Originally a feature of year round warm weather
areas, outdoor kitchens are sweeping the
nation as the latest ďmust haveĒ for those
who enjoy outdoor entertaining. More than
just a barbecue grill, a table, and some
chairs, these are sophisticated spaces that
can include a full set of appliances made
especially to withstand the elements and
still look stylish.
Consider the following if you
in having an outdoor kitchen:
- Outdoor appliances include grills, wood fired ovens, griddles, refrigerators, wine coolers, dishwashers, ice makers and just about anything else found in interior
kitchens. Stainless steel exteriors are the
most popular choice for these appliances
because it is so durable and does not rust.
Remember that you may have to put in gas,
electricity, and water lines in order to
install these appliances.
- You will want to have cabinets for storage and countertops for food preparation and serving. These
also need to be made from weatherproof materials.
Tiles or stone (such as granite) make good
countertop choices and add a warm, natural
texture. Stone, brick, concrete, or rot resistant
wood decking are good floor choices. Donít
overlook new composite materials, such as
cast stone or synthetic decking, when making your choices.
- Lay out your outdoor kitchen as carefully
as you would your indoor kitchen. Plan for
both food preparation and areas for socializing.
Donít forget the work triangle and allow
for a sheltered seating area. It is usually
nice to have both sunny and shady areas so
that the kitchen can be used in a variety
of weather conditions and times of the day.
Sun umbrellas and retractable awnings are very useful. Pergolas are another good option.
- Donít forget the lighting. Outdoor lighting
systems can add a great deal of ambiance
to your outdoor kitchen area. Consider using
lanterns, votives, candles, and torches.
Check to make sure the appliances you pick
out have task lighting.
If you live in a climate where the nights
can be chilly, consider installing an outdoor
wood burning fireplace (which can also be
a pizza oven). Fire pits and patio heaters are also a good idea.