Are you dreaming of having your own outdoor kitchen? You're not alone.
Survey results reveal that 41% of Americans pinpointed cooking spaces as their top outdoor area must-have.
Getting an outdoor kitchen installation done won't just make your yard the envy of the neighborhood—it will also expand your usable living space, and give you everything you need to entertain outdoors in style.
But before you hit go on your outdoor kitchen design, you need to get clear on what features you want. Isolating which kitchen features are right for you will make the space more usable, and help you get the most bang for your buck, which is essential in any home renovation project.
Keep reading for 7 potential features to incorporate into your outdoor kitchen project
1. A Built-in Barbecue
One of the core elements of any outdoor kitchen design is a well-appointed barbecue.
A built-in barbecue doesn't just look impressive, it's also a whole lot more convenient. No more storing your barbecue in the garage and having to wheel it out every time you want to grill. Having a grill that's ready to go and can be fired up at a moment's notice makes outdoor cooking less of a hassle and more of a pleasure.
Suddenly, spontaneously throwing a couple of steaks on the grill on a summer's evening will become a no-brainer.
But we wouldn't stop at a stock-standard grill. Here are a few additional features you might want to include:
- A double-sided grill (allows you to grill sides at the same time as the meat)
- A griddle
- An adjustable grate
Before you select a grill, you'll also need to decide between gas, charcoal, and pellets. Gas grills are more convenient, but they don't deliver the signature smoky flavor that die-hard barbecue fiends are usually after. Pellets deliver both convenience and a smoky taste, but they're more expensive and harder to find.
2. A Range or Set of Side Burners
If you're planning to do a lot of cooking outdoors, we'd definitely recommend investing in either a full range or a pair of side burners.
This might sound overkill, but hear us out. Having a range in close proximity means you can cook any stovetop sides right along with your grilled dishes.
Instead of having to dart back and forth between the kitchen and the grill, you can have the whole meal going right under your eyes.
If you don't want the expense of installing an outdoor range, a set of side burners will also do the job.
3. A Warming Drawer
One of the trickiest parts of producing a top-notch meal is timing. Trying to keep everything perfectly warm while entertaining and shepherding guests to the table can be a challenge, to say the least.
If you include a warming drawer in your outdoor kitchen design, you can pop all your hot sides in there, and be free to relax and entertain at leisure.
4. A Fire Pit
Want to know the one element that makes an outdoor kitchen truly shine? You guessed it—a fire pit.
A lot of people skip over a fire pit when it comes to outdoor kitchen features. True, a fire pit isn't essential for cooking outdoors, but it's one of those exterior design ideas that will take your space from just an outdoor kitchen to a full-scale entertaining and living area.
Reports show that 90% of Americans say outdoor living areas are more important than ever.
If you include a firepit in your outdoor kitchen design, this will give your guests a crackling fire to sit around while the food is grilling.
It will also give you and your family a place to share quality time. Marshmellow roasting anyone?
5. A Beverage Bin or Refrigerator
Another key feature to include in your outdoor kitchen project is a beverage bin or refrigerator. Having chilled drinks on hand means you don't need to run back and forth to your main fridge every time someone wants a beverage.
This is much more convenient, takes the stress out of entertaining, and allows you to be that host. The one that's relaxed and at ease.
And if you really want to kit out your entertaining area, you can also think about including an ice maker. Having ice on demand can make serving drinks outdoors even easier, especially if you enjoy making cocktails and mixed drinks. You also don't have to remember to buy ice for large get-togethers.
6. A Sink
Having an outdoor sink isn't one of the most revolutionary design ideas, but it can be an absolute game changer.
Want some water to thin a baste? Deglaze a pan? Or wash your hands?
Incorporating a sink into your outdoor kitchen design means you have water on hand whenever you need it, and an area to wash smaller items and produce.
If you really want to ramp up the convenience factor, you can also consider including a dishwasher in your outdoor kitchen installation. As dirty dishes appear, you can pop them into the washer and keep your working space clear.
Including a dishwasher installation is especially practical if you're planning on storing a separate set of tableware in your outdoor kitchen.
7. Lots of Storage
Last, but definitely not least, make sure you include enough storage in your outdoor kitchen design.
If your main kitchen is more than a couple of steps away from your outdoor entertainment area, it might make sense to kit it out with its own set of cutlery, tableware, serving dishes, etc.
Chances are there will also be certain pantry supplies that you use exclusively for barbecuing, such as BBQ spices, rubs, and sauces. If you want to store these within easy reach, make sure you include a pantry area in your outdoor kitchen design.
Bring Your Outdoor Kitchen Design to Life
If you want a functional outdoor kitchen that makes preparing meals al fresco a breeze, make sure you choose the right grill, and consider incorporating a range or side burner. Having a fridge, sink, and ample storage is also important.
Dreaming up an outdoor kitchen is a lot of fun, but figuring out how to include all your must-have features can get complicated.
The easiest way to tackle a home renovation project like this is to partner with a team that can help you navigate everything from the initial design to the finishing touches.
Here at Outdoor Escapes, our team will work with you to create your outdoor kitchen design plans and manage all aspects of the construction and installation.
Are you ready to experience the joys of a new outdoor kitchen installation, minus the hassles and hiccups that often come with home projects? Contact Outdoor Escapes to set up a consultation.