Tips for Outdoor Kitchens

There's no better way to ring in the Spring and Summer months than with a backyard cookout. And if you're looking to step up your outdoor cooking game, there's no better way to accomplish that than building an outdoor kitchen for your home.

Outdoor kitchens can be as simple as a permanently installed grill, or they can be as full and complex as your imagination or your budget will allow. Of course, you can also start small and build your outdoor kitchen and dining spaces over time. If you're ready to get started, begin with some of our best ideas and tips!

1. Include the Basics

As long as you include all of the basics of a kitchen, you won't have to be running back and forth from your kitchen to the yard to make preparations and get the cooking done. Some of the staples you should include in your outdoor kitchen design are:

  • Food-prep surfaces (whether it's a custom-built countertop or an all-weather table)
  • Good lighting so you can keep the party going after nightfall
  • A pergola or umbrella to keep you sheltered from wind, rain, or the sun
  • If you want to go all out, a sink and other appliances

Above all, make sure that your outdoor kitchen is perfect for you and what you'll be using it for.

2. Save Money While You Build

Outdoor kitchens can be pricey, but with some careful planning and creative design, you can get everything that you need from your outdoor kitchen while staying within the limits of your budget.

Any money that you spend on building your outdoor kitchen will raise your home's resale value, which is something important to consider. You may also save money by only including the amenities that you know you'll use. Hold off installing the refrigerator, perhaps, and start with a simple grill and counter space setup.

Starting with the bare essentials can help you keep the price of this project as low as possible.

3. Pizza Ovens

A wood fired brick oven is one of the coolest pieces of equipment you can have for an outdoor kitchen. Any pizza lover will absolutely cherish the authentic Italian pies they'll be able to cook brilliantly in these ovens. And there's no limit to the other things you can cook in brick oven.

But brick ovens are a expensive option, and there are fortunately some alternatives. Since you already have a grill outside, you can look around for pizza stones that can be used a grill. These will mimic the effects of a brick oven, allowing to cook pizzas evenly and at the high temperatures they need.

4. Outdoor Dining without Overspending

Cleverly repurposing older furniture and the use of creative design elements can help you create an outdoor dining area that is striking and won't break the bank. You don't need to spend money on brand new outdoor furniture, and you also don't need to have permanent dining spaces installed. Finding clever ways to make do with furniture you have will help you create a quaint, attractive outdoor dining area that will impress your guests without costing you money.

5. Keep It Simple

Outdoor kitchens to not have to be extravagant, professionally built full- service kitchens. In fact, they don't need to be anything more than a convenient space for you to cook outdoors.

Depending on what you need, your new outdoor kitchen could be as simple as a cart with storage and a small prep area that you can keep near a grill. This grilling station could be everything you need for what you'll be doing, and if that's the case, there's no reason to go overboard.

6. Build An Outdoor Bar Cart

If you usually use a Styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice to serve drinks at your outdoor get- togethers, it's time for a major upgrade. Fortunately, though, it doesn't need to be a difficult or expensive undertaking.

Building an outdoor cart that won't be damaged by rain, sun, or spills is a great way to have the luxuries of an outdoor bar while maintaining simplicity and charm. A simple two-wheel design will allow total mobility, and you'll be able to keep everything from mixers, glasses, wine, and beers to an assortment of snacks and a pitcher of your signature cocktail!

There are a variety of choices available for outdoor kitchens. The above are just some of the possibilities. Having the advice of a professional landscaper can help you to decide the best design options for your new outdoor kitchen.