While we all love cooking indoors in the colder months, we enjoy our outdoor kitchen that much more in the summer. If you enjoy outdoor cooking, you’ll appreciate this checklist of must-have essentials.
Outdoor Kitchen Essentials You Need To Know
On any given day, your kitchen transforms everyday food into delicious recipes for everyone to enjoy. But during the summer months, we get to enjoy our backyards, and that’s where the magic happens.
However, a hot and crowded kitchen can be off-putting sometimes, which is one of the reasons why we love our outdoor kitchen. If you like BBQ parties, but can’t stand your stuffy kitchen, you will love having an outdoor kitchen. If you don’t know where to start, here’s what every outdoor kitchen needs.
More so, it becomes even more lovely when you invite some friends and family on a summer afternoon and cook for them. After all, we get to make our favorite summer recipes and show off our beautiful outdoor spaces. We all love cooking outdoors, but do have the essentials we need?
1 – The Right BBQ Grill For Your Needs
Obviously, every outdoor kitchen needs the perfect BBQ grill. Since there are various types of grills available, you need to choose the right one for your needs. You’ll have several choices to choose from, like, gas, charcoal, electric, and portable.
Additionally, the type you choose will depend on your cooking style and how you like your grilled food. Outdoor kitchens mainly feature Gas grills, as they’re fast and won’t require the same preparation or clean up.
Typically, you should go for a charcoal grill if you like the strong, smoky flavor. With charcoal, the temperature is higher than that of gas grills. More importantly, if your city’s fire regulations prohibit you from using gas or charcoal, you can choose an electric grill.
If you’re cooking for fewer people and would like to also use the grill on the go, you can get a portable grill. If you want your meat properly cooked every single time, you can buy an automatic temperature controller. But before you make a purchase, check online reviews to pick the one that works best with your type of grill.
2 – Choose The Right Counters and Cabinets
Just like your indoor kitchen, you need to have counters for your outdoor one. You have to make sure you have enough counter space to make cooking easier. It’s a good idea for the counters to be on both sides of the grill and the sink.
Also, choose a counter composed of good material and the right size for your needs. This way, it doesn’t wear out quickly as a result of constant use and exposed to ultraviolet rays and other weather conditions.
Also, there are a lot of grilling tools and utensils that you need to store. Notably, it’s best to store them in cabinets instead of having to take them back inside every time you throw a BBQ party.
3 – Good Lighting Essentials For Your Outdoor Kitchen
Even though most cooking takes place during the day, you’ll still need proper lighting. Not only for safety concerns but also for overcast days and cooking during the evenings. Plus, think of the beautiful atmosphere lighting for your backyard space.
There are different ways you can install lighting like pathway lights, under-counter lights, LED candles, and many others. It all depends on your style and kitchen design. The most important thing is to choose fixtures made for outdoor uses. You will want to position the lights so they illuminate the work area without casting shadows on it.
Besides, if you want to kick up your outdoor kitchen ambiance, consider hiring a professional to install outdoor lights properly. Of course, you can DIY, especially with so many excellent lighting tutorials on the internet.
4 – A Sink For Your Outdoor Kitchen
Ideally, a sink for your outdoor kitchen is a great idea, but understandably, not everyone can have one. Having access to a sink for all your cooking needs is ideal, and if you can install one, great!
Installing a sink outdoors will indeed save you countless trips to and from the house. More so, adding one is not that expensive as you might think. For hot water, you can use an on-demand water heater that you can install under the sink.
Typically, you can expect to pay about $150 to add a sink. Of course, you can pay up to $1000 for high-end freestanding outdoor sinks as well. It all depends on the type of outdoor sink you want.
Also, consider the cost if you do it yourself or hire a plumber or handyperson and whether you need to run a new water line. At that point, this will increase costs considerably.
5 – Outdoor Kitchen Roofs
Now, you’ve undoubtedly spent a reasonable sum of money on your outdoor kitchen. Of course, you want to protect it from sun, wind, and rain. That’s why you need to build a roof over it.
Similarly, you can do something as simple as an open pergola or go with a full roof or ceiling setup. It all depends on your aesthetic preferences, the weather in your area, and how much protection you need.
6 – Adding A Range Hood
Furthermore, you can think about adding a range hood for your outdoor kitchen. Adding one will provide you with more protection from smoke, toxins, and grease from cooking and grilling.
Without a range hood, it’s challenging to keep your appliances and kitchen tops clean. More importantly, with your guests close to the cooking equipment, you don’t want the smoke to affect them. Also, check your lock codes as some areas require vent hoods for outdoor kitchens.
7 – Flooring For Your Outdoor Kitchen
If you haven’t thought about it, flooring for your outdoor kitchen is a must-have and essential. You want flooring that’s easy to clean and safe for your guests as well. Always look for fire, stain, and grease resistant flooring beforehand.
Below, you’ll find some options for outdoor kitchen flooring.
- Concrete – You can treat concrete chemically and choose different color palettes. More so, textures such as brick, flagstone, slate, tiles, wood, and many more textures and patterns as well.
- Wood – Using wood opens up a variety of options as well. You can choose from ash, oak, or cherry for your outdoor space. Plus, wood adds a level of warmth and elegance, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.
- Outdoor Carpeting – While this is an option, think about replacement costs and the availability of styles and patterns to choose as they might not have as much to offer.
8 – Position it Right – Location, Location, Location!
Now that you have the essentials for your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to position it just right! Think about keeping it close to your indoor kitchen. This way, you can quickly go back and forth as needed. After all, you’ll need to move stuff like utensils between them with ease.
If possible, measure the wind direction and position the seating area so that the smoke doesn’t blow in the guests’ faces. As mentioned above, a vent hood can control the smoke, too.
It’s no wonder that having an outdoor kitchen is a popular trend; you can be both the chef and the life of the party at the same time. You can cook while watching your children play before your eyes in the garden, or engage in conversation with your guests while grilling.
Aside from the grill, you don’t need anything more than what you would typically need in a standard indoor kitchen. We all love eating outdoors and enjoying the summer weather. What’s your favorite essential for an outdoor kitchen?
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Don’t forget to read Making The Most Of A Small Backyard too!
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