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Ending the Summer with Propane: A Guide to Outdoor Living With Propane

outdoor living with a propane heated swimming pool

Even though our days are shortening, and summer is coming to a close, we still have time to enjoy all the benefits of California outdoor living. Sneak in those last few barbecues, pool days, and nights under the stars. With propane, all your outdoor living dreams are possible.

 

Keep it Cool by the Pool

Children and parents alike want to enjoy their pool for as long as they can during the summer months. The best way to get the most out of your pool is to use a heater powered by propane. According to energy.gov, “As the pump circulates the pool’s water, the water drawn from the pool passes through a filter and then to the heater. The propane burns in a combustion chamber, generating heat that transfers to the water. The water is then returned to the pool.” This process heats the water independent of the outside elements. An electric heat pump or solar system must rely on the heat from the sun to operate efficiently. Using a propane powered pool heater is the fastest way to heat your pool and the only way to do it when outside temperatures dip below 55-degrees Fahrenheit.

An electric powered pool heating system will pull air from outside to heat the water. This is a main reason why when temperatures are lower than 55-degrees outside, an electric option may not work as efficiently. A solar system will rely solely on the heat from the sun. So, if there is no sunshine, your system is not functioning – and who doesn’t enjoy a nighttime swim in the summer? Propane systems will create the heat for the pool water, eliminating the need to rely on the sun and outside temperatures.

 

Heat Up When The Sun Goes Down

Fire Pits

Outdoor fire pits and fireplaces also offer a great ambiance for enjoying not only the last bit of summer nights but year-round as well. While a fireplace will be more extensive – you’ll need to be in touch with a contractor for design and permitting and with Delta Liquid Energy to discuss connecting to your propane line – a portable fire pit can be an easier alternative. Regardless of which option you choose, you can be assured that using a clean burning fuel like propane will add to your outdoor oasis.

When compared to wood burning fire pit options, propane will come out on top as the cleaner option every time. You will have no smoke or floating embers to worry about. Additionally, wood burning fire pits or fireplaces may be restrictive depending on where you live. Some cities will not allow for wood burning outdoor fireplaces or fire pits. Or, they will restrict the days/seasons when you are able to use one.

Another benefit of an outdoor propane powered fireplace or fire pit is versatility. There are so many options for an outdoor fireplace or fire pit! From the stones and materials you can use when putting in a built in option, to the ability to use a mobile unit anywhere in your yard. You can really have fun with whatever option you choose AND most homeowners will find something to fit within a budget.

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind regarding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit courtesy of Awesome Backyard Living:

  1. Use level ground
  2. Keep your fireplace or fire pit a minimum of 10 to 20 feet away from anything flammable, including plants
  3. Don’t use below an overhang
  4. Keep a bucket of sand or a hose nearby in case of an emergency
  5. Educate your family, especially your children, about fire safety
  6. Always adhere to your local fire safety laws

 

Stand-Alone Heaters

Another option if you are looking to heat up your patio is a propane powered stand-alone heater. If you are interested in a more permanent option, you can also mount a heater on your outdoor ceiling. Propane powered heaters can provide up to 25 feet of radiant heat. This means you can enjoy your final summer meals outdoors even when the days are shorter.

Both a portable propane fire pit and a stand-alone heater will require nothing more than a 20-pound propane tank. These can easily be purchased and refilled at most of our Delta Liquid Energy locations. Contact us to find the closest location to you.

 

End Your Day With a Feast for the Family

Using your propane powered grill doesn’t have to pertain only to your main course. You can cook an entire meal outside using clean burning propane. Precision temperature control, even cooking, and easy clean up are all within reach using a propane powered grill. A stand alone works great, or you can incorporate one into a full outdoor kitchen. Outdoor living (and dining!) has never been so simple. We’ve compiled a great salute to summer dinner that can be scaled to any size gathering. Here’s to your final chance to get grilling this summer!

APPETIZER

Grilled shrimp cooked on a propane grill

Wow your family with these tasty Grilled Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp via Bon Appetit. With simple flavors of chili, lime, and garlic these are sure to start your dinner off right. Skewer your peeled and deveined shrimp, hit them with your spices, and place them on the grill. Quick and easy, they’re ready in 10 minutes or less.

MAIN COURSE & SIDES

Barbecue chicken on a propane grill

Grilled chicken is always a crowd pleaser and this Beer-Brined Barbecue Chicken does not disappoint. This recipe came from The Food Network, always a great place to find grilling favorites. A word to the wise, while this recipe is quick to put together on the day of, it does require (or at least strongly advises) prepping the day before. The tart flavors of orange and sweetness of honey in the sauce make it worth it though! Brine this chicken overnight, prepare the sauce a day ahead, and you’ll have quick work when you’re ready to fire up your grill.

Pair your more prep-intensive chicken with a simple grilled vegetable like this Grilled Garlic Parmesan Zucchini we found on All Recipes. All this recipe takes is zucchini, butter, garlic, and Parmesan. Don’t like zucchini? Parmesan cheese isn’t your thing? Either or both could easily be substituted for your veggie and/or cheese of choice!

DESSERT

The grand finale and most important part of any summer cookout is dessert. Yes, even dessert can be made on your propane grill. Everyone enjoys a freshly baked cookie, still warm from the oven, with a little touch of ice cream. This Grilled Skillet Cookie via Charbroil takes that up a notch! You can use this cookie recipe, or your own favorite (even a boxed recipe will work if you are in a pinch) then transfer the dough to a cast iron skillet for barbecuing. Your favorite ice cream and toppings finish this decadent dessert off.

 

With so many ways to enjoy your propane powered backyard for a few more weeks, what are you waiting for? Get grilling, take one last swim, and keep it cozy next to your propane fire pit.

 

Additional Sources and links: 

Want more recipes to add to your propane grill cookbook? Check out our blog post Five Low Cost Grilling Recipes for your Weekend.

More information about propane outdoor living can be found on the PERC website.