Is there any one thing that feels more like summer than cooking and eating in the great outdoors? There’s just something about the feeling of firing up the bbq, the taste of slightly charred veggies, the smell of a good steak or even hamburgers grilling and the easy clean up of dining on the patio table with minimal dishes.
To experience this feeling on a more regular basis you need to start with a really functional outdoor kitchen. It doesn’t have to break the bank to be useful and stylish and something you can use throughout the week instead of just on the weekends. If you are thinking of expanding your outdoor kitchen or just kicking your prep space up a notch, here are some things to consider adding to really take things to the next level.
1. The Appliances – There are 3-4 items we think should be the core function points of your outdoor kitchen….The Grill, a Sink and a Fridge are the holy grail of workhorse appliances that you shouldn’t skip when planning your space. But if we had to add a 4th it would definitely be a pizza oven!
2. Counter prep space is critical! What is the point of cooking outdoors if you still have to mess up your indoor counter with all of the prep work? Think about space to roll out pizza dough, chop vegetables, rest your meat after grilling and even create a buffet for serving.
3. Storage – when cooking and dining outside you want to have as much of your supplies within reach as possible so think about good sealing drawers or cabinetry to house your outdoor cooking utensils, plastic plates and cutlery, wood for the pizza oven, a wine opener…whatever you need should be easily accessible and sheltered from the elements. We even suggest adding clear plastic bins with lids inside the drawers if you can’t find cabinetry that is air tight.
4. Lighting – don’t forget that sometimes you may want a late night snack and grilling in the dark doesn’t lead to the best judge of doneness. Think about adding some lighting near your grills or over your prep space to illuminate your work surfaces. It will also add background lighting for your dining area should you want to linger outside long after the sun goes down.
5. Location Location Location – proximity to your dining area is also super important. You don’t want to carry your beautiful creations halfway across the yard (where you will undoubtedly trip over a pool toy and toss the whole platter onto the lawn). Think of a party where everyone wants to hang out near the chef and be a part of the process. Set up the kitchen near the dining area so you can engage with your diners as you transform into the Grill Master and dazzle everyone with your skills!