You can’t really just put your grill out on the deck or patio and call it a kitchen; or can you? I suppose so, because technically that’s where you’re preparing food. But that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about big cooking areas complete with an oven, burners, deep fry pans, and a smoker. Top it off with a table and chairs, and you get the idea.
Most homeowners who enjoy their outdoor kitchen recommend:
- Plenty of food prep space
- A nice area to lay utensils down
- A spot for ingredients
- A seating area far enough away from the cooking area to protect guests from the heat
The primary appliance you need is the grill. Whether you use a propane grill, an open fire grill, or a brick oven, your primary appliance will be the one on which you cook. Many outdoor kitchens also include burners for pots and pans and an oven to bake pizzas or outdoor baked breads.
Your outdoor kitchen can be just as functional as your indoor kitchen depending on the appliances you choose to use. Consider adding these to increase the functionality:
- Cabinets – to hold dishes, spices, and dry goods
- Dishwasher – to wash the outdoor-use dishes so you don’t have to carry them inside
- Sink – to aid in food preparation and cleanup
- Refrigerator – to keep cold items cold until time to cook and to keep drinks cold
- Wine Cooler – to keep wine at the perfect temperature, of course
- Wet Bar – to serve alcoholic drinks to your guests like a pro
Covered or Open
The Georgia sun gets very hot during the summer. Will your outdoor kitchen be covered, partially covered, or completely open? Here are a few ideas to help get your imagination flowing:
- Covered central area where guests will sit to eat. This provides a nice, shaded area in which to enjoy their meal.
- Pergola over the wet bar and food preparation area. This allows partial shade for the chef and those who enjoy the mini bar while allowing the heat from the cooking area to escape.
- Covered hammock and seating area for additional guests.
- Open area for those who enjoy sitting in the sun.
You obviously need a dining table and chairs. Buy two if you have space for it and plan to do a lot of entertaining. You will also need a few barstools if you plan to have a wet bar. Purchase a large sofa, loveseat, and chairs for additional seating. Hang a hammock for personal relaxation or for guest use.
Options, Options, Options
As the title of this blog post indicates – your outdoor kitchen can be as simple or as grand as you wish to make it as long as your budget allows. If you’re in the North Atlanta metro area and would like to discuss your outdoor kitchen ideas with us, call any time. We’ll schedule an appointment to visit your home and help with the design.