If you love to rustle up delicious meals, eat with your family or treat your guests’ palate, you should consider setting up an outdoor kitchen. Such a kitchen would expand your living space and let you entertain friends and family without the need of booking a reservation in an upscale restaurant. Though a majority of homeowners limits their outdoor kitchens to backyard grilling and BBQs in summer, you should think of one that serves you round the year. With the right design, you can enjoy cooking outside even beyond the summer months.
If you are ready to add some fun quotient, value and versatility to your abode with an outdoor kitchen, here are four tips for you to remember:
- Choose a suitable site: According to some landscaping experts, there is no such thing as the "right" spot for an outdoor kitchen. While some may prefer a freestanding kitchen by the pool, some others may opt for a BBQ area just outside their home’s back door. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide what would suit your needs and style the best. Usually, most homeowners prefer a kitchen near the house as it offers several benefits. Firstly, the walls and the roof of the house offer protection to the culinary station and appliances from the sun and the wind. Secondly, running utility lines from the house to the nearby outdoor kitchen is usually cost-effective. However, you can opt for far-flung locations too, especially when you are looking for a fully outfitted space with adequate storage for your kitchen essentials like mixing bowls, dishes, condiments and tools.
- Select the layout: Straight-line kitchens, U-shaped kitchens and kitchen islands are some of the common layouts for you to consider. Straight-line kitchens are perfect for budget-friendly, smaller spaces. Such a kitchen can accommodate a solitary cook at a time. In case you plan your straight-line kitchen against the wall of the house, you should consult a landscaping professional to select non-combustible materials for protecting the siding. U-shaped kitchens are ideal when you have a large space and want to transform your outdoor kitchen into your backyard’s ultimate focal point. Such spacious, freestanding kitchens usually have a refrigerator, grill, sink, dishwasher and a bar area. The island layout, which groups all appliances and the grill together in one central unit, is the ideal choice for creating an entertaining hub.
- Keep an eye on the measurements: Landscaping professionals advise you to keep adequate landing and storage areas in your outdoor kitchen, which many often tend to forget. For example, you should keep landing areas of 12" and 24" on the left and right of your pizza oven or grill respectively. The sinks should have landing areas of 18" on both the right and left sides, while 12" is the ideal landing area measurement for both sides of your burner/cook top. You shouldn’t forget to ensure adequate work space and storage in your outdoor kitchen as well.
- Stick to your budget: Starting from picking up the right appliances to creating the right ambiance with specialty lighting, chairs, tables and other decorative objects, you have outdoor kitchens with a wide variety of style and functionality. However, you should have a predetermined budget in mind to avoid extravagance. After all, your ultimate aim should be to bring your indoor comfort and safety to your outside setting.
Armed with these tips, you may get ready to have your own outdoor kitchen this season.