Essentials for Every Outdoor Kitchen
Summer comes and goes and while it lasts, there is no reason not to make the most of our time outdoors, enjoying the longer days and the warmer temperatures. If you have a backyard and enjoy the idea of spending time with family and entertaining guests, chances are that barbecuing and dining outdoors are already part of your summer activities. So why not embrace it and upgrade your Lower Paxton landscape to integrate an outdoor kitchen?
When planning an outside kitchen, think of it as an extension of your house. Even if the decor involves an outdoorsy theme, plan the space to accommodate the way you live – visualize your own habits of cooking and socializing to make sure your new space will meet your needs.
Essential Cooking Amenities
A cooking and prep area is central to any kitchen - indoors or out. A countertop, sink and grill are the very basics and are enough for simple barbecues. Professional designers call this the work triangle and advise that these three features be close to each other, regardless of the size and complexity of your outdoor cooking space.
If you’d like to prepare more elaborate meals, you will need to incorporate other specific cooking appliances into your project, such as pizza ovens, smokers and cooktops. For additional storage, there are cabinets and even fridges designed especially for outdoor kitchens.
Be sure to incorporate ample counter space into your design, to ensure plenty of work room and space for prepared and unprepared food. This can also help avoid unnecessary trips back and forth to your indoor kitchen as you can keep all you need readily at hand. Stainless steel and polished natural stone are great options for hygienic, great looking countertops.
Durable materials are essential for the long term success of any outdoor area and outdoor kitchens are no different. Countertops and grill islands built from natural stone or concrete wall systems go well with stainless steel appliances and create a durable and timelessly fashionable combination.
Another important thing to think about is location. The farther your outdoor kitchen is from the house, the farther gas, water and electricity will have to be run. You may also require easy access to your indoor kitchen. Good positioning can save time and cut the distance you’ll have to cover when carrying ingredients back and forth.
Seating is another important aspect of your outdoor kitchen. Remember, cooking outside is a social activity, you don’t want to be cooking alone while your family and guests enjoy their time sitting elsewhere on the patio.
Luxuries and Accessories
Although it’s an outside space, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the shelter of a roof or other protective covering. This can be used to shield you and your guests from the burning midday sun as well as an unexpected rain. It will also help to extend the lifetime of your furniture and appliances.
And, of course, don’t forget about lighting. You may not need it for daytime gatherings, but night-time cookouts can be greatly enhanced by the ambience and functionality of a good outdoor kitchen lighting plan.