7 Things Your Outdoor Kitchen Needs
Much more than just a place to stick your grill, an outdoor kitchen entices people into your yard and transforms into a space for family meals and entertaining guests all year round.
If you’re considering an outdoor kitchen as one of this year’s home projects, keep reading to discover the key elements you should make a priority in your design.
1. The Perfect Grill
Cooking meals outdoors is loads of fun and always seems to add a certain flavor boost that cannot be explained. With that in mind, it is crucial to consider how you plan to use a grill before deciding on the size, style, and other features. For instance, are you going to use it for standard grilling, smoking food, or some other use? This is also the item that should be prioritized in terms of cost. Securing a high-quality grill with a lifetime warranty is essential.
2. Fabulous Countertops
When designing your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to choose a countertop material that complements the overall style. Whether it’s stone or another material, it should either tie the look together or provide a fun accent.
One practical consideration is to ensure there is plenty of counter space around the grill. Regardless of the size of the outdoor kitchen, there should be enough space for utensils, and cooked and uncooked food. Additionally, keep in mind that you may need to seal the countertop upon installation and then reseal it every few years due to staining from cooking fats and metals left on top, as well as wear and tear from the elements.
Lastly, be sure to maximize the use of the cabinetry underneath the counters. It’s a valuable space for storage and can also be used for other features, such as an undercounter refrigerator.
3. Outside Refrigerator
Consider adding a refrigerator to your outdoor kitchen as a designated space to store drinks or keep food cold before grilling or serving. Taking it a step further, you may also want to include an ice machine to maximize your outdoor kitchen’s amenities.
4. Eye-Catching Backsplash
After ensuring the practical elements of an outdoor kitchen are in place, it’s time to add some visual appeal with a stylish backsplash. Not only does a colorful or unique backsplash provide a decorative accent, it also serves a functional purpose by preventing food and utensils from falling behind the back of the counter.
5. Outdoor Sink
It’s always handy to have a water source nearby for outdoor cooking and cleanup, so incorporating a small sink into your outdoor kitchen can be a wise choice. Just keep in mind that installing a sink will require accessing existing plumbing and sewer lines, which can be a challenging task. In addition, sinks and refrigeration units in cold climates must be winterized to prevent damage.
6. Edible Garden
Consider incorporating an edible garden into your outdoor kitchen space to elevate your meals with fresh herbs and vegetables. A planter box situated near the grill and prep areas can provide easy access to herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley, which make great culinary complements. If you have enough space, consider adding greens and popular summer veggies like tomatoes and peppers.
7. Other Considerations
Lighting: Adequate lighting is a must-have for any outdoor kitchen. While the lighting plan will depend on the layout and needs of your particular space, a combination of task lighting over the grill and work areas, and ambient lighting for safety and atmosphere, should be a part of any design.
Seating: In addition to the cooking and prep areas, comfortable seating is also important for outdoor entertaining. A nearby table and chairs make serving food a breeze, while a lounge area or a countertop with seating allows the cook to join in the conversation and even get some help with prep work.