An outdoor kitchen is a great way to bring the fun outdoors while adding value to your home, extending entertaining space, and lowering energy bills. In fact, Forbes reveals that 61% of consumers perceive an outdoor kitchen as a valuable addition to outdoor living space. However, like indoor rooms, an outdoor kitchen requires a lot of effort and planning to create an unforgettable outdoor cooking experience. Here are seven tips for creating an excellent outdoor kitchen.
1. Location is Key
An outdoor kitchen should be easily accessible. You don’t want to set up your outdoor kitchen at the far end of your yard and have to walk across the yard to tend to your sausages on the grill. Also, the outdoor kitchen should be near your indoor one, so you can grab plates and utensils when needed.
2. Create a Budget
A common mistake made when creating an outdoor kitchen is overlooking the budgeting part of it. It is best practice to create a budget for the project and work on it. Account for expenses associated with materials, labor, appliances, tools, professional services, and obtaining permits. If you decide to hire a professional outdoor kitchen designer, do not settle for the first one you get. Ask several professionals for a quote and choose one that fits your budget and needs.
3. Prioritize Functionality
First, determine what you need in your outdoor kitchen. Unused appliances in an outdoor kitchen take up extra space while adding no value to your cooking experience. It is best to start with the essential appliances and then scale with time. Second, consider the flow of traffic in the kitchen by accounting for dining and cooking areas. In addition, cold areas, hot areas, wet areas, and dry areas should work together to create a cohesive kitchen.
Third, understand your preferred cooking style since it determines the fuel source to use -gas, propane, coal, or electricity. If you grill often, a charcoal barbecue may be ideal. However, baking enthusiasts are best served with a brick oven.
4. Consider Local Climate
With 3,763 major hailstorms reported in 2021, homeowners must account for inclement weather when setting up outdoor kitchens. Appliance covers, awnings, or patio roofs are necessary for regions with severe weather to keep off snow, rain, sunlight, and hail. Notably, the location of your outdoor kitchen is crucial. Keep off areas in your yard that are too windy, hot, or cold.
5. Choose Appliances Wisely
Your kitchen appliances and equipment will be exposed to the elements outdoors. Therefore, choose materials that can withstand the rigors of Mother Nature. For instance, UV-protected outdoor quartz and concrete are excellent materials for outdoor countertops. Stainless steel countertops are also a good choice since they are easy to clean and corrosion-resistant. Importantly, decking materials should be grease-resistant and tolerate high temperatures.
You can spice up your outdoor kitchen to create meals and memories in several ways. Invest in proper lighting for both the chef and guests sitting outside. That needs you to plan for utilities in your outdoor kitchen.
A good and economical way to accessorize your outdoor kitchen is to paint the cabinetry, doors, and other details. Since a gallon of latex paint is enough for 350 to 400 square feet of wall, you don’t need much pain for your kitchen. Lastly, you can prolong the outdoor entertaining season with shades, heaters, pergolas, and awnings.
7. Account for Maintenance
Creating an ultimate outdoor kitchen entails considering how much maintenance it will require. Since the appliances will be exposed to the elements, they may require frequent cleaning and covering. In coastal areas, for instance, appliances need to be cleaned often to get rid of salt buildups that can ruin them.
Whether you’re a cooking enthusiast or looking for somewhere to host guests in your backyard, an outdoor kitchen is an invaluable addition to your home. An outdoor kitchen lets you enjoy financial returns as well as social advantages. When you need to spruce up your outdoor living space, use the tips above to create the ultimate outdoor kitchen.