If you're a seasoned home cook – or an aspiring one – there's nothing more enticing than the idea of an outdoor kitchen!
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It can give you many options that just aren't possible in a home, and it can be a great way to entertain guests. From classic grilling to preparing a gourmet meal, there are endless possibilities of what you can do in an outdoor kitchen. However, before you start building an outdoor kitchen, there are 4 important things to consider.
1. Prefab vs Custom Built?
The first thing to decide is what type of kitchen you want. Both a prefabricated house and a bespoke one Outdoor living space have their own advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage of bespoke outdoor kitchens is that they require a larger investment upfront. A pre-built model may be cheaper at first, but it can end up being more expensive in terms of maintenance, as the materials used are usually not as high quality as you would like them to be. The other thing to consider here is what kind of equipment you need and want. Depending on your preferences, you might find the perfect ready-made kitchen. However, if you want more options in how your dishes are prepared – grilled, smoked, wood-fired, etc. you may need to purchase additional equipment, which is the purpose of going the precast route.
2. Place and include options
One of the most important considerations when planning an outdoor kitchen is size. You need to make sure you have enough space for all of your devices and enough counter space to work. If you are short of space, you should a U-shaped kitchenwhich is usually more compact. However, if your outside area is larger, you can place the grill in the middle of the "U" and have it surrounded by cupboards on both sides. One thing to consider when placing your living space outdoors is whether or not it should be closed or open to the great outdoors. If you want to include it, you need to consider the cost of adding walls and a roof. However, if you choose to go open air, you need to think about how to protect yourself from the elements like wind, rain and sun. In general, installing a pergola roof is often a great way to protect yourself from the sun and add extra attractiveness to your kitchen, even if you don't want to have walls around you.
3. Preparation of the seat
When it comes to seating, you have several options – from a bar stool to a patio table with chairs. If the main purpose of your outdoor kitchen is entertainment, having enough seating is a must. With a great rustic table with lots of chairs – or even a bench on each side, ensures that all of your guests are comfortably seated. On the flip side, if you are planning an outdoor kitchen that doubles as a secondary cooking space, seating probably isn't that important to you and you can put together a smaller table for 3 or 4 people to end the day. Whichever you choose, however, do you have to resort to how closed the room is? With complete protection from rain and snow, you have a lot more freedom when it comes to making the seating area more comfortable – from pillows to blankets for those cool nights.
4. The extras that make it feel at home
When you cook in your home, you'll have all the utensils you need on hand – from pots and pans to measuring cups and spoons. However, if you are cooking outdoors, you need to consider what to bring to make your kitchen space functional. For example, if you don't have a thermometer on hand, what do you use to check the temperature of your grill? Or, if you're looking for something to measure ingredients with, are all of your measuring spoons and measuring cups really that easy to carry around? On the same topic, having a place to keep spices or even your cooking wine and oil is a must-have. All of these little extras help make your outdoor kitchen the perfect place – whether you're entertaining or just looking for a way to get away from it all and still prepare delicious food.
The great outdoors really is one of the best places to go, but it's even better if you have an outdoor kitchen that is fun and functional to cook in. Planning your outdoor kitchen area can be a daunting task, but if you are smart about planning your measurements and have all of your gadgets in mind, you are ready to go.