It’s time to bust out those zesty seasonings because grilling season is just around the corner. If you’ve been daydreaming about finally investing in the outdoor kitchen of your dreams, why not make this your year? There’s no time like the present, especially with Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July on the horizon. We’ll bet you can almost smell the aromas of those succulent kabobs and taste the tart margaritas just thinking about it.
It goes without saying, but there’s so much more to cooking outside than just grilling the perfect steak. If you’re an aspiring outdoor chef, you’ll need all the essentials at your disposal to smash your next cookout out of the park. Here are a few tips for getting started.
1. Steel the show. Invest in high-quality products that will stand the test of time, like stainless steel appliances. They are built to withstand water damage and rust, which keeps them looking and functioning their best for years to come without showing any signs of wear and tear. Since the surface of stainless steel is non-porous, it is more sanitary than wood or plastic and less likely to become a breeding ground for the most unwelcome guests at your next party: nasty bacteria and germs.
2. Choose your fuel wisely. There are perks and drawbacks to both propane and natural gas, so the best energy option for your space will depend on your set-up. One major propane pro is that it doesn’t require a connection to a gas main, so it’s a good fit for backyards that don’t include easy access to a gas line. It’s also powerful and efficient, providing enough energy to grill for large parties, for long periods of time. On the other hand, you’ll have to remember to stock up on propane tanks, because once you run out, you’re out. If you opt for natural gas instead, you simply hook it up to your gas line and will never have to worry about running out, as long as you’re paying your gas bill on time! Another perk is that it is slightly more eco-friendly, burning cleaner than propane.
3. Consider counter space. If you know you’ll be preparing elaborate multi-course meals for a multitude of people, investing in a spacious built-in countertop to complement your outdoor cooking area and kitchen is a must. Not only does it make meal prep less stressful; it also doubles up as a serving spot. Once you’ve picked the right size and layout, it’s time to choose the right material to accentuate the style of your home and backyard. Although softer stones like limestone and marble are aesthetically pleasing, they’re not ideal for outdoor use because they are not as sturdy as options like concrete, composite quartz, granite, or flagstone. When it comes to countertops, durability always trumps beauty.
4. Strategize on storage options. There’s no better way to ruin the fun vacation vibe of your new cookout nook than the presence of excessive clutter. Invest in open shelving that frees up counter space but allows you to easily see and access your equipment, giving the area a more fresh, finished look.
5. Don’t skimp on seating and shade. Finally, be sure to save enough space for an inviting seating area for guests filled with dependable, comfortable furniture and covered by an outdoor pavilion or arbor for shade. Additionally, consider practical lighting options if you plan on entertaining mostly in the evening.
Ultimately, a little planning goes a long way when creating the ideal outdoor kitchen and dining area. When you’re willing and able to invest a little time and money in this project, you’ll reap priceless rewards, like a space that fosters family togetherness and unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
Need some help getting started? We happen to be gurus on all things grilling, so give us a call.