How to Build a Well-Designed and Fully Functional Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor cooking

Having an outdoor kitchen on the patio or in a shady corner of the lawn can completely change the way your home looks and functions. The great thing is that an outdoor kitchen is far more affordable to create than an indoor kitchen, and it tends to last much longer. 

Made of weather-resistant materials, you don’t have to worry about things warping and deforming over time, nor do you have sensitive materials that can easily get damaged. If you really want to build the best outdoor kitchen, then the sky’s the limit. If, however, you simply want to get something comfortable and functional it is very easy to do so. With these guidelines, you can get your outdoor kitchen up and running in a matter of days.

Washing Area

When you are cooking and dining outside you are exposed to a lot more elements so having a place where you can clean things up is a priority. You don’t want to have to run in and out of the house to wash a plate or get a rag for a spilled drink. You can make a simple sink with just a stainless steel basin or you could install something more elaborate with a marble basin and fancy fittings. Keep in mind the kind of things that you would want to wash here. With an outdoor kitchen, you will probably be grilling a lot of things so you might need a bigger basin to accommodate the marinating pans and the grill, and the utensils that you use when grilling. You can even add an instant geyser to have quick and cheap access to hot water while you are there.

Flooring

If you are making the kitchen on an existing patio, then you don’t need to worry about flooring. However, if you have the option to start from scratch, wood isn’t the best choice. Instead, consider getting tiles or natural stone, or even a simple concrete floor. These materials are sturdier, but make sure you seek out the right people that specialize in dealing with the material you’d like to use. If the tiles aren’t laid down properly or the cement mixture isn’t made correctly, it can compromise the look, safety, and longevity of the flooring. Getting an expert will cost you a bit more initially, but it will easily last you decades when it’s done right.

Fridge

If there is one appliance that is a must-have with an outdoor kitchen it has to be the fridge. Marinated meat needs to stay refrigerated, especially on a hot summer day. You also want to be able to keep your drinks cold without having to use bags of ice in a cooler, and you can even store your tasty desserts in there. You can get a small fridge that can be installed underneath the washing area and have some kind of paneling to seal the fridge into the space. This way you can leave it out there all year round and not worry about water or ice damaging the fridge.

Grill

The crown jewel of the outdoor kitchen is the barbeque grill. Making a proper barbeque is the only thing that you can’t do in a residential indoor kitchen without a lot of modification. When you’re outdoors you have the freedom to cook whatever you want on the grill or smoker. There are plenty of options when it comes to grills. but ensure that you hire a reputable company to help you through this process. You could go for a gas grill or a standard charcoal grill or even a hybrid solution. The grill is an important consideration since it will dictate the size of the overall kitchen. Also, keep in mind how many people you will frequently be cooking for as getting an unnecessarily oversized grill will only waste fuel and space. Instead, you could get two medium-sized grills, or one grill and one smoker.

Stove

In some kinds of grills, you get an integrated stove or a hot plate that you can use for cooking anything else. If you want a bit more room and want to do this more professionally, you can get a gas stove for the outdoor kitchen as well. If you find electric stoves to be more convenient, then make sure you have good insulation for the electric cooker to protect it from rain. You can get specialized outdoor kitchen stoves that come with a lid. This makes it a lot easier than having to build a custom-made housing for the stove.

Oven

Together with the stove, you could also add an oven. If you want to make something special then consider making your own clay or brick oven that uses firewood. This is usually a horizontal style oven similar to what is used for making pizzas. However, if you like grilling meat then you could also make a vertical version where you can hang the meat in the oven. There are also several pre-made options that you can look into. These premade ovens can also be built into the workspace in the outdoor kitchen so all your cooking stations are together on one side.

With your entire kitchen set up, you also need some space where you can sit, relax and enjoy all your cooking. If you are making a full outdoor kitchen, then you can have an extra dining area in the middle or you can integrate seats into one side of the kitchen. If you live in a very hot area, consider installing some fans or making a place for fire if the weather is cold. All the other additions are up to you and will entirely depend on what you need and what you enjoy. Some people add a TV or a sound system to the seating area while others like to keep technology away from the outdoor kitchen. You can personalize the kitchen according to whatever you like, just make sure that the solution is either portable or it is well protected from the elements.

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