Stunning Outdoor Kitchens in PA: Beyond the Grill Island
There are many things to consider when designing your Dauphin County, PA, outdoor kitchen. The first thing to think of is how the kitchen will enhance your home. You are creating a space that will match your landscape theme, cooking habits and, most importantly, lifestyle. Building your outdoor kitchen as an extension of your home will help make cooking outdoors more enjoyable simply because you won’t have to spend your time going in and out of the house.
Every outdoor kitchen, regardless how big or small it is, needs a cooking and preparation area. For a simple barbeque, you’ll need a countertop, sink and a grill. To assure maximum convenience, these three features should be placed reasonably close to each other. To bring the outdoor living experience to another level, you can add a pizza oven, smokers, and cooktops. You’ll need storage space, so be sure to have cabinets installed and a refrigerator for keeping beverages and meats chilled. And don’t forget plenty of surface space for food preparations, serving and clean-up.
Outdoor Kitchen Materials
Stainless steel, concrete, and natural stone are among the best materials for countertops. With concrete and natural stone options, a polished finish is best for ensuring hygiene, durability and the beauty of the outdoor kitchen. Non-porous natural stone, such as granite, is highly recommended for your countertop surface.
Your outdoor kitchen will be exposed to weather conditions year-round, so it is best to choose outdoor-grade appliances and heavy-duty cabinets made from durable materials whether prefabricated or not. The materials should be designed specifically for outdoor use and should not be prone to staining, fading or mildew.
Concrete and natural stone pavers are ideal for creating the floor of your outdoor kitchen, with many being specially treated to guard against fading and ensure an easy clean up while remaining safe and non-slip.
Lighting is an essential element of outdoor living, providing safety and lending ambiance to the space. As with other areas, the lighting of your outdoor kitchen should be subtle, not too bright, except in certain areas, such as above the grill and working surfaces where focused task lighting is essential. A good lighting plan will create a functional night-time cooking space while retaining a magical evening quality. For general lighting, multiple sources of layered lighting is best.
Keeping Cool in Summer
Cooking can be thirsty work. Apart from keeping chilled beverages at hand, you can also ensure a comfortable temperature in your outdoor kitchen by including misters or fans in your design. Overhead covering, such as pergolas or pavilion covering is also an excellent option for adding both shade and a degree of privacy. Simple shade cloths can also be erected to shield you and your guests and provide protection from rain and midday sun. Overhead covering also helps to extend the lifetime of furniture and kitchen appliances. For an unbeatable summer cooking experience, you can even have your outdoor kitchen placed near your swimming pool so the chef can take a dip between flipping burgers, as long as the kitchen is raised or otherwise protected from errant splashes.