7 Tips for Creating the Best Outdoor Grill Island in Hampden
If you like to entertain, having a really great outdoor kitchen is a must! Make your Hampden, PA, yard the envy of the neighborhood with a fully loaded outdoor grill island. While an outdoor grill island can vary in size, style, and design, it should always be functional and user-friendly. Here are 7 tips for creating the best grill island for your outdoor kitchen.
A well-planned outdoor grill island is easy to access from both your home and outdoor dining area. This makes it easier to bring food and dishes back and forth from the house. Your outdoor dining area should also be close enough to the kitchen that the cook can easily move back and forth between the grill and the table. Select a location away from windows, however, to avoid unpleasant smells entering the house and obstructing views.
An outdoor grill island can range from a single counter to a large u-shaped kitchen. Consider the size of your yard, as well as the number of people you plan to entertain, and select a grill island that meets these needs. An L-shaped grill island will allow for ample cooking space with some storage and room for a sink or refrigerator. For a more complete outdoor kitchen, a U-shaped island offers the most space for extra appliances.
To really make your outdoor grill island functional, consider adding running water and electricity. Without utilities, your grill island is just a cooking surface with storage. A sink with running water will make cooking and clean-up easier, while adding electricity will allow for lighting and a wider variety of appliances. Good lighting will increase safety, make cooking and clean-up easier, and create a great atmosphere.
A grill is only the first piece of a great outdoor cooking area. Including additional appliances will create a grill island that has everything you need to cook a complete meal outdoors. A fridge will allow you to serve refreshing drinks and ensure food stays chilled until you’re ready to cook it. Refrigerated drawers are a great option to keep food and drinks separate.
If you have a large family, or like to entertain, you’ll want to have enough cooking space to feed everyone at the same time. Incorporating elements like side burners or a second grill will allow you to prepare more food at once. A warming oven, pizza oven, or smoker are also popular choices for outdoor cooking appliances.
Counter Space & Storage
Convenient storage and adequate counter space will result in a more user-friendly outdoor kitchen. The design should provide space beside cooking areas for serving trays and cooking utensils. Storage helps reduce clutter and trips indoors for accessories. Including storage for utensils, dishes, pots, and pans will ensure that you aren’t running back and forth to the house for accessories when you could be spending time with guests.
Including a place for friends and family to join the cook means the host won’t leave guests alone while preparing a meal. Consider adding a bar and barstools to the outside of your grill island for guests to sit and relax while the cook is working.
Quality materials are the best way to create a beautiful and long-lasting outdoor grill island. Countertops, appliances, and exterior finishes should be durable and weather resistant. Opt for non-slip flooring, such as slate or limestone, which will increase safety and can be coordinated with countertops and other finishes.
Image courtesy of Unilock.