An outdoor kitchen isn’t just a place to cook. It’s a place to entertain friends, spend quality time with family, soak up the sunshine, and bask in the beauty of nature, all from the comfort of your own backyard.
As we move towards late summer, there is no better way to enjoy the beautiful weather than by spending time outdoors. If you’re a regular grill master on the barbecue, you may be daydreaming about expanding your outdoor cooking space.
An outdoor kitchen is a thing of beauty. It gives you more freedom for culinary experimentation, and you can entertain and cook for larger parties. What’s not to like?
But before you take the plunge and invest in a full-service outdoor kitchen, there are a few key points worth considering. Take a look below and see what you’ll have to contend with when creating your plan.
What Does Your Outdoor Kitchen Look Like?
In general, there are three types of outdoor kitchens, which range from simple yet effective to expensive and extravagant. The most basic example is your typical moveable charcoal or propane grills, which sometimes come with ‘landing space’ side panels. These are perfect for intimate summer family barbecues.
Next up is the prefabricated grill station, which resembles a kitchen island and accommodates a grill top. The prefab offers all-in-one convenience and gives you significantly more room for cooking, plating, and storage. Lastly, there’s the custom built-in-place outdoor kitchen, which is integrated right into the surface it sits on. This expansive layout will look most like the kitchen that you have inside your home. It can offer full service, your choice of equipment, and tons of counter space and storage.
What’s Your Budget?
According to Home Finder, the national average cost for an outdoor kitchen ranges from $4,864 to $21,486. Of course, there is a broad spectrum on either end of this range. You can purchase a moveable grill that costs between $300 and $3,000. However, high-end appliances and custom designs can run you as much as $100,000 with all the bells and whistles.
The final cost ultimately depends on your preferences, priorities, and how much you’re willing to spend.
How Much Space Do You Have To Work With?
While you can turn almost any corner of your home into an outdoor dining area, a full-service kitchen is another matter entirely. You need room to move around, both for the sake of efficiency and for safety. There are strict rules about how much space should be between your walkway aisles, and you should be able to open and close cabinet doors without obstructing movement. Be mindful of zoning restrictions, building codes, potential fire hazards, and other safety concerns.
Power, gas, electric, propane, water – these will be significant factors to consider in the planning phase. If you’re going with a simple propane grill, you may be able to go without them. But if you have a custom installation planned, chances are you’ll need it all. If you intend to entertain in the evenings, you will definitely need electricity for light and the refrigerator.
Even with a fully-stocked outdoor kitchen, you’ll still need access to your indoor kitchen at certain points. Take this into account when deciding on the location. If your kitchens are too far apart, you will spend considerable time and effort carrying supplies back and forth.
Sun and Shade
The amount of sunlight you get on your outdoor kitchen will be determined in part by its location. Of course, the time of year and time of day will also factor in, but think carefully about how and when you plan to use the space. If your ideal location gets a lot of sun, think about putting in a pergola, a shade sail, or even a few umbrellas to keep yourself and your guests cool. You’ll undoubtedly want a bit of an overhang over the cooking area just in case it rains.
The Nature of Things
When you’re picking out your materials, you should also be mindful of their durability and how they stand up to the outdoor elements. Sealing your deck surface, cover your grill, and unplug your fridge when it’s not in use.
And don’t forget about pest control! You can keep bugs at bay with citronella candles, mosquito netting, or an insect lantern.
In closing, there are plenty of things to think about when you’re designing an outdoor kitchen. Whether you’re stuck for inspiration or need a professional to bring it to life, we’re ready to help. Reach out today, and let us help you make your summer sizzle!
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.