Aug 18, 2011

Create the perfect outdoor kitchen.

Regardless of the distance your outdoor kitchen is from your indoor one, be sure to add all of the elements critical to using it successfully.  If you are a frequent barbecue chef and don't have what you need nearby, you will be frustrated, and may be inclined not to use the space. Summer months are ideal for outdoor living, but a properly outfitted kitchen can be used throughout the fall and until poor weather drives you inside.

1) Add a counter top. Even if you simply bring your prepared meats and veggies outside, have a landing surface for you plates, cooking utensils and other items needed during cooking.

2) Provide a light source. many grills have built-in LED but that isn't always sufficient. If you don't have an overhead source, try goose-neck fixtures, outdoor lamps, and strip lights around the perimeter of your cooking surface.

3) Have storage. Hiding a propane tank, storing cooking utensils and keeping everything you use outdoors, out there will make using the space easy and efficient.

4) Install a sink and necessary appliances. Not everyone needs an outdoor wine cooler, but a small beverage fridge for cool drinks, marinades and other items is nice. A sink for rinsing is almost always a must-have since clients that don't have one installed initially always add it later.  For very large outdoor kitchens, a dishwasher is a convenience. 

5) Consider a roof. Even a trellis can be nice to provide shelter from too much sun, a place to install lighting, and a protective cover from rain.

6) Add a hearth. A source of heat and warmth is wonderful for cooler nights. You can use outdoor kitchens in colder climates for a longer season.