Memorial Day Meals: 3 of Our Team’s Favorite Weekend-Ready Grilling Recipes 

May 24, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living

This year, as Memorial Day is remembered, let’s also celebrate the spirit of togetherness and gratitude by gathering on our patios and firing up the grill. At TCP Houston, while we specialize in crafting personalized, custom outdoor spaces, our team is no stranger to the grill. Here are a few of our favorite recipes for your long weekend.

Rob’s Smoked Turkey

Don’t be afraid to smoke turkey! The key to turning frozen boneless turkey breast into a tender and juicy crowd-pleaser: the brine and the internal temp! Don’t let it smoke too long and you can’t miss on this one. 

Tip: Use the same recipe for a turkey roast for a smaller gathering.


  • 3-5lb frozen boneless turkey breast

Ingredients for the Brine:

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • Feel free to add additional flavoring – I like to add a bay leaf and cut up pieces of citrus (lemon, lime, orange, apples, etc.)

Ingredients for the Rub:

  • First up, we begin with the BBQ Basics:
  • Brown Sugar
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • After that, we add in some delicious herbs to help round out this turkey seasoning:
  • Crushed Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Celery Salt


  • Thaw the turkey completely before placing in the brine for at least 8-12 hours. Rob likes to give it as much as 36 hours. 
  • Put the turkey breast into a 2-gallon freezer bag or a large pot with a lid and refrigerate it.

Preparing the Smoker:

  • When you’re ready to smoke the turkey, drain the brine, pat it dry, let it approach room temperature, and add a rub of your choice.
  • Rob uses an offset smoker, but a ceramic grill, Green Egg, or pellet grill will produce great results here. Modify as needed for your particular type of smoker. To add extra flavor, use fruit wood, particularly apple and/or cherry wood, in your fire. 
  • As with all meat smoking, go low and slow, in the 250-275 range.

Adding the Rub:

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, using a fork to break up any chunks. This seasoning is ready to use immediately, or you can prep it ahead of time and store it in an airtight glass container up to a month in advance.
  • After the brine from the turkey breast is drained and the breast has been patted dry, generously rub the entire turkey with the seasoning mixture. Let this sit until the smoker has reached a consistent, reliable temperature in the 250-275 range. 

Smoking the Turkey

  • It will take 3-3.5 hours to fully smoke a turkey breast when your smoker consistently runs at 250-275 degrees. 
  • Wrapping the turkey during cooking is unnecessary because it’s a quick smoke. The most reliable method for determining when the turkey breast is done is to get an internal temperature reading with a meat thermometer. While the internal temperature should eventually reach 165, take the turkey off when it hits 160 and let it rest (covered or in foil). 
  • The turkey will be ready to eat within 15 minutes.

Katherine’s Soy Ginger Orange Grilled Chicken

Pouring orange and lemon juice on skewers with raw turkey meat with sweet and spicy rub on dark background

Looking for a recipe you can make in advance? This one’s easy to make on a gas grill. You can meal prep by placing the chicken in a Ziplock baggie and adding the sauce. This is even good to prep and freeze. Take it out of the freezer in the morning or the night before and let it thaw. It adds a ton of flavor to the chicken as it is defrosting.


  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (Butterfly them if they’re too thick)
  • 1/3 cup Light Soy sauce – (light sodium)
  • 3/4 cup Orange Juice 
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp Orange Peel
  • 1-2 Tbsp Honey (Brown Sugar also works)
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Paprika (more if you want it spicier)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *Sometimes Katherine adds a little oregano for a different flavor.

How to Make It: 

  • Mix the marinade up and pour over the chicken. Let it sit for at least an hour if you’re not going to freeze it for a later meal. 
  • Heat the grill to about 400 degrees.  
  • Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 3 minutes, flipping it over for 3 more minutes. Then, depending on the thickness of the chicken, you will need to do another 2 minutes or so on each side. The total grill time should be in the 10-12 minute range. Each time you turn the chicken, use a brush to add more of the marinade to it.
  • After you take them off the grill, let them sit for about 4-5 minutes, then serve. They are great over rice or with grilled veggies. 

Brian’s BBQ Portabella Mushroom Burritos

Shawarma roll in foil on a bright orange background

It’s a yummy option for the vegetarians in your life–and anyone looking to eat just a little lighter. This serves 4 as a main course.  


  • 1 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought – a good savory/sweet sauce is best)
  • 2 (6 oz) packages of portabella mushroom caps, cleaned
  • 1 (15 oz) can fat-free vegetarian refried beans (either regular or black beans)
  • Dash of hot sauce – whatever your favorite is!
  • 8 (10 inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • ½ cup Vidalia (or other sweet onion) peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes thinly sliced

How to make it: 

  • Spray the grill rack lightly with cooking spray.
  • Brush 1/3 cup BBQ sauce over both sides of the mushroom caps.  Place them on the grill rack and grill 6-8 minutes per side. 
  • While those are grilling, warm the beans in a microwave-safe bowl. Season the beans with the hot sauce to your taste.  (You can add additional flavors if you desire) 
  • Wrap the tortillas in foil and place them on the grill to warm or in a 300 degree oven.  Don’t overheat the tortillas!
  • Warm up the remaining BBQ sauce for dipping.
  • Remove the mushroom caps from the grill and slice into thin slices. 
  • Assemble your burrito: spread the beans on the tortilla, add the mushroom slices and top with the onion and tomato. Roll up the tortillas, cut them in half and serve with the dipping sauce.  

Let’s fire up the grill, raise a toast, and commemorate Memorial Day with sizzle and flavor! From our team’s favorite recipes to your alfresco get-together, let the smell of barbecue and the laughter of loved ones fill the air. Here’s to a day of good food, great company, and memorable moments as we honor our heroes.

Fire It Up: Celebrating National Barbecue Month with 4 Recipes from Our Team

May 24, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living

As the days become longer and temperatures rise (and rise), it’s time to fire up the grill for National Barbecue Month. At TCP Houston, our team of custom patio builders and designers boasts several grill masters eager to share their favorite recipes. From smoky ribs to zesty grilled veggies, enjoy the irresistible flavors and expert tips for perfecting your backyard barbecue experience.

Dean’s Grilled Sweet Corn Recipe

It’s a delicious side and a family favorite. 


  • Fresh ears of sweet corn
  • Butter
  • Spicy seasoning like Knack Attack 

How to Make It: 

  • Shuck the husks on the corn, then place each ear in its piece of foil.  
  • Add your seasoning, a pat of butter (about a Tbsp), and an ice cube.     
  • Wrap the foil around the corn and twist the ends.
  • Grill at 350-400 degrees for a total of about 14 minutes.  Flip them over halfway through.
  • Unwrap carefully and serve. 

Ryan’s Pulled Pork Recipe

If you have a Green Egg, Ceramic Cooker, or smoker, this recipe is for you. It’s great to take to a party or to have for your own backyard bash.

Roasted pork belly with crispy skin on dark background.


  • 10-lb Pork Butt 
  • Mustard
  • Pork Rub (Ryan uses HEB brand)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Slider Rolls
  • Optional: BBQ sauce of your choice

How to Make It: 

  • Prepare the smoker – get the temperature to about 225 degrees.
  • Lightly rub the meat with mustard. 
  • Combine 1 cup of Pork Rub with 1 cup of brown sugar.  
  • Apply the dry rub to the pork butt, making sure you cover the entire piece.
  • Cook low and slow. Once the pork reaches 165 degrees, wrap it in foil or brown paper. Place it back on the grill and smoke until it reaches 205 degrees. 
  • Let pork cool until you can handle it, then shred it. 
  • Serve on tiny buns with a sauce of your choosing if you desire.

Mike’s North Carolina Jalapeno Poppers

A twist on the regular jalapeno popper! This makes a great appetizer for any outdoor (or indoor) gathering.

Toasts with cream cheese and avocado wrapped in bacon


  • Jalapenos (Split and de-seeded)
  • Pimento Cheese (store bought or homemade)
  • Bacon slices
  • BBQ sauce 

How to Make It: 

  • Line a grill-friendly pan with foil.  
  • Fill in each jalapeno with pimento cheese and wrap a piece of bacon around it. Lightly glaze with the BBQ sauce. 
  • Grill around 350-400 degrees, offset from the fire, for 20-30 minutes until the bacon is done. 

Brandon’s 3-2-1 Ribs

Start this rib recipe early in the morning for lunch, which is worth the time. 

Delicious ribs with thyme and spices on grill


  • Pork Spare Ribs or Baby Back Ribs (membrane from the back removed)
  • 1/3 cup Yellow Mustard
  • ¼ cup Apple Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • For the Rub: 1 Tablespoon each of Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Salt, Ground Pepper, Paprika, plus ½ cup brown sugar
  • Additional sauce: ½ cup Brown Sugar, 1/3 cup Honey (warmed), ¼ cup Apple Juice

How to Make It: 

  • Combine the mustard, apple juice, and Worcestershire sauce together and spread evenly on the ribs. 
  • Combine the ingredients for the rub and then apply to the ribs. Don’t be shy with the rub!
  • Set the smoker to 180 degrees and smoke the ribs with the meat side up for 3 hours, uncovered. 
  • Next, increase the temperature to 225 degrees and wrap the ribs lightly in foil. Before closing the foil, mix the additional sauce and drizzle it on top. If you want the ribs more tender, use more apple juice. Put the ribs back on the grill for a further 2 hours. 
  • Remove the foil and brush all sides with BBQ sauce of your choice (homemade or store bought – Sweet Baby Ray’s is a good choice). Place the unwrapped ribs directly on the grill and allow them to cook at 225 degrees for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. 

With National Barbecue Month in full swing, there’s no better time to ignite your passion for outdoor cooking and elevate your grilling game. From our team to yours, we hope these delectable recipes and insider tips inspire you to gather your loved ones, fire up the grill, and create unforgettable memories in your own custom outdoor oasis. 

Project of the Month: May 2024

May 24, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

When it comes to your backyard space, sometimes what’s there just isn’t enough. That was the case with our May Project of the Month. The small deck in the back had served its purpose, but the homeowner was ready with a vision for a brand-new look. Enter the screened-in porch! 

The gabled roof was designed to match the existing roofline of the home. 

By fully enclosing the space, we could provide the additional space they desired, extending the back of the home by roughly 420 SF. 

The new space has a vaulted ceiling with Real Soffit pre-stained tongue and groove in West Coast IPA. The center beam is stained slightly darker to add a bit of depth and contrast.

The columns between the screens are painted smooth hardie plank in color chosen by the homeowner to create the look she desired. 

All eyes are on the focal point, the gas fireplace. It’s finished with Brick X Brick tile by Alison Victoria Pearl from The Tile Shop. The gas logs are from Cunningham Living. 



  • To create the feeling of an extended indoor space, flooring in Absolute Slate Grey 12×24 porcelain tiles was selected from QDI Surfaces. 
  • Sometimes, it’s the small details that bring a space to life. That’s the case with the indirect step lights added along the step down from the home to the ground level.  

Show stopper of a lighting feature

  • A showstopper of a lighting feature and two ceilings were selected by the homeowner and incorporated into the design for a comfortable, modern look.
  • Finally, on the outside, between the garage and the screened porch, large stepping stones and black star gravel were added to form a walkway. 

Now completed, this new space is the owner’s favorite room in the home.

To create a custom patio built to match your home and style, reach out today, and let’s chat about your vision for the space. 

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

Project of the Month: April 2024

April 24, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

Integrating a patio with a pool for our April Project of the Month.

In Texas, shade in the backyard is mandatory. To enjoy their outdoor space, these homeowners came to us for an escape from the sun and updates to their existing pool. They needed something more permanent than a cumbersome umbrella they had to replace yearly.

So, we set out to design a space focused on comfort, a total transformation built for unwinding, cooking, and dining. We’ll walk you through the updates we made to create the new 550 SF patio.

Let’s start with the pool. We completely updated the decking and removed the pea gravel. 


Integrating the Pool and Patio

  • Outdoor-rated porcelain Keystone Tile extends throughout the entire space, bringing the pool and patio together.

The Vaulted Ceilings

  • The vaulted ceiling is a pre-stained tongue and groove chosen to complement the existing siding on the house.

Bromic Heaters for Usage Year-round.

  • Sleek, understated Bromic heaters were added to ensure the space could be used year-round, even during our coldest Texas winters.

Adding the Full Outdoor Kitchen for the Ultimate Dining Experience

  • The outdoor kitchen has a triple burner Le Griddle, doors, and drawers from Cunningham Living. 
  • The Aspen White granite countertop from Daltile was extended to create additional seating behind the bar.  

Now, with all the comforts of home, the patio is now the family’s favorite room of the home. 

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

Project of the Month: March 2024

March 18, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

Eye on the Design: A Detailed Look at our March Project of the Month

At TCP Custom Outdoor Living, we work with all kinds of homeowners. Some have no idea what they want, and we help them figure it out. Others know exactly what they want, and we help bring it to life. We are looking back at a great project we completed in 2017. It is truly a classic and certainly withstands the test of time.

Here are just a few of the special touches that made this project feel like a natural extension of the home. 


The Finishes 

  • The key to the project, and something that adds so much polish to the final result, was the finishes, including the gently curved corbels and rack bracing to match the beams and columns. It’s all finished in cedar. 

A Friendly Sense of Enclosure

  • A stone seat wall with cast stone caps and low-voltage lighting surrounds the entire project.

That Stunning Ceiling 

  • We used tongue and groove pine that has been white-washed to contrast with the darker beams.

The Focal Point Fireplace 

The wood-burning fireplace was designed with a unique taper look that complements the pitch of the roof perfectly. Vaulting the ceiling allowed us to really make that fireplace soar. 

The Gabled Side Entrance 

We always put a lot of care and thought into creating patios with multiple entrances. This one is equally impressive if you step out the back door or come in from the yard. 

The Outdoor Kitchen with Room to Cook

We wrapped the counter around the space to make for a larger food prep and service area that ensures the kitchen is as functional as it is beautiful. 

The Floor that Brings It All Together

This stone tile was selected to really complement the stone on the fireplace, kitchen, knee wall, and even the ceiling. It’s durable and easy to clean as well. 

Hill Country Charm with Scandinavian Accents

TCP Outdoor Living’s innovative design transformed this unused yard into a contemporary, highly functional entertainment space.

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

Project of the Month: February 2024

February 12, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

Transforming a Small Yard into a Luxurious Outdoor Oasis

A family in Houston had a modest backyard with an existing pool but no shade or designated outdoor living area. They wanted to create a contemporary outdoor oasis that felt like an extension of their home. TCP Outdoor Living took on the challenge of designing a functional and stylish outdoor living space within the constraints of their small urban lot.


Creating an Outdoor Living Room


  • The clients desired a covered outdoor living room large enough for entertaining and everyday relaxation.
  • TCP built a 450-square-foot outdoor living room with vaulted ceilings that connect the home to the garage.
  • The tongue and groove ceiling is pre-stained Smokey Bourbon by Woodtone, adding warmth and personality.
  • The concrete flooring has a spray deck coating for a clean, contemporary look.

Building the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

  • A 20-foot outdoor kitchen provides ample prepping and cooking space.
  • TCP designed and installed a privacy wall with Choctaw Tan stone to replace the fence.
  • The countertops are Tan Brown granite from a local supplier.
  • The kitchen has top-of-the-line appliances like a grill, beverage center, vent hood, doors, and more.

Adding Shade Elements

  • Bromic heaters and ceiling fans keep the space comfortable year-round.
  • A pergola with a privacy wall was built over the hot tub, matching the kitchen wall.
  • TCP added an overhead pergola cover system.
  • Another pergola and cover at the end of the pool create space for a daybed.

The clients now have the outdoor oasis they dreamed of, perfectly customized within their compact backyard.

TCP Outdoor Living’s innovative design transformed this unused yard into a contemporary, highly functional entertainment space.

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

So Fresh and So Clean: Maintaining Your Outdoor Kitchen

December 15, 2023 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Outdoor Safety

An outdoor kitchen is one of the most luxurious additions to your outdoor space. But with the food, drinks, and constant exposure to the elements, cleaning and maintaining it in top condition becomes challenging. Let’s explore some tips on how to keep your outdoor kitchen sparkling clean:

Before cleaning, invest in the right tools. A good-quality broom, mop, or scrub brush can make all the difference in removing grime and stains. When cleaning wooden surfaces, opt for eco-friendly cleaning solutions.

Cleaning and maintaining your outdoor kitchen is like cleaning your indoor kitchen. After each use, you should wipe down counters, clean up spills and messes, and empty the grease trap in your grill. A messy outdoor kitchen may attract urban wildlife like possums, raccoons, and rodents.

Stainless steel and cast iron grills require special attention to avoid rusting. Use warm water, mild detergent, and a soft cloth to clean the grates after every use. Apply a light coating of vegetable oil to prevent rust buildup. Use a wire brush, sandpaper, or a commercial rust remover for larger rust spots.

Outdoor kitchen countertops are subject to frequent use, spills, and scratches. Clean them regularly with soap and water and dry them to avoid water spots. Use cutting boards to avoid direct cutting on the countertop, and wipe them down frequently.

Last, protection is key to keeping your outdoor kitchen in excellent condition. Invest in a cover to protect it from rain, snow, and UV rays, and store utensils and equipment in a dry, safe place. Empty and clean the grill after every use, and avoid using abrasive tools that could scratch the surfaces.

A properly cleaned and maintained outdoor kitchen looks great and ensures longevity, safety, and functionality. Following these expert tips, you can keep your outdoor kitchen pristine and ready to impress your guests 

Contact us today to learn more about starting your patio process.

3 Tips for Choosing the Best Patio Dinner and Drinkware

October 10, 2023 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Fall is here, and what better way to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather than by hosting a dinner party on your patio? Outdoor dining has become increasingly popular over the years, and for good reason. Nothing beats the fresh air, the beautiful view, and the relaxed atmosphere of eating outside. One way to elevate your outdoor dining experience is by choosing the proper dinner and drinkware for your patio. Let’s discuss the various types of outdoor dinnerware and drinkware available and how to choose the best options for your patio.

Choosing Your Material

When choosing dinnerware for your patio, one of the first things to consider is the material. Porcelain, ceramic, and stoneware are significant options durable enough to withstand outdoor use. Avoid using glassware or delicate dishes that can easily break. Melamine is also suitable for outdoor dinnerware since it’s shatterproof and lightweight, and bamboo plates and utensils are also available if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option.

Choosing Your Dinnerware

Another consideration is the dinnerware style, pulling inspiration from rustic, modern, coastal, and more. Remember that your choice of dinnerware should match the overall aesthetic of your patio. Pay attention to the colors and patterns to ensure your dinnerware complements the surrounding décor.

Choosing Your Drinkware

Regarding drinkware, plastic cups are a staple for outdoor use, but other options are available. Stainless steel tumblers and wine glasses are sleek, modern, and durable. Acrylic glasses are similar in appearance to glass but are shatterproof and lightweight. For a more classic look, consider using mason jars as drinking glasses. They are versatile and can be used for water, soda, or cocktails.

Don’t forget to consider outdoor-friendly serving trays and utensils as well. Melamine, bamboo, and stainless steel offer fantastic plates, bowls, and utensil options. Outdoor serving trays can be made from metal, bamboo, or even resin and still match the style of your patio dinnerware and drinkware.

Upgrading your outdoor dining experience doesn’t have to be complicated. Choosing the proper dinner and drinkware can elevate your patio’s style without sacrificing functionality. Keep durability, style, and material in mind when selecting your dinnerware and drinkware, and don’t be afraid to have fun with it. With the right items, your patio will be the perfect place to unwind, entertain guests, and enjoy delicious alfresco meals.

Ready to transform your patio? Call or contact us here, and we’ll be ready to help through every step of the way.

Holiday Recap: 20 Years of TCP Custom Outdoor Living Projects

December 11, 2023 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

For two decades, TCP Custom Outdoor Living has been providing beautiful and functional outdoor living spaces, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our fabulous customers. 

From humble beginnings to becoming an award-winning company, we’ve had the pleasure of working on some of the most incredible projects across the state. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’re taking a moment to reflect on some of the highlights and express our sincere gratitude to all who have chosen us for their outdoor living needs.

It’s not just about the patios; it’s about the people. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know our customers so we could work together to bring their outdoor visions to life. We’ve had some of the most rewarding experiences with families who now have a backyard to host family reunions, birthday parties, or a quiet night under the stars. It’s been an honor to help create those moments for our customers.

As we celebrate 20 years of TCP, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our customers over the years. We are grateful for your trust in us and are always humbled by the positive impact our projects have on your lives. We’re excited to continue building beautiful outdoor living spaces for many years and hope to develop more unforgettable moments for our customers. 

A handful of the nearly 3,000 projects we’ve built since 2004. 

If you’re considering upgrading or building your patio, contact us today to help write the next 20 years of TCP Custom Outdoor Living. Contact us today!

Project of the Month: January 2024

January 16, 2024 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

This residence featured a modest covered space at the rear, accompanied by a simple paver patio. Situated adjacent to a branch of the Buffalo Bayou, the homeowners were eager to transform this area into their dream backyard sanctuary.


This home had a large backyard with plenty of space to create their dream outdoor space.


The client wanted to have a pool built and add an updated outdoor living space to go with it.

1,400 Sq Ft of new concrete was poured to accommodate the new covered space and the pool decking. For this request, we resized some of the 2nd-floor windows to build the new covered patio.

The new covered space is about 550 sq ft. and includes the larger area off the end and the smaller covered space along the home. This designed space has plenty of room for a sitting area, dining area, and outdoor kitchen.

The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Experience

Coming off the indoor kitchen and breakfast area, this new space is just a few steps out the back door.

The outdoor kitchen has RCS brand appliances – a grill, fridge, and storage. There is plenty of counter space for prep work and for serving up a great meal. The granite is Colonial Gold from Daltile.

It’s now the perfect setting for relaxation! The ceiling is West Coast IPA pre-stained tongue and groove by Woodtone. The flooring is Loire Beige 24X36 porcelain pavers from QDI and the stone used throughout the project is Chopped Blanco with color from Rock Materials.

Reach out for a free consultation, and let’s make it happen. Contact us today!

Have a project in mind? We work throughout the Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth areas.

Our Customers Love Us

We are in love with our new living space. Steven did a great job taking our thoughts and turning them into reality. His crews were professional. I love all the details that were included with Texas Custom Patios!

© 2024 TCP Custom Outdoor Living

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