You already have a high-end set of barbeque tools and you’re a black belt when it comes to searing in those juices. You make your own sauces before you ever bother with that stuff from the store and you laugh when people tell you that you can’t grill in the snow.
When you’re committed to your outdoor cooking, having an outdoor kitchen is a natural progression. Let’s start building you the space that will take your alfresco culinary skills to the next level.
Work backwards – what is the ideal experience that you want out of this kitchen?
Do you see yourself as the grill-master at the center of a large gathering, or do you just want a high-end space where you can enjoy al-fresco meals with the family? Outdoor kitchens generally involve a fair amount of permanent additions to your porch or patio, so it’s in your best interest to think about the kind of space you really want. It’s a space that you really want to enjoy, so understanding how you enjoy your outdoor cooking is going to go a long way towards helping you reach an optimal design.
Whatever you’re into, there’s a way to make it happen. You can have a grill (gas, charcoal, or both!), stove-style burners, a smoker, a flat-top griddle, or even a few warming drawers if you’ve got some serious entertaining to do.
It’s also possible to provide refrigeration that can chill a case of soda or keep your favorite vintage of pinot at that perfect cellar temperature.
We’ve got the hookup
Most grills can be connected to portable propane tanks, but if you’d like something a bit more permanent, you can have a gas line run to your grill, stove, or oven. You can always use extension cords to provide power, but having an electrician provide a dedicated power source makes it easy to add appliances or devices while you’re outdoors. If you plan on doing your meal prep outdoors, you might also want to consider adding a sink with running water. Most customers build outdoor kitchens to be convenient, relaxing spaces, so having built-in utility connections is usually the way to go.
A bunch of hot air
It may seem like a detail you’d rather not deal with, but you’ll be glad that you spent a few minutes to consider the ventilation needs of your outdoor kitchen. You don’t want smoke from the grill blowing into your house, and a brick pizza oven is going to need somewhere to vent that heat. If the cooking area is attached to the house, a chimney might be the easy way to go. If your grill or oven is removed from the structure of the home, a vent hood is a good idea. Either way, a well-ventilated, smoke-free area is more likely to attract visitors, and isn’t that part of the plan?
Seating and gathering spaces
Speaking of visitors, do you have a plan for seating? Bar- and counter-height seating is all the rage, and if you plan ahead, it’s easy to construct a seating area that’s integrated into the design. If you’re unsure about what to do, you can never go wrong with a bench. They’re easy to build, and you’ll have no trouble finding cushions or pillows to match your style.
Don’t forget the entertainment
We would never suggest that you’re not the life of the party, but you might consider giving yourself the ability to add music or TV to your outdoor space. You wouldn’t want to make margaritas without a little Jimmy Buffet, and you don’t want to miss the game while you’re flipping burgers.
An ounce of prevention…
Safety isn’t exactly the sexiest topic, but if you take it into account while you’re designing your space, you can create an environment that minimizes any outdoor dangers while still looking fabulous. You need a fire extinguisher, but a little planning can give keep it out of sight while still giving you easy access. If you’re near a pool, polished tiles can get slippery when they’re wet, but a tile with a bit more texture can offer the same appearance while providing additional traction.
We bet you already have a few sketches of what your outdoor kitchen is going to look like. Why don’t you give us a call and let’s make this open-air foodie’s paradise into a reality.