An outdoor kitchen is the ultimate dream for a lot of people who enjoy backyard entertaining. Imagine gathering your friends or family together for a summertime barbecue or a cozy winter cocktail party in the comfort of your own garden. Here are some great tips for designing your killer outdoor kitchen.
1. Design Ideas
Pinterest is a great resource to find design inspiration and to compile your plans. Simply go to pinterest.com, register an account, and type in "outdoor kitchen ideas". There is a multitude of design options out there. Take a look at some of these tips!
- Moern and Sleek
Concrete or rich colored woods are a great way to create a modern design aesthetic. Most classic or traditional kitchens use white-washed or light colored wood to create the look so go the opposite way for modern! Minimal furniture and features also help to create a modern feel. This also helps with maintenance and clean-up too. Check out these images for inspiration.
- Classic or Country
White wood, blue accents, and exposed stone are a great way to give your outdoor kitchen rustic, classic appeal. Flowers and plants growing up the sides of walls or arbors are great for creating softness and a traditional appeal as well. Think of white-washed cabinets, pale-wood benches, and large rustic dining tables.
So many grilling options! There are 6 major types of grills to consider for your outdoor kitchen. Think about what you most enjoy cooking and what you can get the most use out of before choosing your grill.
- Open Grills
This is the simplest set up of all grills. It consists of a metal or stone box with a heating element (wood, charcoal, gas) and a metal grate over the top of the box directly over the fire. Open grills are best for direct grilling over high heat and are best suited for quick cooking foods like kebabs, thin steaks and chops, and fish.
- Covered Grills
Add a cover to the open grill and it allows you to add smoking and indirect grilling features to your outdoor grill. Covered grills are best for thicker steaks, rack-of-ribs, or whole chickens and ducks. You can also add different types of wood to your grill, close the lid, and let the meat slowly absorb the aroma of the wood.
- Ceramic Grills
Ceramic grills are made of thick walls that allows heat to radiate off the side of the walls for even cooking. Ceramic grills are usually much deeper than typical grills and are generally used to cook bread (like flatbreads or India's naan) directly on the side walls. The grill portion of ceramic grills are best suited for thin sliced meat, kebabs, fish, or veggies.
- Rotisserie Grills
A rotisserie grill adds a rotating spit to the grill to allow for even cooking of thick slabs of meat or whole animals. Food is cooked slowly over several hours that results in crispy skins on the outside and tender, moist meat on the inside. Rotisserie grills are best suited for thick steaks, fatty meats, or whole animals like chickens, ducks, or even whole pigs (if your grill is big enough).
- Smoker Grills
A smoker grill cooks meat on low heat for several hours over aromatic wood chips for flavorful and tender meat. The most common woods used for smokers include maple, hickory, mesquite, oak, and pecan. Smokers are best suited for tough cuts of meat that it slowly tenderizes while in the smoker. Meats like briskets and ribs are perfect for this.
- Firepit Grills
A firepit grill allows your whole family to feel like you're camping out right in your backyard! Firepit grills are just like campfires but with a metal grate positioned above the fire to cook food. The grates for the grills are height adjustable so that the food raised or lowered to be closer or farther from the fire. This makes firepit grills extremely versatile and can handle delicate foods like fish, veggies, and S'mores to thick cuts of beef and whole animals.
Take a browse through these links for some ideas for your appliance purchases.
- Pizza Ovens
Here is an affordable, moveable outdoor pizza oven.
- Grilling Space
This is a comprehensive, versatile grill designed especially for outdoor use.
- Beverage Center
This is a great option for those who really want to entertain! Store your drinks and drink accessories in a sleek design.
4. Furnishing Ideas
There are so many options to consider when it comes to furnishing. Will you go for a table and chair configuration, or a bench and stool set-up? Consider what kinds of gatherings you will use your kitchen for to help you decide which is best.
- Color: try to think about what color scheme you will like and enjoy throughout the years. You don't want to choose a bold, crazy color palette that you end up tiring of after one season. If you want a bold, bright touch, use interchangeable pillows, cushions, and throws. You can choose, bright appliances or flowers to add color too. That way, your base palette remains neutral while adding add splashes color that are easy to change out.
- Fabric: Obviously, you need to choose a weather-resistant fabric for your outdoor furnishings, especially if there is a minimal overhead cover. Treated canvas and Olefin fiber are good choices for outdoor furniture.
- Shade Sails and Covers: It is important to protect your appliances and furniture from the weather and potentially harsh elements. If you live in an extreme climate, consider the kind of protection you want to use for your outdoor kitchen. You can build awnings to shade the patio area or you can build a structure, like an arbor or pergola. Basically, this has a sturdy roof and side pillars. You can also install weather-resistant curtains to the side pillars that you can pull closed to act as walls if you'd like some privacy in your patio.
- Finishing Touches: once the heavy appliances and furniture pieces are installed, take a step back and think of what else space needs. Here are some ideas for finishing touches:
– Small side-tables
– Decorative trays and bowls
– Vases and good-quality fake flowers
– Water-resistant throws and blankets for winter months
5. Money-Saving DIY Options
You don't need to rely on the expertise of others for every aspect of your outdoor kitchen needs. You can handle some of it yourself if you're up to it!
- Use recycled wood and old furniture / benches from second-hand stores or yard sales. Upcycle it yourself and get to work making your chairs, benches, or shade sails.
- Go out and find weather-resistant fabrics from fabric stores or furniture sales. You can re-upholster your outdoor furniture to suit your own personal aesthetic.