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An outdoor kitchen is a great way to extend the living and entertainment spaces in a home. Most outdoor kitchens start with a grill, but the options are endless. Keep reading for some great ideas and suggestions for building an outdoor kitchen.
Plan a Budget
Choose a Location
Placing a kitchen close to the house can be convenient, allowing easy access to the house. Plumbing, electricity, and fuel lines are also more easily connected when the outdoor kitchen is close to the home. However, always put any grill or cooking surface at least ten feet away from the house in case of a fire.
Placing a kitchen farther away from the house allows homeowners to be more flexible with configuration and makes a stand-alone outdoor kitchen that feels more intimate. Homeowners need to consider shading since there won’t be shade from the house. Adding an overhead structure for shade can be effective, but sometimes is not possible with grills and other cooking appliances.
There isn’t one right way to configure an outdoor kitchen. The configuration will depend on the size of the space and the budget. Homeowners often choose L-shaped kitchens, which work well for small spaces. They fit nicely into corners. Linear kitchens are also a popular option for small spaces and small budgets. They run along the side of the house. A galley kitchen has appliances and cabinets that face each other, divided by a center walkway. U-shaped kitchens are great options for freestanding outdoor kitchens. These kitchens form a U shape with appliances and cabinets on all three sides and an open space in the middle.
The grill, cooktop, and side burners go in the cooking area. Gas grills are the most popular option in an outdoor kitchen because they are easy to use and provide great results. Consider things like ventilation around the grill and adding storage space for a propane tank and grilling accessories.
Adequate prep space is essential for any meal preparation. If the outdoor kitchen is close to the house, the indoor kitchen may be used for some prep, and a large counter space outdoors may not be necessary. A sink is a convenient addition to help with cooking, cleaning, and eliminating cross-contamination from raw food. Some other items to consider having in a prep area include cutting boards, grilling and cooking utensils, and paper towels. Having a small fridge in a prep space will come in handy to keep ingredients cold until they are needed.
The most fun area of an outdoor kitchen is the entertainment space. Be sure this area is out of the way of the prep and cooking area. A beverage refrigerator or a keg can make this area fun and convenient. A patio bar is another idea for entertaining guests.
An outdoor kitchen can provide a great way to spend more time together with family, friends, and neighbors. Begin planning now for a dream outdoor kitchen.
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