Outdoor Kitchen Must Haves
Your outdoor deck or patio is an extension of your home, especially in the mild, warm weather of the South. Outdoor spaces have become the center for family and social gatherings. You can create an entire extra room under the sky on your existing deck or patio or design a new space with architecture and landscaping. Fill your outside room with tables, chairs, sofas and a functional outdoor kitchen to make it the favorite area of your home.
Cooking outside has evolved beyond firing up the grill for some hamburgers and hot dogs served on a wooden picnic table. Now you can have a full outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, refrigerator, extra burners, counter tops, storage drawers, cupboard and so much more! Your outdoor kitchen and dining space can be as intimate or as expansive as you want. Start imagining the layout of your outside room and deciding on the components required to make it complete.
An outdoor kitchen combines the practicality of feeding family and friends with the sheer pleasure of being outside beneath the moon and stars. The smell of food cooking, warm breezes and great company bring everyone into your cooking area, and you need to plan accordingly. The idea of having to be inside preparing food when everyone is outside is not appealing so incorporate everything you use in your indoor kitchen into your outdoor room.
A built-in gas grill is a must for an outdoor kitchen. Consider the maximum amount of people you’ll need to feed when choosing a grill. Being able to cook all the meat and vegetables at once ensures the food is uniformly hot when it’s served.
Enough space to prepare and place food before and after it’s cooked keeps the area running smoothly. If your indoor kitchen has ample counter space then your outdoor kitchen should too. Having everything cramped in too small an area will detract from the pleasure of being outside and inhibit your culinary creativity. Give yourself plenty of elbow room in your outside room design. In addition to design, be sure your countertops can withstand the elements. weather-proofing your kitchen is essential to it’s longevity.
Are you a host that’s known for blending up great drinks as the food is sizzling on the grill? Having electricity run to your outdoor kitchen allows you to plug in small appliances. Along with that blender for drinks, use a food processor to whip up fresh sauces and dressings that your family and guests will love sampling.
A refrigerator under the counter top gives you more flexibility with food preparation. You won’t have to constantly run into the house to grab vegetables and sauces when they’re so close at hand. You can also store items in the refrigerator that you know are part of every meal outside such as artisan cheeses and a chilled bottle of wine.
Wet Bar and Sink
For those times when a single bottle of wine isn’t sufficient for your number of guests, a full bar complete with stools and counter is advisable. Someone else can fulfill drink requests, including yours, while you operate the grill. The bar can also serve as an additional place to sit and eat when the outdoor tables and chairs become full. It is easy to overlook the importance of running water to your outdoor kitchen, but a sink can be located at the bar makes for easy cleanup of glasses and dishes.
Stay warm and cozy by your outdoor wood fireplace as the evening air cools. After a satisfying meal you and your guests can lounge in the comfortable chairs and couches as the firelight softly illuminates the darkness.
Whatever size area you have available for your exterior room and outdoor kitchen, make it your own by including everything you love.