How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen makes it easy to host parties, cook for your family, and just spend more time in your welcoming backyard. But if your home doesn’t already have an outdoor kitchen, you may need to design and install one from scratch.
What’s the best way to go about it?
Why an Outdoor Kitchen?
If you’re not convinced about the value of an outdoor kitchen, consider the following:
- Grilling and smoking. Grilling, smoking, and other forms of food preparation practically require outside space. Open air makes it much easier to ventilate – so you’re not forced to inhale smoke.
- Entertaining. With an outdoor kitchen, you can cook and entertain your guests simultaneously. You and all your guests can enjoy the outdoors together in a shared space with impressive utility.
- Additional cooking space. In some cases, you may find your indoor kitchen too small or too limiting for the food you need to prepare. With both an indoor and outdoor kitchen, you can have two cooks working at once.
- Easier cleanup. Depending on what you’re cooking, an outdoor kitchen can lend itself to easier cleanup.
So how can you go about designing the perfect outdoor kitchen?
Set Your Goals
The “perfect” outdoor kitchen is going to look different for different people, due to different goals, perspectives, and preferences. Before you start designing your outdoor kitchen from scratch, you’ll want to take some time to set your goals, such as:
- Purpose. How will you be using this kitchen? Is it mostly for parties and entertaining, or for daily cooking use?
- Frequency of use. How often do you plan on using this? Will it be used daily or reserved for special occasions?
- Budget. Importantly, how much are you willing to spend? Certain materials and options may not be in your budget.
- Design. What overall aesthetic are you aiming for? How should your outdoor kitchen look and feel?
Choose the Right Materials
One of the earliest decisions you’ll need to make is selecting the right materials for your countertops and walls. Adding stone walls to an outdoor kitchen can instantly make it feel polished – yet perfectly in line with the outdoors. And a granite, natural stone, or even concrete countertop can be ideal for cooking in this environment.
Hire Good Plumbers and Electricians
You’ll likely need a plumbing and/or electrical hookup to ensure your outdoor kitchen is fully operational. Plumbing and electricity are two areas where a lot can go wrong – so it pays to hire experienced professionals to do the job. Choose contractors you trust for this work.
Carefully Consider Your Flooring and Drainage
The flooring of your outdoor kitchen is probably going to take a lot of abuse from spills, foot traffic, and the natural weather. Accordingly, you’ll need to choose the right type of flooring and ensure it has adequate drainage. Concrete floors work especially well for outdoor kitchens.
Include Venting If You Have a Structure Overhead
If you’re cooking outside, you may feel like the abundance of fresh air should make it easy for the smoke and aromas to disperse. But in many cases, it pays to install a vent hood. If you have a structure overhead, such as a patio cover or a traditional ceiling, it’s important to properly ventilate the area to avoid damage.
Allow for Plenty of Space
One of the advantages of an outdoor kitchen is that it gives people the opportunity to walk around and explore. To this end, it’s important to allow for plenty of space. When designing the layout of your kitchen and dining area, give yourself and your guests ample room to get from one place to the other.
Remember the Importance of Storage
Many outdoor kitchen planners skimp on storage options and end up regretting such. It’s a good idea to install some cabinetry outside, near your equipment, so you can have quick access to plates, utensils, cookware, and other items. You’ll miss it if you don’t have it.
Invest in the Right Furniture
Once your kitchen starts coming together, you’ll want to invest in some high-quality outdoor furniture. Select pieces that vibe with your overall aesthetic, but make sure you get something comfortable as well. Your guests will thank you.
Add Lighting and Music for a Perfect Finishing Touch
To make your outdoor kitchen even more beautiful and inviting, consider installing some additional lighting and music options. High-quality, well-placed speakers and gentle, atmospheric lighting can completely transform the space.
Once complete, your outdoor kitchen can be a practical oasis for your family and friends, giving you a chance to cook and eat dinner while enjoying fresh air and open space. A bit of ongoing maintenance will be all it takes to keep your outdoor kitchen in the best possible condition.
Thank you for reading How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen