8 Ways to Design an Outdoor Kitchen You'll Love
Dining outside is one of the most popular preferences once it becomes summer. People enjoy the atmospheric properties of warm breezes, buzzing bees, and sunshine. They crave it so much that the trend in outdoor kitchens that could once have been debated as fleeting, has proven to be once again gaining popularity. In this article we uncover ways to make an outdoor kitchen the perfect place for entertaining guests and making the most out of the summer days.
The type of cabinetry used in your outdoor kitchen is highly dependable on the way you design it. If you design a kitchen that is exposed to the elements, you are limited to using a material that is durable like stainless steel. If, however, you have a kitchen that is properly enclosed, you can choose from an assortment of materials such as wood or stainless steel. While designing an enclosed kitchen offers more variety, many still prefer to use stainless steel for cabinetry because it typically compliments the grill and is a strong material that can resist water and bugs.
Counter Top Space
When it comes to designing the countertop for your outdoor kitchen you'll want to consider all of the functions that the countertop will have. While you may primarily use it to hold food that is to be cooked or already cooked, you'll also be likely to use it to potentially act as an eat-in area or bar seating area. Since you want a functional counter space that can accommodate multiple users, it is recommended that you aim for a minimum of 24-inches on either side of the grill.
It's important to install proper ventilation if the grill is located close to the home. Failing to properly vent the area will not only make the area hotter but also cause potential damage to nearby walls and siding. With a proper ventilation system, however, it draws heat, smoke, grease, and odour away from the cooking area so it reduces the likelihood of causing damage to the home.
As you're likely to spend most of your free time in your outdoor kitchen area, it’s important to realize that an outdoor kitchen will be subject to similar wear and tear as a regular kitchen. Such wear and tear includes oil or grease spills, stains, water, dirt and debris, as well as foot traffic. So you need to account for a flooring such as pavers that can not only withstand daily activity, but also be easily maintained to remain in an aesthetically pleasing condition.
One of the leading benefits of an outdoor stainless steel kitchen is the low level of maintenance for the space. Aside from wiping down the counters and appliances before and after use, you do not need to take other measures in the winter. This is because most of the components of an outdoor kitchen are already weatherproof and stainless steel so they can withstand the elements. The only part of the kitchen that will need tending to are any sinks or water lines that you may have since the lines can freeze in the winter. So draining them prior to the cold weather is suggested.
When designing your outdoor living space you must consider how direct sunlight will affect the space. While the natural light is beneficial during the day, too much of it can cause other harmful effects. So then you must plan to provide shade for the area if the area is prone to receiving the afternoon sun.
Additionally, you must consider that despite the summer sun providing ample light well into the evening, you may need to still incorporate overhead lights into your plan if you’re interested in cooking beyond the hours of sunlight. If not for safety, lighting can help extend the use of the space.
While the option for additional plumbing to the outdoor kitchen is left to the discretion of the homeowner, many choose to incorporate a sink into their design because it is proven to be a highly functional feature. It allows homeowners to easily sanitize themselves and the food they prepare for dinner.
Similar to the option for plumbing, the choices for appliances are typically based on each homeowner's individual preference. Some choose to keep their kitchens minimalist with just a grill and a mini fridge to ensure proper food safety. Others, however, choose to make their kitchen extravagant by incorporating ice makers, wine fridges, bar fridges, fireplaces, music systems or tv’s.
Now that you've discovered all of the ways that you can make an outdoor kitchen unique and lovable, there's one last thing you must remember. The most successful space needs just one thing - a welcoming environment for entertaining.