Design An Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor-kitchenEntertaining your family and friends feels more relaxed when hosting outside. If you entertain more than six people at one time and have sufficient space, an outdoor kitchen is a fantastic way to enjoy your guests and the outdoors.

There are a few things to consider with an outdoor kitchen. One is how it will work with your indoor kitchen, your actual use, and another is maintenance.

Will your outdoor kitchen duplicate your indoor cooking space, or will it complement it?
Messy, smoky cooking processes such as grilling, smoking and using a wok are often better moved outdoors. But what about braising, refrigeration and other indoor-compatible functions? If you have an area far from your house—a pool nestled into the landscape, for example—it might make sense to duplicate your indoor kitchen to avoid frequent trips into the house and back.

Are you someone who loves cooking, with a bookshelf full of cookbooks of all types?
If so, your outdoor kitchen will probably get a lot of use. If you’re more occasional, perhaps a simple grill with a side burner and adjacent counter space will meet your needs.

outdoor-kitchen2How often do you entertain, and how large are your parties?
The typical person probably will be very happy with a small- to medium- size high-quality gas grill with a pair of side burners.

Who to hire?
The project could be part of an addition to your house or part of an expansion plan, in which case you would typically hire an architect or a landscape designer. Businesses that sell this equipment often have a staff designer who assists customers with the planning and implementation of an outdoor kitchen. You’ll also need a general contractor to get everything built and properly installed.

Typical project length?
This project will take a fair amount of planning, organization and management. Give yourself at least three months from initial planning until the kitchen is ready for the first party.

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