Outdoor Kitchens

Why Use Outdoor Kitchens For Patio DesignsMany homeowners are choosing outdoor kitchens to improve their property value and add some functionality. Compared to interior renovations, this addition to the home is easy to install and offers more options. As long as there is enough space in the backyard to fit the setup, it can be simple and understated, or expansive and ornate. Either way, this addition will provide the perfect area for entertaining and enjoying company while preparing delicious food.

Most outdoor kitchens are placed close to the house for practical reasons. For one, it is much easier to build onto an already existing space. Utility lines can be readily connected to appliances close to the home and may be expensive if new lines need to be run to appliances further away. It also makes more sense to connect food preparation areas to existing decks or patios, so food and utensils can quickly be carried in and out. However, it is also popular for homeowners to set their area in a separate spot in the backyard, sheltered by a wood or thatch roof. This may cost more, but it doesn’t restrict a homeowner’s options in outfitting their space.

Lighting and shelter are both primary considerations for outdoor kitchens. Without them, it will be impossible to use the area during inclement weather or darkness. All lighting fixtures need to be approved by the Underwriters Laboratories for their safety, but track lighting and halogen fixtures tend to be the safest and most efficient option. It’s also a good idea to surround the space with lights close to the ground so people can see where they are walking. Retractable awnings and pergolas are popular shelter options, and both should be able to handle most rain and wind.

The real fun in putting together outdoor kitchens, though, is outfitting them with ample counter space and state-of-the-art appliances
. Here, the options are virtually endless. A homeowner with enough space can build a setup that provides 50 or more linear feet of counter space. Even a few linear feet of counter space, though, is enough for most food preparation. Granite counters are the most popular, though Silestone and sealed concrete are also common choices. The flooring and walls are usually built with brick, stucco, tile, stone or slate.

The centerpiece of outdoor kitchens is the cooking equipment
. While the grill still reigns supreme for backyard cookouts, when integrated into these setups, it can be upgraded significantly. For instance, the grill can be built with inductive surfaces for safe cooking, warming surfaces or shelves, a smoker or a rotisserie. Refrigerators, sinks and ovens can all be integrated into a space. Some homeowners prefer even more exotic items, like a full size brick pizza oven or an open fire pit for charring meat or kabobs. These appliances are usually made from stainless steel and will resist corrosion and oxidization. Cabinetry fitted into the space is built to be climate resistant, so they won’t swing open or degrade during bad weather.

There is little that can’t be built into these spaces. Much more than a simple grill, a full kitchen outside can help a family make the most of their backyard oasis.

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