Transform your backyard or patio into the ultimate outdoor kitchen.
Preparing and enjoying meals outdoors has become more popular as homeowners have come to see just how appealing alfresco preparation areas can be. Having originated in the southwest, outdoor kitchens are now easy to be find all over the country. Companies are creating entire lines of outdoor appliances that let you entertain outside just as easily as you can inside.
Before designing and creating the ultimate outdoor kitchen, consider these tips:
Outdoor Kitchen Design Principles: In planning your outdoor kitchen you will need to consider how much it will be used and whether it will be just a small part of your deck/ patio or a fully functional outdoor kitchen. Will this area be mostly for family dining or for full-on guest entertainment? Each spot of your outdoor kitchen should have a designated zone, such as inside your home. Refrigeration, grills and cooktops, sinks and dry areas (prep counters and storage) must all work together effectively in proper proximity. There should also be a nice place to enjoy the food after it has been prepared.
Grill Selections: Determine whether you will want a freestanding grill or an outdoor grilling island. Just like an indoor kitchen island, the outdoor grilling island includes masonry with cabinets. Custom masonry grilling islands offer unlimited design and material choices. You might also choose a prefabricated grilling island. These prefab islands come in a few basic configurations and exterior finishes. Most are offered with grill, access doors and are fully assembled. Be sure to also think about kitchen equipment and supplies needed to have a successful outdoor cooking experience. Storage and refrigeration are important.
Materials for a Long Lasting Kitchen: You want your outdoor kitchen to successfully stand up to the elements and be easy to clean. Stone is an often suggested durable material for outdoor construction. Unlike wood; stone, brick, segmental block and most cast veneers do not require much maintenance and will withstand the harsh outdoor weather. Another benefit of Masonry is that it will outperform wood framed units and achieve any design challenge.. High-quality stainless steel provides a sanitary surface for refrigerators and grills. It is easily cleaned and corrosion-resistant in harsh environments.
Kitchen Utilities: The location of the outdoor kitchen and the equipment within the kitchen can greatly affect the installation or placement of the necessary gas, water and electrical supply. Outdoor Kitchens need power for lighting, rotisseries, refrigeration and convenience. Gas hook up can be the defining factor on location and size of the grill. Sinks need running water and a waste line to the appropriate outlet. Outdoor lighting is crucial for any outdoor enjoyment – it is always more pleasant to see what you are eating and those around you. If you do not have ample lighting on paths and steps, you must have them installed for safety purposes.
Overhead structures: Consider an overhead structure such as a pergola, covered pavilion, weaved canvas or even a shade tree. The summer sun can often be too hot to sit and enjoy, or even cook. There are many manufactures offering kits specific to outdoor kitchens in various materials. A pergola or covered pavilion can be added later if initially included in the design. You have the opportunity to add lighting, fans and even a flatscreen to catch the game.
By addressing each of these topics, you can create an outdoor kitchen that will entertain and excite year after year.