Outdoor Kitchens, from Simple to Sublime

Outdoor KitchenRequests for outdoor kitchens are on the rise, from pretty basic to really crazy. While most outdoor kitchens are considered a luxury, there are ways to add them to your space in all budget ranges.

First consider how you will use your outdoor space and what you really need. What type of cooking do you prefer? Are there ways you can multitask with an appliance or barbecue?

Having a refrigerator is nice, but many people can live with trading the cost and space of refrigeration, ovens, etc. with simply having to bring the food out from the kitchen. Consider having a mini fridge, beverage fridge or even a cooler on a stand for keeping drinks handy and cool.

If your goal is a pizza oven, you can buy one ready-made (be prepared for some foundation costs to support it). Many people prefer to try a hand a building their own. Also consider whether you want a freestanding barbecue or one that can be built in.

Outdoor cabinets are available, usually in stainless steel, but they are not perfect for long-term storage of food items. So consider them carefully, as they can have significant costs.

Built-in burners or cooktops are a nice option, but we have also seen some very high-quality, induction-cooking “hotplates” that come with the cookware at very reasonable prices. These operate on electricity and could be well utilized in an outdoor kitchen setting.

A covered kitchen area is always nice, but not necessary. Determine what covering you need, if any, given the exposure your outdoor kitchen area will have. Adding skylights can help brighten the space, and be sure to account for any lighting for nighttime use.

With a little advance planning and thought, an outdoor kitchen could be your favorite summer destination and the perfect place to spend quality family time!