You may be wondering why we’re talking about outdoor kitchen ideas in the first few days of the winter season, but, since we’re having spring like weather with 70 degree temperatures in December in Georgia we might as well talk about outdoor projects. Another reason for the timing of this post is that planning, designing, and executing your outdoor kitchen ideas can be a major project and depending on your wants and needs the process can take months. So go ahead and get started. Your outdoor kitchen will be ready by Memorial Day, just in time for your holiday weekend festivities.
All about the Grill
Let’s start with the main component of an outdoor kitchen, the grill. Design your outdoor eating area around your grill as it will most likely be your most expensive purchase. When it comes to the grill, the phrase “go big or go home” definitely applies; George Foreman grills are great, but you should leave them in the house where they belong. Your open-air kitchen deserves the best built-in or freestanding grill your money can buy. Also, don’t forget about making smokers and fryers a part of your outdoor kitchen too!
First, you need to figure out what type of grill would best suit your needs. Are you going to go with a propane, natural gas, charcoal, or electric grill? Once you’ve gotten that figured out, determine your budget and go from there. Always read product reviews before making your purchase; you don’t want to run into any issues that could have been avoided. If you can’t find any reviews on the retailer and company websites, check for reviews on YouTube. Also, don’t be so uptight with your budget when it comes to buying your grill. It’s okay to splurge on this purchase, you can cut back in other areas; an outdoor kitchen is just a basic patio without a grill. If you’re cost conscious, but looking for an overall quality grill, opt for a Weber and if you’re looking to nab the grill of your dreams go for the gusto and get a Cal Flame, Bull, or Capital grill.
A Complete Kitchen
The grill is probably the most important feature of an outdoor kitchen, but having a grill outside doesn’t make your outdoor living space a complete outdoor kitchen. There are other features, such as appliances, fixtures, cabinets, and countertops that are needed in order to deem an open-air living space an outdoor kitchen. It all depends on your budget, how much space you have to work with and how much prepping and entertaining you will be doing. You may want to include a sink, cabinets for storage, and proper countertops (granite, concrete, and tile) that will be able to withstand the weather. Think of designing it just as you would design an indoor kitchen, although, there are significant differences.
At this point you have the basics, but what accessories do you want to add or how many will your budget allow you to add: a mini fridge, outdoor dishwasher, side burners, full bar or a pizza oven? Not only do you need to consider the initial cost of these accessories, but you also need to seriously think about the installation and maintenance of the items. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of sorting through details and you just want something simple, consider purchasing a complete outdoor island that comes with a built-in grill, sink, and a few accessories.
In addition to your outdoor kitchen items don’t forget about the aesthetics. Check out our post on outdoor living spaces. It will help you create an entertaining space that will compliment your open-air kitchen. What are some of your outdoor kitchen ideas? Let us know in the comments; we would love to read them!