Outdoor kitchens provide an excellent way to entertain when the weather outside is perfect and can help increase the value of the home. Instead of just having a grill, there are a variety of appliances, so there’s a full kitchen outdoors to use whenever it’s wanted. Planning the outdoor kitchen, however, does take some time. It’s important to consider everything about the kitchen and make sure nothing is forgotten about from the beginning. Some of the top things to consider when planning the outdoor kitchen include the following.
Determine the Best Layout
The right layout for the kitchen makes a huge difference. Those who are interested in building an outdoor kitchen will want to consider what they want for the layout to maximize the space available. Outdoor kitchens can vary in size, so think about how much room there is for everything to fit. Then, consider what needs to go where. An L-shaped kitchen provides plenty of room to walk around, maximizing a small space so everything can fit in the kitchen. When planning the layout, arrange the basic appliances like the refrigerator, grill, and sink so they make sense and are easy to get to when cooking.
Consider the Appliances
Think about any appliances that may be needed in the kitchen. Though the outdoor kitchen may be smaller than the indoor kitchen, it can still include a lot of the same main appliances. A grill can do a lot of the cooking, but it may be a good idea to include a stovetop, an oven, a refrigerator, and more. Think about the sink carefully, as well, as it will need to be as accessible as possible. Even if the space for the sink is smaller, consider a deeper sink as well as the right faucet to make washing dishes a breeze.
Add on Extras
What’s an outdoor kitchen without the extra? Small appliances can make it easier to cook and are easily stored when they’re not in use. A bar or a wine cooler is perfect for those who want alcoholic beverages available when entertaining, and a drink cooler is perfect for non-alcoholic beverages. Think about all of the little things that would add to the use of the outdoor kitchen or make it a place that’s more comfortable to be when hanging out in the backyard or entertaining friends and family and make sure they’re included in the plans.
Think About Materials Used
The same materials used for an indoor kitchen may not be appropriate outdoors. It’s important to make sure materials used for the cabinets, countertops, and other components of the kitchen are designed for outdoor use. Some kitchen counters will work fine outdoors as they are durable but may require more maintenance or cleaning compared to their use indoors. Thoroughly research any materials used to make sure they will hold up to the local weather and continue to be in good shape for many years.
Figure Out the Storage
Storage is needed for any outdoor kitchen. The cabinets in the kitchen will provide some storage, but more may be needed. A well-stocked outdoor kitchen may include extra drinks, plates, bowls, napkins, cutlery, cooking utensils, and a lot more. Even if disposable items are used where possible, they will need to be stored so there’s no need to go inside and get more during a party. Extra storage doesn’t need to be in the kitchen, as long as it is nearby and easily accessible when everyone is over enjoying a fantastic meal.
Seating is Needed
Seating is a must for any outdoor kitchen. A patio table can provide a lot of seating and a place to set the food while eating. When choosing the perfect patio set, pay attention to how much room is available and make sure there is plenty of room for people to get in and out of their seats. Patio tables can only fit a certain number of people comfortably, so consider other chairs as well. Bistro tables are set up for use by two people and other seating on the patio can be used, though the guest may have to hold their plate while they eat. Folding chairs are perfect when extra seating is needed for a larger party or event.
Add Lights for Evening Entertainment
What happens when the sky gets dark? Everyone enjoys watching a beautiful sunset, but when it starts to get dark, lights are needed for everyone to keep enjoying the night. Standard porch lights may not be sufficient. Extra lighting can help set the mood, as well. Consider strings of lights for added lighting and a unique look or larger lights that make it easy to see the kitchen and seating areas. Also, make sure there are lights on each step to prevent falls if there are steps to a patio or porch.
Work Out the Budget
When planning the perfect kitchen, don’t forget about the budget. With all of the amazing items available, it’s all too easy to go a bit overboard during the planning phase and end up spending a lot more than expected. Whether there’s a strict budget to stick with or just a general guideline, it’s important to keep the numbers in mind while picking out everything. If something doesn’t fit in the budget, see if anything else can be changed to make more room. If needed, spend a little more time saving for the outdoor kitchen to make sure everything is perfect.
An outdoor kitchen provides an excellent place to entertain in the evenings and most people find they get a ton of use from it. Whether you enjoy entertaining or just want to be able to cook under the stars once in a while, now’s the time to start planning your new kitchen. Use the tips here to make sure you think about everything before the construction begins, so you can get the outdoor kitchen you’ve been dreaming about and not have to worry about forgetting something essential.