Spring is right around the corner, so now is a perfect time to start planning the outdoor kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. If you love cooking and entertaining outdoors, you’re in luck. With these following tips and the help from your local outdoor design company, your outdoor kitchen will be in full swing by summer.
Start from the ground up
A show-stopping outdoor kitchen needs a quality stage that can stand up to heavy foot traffic and everyday kitchen mishaps such as dropped utensils or spilled sauces. High-performance, wood-alternative decking is durable and easy-to-maintain – just a simple soap and water cleaning can take care of any common party foul. It delivers the natural aesthetic of wood without the back-breaking and time-consuming upkeep, so outdoor chefs can focus on what they love most – preparing delicious meals.
Think beyond the grill
While outdoor cooking once meant a basic grill and a bag of charcoal, today's outdoor kitchens are more elaborate and equipped than ever, featuring a range of appliances including professional-grade cooktops, refrigerators, sinks and dishwashers, as well as specialty features like brick ovens and fully stocked bars. Grills, too, have been upgraded to handle more than steaks and burgers – think whole turkeys, smoked meats and rotisseries. Your appliances will determine the outdoor kitchen dimensions, so consider how the appliances you want will fit within your design.
Factor in function
Plan for adequate storage to eliminate back-and-forth trips inside your house. From pull-out trash bins to hidden ice chests for chilled drinks, find cabinetry that provides indoor convenience outside. You can even get customized cabinets for televisions and entertainment systems.
Shine some light
Double the time spent enjoying your outdoor kitchen by installing adequate lighting for cooking and entertaining well after sundown. For safety measures, put task lighting over countertops used for slicing and dicing, as well as near stovetops and other appliances that use heat or flame. To set an understated, sophisticated mood, add ambient lighting where your family and guests will wine and dine.
To welcome and accommodate your guests, your outdoor kitchen should be inviting and have ample seating and bar areas. For added comfort, integrate interior-inspired accents like decorative cushions and pillows made of weather-resistant materials. Additionally, your outdoor kitchen should incorporate enough counter space not only for food prep and serving, but also for creating a communal environment so guests can chat with the chef.
By working with the professionals and using these tips for inspiration, you’ll be hosting an awesome outside soirée as soon as the weather turns warm.