Want to spice up your dinner routine? The perfect way to enjoy a summer evening in your backyard is to add an outdoor kitchen to your cooking arsenal. Whether you’re wanting to fire up the gas grill to enjoy some delicious barbecue, or share a nightcap cocktail on your very own patio bar, there are plenty of ways to customize your backyard to create the ultimate outdoor dining experience. Here’s what you need to know about adding the right appliances and equipment to turn your deck or patio into the ideal outdoor kitchen:
Envision your kitchen
Before considering what appliances to invest in, you should visualize how a kitchen will fit into your backyard. Think of your outdoor kitchen as your own restaurant, in terms of the placement and location of everything from the seating arrangements to where the grill will stand. Look at the sides and back of your house to see where a good spot for installing a stainless steel refrigerator or ice chest would be for the bar. Plumbing and other utilities will be cheaper to set up if they are installed next to your house.
Spacing is one of the most important factors to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen, as you don’t want a cramped working environment while you’re manning the grill as your guests wait for dinner. When picking out your grill, contemplate whether installing a sink, countertop or prepping area around the grill will meet your needs. Looking at the possibilities of your backyard dining area from the perspective of your visitors may also help you better plot out your potential outdoor kitchen.
Fire up the grill
For starters, the right grill will set the tone for the ultimate outdoor kitchen. As convenient as having a refrigerator for the patio bar or a sink for washing dishes after dinner on the deck can be, owning a quality grill is what separates the better from the best in terms of backyard dining. There are many variations of grills that range in price and condition, but if you’re serious about owning one, you definitely want to consider purchasing a model as a long-term investment. Natural gas grills with multiple rows and burners are perfect for catering your backyard barbecues, and finding one that has plenty of space to cook upon will cut down on how long you have to grill. Whether gas or charcoal powered, a stainless steel grill is also a valuable investment, as the material is renowned for its durability and can help you continue cooking throughout the year.
Bulk up the bar
Of course, you may not want to play chef every time you utilize your outdoor kitchen. Sometimes just taking in a sunset with friends in the backyard is best enjoyed while savoring a cold cocktail at your own outdoor bar. But maintaining a functional backyard cocktail area entails more than just adequate seating. Just as a delicious drink needs the perfect ingredients, having the right appliances to accommodate your bar station will help make this area handier.
“Mini-fridges and sinks are essential components to any outdoor bar.”
Consider pairing your bar counter and high-top seating arrangements with elements similar to what you’d find in your indoor kitchen. Installing an adjacent sink for rinsing dirty dishes or a mini stainless steel refrigerator for keeping drinks and glasses cold will save you time and energy going back and forth between your indoor kitchen and your backyard patio. For added convenience, outdoor kitchen sinks are available with their very own bar-prepping area, perfect for cutting fruit garnishes or keeping all bar accessories like bottle openers and koozies near by.
You’ve assembled the beautiful patio seating arrangements, you have the stainless steel grill all ready to go and the bar station is waiting for usage. What’s next? To complete your dream outdoor kitchen area, consider adding a pergola overhead to enhance your space’s character and create a room-like feel. For more ambiance and comfort, include a fire table with your seating arrangement and strategically place patio heaters around your outdoor living space to keep your guests warm as the sun goes down. With so many options available for creating an outdoor kitchen, you can easily make one that’s truly unique to your backyard.
What elements would you like to have in your outdoor kitchen?
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