The kitchen is known as the heart of the home. Not only does daily meal prep occur in this room, but it is also a gathering place for friends and family to catch up and recount their day. Because of this, special consideration is taken for the design of the space to accommodate more people and visiting spaces. Usually when the weather is nice, people move this type of visiting during meal prep outdoors, leaving the cook stranded by themselves in the kitchen. This, along with other convenience reasons, is causing many homeowners to build a second outdoor kitchen for family gatherings during beautiful weather.
Why Build an Outdoor Kitchen?
If you do a lot of entertaining, it is a no brainer to build an incredible outdoor kitchen! No host wants to spend their whole get-together in the kitchen working on the meal while everyone else enjoys the beautiful outdoors. Even if you do not do a great deal of entertaining, an outdoor kitchen has numerous benefits. The first is an increase in your resale value. People who are shopping for homes fall in love when they see a gorgeous outdoor space with a kitchen. Not only is it a big perk, but it also counts as an expansion of your living space.
Using your outdoor kitchen also will save you money on utility bills. Most outdoor kitchens are constructed using propane or wood burning appliances, meaning you won’t have to use your indoor appliances as often. Likewise, using your outdoor kitchen means you can keep the smell of foods outside instead of trapped in your house for hours. Outdoor kitchens are much easier to clean than indoor kitchens and cooking food outside is actually healthier as it gives fat a chance to drip or burn off, unlike indoor appliances.
What to Consider Before Building
Before you start planning a dream outdoor kitchen design, make sure you consider the things you will need for the space first as opposed to things you want. Choose a table and chairs that will comfortably fit your usual guest. Then branch out to other convenient seating options to add more people to your outdoor kitchen space. You can also choose additional seating that is easy to store away.
Think about convenience items you will need to keep your guests comfortable as well. For instance, you will want solar protecting fabrics for the umbrellas to keep the table and the people underneath it cool. You can even take it a step further and add an awning to your outdoor dining and cooking area to really expand the cool space.
If you think you will be using your outdoor kitchen a lot for more than just grilling burgers, then you will need to upgrade the appliance capacity. For instance, power burners will be an excellent investment if you want a truly functioning outdoor kitchen. Simple tasks indoors, like boiling water, are difficult on regular outdoor burners. But with power burners, you can have all the power of an indoor kitchen outdoors.
Our Favorite Design Elements
Once you have the elements you will absolutely need down, it is time to go back to your dream outdoor kitchen and choose design and utility elements that fit your budget and needs. You need to combine the function of an indoor kitchen, the gathering space of a dining room, and the entertainment of a living room all in one space, so consider all these pieces when designing the outdoor kitchen. Outside of the grill, sink, and high power burners to get your cooking done, some of our favorite elements are natural stone cabinets and countertops. We also love bench seating around a fire pit near the outdoor kitchen, but not necessarily in it. This allows guests to relax and enjoy the outdoors while still being able to visit with the chefs. Lastly, an expansive dining table with beautiful umbrellas and comfortable seating is a must next to the meal prep area.