Extending living space with outdoor kitchens is a very good idea if you love spending time outdoors with your family, if you like grilling and live fire cooking, if you have plenty of good weather where you live, and if you entertain a lot. Outdoor Kitchens Situating your outdoor kitchens near a kitchen garden will let you have the freshest food and the best alfresco dining environment as well. Outdoor kitchens range from the simplest and most cost-effective ones to the most elaborate designs with all the latest appliances, equipment, and accessories for outdoor cooking. The designs out there that you could choose from, range from shaggy to chic. There are also many different ways to finally have your outdoor kitchen. For instance, you could hire a contractor or build yourself an outdoor kitchen.
Types Of Outdoor Kitchens
A portable outdoor kitchen can be done by a skilled do-it-yourselfer in a weekend. Building a grill trolley saves you the bother of going back and forth when having a barbecue in the garden. However, a trolley gives you a limited choice. Outdoor electrical grill carts that you can wheel in and out, or a homemade cart that has built in grills and all the hardware is another type. Then there is the basic permanent outdoor kitchens layout with a grill area, a dining area, and a countertop or food preparation area. At the higher end of the spectrum, there is the choice of top outdoor kitchen designs with all the amenities. These luxury kitchens will have primo grills and smokers and outdoor kitchen stereos and a stainless steel sink, and outdoor kitchen tvs, and kitchen refrigerators & freezers, and 5-burner convection grills, and cocktail & beer centers.
Elements Of An Outdoor Kitchen
In designing an outdoor kitchen, you will have to think of your kitchen design and its relationship to the rest of the house as well as the garden space outside. In building an outdoor kitchen, you can follow the principle of building outdoor structures. You will need to use materials that are suitable for its purpose. Outdoor kitchens are exposed to the elements such as rain, sun, wind, and snow. This means that all the materials you choose must be able to handle weather changes. Your kitchen must be durable and low maintenance. You need to think of that when you plan your countertops and cabinets, and outdoor kitchen appliances. With the comeback in the popularity of outdoor kitchens, it is now easy to source out appliances & hardware for outdoor kitchens. Flooring can be integrated with an original porch, patio, or garden flooring if you are building over existing structures. Consider roofing materials & design if you want a year-round outdoor cooking and dining experience.
Suitable Flooring For Outdoor Kitchens.
Outdoor kitchen flooring requires unique safety features. In essence, the material needs to be slip resistant. This means no glazed stones and porous tiles. Natural stone or brick or concrete are first choices. The kinds of flooring materials for decks and patios are also suitable flooring for outdoor kitchens. These could be made from cut stone, cut stone veneer, tiles, hardwood, bamboo, and even other paving materials.
Prefab Outdoor Kitchen Islands.
Just because your kitchen is outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t have a kitchen island and all the works. Equipment for outdoor kitchens are just as considerable as those for indoor kitchens nowadays. Of course, your kitchen counter and all the rest has to be weatherproof. Fortunately, there are many available materials that you could use for this. Not only that, you could actually get an outdoor kitchen island with a built-in grill! Just take a look at the FireMagic brand pre-fabricated DC790-BS-84B 790 stack stone grill island, for instance. This has side burners with an access door, a stainless steel grid, and granite countertop. It comes in up to 6 pieces which you can assemble in a few minutes.
Illuminating The Outdoor Kitchen Space.
Outdoor lighting fixtures include wall mounted sconces, lanterns, hanging lamps, and pendants. There is also the choice of going green with solar lighting products for the outdoors. Just like planning for an indoor kitchen, you need to illuminate the workspace of your outdoor kitchens, and also provide ambient light to the dining areas. Plan for shade during the daytime and proper lighting to extend the kitchen’s use till dark.
The Outdoor Kitchen Cabinet.
An outdoor cabinet is convenient as storage spaces for all your equipment. Then you don’t have to go back and forth when cleaning up after having an outdoor dinner. Aside from functioning as outdoor kitchen storage, however, they also contribute as a design element. Your outdoor kitchen cabinets should have tolerances for expansion and contraction. Choices are polymer, stainless steel, hardwood, and masonry. Sinks For The Outdoor Kitchen.
A stainless steel sink is the most popular type because it is weatherproof and easy to clean, requiring no special care. There is also the choice of plastic, enamel, cast iron, and copper sinks. Cast iron is heavy and not suitable for a portable outdoor sink or sink station, however.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliances.
These are the extra appliances that make outdoor dining easier. You can design your space to have the appliances within easy reach. Many appliances have versions for outdoor kitchens. This is true of refrigerators, freezers, coolers, beverage centers, bar caddies, ice and condiment chests.
These spaces are perfect for entertaining. Some are even built close to a pool area, or on an existing deck or patio. Equipment that you could install for this purpose are outdoor kitchen tvs, outdoor kitchen stereos, and beer centers. There are outdoor kitchens with dining and lounge areas. You could layout your kitchen design this way and then build at your pace.
Outdoor Grill Types To Choose From
Outdoor kitchens would not be complete without a grilling area. The question is, what kind of grill should you install? You could actually choose grills by burner types, grills by fuel used, grills by size, depending on your preferences and the design of your kitchen. Here is a shortlist of the types of grill there are, and a discussion on the merits of each.
The outdoor charcoal grill is the classic grill of the outdoor kitchens.
With this kind of grill, you will 2 major fuel choices to cook with. You can use charcoal briquettes or all natural lump charcoal made of hardwood. These fuel types can also be used in fire pits. With charcoal grills you can sear, roast, and grill food that will have that wood smoke flavor characteristic of such cooking. The kinds of charcoal grill include the simple brazier grill, the pellet grill, the popular kettle grill, the barrel grill, the portable charcoal grill, and the charcoal cart grill. Basic differences include shape, size, and the addition of vents and lids. Outdoor charcoal grill carts are designed like gas grills, with almost all the same features. The outdoor gas grill is usually in designed with a cart, except for the large ones for restaurants. Outdoor gas grill carts are equipped with wheels and a space at the bottom for the fuel. Fuel is in the form of propane or natural gas. It has more features than a charcoal grill, such as a lid with vents, and heat controls. It cooks cleaner without the charcoal, but it is also missing the authentic wood smoke flavor. There are two different types of gas grills at the moment, through convection, and through infrared.
Indoor electrical grills.
If you decide not to have an outdoor kitchen, you can still get the kitchen grills with searing option. There is an electrical grill designed for this purpose. However nothing beats the experience of outdoor cooking and dining from your very own outdoor kitchens.