Outdoor Kitchens

An outdoor kitchen is the perfect complement to any house. Not only are you able to cook delicious meals outside in the warm summer evenings but also you will not have to be stuck in the main kitchen, missing all the fun outside.

In 2005, Americans spent nearly $150 billion remodeling their homes and $50 billion of this was spent on exterior living areas, meaning that outdoor kitchens are a hot trend! You will need at least a few thousand dollars before beginning your outdoor kitchen but consider it an investment. Before you rush out to buy materials and appliances, here are some things you should know about outdoor kitchens and their design.

Outdoor Kitchen Design

There are three basic outdoor kitchen designs, which are a L-shaped island, a basic island, and a U-shaped center. A L-shaped island has space for both cooking and preparation. A basic island features a sink, a grill, and a space for preparation. Basic islands tend to be small so if you are going to be cooking for more than a couple of people, you might want to consider another type. A U-shaped center has a grill in the middle and spaces on either side for preparation and serving. This is a handy design if you want to be able to serve food straight from the grill without leaving it.

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

Remember that outdoor kitchens will be exposed to sunlight, water, and cold temperatures, So you need to use durable materials for the countertops and cabinets. Marble, granite, brick and various man made materials are good to use. Wood rots easily, especially if left untreated. It is also highly flammable. Outdoor kitchens are supposed to last for many years, so you should invest in the best quality cabinets and countertops you can afford.

Outdoor Kitchen Appliances

The centerpiece of all outdoor kitchens are the grills. You can choose a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Gas grills offer better temperature control but charcoal grills give a better flavor to the food. You will need a waterproof cover for your grill, if it is exposed to the elements.

You will also need a kitchen island. These can be bought in one piece or designed yourself. Suitable materials include stone, stainless steel, and stucco. It is handy to have an outdoor sink, which draws from a potable water hose or the house's water supply. An outdoor refrigerator is another possibility but a refrigerator kept outdoors will have a maximum life span of five years because of the fluctuating outdoor temperatures.

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

The first thing to do is plan exactly what you want and need. Also, think about what type of cooking you will do and how often, your budget, whether you want the outdoor kitchen to be a fixture or movable arrangement, how many people you will be feeding and whether the food will be eaten outside or brought in.

When you have a firm idea of what is required, you can either build your own outdoor kitchen or hire a contractor to help. Outdoor kitchens should be near the house so you can bring food in and out but not in an area where smoke will blow into the house or into the faces of your guests. Other safety precautions include making sure the grill is a comfortable thirty-six inches high and not using any flammable materials in your outdoor kitchen construction.

Once you have your plans and materials ready, it is time to build the perfect outdoor kitchen, where your family and friends will enjoy making delicious meals for many years!

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