Five Essential Elements of a Great Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchenOutdoor kitchens are quickly becoming a must-have for a lot of homeowners. Especially in more temperate climates where it rarely snows, an outdoor kitchen can add a lot of character to a home and provide an extended entertainment factor for people who enjoy having guests. It can take cooking meals from a hot, sweaty nightmare, to a fun, relaxing visit outside under the sun or stars. After securing the basics like plumbing and gas lines, what are some essential design / functional elements that make an excellent outdoor kitchen?

A good cooking range and grill

This one is obvious, but the most important part of any outdoor kitchen is a good grill and cooking range. With the kitchen already being outdoors, a grill is a natural choice for both barbequing and daily usage. Gas, electric cooking units and ovens can be blended in to the design of your outdoor kitchen. Most new outdoor kitchens are even adding dual grills, which allow the cook to work with both charcoal and gas.

Something to get rid of the bugs

When cooking inside, bugs are obviously not a problem, when cooking outside, you’re on their turf, and your delicious food is their number one priority. There are many design features that can help you to deal with bugs, from built-in bug zappers to hidden bug light features. A cost effective and great way to simultaneously get rid of the bugs and add some charm to the outdoor kitchen are to design spots to add bug-repellant lamps and candle holders. They could be anything from fun tiki torches to wall-mounted gothic sconces, and a good hardscaping designer will plan to add these to your build out.

Secure storage space

Often overlooked in an outdoor kitchen is built-in storage space. Raccoons, possums, cats, squirrels, and many other animals are clever enough to open simple cabinets and make off with certain items. Certain features like self locking cabinets, crawl-height pantries and even a locking refrigerator can be added to your outdoor space. If you are adding a pavilion to your outdoor kitchen, sometimes storage can be added, well up off the ground.

An herb and spice garden

Consider having your hardscape designer add in some growing space to your outdoor kitchen. Growing some common herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro and mint can be an awesome way to spice up your meal. Not only will your outdoor kitchen be more attractive with a small herb garden, you will also have the ingredients on hand to try some new twists on your favorite recipes. Imagine, a few steps away you break off a few leaves of cilantro, chop it on your built-in cutting board, rinse it in your sink and throw it in your salsa. Quite the show and it is hard to beat freshness like that.

A dining space

A dining space is an essential part of the outdoor kitchen set-up, so you can enjoy the food in the same atmosphere you prepared it in. Try something unique! Rather than one central table with chairs surrounding it, put some lounge chairs and small tables next to each of them, or set up a few small tables and go for a restaurant look. Some hardscape designers are building in seating and tables in certain backyards.

With these five elements in place, you will have everything you need for a great outdoor kitchen and dining area. There will be great entertaining with fresh meals, free of bugs and animals, seasoned by freshly picked herbs and served in the comfort of the great outdoors. If you are looking for a great way to add value to your home and have fun at the same time, outdoor kitchens are a great bet.

About the Author
Ryan J. Corey is the primary contributor for Homeowner Ideas. Homeowner Ideas is a leading home improvement and remodeling website that offers ideas, tips, DIY information and more on anything home improvement related.

Ryan Corey
Partner
Lead Storm Media
ryan@leadstormmedia.com
(301) 466-8959

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