With delicious aromas in the air, an outdoor kitchen adds a new element to your usual meals. This kitchen model seems to be a hot trend taking over several parts of the country. Outdoor kitchens come in different sizes and shapes. They usually feature a built-in or freestanding barbecue, a wood-fired pizza oven, a fridge, burners, a tandoori or pizza oven, and a sink.
Interestingly, all meals prepared in an indoor kitchen can also be prepared in an outdoor kitchen. This kitchen isn’t just limited to the typical charcoal and propane grills you might be accustomed to. There is a whole sophisticated design for the modern outdoor kitchen, which also features several high-tech appliances.
Therefore, designing the perfect outdoor kitchen that would suit your needs requires thought and planning. Either for a home or restaurant, before launching your outdoor kitchen, there are some essential tips to consider. With the proper guidelines, designing your dream outdoor kitchen would be a hassle-free experience, so here are some tips that will enable you to create an outdoor kitchen that meets your needs.
1. Research Outdoor Kitchen Types
There are several types of outdoor kitchen designs. Therefore, the first step required is to determine the best kind of outdoor kitchen for your home or restaurant. Do you want a fully functional kitchen or a simple setup like a grill and a counter? These are some of the factors worth considering. Your budget and space are also worth considering when making your decision. Keep in mind that the kitchen is yours, so you are allowed to be as extravagant and creative as you choose.
2. Assess the Available Space
After you have determined the kitchen type you wish to go for, the next step is to assess the space available. Measure the area where you want the kitchen to go and select the appliances you want to use. Prioritize your appliances if the open space won’t accommodate all the appliances on your list.
3. Choose Between Permanent And Temporary Design
If you intend to move out in the next few years, you should choose a temporary outdoor kitchen design. This also means equipping the kitchen with appliances that can be easily moved when needed. However, if it is your personal property or you don’t intend to move out soon, you can design something permanent, including permanent appliances.
4. Set A Budget
Before starting any project, it is essential that you set up a budget and work within it. This also applies to designing an outdoor kitchen. Hiring a contractor can be very helpful in developing a blueprint for your kitchen, and this can help you come up with an estimate of the cost, as well as get quotes from local pros.
Items such as appliances, labor, materials, permits, and professional help, among others, must be planned for before the start of the project. When this is done, and expected costs are obtained, you can determine your budget.
5. Determine Your Preferred Cooking Style
Your preferred cooking style also plays a role in designing the perfect outdoor kitchen. Do you like your pizza cooked in a brick oven, a charcoal barbecue for grilled fish, or a tandoor? All these factors should be considered before purchasing appliances for your kitchen.
An outdoor kitchen can feature anything from ovens, grills, wood-fired pizza ovens, stoves, griddles, gas propane, and several other appliances. You can find high-quality outdoor wood-fired pizza ovens, such as the Ooni Karu 16 which can also be gas-powered, from Ooni. These experts specialize in outdoor pizza ovens, so will be a great place to start. Additionally, if the prepping of the meals will be done outside, you should make provision for a counter and a sink.
6. Consider Climate And Environment
If you live in a region with a warm climate, you will most likely spend more time in your outdoor kitchen than the one indoors. However, using an outdoor kitchen can be challenging if you live in a cold or windy region. So, the climate is an essential factor in designing an ideal outdoor kitchen. Therefore, if you occasionally experience unpredictable weather conditions, you should make provision for partial patio roofs or appliance covers.
7. Incorporate Seating
If you have the space, your outdoor kitchen can double as a dining room. This allows you to interact with family members as you cook without being left out of the food. Additionally, you can hold parties and invite others here. However, ensure that the seating arrangement doesn’t interfere with movement around the kitchen.
8. Choosing The Tools To Furnish The Environments
Another fundamental tip for designing the perfect outdoor kitchen is the design of the space. Your outdoor kitchen design should be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. This means that you should consider the space available and the style you wish to go for.
It is also essential that you go for materials and equipment that can withstand the rigors of an outdoor kitchen. Avoid tile countertops if you live in a region with considerable freezing and thawing. Remember that whatever outdoor kitchen design you choose to go for, it should be low-maintenance and easy to clean.
9. Plan For Storage
The perfect outdoor kitchen should include storage like cabinets and pull-out shelving, which makes it even more functional. Just like an indoor kitchen with storage where you can put all your cooking utensils and tools and easily access them, storage should be included in an outdoor kitchen.
However, such storage should be made with durable and waterproof materials. When you have all the utilities you need for your meal at your fingertips, outdoor cooking becomes more organized. Therefore, it is essential to make storage provisions while designing an outdoor kitchen.
10. Add Some Lighting
Unless you intend to cook only during the day, you should include lighting in your design. Do not overlook the importance of light. Lighting sets the mood and creates a soft ambiance in addition to providing the light needed for the task, especially for cooking and food prep. You should include an overhead structure where lights can be placed over the space or mount a light behind the cooking area where food preparation will be done.
11. Make Provisions for Household Needs
It is essential to set realistic expectations for your outdoor kitchen. While it is exciting to create an outdoor kitchen, it is vital to consider other household members who will be using the kitchen. So, before investing in more sophisticated items, ensure your kitchen has all the necessary essential appliances that other users can use. Finally, after you have decided on the general blueprint for your outdoor kitchen design, ensure that the vital elements are in line with your needs and those of other kitchen users.
The outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be boring. Homeowners can incorporate propane heaters, outdoor fireplaces, and even fire pits to make them functional. Beyond appliances, there is a need for seating and work surfaces for utensils, pots, and crockery. However, you should go for an appealing and functional design to get the most out of your outdoor kitchen.
Choosing high-maintenance appliances or items can be challenging to work with, especially if they do not do well in certain weather conditions. Therefore, it is best to sit back and plan your outdoor kitchen if you intend to build it from scratch.