An outdoor kitchen or a “summer kitchen” is a perfect place to combine relaxation, entertaining and nature in one area of your outdoor home. Perhaps scraping the ice off the windshield and driving slowly to work in congested traffic on a regular basis brought on some winter blues. Perhaps staying indoors for long periods and feeling miserable as soon as you stepped outdoors dampened your usually cheerful disposition. Creating a welcoming outdoor entertaining area with the ability to cook and enjoy your friends and family can be the perfect “getaway” for the warmer season!
How to Create a Great Outdoor Kitchen this Season
One idea to cheer yourself up considerably is to start thinking about and planning your outdoor barbecue parties. If you love great food and good company, then it’s time to start thinking about your “must have this summer” list and plan-of-action for your outdoor kitchen and bar.
Create an Outdoor Bar to Enjoy Nature
Think of your deck or patio as an extension to your house. Think of it as an “extra room” where you can enjoy warm, balmy days and pleasant evenings with family and friends. After spending so much of your time indoors during the winter, it’s only natural for outdoor decks or patios to become the best place for convivial social gatherings. We love these outdoor bar and kitchen ideas from DIY Network.
However, rather than simply filling up the space with chairs and tables and a modest grill, why not go all out and make it the favorite “room.” Yes, convert your deck or patio into a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen with all the comforts of a den.
Here are 4 outdoor kitchen ideas that go far beyond simply tossing hotdogs and hamburgers on a grill and eating at a wooden picnic table:
A Gas BBQ Grill
A built-in bbq gas grill is probably the first thing to think about when it comes to designing a great outdoor kitchen. Think about how many people usually come to your parties when you’re buying a grill. If you get something too small, then you won’t be able to cook all your meat, corn, and potatoes at the same time. It will be difficult to serve uniformly hot food to your family and visitors.
A Functional Outdoor Kitchen
There are three things that make a kitchen a functional place for culinary craft: electricity for appliances, plenty of countertop space for food preparation and placement, and refrigeration. There is no reason why you can’t have all three in your outdoor kitchen, too.
Electricity: It will make a huge difference to the quality of your small gatherings to have electricity to plug in your appliances. While you’re waiting for the food to cook on the grill, you could blend up smoothies or use a food processor for fresh salad dressing, meat sauces, and prepare quick and easy recipes. Instead of sitting around feeling hungry as the food heats up in the grill, you could be sampling drinks and appetizers.
Countertops: What’s the most frustrating thing about cooking in a small kitchen? It’s the lack of enough countertop space. So when planning your outdoor kitchen, be sure that you have enough countertop space for preparing your food and placing it after it’s cooked. Things will go a lot smoother if you’ve got all the counter space you need to stay organized.
Refrigeration: Imagine how convenient it will be to have a refrigerator under the countertop. This will save you the bother of running into your kitchen every time you need sauces and veggies. You’ll also be able to serve chilled cans of beer or bottles of wine.
A Full Outdoor Bar
If you tend to have many people at your fabulous outdoor parties, then a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine isn’t going to cut it. You need a wet bar to practice all your mixology skills. It will also make it much easier to have a sink for cleaning up glasses and dishes.
An Outdoor Kitchen with Brick Fireplace
If you really want to get cozy, then think about adding an outdoor brick fireplace. After you’ve enjoyed your drinks from the wet bar and eaten a delicious meal, everyone can lounge around the fireplace in comfortable chairs and enjoy the ambiance of firelight.
Naturally, the more area you have available, the more you can do to create a magnificent outdoor kitchen that everyone will love. However, these simple ideas will help you get off to a good start.
For more outdoor kitchen ideas on Stagetecture, visit our outdoor home archives.