You love your new deck or patio and the relaxing outdoor time it has given you and your family. But you want to spend even more time outside, perhaps for dinner in the evenings or for family cookouts on the weekends. An outdoor kitchen can add function and versatility to your outdoor space, and our Maryland outdoor kitchen experts will be happy to help you create your own outdoor cooking oasis. What kinds of things does a good outdoor kitchen need? Let’s take a quick look.
Arguably the most important part of your deck or patio’s outdoor kitchen is the grill. It’s the outdoor equivalent of your kitchen stove. Without a cooking appliance like a grill you really don’t have much of a “kitchen,” do you? Grills come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and features, so it’s important to know what you want before shopping for one. Do you prefer the flavor that comes along with a charcoal grill or the speed and precise cooking temperatures that come with a gas grill? Will you primarily be grilling meat or do you like to experiment with things like vegetables and pizza on the grill? One thing that should be of utmost importance when shopping for a grill, no matter what you will be grilling, is the quality of the appliance. While it may be tempting to choose a cheaper option now, a higher quality grill will save you both time and money in the long run.
Another thing your outdoor kitchen needs is an outdoor food prep area. In the most basic configuration, this area should have some counter space where you can cut up your meats and veggies and mix your marinades. It’s also nice to have a sink in your outdoor kitchen, but extending your plumbing from the house can get expensive and complicated depending on your setup. Another good thing to have in your food prep area is storage. You probably wouldn’t want to bring out all those carving knives, mixing bowls, measuring cups, plates and grilling tools every time you are cooking outdoors. Thankfully, most outdoor counter blocks come with plenty of storage underneath.
One non-essential, but very useful part of many outdoor kitchens is a built-in bar area. It can be as simple as a bar counter with bar supplies underneath and bar stool on the other side. An outdoor bar gives you a place to prep food and drinks, and also gives your guests a space to enjoy and relax while you fire up the grill. Another big benefit of the bar is that it instantly becomes a hangout spot, which means you will always have someone to chat with while you are cooking, so you never feel left out of the party.
One very important part of an outdoor kitchen is a dining area of course! Why not create a space where you and your guests can enjoy the fruits of your labor in the beautiful outdoors? A dining area could be a patio adjacent to your grilling station or even your deck if it’s not too much of a hike. Just make sure you leave enough room for a dining table and chairs, which can take up a lot of space if you have a large family or plan on hosting large gatherings.
Do you like pizza, sitting by the fire or both? If so, your outdoor kitchen also needs an outdoor fireplace. Fire can create a pleasant ambiance in the evening, and the fireplace itself can double as a conversation starter and the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen. Many outdoor fireplaces also have built-in ovens where you can cook things like pizza, bread and a few other things.
An outdoor kitchen can save you time (and your sanity) when you are entertaining during the warmer months. It gives you a place to prep your food for the grill, as well as a place to entertain your guests while you are grilling. Additions like a countertop with a sink, a built-in bar and a large dining area can make you the grill master in your home. At Fireside Stone and Patio, we have experience creating beautiful and functional outdoor kitchens and would love to sit down with you to start designing the kitchen of your dreams.