Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen for Better Living

Designing an outdoor kitchen is not that much different from the kitchen in your home. It is usually just a little more compact. Your first consideration is whether you would like it built-in or temporary. The basics to make the area functional include a gas grill, sink, small refrigerator, cutting surface, counter top space for preparing food, and lighting so you can see what you are cooking. If you want something more elaborate, a counter with stools for seating is a plus, as well as a cook top (side burners) so you can reheat or cook in pots at the same time you are grilling. Outdoor kitchen cabinets are handy, too. Storage drawers and cabinets are nice so you can keep supplies right where you work, instead of hauling them outside every time you cook there. A trash bin will help keep your work area tidy. A warming drawer is also a plus if you are cooking food for a large gathering and need to prepare food in stages.

If your plans are to go deluxe, you could add an outdoor icemaker, a place to hold a keg, or even a television. A ceiling fan is also a consideration for cooling off the area on warm summer nights. It is really up to how much your budget will allow, how many people you plan on cooking for, and the space you have to work with.

You also need to think about the floor surfacing. A hard surface is essential to make cleaning up spills easier. It is also important that the surface is not slippery when wet. A basic floor could be concrete with either a textured surface or painted with slip proof outdoor concrete paint. If your budget allows, there are so many wonderful selections to choose from; brick, flagstone, exposed aggregate are just some options.

More and more people are choosing to upgrade their backyard to include an outdoor kitchen, recognizing the fun and utility of being able to cook comfortably outdoors. If this is your dream, make a budget, decide if it is for just the family or entertaining, make a list of what you would like to include, and talk to a professional.

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