Outdoor kitchens are all the rage in home building and renovations these days and why not? When the weather is fantastic, cooking in a stuffy kitchen feels suffocating. When you have guests, moving the party to your back deck so you can enjoy the evening air will make entertaining incredibly enjoyable. Imagine cooking up your delicious dinner outdoors with everything at your fingertips, rather than running back and forth to your kitchen. The convenience itself is worth it.
An outdoor kitchen is also an extension of your living space. It gives guests another place to congregate and socialize. Grilling outdoors is a part of the American culture thus an outdoor kitchen to accommodate your favorite grilled recipes and patio barbeque dinners just makes sense. When you are designing your outdoor kitchen, here are a few tips to get you started.
Plan the layout
As you get started on this exciting project, you will need to decide where things will go. L and U-shaped designs are very popular as they give aesthetic appeal and convenience while cooking. Determine where the seating and tables in relation to the kitchen area and where appliances should be installed.
Choose durable countertops
The ability to prepare your food outside will be tremendously beneficial. A countertop that can withstand wear and tear, the elements as well as heat and cold is ideal. Granite, soapstone are great ideas for your outdoor kitchen. Not only does it bring an attractive element of class and sophistication to your cooking and entertaining space, these countertops are the best for outdoor kitchen areas since they are the most durable options. They also do well in hot, cold and wet environments. Water cannot warp them and with proper care, they will look beautiful for many years. Build the countertop around a sink and bring your outdoor cooking experience to a new level.
Cabinets and drawers to store everything
When cooking outdoors, having all the utensils, dishes and cooking tools you will need right at your fingertips makes a huge difference. When you are running back and forth between your outdoor grill and kitchen for supplies, it can be a stressful workout. Building cabinet and drawers to house items for all your outdoor cooking and serving needs will be an incredible help. Select the materials for your cabinets carefully. Wood is beautiful but if your outdoor kitchen will be exposed easily to rain, sleet or snow, these cabinets could be easily damaged. Stainless steel cabinets or those with a durable, waterproof finish are recommended.
Decide which appliances you want
The appliances for your outdoor kitchen will determine the accessibility and ease of your experience. There are a wide variety of appliances to select from and based on your habits and preferences, you can choose what is right for you.
- Grill: This seems like a must as grilling is the highlight of an outdoor kitchen. Whether you choose to leave it freestanding and portable or built-in is up to you.
- Refrigerator: Many people opt for a built-in mini fridge but this is a personal preference. A larger refrigerator can hold more drinks and grilling items so if a smaller cooling unit is inadequate for your style, opt for a larger one.
- Smoker: Smokers are popular choices and it would be good to consider placing a smoker next to the grill.
- Ice maker: How wonderful would it be to always have ice for cold drinks right at your fingertips? An ice maker is a nice luxury.
- Kegerator: This is a new, trendy item in outdoor kitchens. A built-in kegerator with at least two taps gives you the option for cold beer at the push of a button. You can even fill the taps with soda pop for the kids!
- Brick oven: What is better than wood fired pizza in a brick oven? Imagine bringing that deliciousness to your next dinner party? A brick oven is a popular choice for outdoor kitchens and your guests will not disagree.
Decide which appliances are right for your outdoor kitchen and make a space for them in your layout plans.
Plan for shade and shelter
It will be hard to enjoy an outdoor kitchen without shade. Grilling and cooking with the sun beating down upon your back will be miserable. While some of your guests will enjoy a seat in a sunny spot, it’s nice to have seating options in the shade. If your outdoor space does not already have it, building a cover over your patio or deck will help you enjoy this area so much more.
A patio table with an attached umbrella is also a nice touch to abate the heat while eating. Covering your outdoor kitchen, patio and deck also means that outdoor grilling and dining is possible if there is rain. There is nothing more enjoyable than watching a good summer rainstorm from the protection of a deck as you sip a tasty drink and chat with friends and family.
Stay warm and cozy
You don’t want to only use your outdoor kitchen 3-4 months out of the year when it’s warm, do you? Finding a way to provide a bit of warmth on a chilly or winter day means you can enjoy your outdoor kitchen year round. Standing heaters, a fireplace or a fire pit are nice additions to your space to keep you cozy and allow you to enjoy all seasons from the comfort of your deck or patio.
Install adequate lighting
Because most patio dining is done during dinnertime, plan for how you will light up your space so you do not have to retire inside once the sun sets. Overhead, installed lights or a few strands of cozy outdoor lights strung above will be appreciated as night falls. Installing brighter lights near the cooking area is a good idea so you can see the tasks at hand well. Softer lighting near the seating area sets the mood, creating the perfect ambiance.
A perfect place to relax and socialize
When your outdoor kitchen is finished, you will love the added space it delivers for parties and entertaining. Arch City Granite is your best choice for premium granite slabs for outdoor kitchen countertops, tabletops, outdoor fireplace mantles and much, much more! Bring that element of beauty and sophistication to your outdoor entertaining space with a beautiful selection of granite, quartz, marble and soapstone from Arch City Granite.