Adding an outdoor kitchen adds functionality, livability, and beauty to your outdoor space. Outdoor kitchens can run the gamut from a basic barbeque grill standing alone to an elaborate outdoor kitchen design that includes other appliances, countertops, sinks and even outdoor kitchen cabinets, in addition to the all-important grill. No matter what type of outdoor kitchen you may be considering, there are a few important design elements to keep in mind.
If you are considering building an outdoor kitchen, here are a few points to pay attention to when coming up with your outdoor kitchen plans:
The location of outdoor kitchens should be a prime consideration during the planning phase. An outdoor kitchen should be placed conveniently near an entrance to the house, since food will typically be carried back and forth between an indoor and outdoor kitchen, as well as utensils and other kitchen essentials. Outdoor kitchen designs that have quick access to the home’s indoor kitchen provide the most convenience.
No matter what size kitchen you are planning to build outdoors, it is important to incorporate enough workspace into the area to suit your intended use. Outdoor kitchen grills should have usable counter space on either side of the grill, as should outdoor kitchen sinks, so that plates, utensils, condiments and other food can easily be placed down while working in the kitchen. In larger setups, outdoor kitchen islands are a popular way to add large expanses of usable counter space and can also include seating, a bar sink, or other elements to enhance functionality.
If your outdoor kitchen consists solely of an outdoor kitchen grill, then you don’t have to worry too much about layout. But, if your plans include a setup typical to an indoor kitchen, such as a grill and possibly other cooking elements, an outdoor kitchen sink, and a refrigerator, the same care should be taken to layout the kitchen design as you would if you were designing an indoor kitchen. You should make sure you have easy access to each aspect of the kitchen when coming up with outdoor kitchen ideas, and should also consider how many cooks will typically be using the kitchen at once before finalizing your layout.
When designing an outdoor kitchen, there is a large variety of outdoor kitchen equipment to choose from. Of course, the most logical inclusion is an outdoor grill or barbeque, and there are many styles and sizes of this important cooking feature to choose from. You may also want to include other cooking elements, such as a pizza oven, regular oven, or cooktop for added cooking functionality. When it comes to keeping things cool, you can add a refrigerator, an icebox or freezer, or even a wine cooler or ice maker. Another important element of an outdoor kitchen is a sink or sinks, and those can be single sinks, double sinks or even bar sinks.
An outdoor kitchen typically doesn’t require as much storage space as an indoor kitchen, since many items will be kept indoors and then will be taken out as needed. Even so, it is beneficial to include storage space in your outdoor kitchen plans, such as cabinets, to house the outdoor kitchen supplies that will remain outdoors at all times, such as grill utensils, over mitts, and any other items that have no need inside. It is better to include more storage space than you think you need, rather than incorporating too little space.
Seating & Dining
It used to be that a barbeque grill was placed away from dining or seating areas because they produced a lot of smoke. But many of the newer grill models can better maintain the smoke that is emitted, or are even smokeless, and therefore there is no need to keep seating areas so far from cooking areas. Seating in an outdoor kitchen can include outdoor dining furniture, a bistro table, or even a few stools placed around an outdoor kitchen island. Keeping seating close to the kitchen space will keep the cook involved with everyone during food prep, rather than having to miss all the fun while preparing a meal for guests.
The basics of outdoor kitchen design include consideration of the basic layout of the kitchen, as well as locations for a grill, sink, fridge, storage and seating. Other options can add more functionality and interest to your outdoor kitchen design. Various outdoor kitchen appliances can make food prep easier and storage for these items should be considered in the initial design. Outdoor kitchen accessories can also add functionality, as well as enhance the design of your kitchen plans. Outdoor lighting should also be considered in your design plans so that you can continue to use your kitchen space after the sun goes down.
Custom outdoor kitchens
When it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen, the possibilities are endless. Unlike an indoor kitchen which typically has set rules for design, an outdoor kitchen can be large or small, can contain only one aspect (such as a cooking area) or many, and can be customized to meet your functional needs, while adapting to your backyard design. Custom outdoor kitchens can be designed near pools, on patios, within gardens, or almost anywhere that you desire.
Most people will hire a professional to build an outdoor kitchen. When considering a professional for the job, it is best to interview a few different builders and ask them to come up with a detailed set of outdoor kitchen plans for you to review. This will help you get a better idea of what you like, and will also allow you to compare pricing and workmanship. It is a good idea to ask for references and take a look at other outdoor kitchens that any builder has already completed.
If you plan to build an outdoor kitchen on your own, you can find plenty of outdoor kitchen pictures by searching online or looking through design books or magazines that feature outdoor designs.
Looking through outdoor kitchen photos is a great first step in determining what you want or don’t want in your kitchen design and can make it easier to describe to builders how you would like your kitchen to look if you are having a professional build it, or can help you design your own outdoor kitchen if you are doing it yourself. You can also find useful tips on how to build an outdoor kitchen online if you plan to tackle the project yourself.
Adding an outdoor kitchen to your home not only adds functionality to your outdoor space, but just like an indoor kitchen is the center of most homes, an outdoor kitchen can become the central spot for entertaining and enjoyment when you step outside.