An outdoor kitchen can improve your ability to entertain in your backyard and use the ground of your house. You have a bewildering array of options for everything from appliances to finishes, just like with an indoor kitchen. However, finding what will suit you best can be challenging while remaining within your means. To assist you in getting started, we consulted experts in outdoor kitchens for their suggestions on where you might want to spend money on your outdoor kitchen and where you might be able to save money while still having a fantastic outcome.
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Select a location
Consider the location of the kitchen and how it will blend in with the rest of your yard. Should it be near the house or somewhere else? When cooking, do you prefer to be involved, or do you choose to keep a little distance for your peace of mind or safety? Will you want to include additional features like a seating space, a bar or dining area, or a fire pit? It will assist you in choosing the kitchen’s size and design.
Choose a look. Other factors to consider are style and developing an appearance that blends with the rest of your home. While the types and colors of grills and other appliances are pretty limited, those of counters, cabinetry, and other features can be very different.
The advice is to use a style that complements your outside home and landscape. According to DI, “We advise that the kitchen appear original to your property.” The advice of DI contractors was to “look at your exterior and your environment, and incorporate landscape and structural features like clapboard, cedar, brick, and stone into the design.”
The focal point of an outdoor kitchen is a grill. Small, portable charcoal or electric grills made for a few hamburgers or hot dogs to sophisticated appliances with all the accessories that can handle a crowd—grills come in various sizes and powers.
A standard medium-sized barbecue is adequate for the majority of people. It asserts that “a couple that barbecues only a few times a week doesn’t require a 36-inch grill.” Instead, he suggests investing in worktops and cabinetry with the money you would have spent on a more large barbecue.
You should go more prominent if your grilling strategy is more complex. “You could need extra space if you do mixed grills, beef brisket, or a rotisserie chicken every Sunday,” warns. According to Douglass, if you frequently host large groups, a larger grill with a side burner and plenty of prep area is the way to go. Spend money on a grill and a smoker if you frequently smoke or slow-cook food.
Also, take the grill’s durability into account. It asserts, “It’s not a lifelong appliance.” He claims that investing a little more money in a durable stainless steel model with serviceable components is worthwhile if you want something that will last longer.
Your barbecue may accommodate a variety of auxiliary appliances. At first glance, they could appear to be excessive expenses, but it’s essential to think about if you can actually use them.
Cooking a more considerable supper would be simpler if you could use side burners for cooking different items at different temperatures and for varying amounts of time.
With a deep fryer, you may cook your meal by dunking it in hot oil, making it crispy on the exterior and juicy on the inside.
You could keep items warm while juggling grilling space if you have a warming drawer.
It is possible to use a pizza oven as a regular oven.
Using a skillet, you could cook pancakes, bacon, and eggs over an open flame.
In addition, Douglass advises taking into account a vent hood, mainly if the grill is partially covered by an overhanging structure, to keep smoke away from the patio. She explains that “some towns require vent hoods above a grill.”
The cabinets define the shape and design of an outdoor kitchen. While more expensive pre-made cabinets can be easily modified to fit where you want them, less expensive custom cabinetry would allow you to create particularly for your area (at a higher cost). Both agree that it’s worthwhile to spend the money to get what you want because you’ll use it for a very long time.
Select cabinets that are reliable and approved for outdoor use. Also, consider how much space you need for storing fuels like propane tanks, charcoal, and pellets. By placing refrigerator units, outside tableware, and grilling tools and accessories in additional cabinets, many trips inside might be avoided.
Stone finishes offer a sense of permanence and range in price from affordable to expensive. A variety of home and landscaping styles work well with sustainably harvested timbers, which are also offered at various pricing points. Other popular options include stucco, brick, and metals, which are reasonably priced.
The finishing touch for an outdoor kitchen is a countertop. It prepares and serves meals, spends the day and night outside, and serves as a workhouse.
Natural stone, whether bluestone, granite, or another variety, is more expensive than other options but can withstand various situations and still look nice. According to Douglass, there are lovely, less expensive items that can be put and still be reasonably practical if you’re attempting to do it on a budget. If you decide to use stone, they advise choosing a thicker slab that would be appropriate for an external site. He also suggests a leathered or sharpened finish. If not, you’ll need to invest in window cleaners since you’ll need to go out and fix things every time it rains, he warns.
Examine your alternatives in tile, wood, metal, and concrete; many of them can withstand exposure to the elements. The option you make will be influenced by your budget and the final appearance you’re going. Whatever you decide, research durability, installation costs, and maintenance requirements.
What You Should Know Before Adding an Outdoor Counter or Bar
Ice makers and Sinks
A refrigerator is a need in every indoor kitchen, but if there is an indoor kitchen close by, you might not need or want one in your outdoor kitchen.
Compare the expense of adding one against the benefit of having a storage area for food and beverages close to the grill. Make sure it is rated for outdoor use if you decide to add one. Hursthouse also advises purchasing a beverage cabinet with a lock if you plan to store drinks in it even when you aren’t hosting guests.
Installing a sink with flowing hot and cold water is more expensive. According to Douglass, you’ll need to connect with the sewer system and run water supply lines. A dry sink is a less expensive alternative that may be filled with ice and water to keep drinks, cold meals and drains into the garden.
Power and Light
You’ll likely continue to use your outdoor kitchen far into the evening. Consider your electricity requirements. You’ll likely continue to use your outdoor kitchen far into the evening. Consider your electricity requirements. To enjoy lingering outside, you’ll need both ambient light and task lighting for cooking. Although the grill itself may have intermediate to high lights, DI advises that you also use supplemental lighting and gentle illumination. For lighting a countertop without causing glare, consider using downlights, particularly ones incorporated into the backsplash.
Additionally, it adds outlets near the grill. For devices like refrigerator units, rotisseries, slow cookers, blenders, and warming trays, he advises, “you’ll want one on the rear and one on each side.” He continues, you might also wish to include an outlet inside a cabinet. Verify that all of the outlets are suitable for outdoor use.
Consider whether you want to incur the additional cost of running a plumbing line if you’ll be adding electricity wires. Although a plumbing line has advantages and disadvantages, it is essential if you want to install a sink. Running a gas line to the outdoor stove is excellent for fuel and considerably less trouble than using propane tanks, according to Douglass.
You could rapidly lose interest in grilling in cold weather, especially if it’s mixed with rain and snow. On the other extreme, excessive sun exposure can also be problematic. Add a cover to some or all of your outdoor kitchen if you live in a region where bad weather can ruin your plans for outdoor gatherings. While a solid roof would keep out the elements, it could not have the desired outside feel. A pergola with a slatted roof would feel more open while still offering some shade or sun protection.
Does having a roof or pergola seem excessive? Think about using a portable patio umbrella where it is needed. Sailcloth can also be hung from the ceiling to offer protection without going overboard with expenses.
Area for dining outside
An outdoor dining area can add to the house, adding extra space for entertaining family and guests. As more individuals use outdoor living spaces, the popularity of outdoor entertainment has recently increased. These improvements, which range from little adjustments to more involved tasks, can enhance your outdoor eating experience even further. Here are ten methods to improve your outdoor eating space’s look, feel, and use.
Include a retractable awning or a pergola.
Consider building a structure overhead to provide shade, shelter, and interest because you might want to enjoy being outside even if it is burning hot or pouring rain. Pergolas, arbors, shade trees, and retractable awnings are just a few possibilities available to you. These structures can shield you from the weather if necessary. Bonus: If you build an outdoor area, you can grow floral vines so you can smell them all year long.
Adding heaters will extend the patio season.
Who says you can’t use your deck space in the late fall or early spring? You may spend more time outside with loved ones by installing natural gas or portable propane patio heaters, which can be used safely under eaves and pergolas. You can also install outdoor-rated infrared heaters in the ceiling above your dining or living spaces if your home has an overhang.
Utilize music through outdoor speakers
Start the outside party by playing your favorite music (keeping neighbors in mind when it comes to volume, of course). There are various outdoor-resistant wireless speakers available on the market. Some of them are even created to resemble landscape features, like boulders. Others can be placed on side tables or hanging in the patio’s corners.
Outdoor lighting will make things more visible.
You’ll need both task and ambient lighting to accommodate evening cooking and partying. To keep the light running while you’re outside, hang rows of string lights for some sparkle, clip lights to the lid of your BBQ, and set up freestanding lanterns or hurricane lamps with wax or fake candles.
Grow a herb garden vertically
You don’t have enough room to cultivate cooking herbs near your grilling area. Look up! A living wall constructed from a specialized vertical garden system or horizontally strung gutters can be helpful for outdoor kitchens. A vertical garden will offer color and texture, and you can also choose fresh herbs whenever you need to season your meals. To harvest fruit directly off the vine, think about hanging some strawberry or cherry tomato plants vertically.
Think about Bar Seating
Set up stools next to a bar to save space if you don’t want a large outdoor dining table and chairs to take up the entire patio. While the grill works, it’s a terrific way to keep the chef and visitors mingling.
Including a Fire Feature
A dull patio can become a location where everyone wants to assemble with the addition of a fireplace, fire table, or many fire columns. In addition to creating a focal point for your outside space, a fire feature will keep you warm as the summer draws closer. There are countless types available, some of which may serve as dining tables. These models have a removable top that covers the gas fire feature underneath.
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