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outdoor thanksgiving

Maura Friedman


Here's how to throw an all-outdoor Thanksgiving

Forget stuffy dining rooms and overheated kitchens. This year, bring your Thanksgiving into the great outdoors.

Here in the South, where we often are still donning tee shirts and sandals into November, we are uniquely positioned to bring our holiday celebrations onto our porches, patios and backyards. Not only does this strategy add a little fresh air to the feast, it also gives you and your guests plenty of room to move around, as well as the opportunity to innovate and experiment with your menu.

And while it may sound intimidating to switch up your Thanksgiving traditions, it is really quite easy to modify (and dare we say improve upon) those holiday classics by cooking them outdoors.

In this multi-part story, we will lay the groundwork for your best Thanksgiving ever, all outdoors.
The Menu
Moving Thanksgiving outside doesn't require too much of a different mindset than any other year. All you need to do is think: Can I cook this in my backyard?
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The Table
Don't fret too much about setting the perfect Thanksgiving table. By making clever choices about your dinnerware and truly letting your food shine, the perfect table is easy to achive.
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The Drinks and Activities
Complete your outdoor Thanksgiving with tubs full of cold beer, a marshmallow-toasting fire pit and plenty of lawn games.
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Thank you to The Magnolias and Atlanta Fine Homes | Sotheby’s International Realty for providing the space for our outdoor Thanksgiving. ​​

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Kate Williams is the former editor-in-chief of Southern Kitchen. She was also the on-air personality on our podcast, Sunday Supper. She's worked in food since 2009, including a two-year stint at America’s Test Kitchen. Kate has been a personal chef, recipe developer, the food editor at a hyperlocal news site in Berkeley and a freelance writer for publications such as Serious Eats, Anova Culinary, The Cook’s Cook and Berkeleyside. Kate is also an avid rock climber and occasionally dabbles in long-distance running. She makes a mean peach pie and likes her bourbon neat.