for joy: outdoor dining and entertaining. From vibrant garden gatherings to sunset barbecues, there’s an undeniable magic to enjoying good food and great company in the warm embrace of the season. Discover the benefits of summer entertaining and outdoor dining, from the bliss of open-air meals to the ease of hosting al fresco events. Embrace the sun, savor the flavors, and create cherished memories under the blue skies.

When the weather warms up and you are finally able to fire up the grill, you may want to invite everyone in the neighborhood over for a delicious meal. Truly, if you are the host or hostess who loves entertaining during the summer, an outdoor kitchen is a must for your backyard. At The Outdoor Appliance Store, we have an amazing selection of grills, fire pits, tables, and more, and you can create the perfect space for those outside gatherings.


Start with the Drinks

a row of three smoked watermelon cocktails with mint. these are showstoppers at any summer event

Typically, when guests arrive on a hot July day, the first thing they’re going to want is a drink. Often, they may want water, lemonade, or something a little stronger, but whatever the case may be, it’s important to have a beverage center chilled and ready to go.

As the temperature rises and the sun shines brightly, it’s time to embrace the spirit of summer with a twist – literally! Upgrade your cocktail game this season by adding a smoky allure to your favorite drinks. Smoking cocktails not only adds a unique flavor but also brings an element of sophistication to your summer gatherings. Here are two summer-inspired smoked cocktails that will undoubtedly become the stars of your next sunny soirée.

Smoky Watermelon Mint Margarita:


  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz watermelon juice
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Watermelon wedge (for garnish)
  • Smoking gun with applewood chips


  • In a shaker, muddle fresh mint leaves.
  • Add tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and watermelon juice to the shaker with ice.
  • Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice.
  • Use a smoking gun to infuse the cocktail with applewood smoke.
  • Garnish with a watermelon wedge and enjoy the smoky, refreshing goodness.


Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeño Paloma:


  • 2 oz mezcal
  • 1 oz grilled pineapple juice
  • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 0.5 oz agave syrup
  • Jalapeño slices (to taste)
  • Grilled pineapple wedge (for garnish)
  • Smoking gun with hickory chips


  • Grill pineapple slices until slightly caramelized.
  • In a shaker, muddle jalapeño slices.
  • Add mezcal, grilled pineapple juice, fresh grapefruit juice, and agave syrup to the shaker with ice.
  • Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice.
  • Infuse the cocktail with hickory smoke using a smoking gun.
  • Garnish with a grilled pineapple wedge for a sweet and spicy summer delight.

Ideally, you’ll also have a “build-your-own drink” station where people create their favorite margarita or other mixed drink, and it’s important to check that you have plenty of glassware and ice for each person.  Generally, it is best to have the beverages further away from the grill so the heat doesn’t affect the ice or the drink ingredients, plus, it can make for a good progression if guests start at one end of the outdoor kitchen and work their way towards the dinner table.

Decorate the Table

Firstly, your backyard dining area is an extension of your home, and you want to decorate it like you would the interior of your house. Adding a centerpiece to the table can provide that pop of color you want, and you can pick some flowers from your garden or put an interesting piece of art on the table.


Creating a Unique Menu

a pair of perfectly plated tri tip tacos

Whilst, there’s nothing wrong with the standard grill fare of hamburgers and hot dogs. That said, if you want to throw a truly unique backyard summer party, start by creating a unique menu.

    • Tri-tip beef can be cooked on your pellet grill and then shredded for tacos. You can complement the main course with some seared vegetables.
    • You’ll of course want to have something sweet for dessert.

Pellet-Grilled Tri-Tip Beef Tacos

  • 2-3 pounds tri-tip beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced red onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges


  1. Prepare the Tri-Tip Beef:
    • Preheat your pellet grill to 375°F (190°C).
    • In a small bowl, mix together the minced garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to create a spice rub.
    • Rub the spice mixture all over the tri-tip beef, ensuring it’s well coated.
    • Place the seasoned tri-tip on the preheated pellet grill and cook for about 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness.
    • During the last 15 minutes of cooking, baste the tri-tip with beef broth to keep it moist.
    • Once done, let the tri-tip rest for 10 minutes before shredding it with two forks.
  2. Assemble the Tacos:
    • Warm the tortillas on the grill or in a dry skillet.
    • Place a generous portion of shredded tri-tip beef on each tortilla.
    • Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, seared vegetables, sliced red onions, and chopped cilantro.
    • Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top.
    • Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious pellet-grilled tri-tip beef tacos!

These tacos are perfect for a flavorful and satisfying meal. Feel free to customize with your favorite toppings and salsa.

Remember, The Outdoor Appliance Store is here to help you make your outdoor gathering dreams come true. Visit us to explore our wide range of high-end outdoor appliances and accessories. Your next unforgettable gathering starts now! Find The Outdoor Appliance Store on LinkedInFacebook, and Instagram for more tips on enhancing your outdoor kitchen.
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