Planning the Ideal Outdoor Kitchen? Here Are 9 Things to Remember

When it comes to cooking delicious meals, everything you would do inside can also be done in an outdoor kitchen. In fact, your favorite foods might taste better when they’re cooked on outdoor appliances! Even more, let’s not forget about the fact that you’d totally avoid the smell and all, which is even better.

Who would say no to a delicious barbecuing, as long as you have everything you need? Outdoor cooking isn’t just about the traditional charcoal and propane grills that most people are accustomed to.

Nowadays, kitchens that are specially designed for the patio have all kinds of high-tech appliances and super sophisticated components which are supposed to make your life much easier when you cook. Before starting an outdoor kitchen project, consider the next design tips:

Research outdoor kitchen types

Deciding on the best type of outdoor cooking center for your own garden solely depends on your budget, way of living, and, of course, space. The most basic version of an outdoor kitchen can consist of a grill and components such as an outdoor bar to serve as a counter.

Your setup can be as posh as you would like: and just like any other home project, you can easily get creative when deciding what to do. First, decide if you’ll go for a fully functional kitchen or just the simplest setup.

Starting from this point, it will be much easier for you to decide what’s essential and what’s an amenity, and if your budget and taste can make any room for extras. Also, keep in mind that it’s going to be outside, so nature itself won’t allow you to go for something overly complicated.

Photo by Artazum from Shutterstock

Assess the available space

If you live in a big place with lots of acreages, then you DEFINITELY must take into consideration how much you’d walk from the house to fire up the grill. Usually, properties are much smaller, and they come with very few choices when it comes to the location of the grill and an outdoor kitchen zone.

Luckily, even small outdoor kitchens can present various options when it comes to appliances, plumbing, and even counter space. Measure the entire space in order to know which appliances you will prioritize, and even more important, if there’s room for all the things you have on your list! Once you’ve decided on the area you have to work with, you can easily begin choosing all the specific items you need.

Decide between permanent and portable options

Whether you’re about to rent or plan to move into the next couple of years, it would be recommended to properly equip your outdoor kitchen with certain appliances and features that can be easily transported. As an example, a standalone grill can be easily paired with portable carts, and then used as DIY counters.

However, if you don’t see yourself migrating, then an outdoor kitchen is definitely one of the most satisfying projects you’ll have. Start by deciding on a convenient and safe location, then look out for materials that could easily coordinate with your home’s exterior and that are fully available. In certain situations, it would be very helpful to hire a contractor who could easily help you achieve your goals.

Decide on a budget

Make a budget and try to work within it as much as possible. Essentials like materials, appliances, and labor can sometimes get out of hand, that’s why it’s highly important to aim high, in care the project turns out to be more expensive than you anticipated.

Additional costs might include future services offered by a designer, obtaining all kinds of permits, purchasing tools, and even hiring professional help for different add-ons like electrical and plumbing.

That’s why you should always make sure you ask for quotes from professionals before starting anything. It will make you understand better the entire range of expected costs before determining your budget.

Photo by Alex July from Shutterstock

Choose everything depending on your preferred cooking styles

It’s important to decide from the start on the way you’re going to cook outdoors: We’re talking about grilled fish Sunday or a hamburger cooked every other Friday when friends are coming over? Have you always dreamed of having a brick oven for random pizza night?

It’s important to know. An outdoor kitchen can also include multiple things, from gas, propane, electric, or even charcoal grill to all kinds of ovens, stoves, and even griddles. It’s also highly important to know if you’re the kind of person who prepares the food indoors and then take it outside or if you want to enjoy nature as much as possible.

For example, if all the preparations will be taken outside, you will probably need to add a counter and a sink, too. While you’re at it…what’s the maximum of guests you can have in one night?

Don’t forget about climate and the environment

If you’re currently living in the western United States, Florida, or even another region with a very warm climate, you might want to spend more time cooking in your outdoor kitchen than the one you have inside your home.

Well, if that’s the case, a larger outdoor setup might be better for you. For any other areas that experience extremes in weather, the location you consider in your own garden is very important. The region you live in will definitely vary in microclimates, in comparison to other parts of the country.

Why is it so important? Well, you have to avoid spots that might get too windy, hot, or even cold. Because unless you live in a specific area with very sparse rainfall, appliance covers or even a partial patio roof will definitely be necessary too.

Photo by Gordon Swanson from Shutterstock

Commit to proper maintenance

An outdoor kitchen would be pretty much exposed to a lot of elements. Even if you wouldn’t use it that often, the appliances and surfaces should definitely be covered and maintained, depending on the weather.

In coastal regions, for example, your appliances might also require proper cleaning, in order to remove all the buildups of salt from the ocean air, which could later deteriorate the materials faster than you could imagine.

That’s why it’s important to plan on how much time and effort you would need to keep up a future outdoor kitchen. Will you get any help, or you’ll be the lone leaf and cleaner? Because when it comes to this, sometimes simple is better.

Select outdoor kitchen materials

If you decide for your kitchen to be a permanent installation, try to look to building materials that are used on the exterior of your home, like brick, concrete, or even stucco. Not only will it look extremely attractive, but these materials are also strong and durable, especially when they’re used on outdoor structures such as kitchens.

Besides the appearance, check if it fits into your budget, then the material’s availability, and the size and scope of your own project. Plus, labor costs and other special installations will also be a great influence on the overall price.

Adjust for household needs

While it must be very exciting to start such a beautiful project, it’s also very easy to set unrealistic expectations that might turn out to be unreachable. Once you have decided on a general blueprint, then take into consideration all the elements, to make sure they’re fully in line with your own needs.

If you enjoyed reading this article, we might have something else for you: How to Build a DIY Fire Pit: 5 Easy Steps


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