Homeowners are embracing the trend of adding an outdoor kitchen to their backyard living space. The Weber grill is being pushed aside for fully outfitted outdoor kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances, countertops, bar seating, and cabinets. Extending your living spaces outdoors increases your options for entertaining and adds to your personal enjoyment of your home during the warmer months. With an outdoor kitchen, the chef can be a part of the action while your guests and family enjoy the outdoors.
1. Decide what type of cooking you'd like to do? Of course grilling makes sense, but you may also want to consider a cooktop or even a pizza oven. Also, think about the space that will be required to prepare food. Your answers to both of these questions will dictate some of your appliance selections and how much counter and cabinet space you will need.
2. What type of entertaining will you do? You will certainly need to incorporate a space for table seating somewhere in your outdoor space. If you envision entertaining larger crowds, consider a built-in bar area that allows for seating.
3. Do you want a partial or completely covered area? To protect from rain or heat, you may want to consider adding a pergola, awning or roof to cover part or all of your outdoor kitchen and living space.
4. Determine which appliances you want to have. Consider the following items: refrigerator, ice-maker, dishwasher, beer tap, and wine cooler. Ultimately these decisions can have an effect on how autonomous your outdoor kitchen will be.
5. Don't forget lighting. Make sure that you have overhead and task lighting for cooking. You will want to light your dining areas and any walking paths as well.
6. Incorporate entertainment with outdoor speakers for music and maybe even a flat screen tv.
7. Would you like a fireplace or a fire pit? These help to extend your use of the outdoor kitchen as the weather becomes a bit cooler.