For me, every meal tastes better al fresco. If you agree and love preparing and eating food outside, it’s time for you to expand your living space and invest in an outdoor kitchen. It will allow you and your family and friends to spend time outside while making tasty lunches or hosting fun dinner parties. In case you don’t know where to start with your design, here are some outdoor kitchen design tips for every outdoorsy chef.
Carefully plan the location
One of the first rules of building: location, location, location! Probably the most common mistake people make when designing their outdoor kitchen is not looking at the wind pattern in their yard. You don’t want all the smoke and smells to get sucked into your home every time you’re using your outdoor kitchen, so place the grill and smoker accordingly. Also, people often place their outdoor kitchen too far from the inside kitchen, which makes carrying heavy platters and drinks quite inconvenient. Additionally, if you love the view from the inside of the house, don’t block it with the outdoor kitchen. Instead, place it to the side or pick an angle that will not ruin your view.
Choose the right materials
Your outdoor kitchen needs to be a bit sturdier than your indoor kitchen in order to resist the elements, such as winds, rain, snow and extreme heat. So, during the process of designing your outdoor space, opt for materials that are weather-resistant and easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel is always a good option for countertops because it’s tough and durable, easy to clean and looks very sleek. If you want something more rustic and warmer, you can opt for tiled countertops. Tiles come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and they require minimal maintenance. Also, pay attention to your floors. Tile and marble floors can get very slippery when wet or greased, so you might want to skip them. Concrete, brick and natural stone, on the other hand, are much safer and they will give your space a stylish look.
Opt for high-quality appliances
No matter how well you’re planning to equip your outdoor kitchen (some only opt for a grill, a sink and a small fridge, while others include beer taps, smokers and even warming drawers), you have to make sure your appliances can take both rain and sun. Stainless steel works great, requires little maintenance and is quite popular nowadays. Additionally, hire a licensed electrician to install your appliances and make sure everything is up to code.
Like every kitchen, your outdoor kitchen also needs storage for cooking tools, gadgets, food, and drink. Also, the outdoor storage should be waterproof and well insulated to endure temperature changes. With some storage, you’ll always have things on hand and your countertops will be clutter-free.
Build shelter from the elements
If you don’t want the weather to stop you from enjoying your outdoor kitchen, you should build a shelter that will keep the elements away from your grill. A tall roof, pergola or even some simple umbrellas will allow you to show off your culinary skills ever in the rain or scorching sun. You can also equip your outdoor kitchen with a fan for the summer and a heat lamp or a fire pit for the winter. Additionally, if you live in an area with pesky mosquitoes and a lot of flies, you can equip your kitchen with repellents and bug zappers that will keep them away from your food.
Install good lighting
Good lighting will allow you to prepare food when natural light is scarce and it will provide your outdoor space with a soft ambience that’s perfect for relaxing. You will need overhead lighting for food prep (hang the light from the roof or install a pole yard light) and add some string lights or tiki torches for ambient lighting.
An outdoor kitchen isn’t just a place where you cook food. It also serves to enjoy those delicious meals you make and for entertainment. So, make sure you put out some chairs, tables and decoration that will make your outdoor kitchen the star of your home. Choose durable pieces and weather-resistant fabrics so you can enjoy them all year round.
Once your outdoor kitchen is finished, get ready to break out your spatula, tongs and fork and prepare the perfect BBQ for all your family and friends.