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Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchens

The New Entertainment Space

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Outdoor Kitchens

Americans have a love affair with outdoor entertaining. We’ve made outdoor grilling a favorite summer pastime since the 1960s. Our love of cooking and dining al fresco demanded innovation and new products. So, in the 1990s, manufacturers began producing outdoor equipment to replicate the indoor kitchen. Today, your outdoor kitchen can be a simple grilling island or an elaborate cooking/dining area.

Why should you consider adding an outside kitchen to your home? If you love to grill, having a kitchen area makes cooking outside easier. With everything on hand, there’s no traveling back and forth indoors getting ingredients or utensils. And your custom outdoor kitchen can have all the essentials. A concrete countertop for food prep, stainless steel cabinets, and a refrigerator are just some of the many possibilities.

Moreover, entertaining is so much easier with an outdoor kitchen. With everything you need within reach, you can entertain your guests while preparing food. You will be in the middle of the action, enjoying the party instead of missing out.

Plus, an outside kitchen extends your living space. Instead of standing in the grass sweltering in the sun, you can have an inviting outdoor space. Patio furniture arranged underneath a pergola offers protection from the elements and a relaxing space for your guests. Add a fireplace for chilly nights, some lighting, and your outdoor kitchen becomes a natural extension of your home.

Also, adding an outdoor kitchen increases the value of your home tremendously. Whether simple or elaborate, the outdoor kitchen has become a must have for many homeowners. Many buyers actively seek out homes with outdoor kitchens. Even if you’re not selling your home soon, it’s good to know there’s a great return on your investment coming your way. Furthermore, you and your family get to enjoy all of the benefits until that time comes!

outdoor kitchen greensboro

Outdoor Kitchens Don’t Have to Be Complicated

Outdoor-Grills

Your new outdoor kitchen can be as simple or elaborate as your budget allows. Perhaps you just want a custom grilling area like an outdoor kitchen island with extra countertop space. Or maybe you want a full kitchen with many appliances adjacent to an elegant dining area. Planning your new outdoor kitchen can be fun and exciting.

Generally, two things determine the size of your outdoor kitchen…the backyard and house size. If you have a smaller sized backyard, consider a smaller size kitchen area to leave space for a garden. However, if you have a large yard, a too compact kitchen area will leave you feeling cramped. Remember also to keep your outdoor kitchen in proportion to your home. A kitchen area too small or too big will look out of place.

The location of your outdoor kitchen is very important, too. Generally, you want it close to the entryway of your home for easy access. Select an area that offers you privacy from your neighbors. Finally, consider using existing shade for comfort from the sun.

As with any other home improvement project, most of your choices will be subject to your budget. So, start with the most important feature you want. Your cooking and preparation area, flooring, and lighting all need careful consideration. Don’t forget about plenty of storage space for bowls, utensils, and ingredients.

When choosing your options, be sure they’re all outdoor-friendly and can withstand the elements. Stainless steel appliances may cost more, but they’re durable and long lasting. Additionally, look for low maintenance materials and equipment. No one wants to be a slave to cleaning the kitchen, especially if it is outdoors.

Outdoor Cooking Can Be More Than Just Grilling

Of course, the BBQ grill is central to your outdoor kitchen. Generally, planning an outdoor kitchen revolves around it. From there think about what types of cooking you want to do to design your kitchen area. A side burner, brick pizza oven, griddle, and smoker are all popular options.

As more people discover the versatility of brick pizza ovens, they realize these ovens are a highly desirable item. Not just for pizza, these ovens can bake whatever you cook in your indoor oven only better. With a pizza oven, you can reach higher temperatures than your indoor oven. Thus, food cooks quicker and enhances the flavor of the food. Quick cooking also helps food retain nutrients and antioxidants for a healthier meal.

Additionally, wood-fired brick ovens impart an exceptional, smoky flavor. Also, by changing the type of wood to heat your oven, you can alter the flavor of your food. Pecan and almond wood give food a nutty flavor. While fruitwoods like apple, cherry, or apricot deliver a sweet, mild flavor.

So, what can you cook in a pizza oven? Perhaps the question should be what can’t you cook in a pizza oven. You can cook any type of meat, seafood, and many kinds of baked goods. And a wood fired pizza oven just isn’t a cooking method. It’s an experience you can taste. Plus, your beautiful brick oven can be the focal point in your backyard.

Why restrict your outdoor kitchen to only nighttime cooking? Enjoying your breakfast al fresco in the morning hours starts your day off right. By adding a griddle, you can cook pancakes, eggs, and bacon along with a host of other meats and vegetables.

Outdoor-Cooking

Which Outdoor Kitchen Appliances Should I Include?

outdoor kitchen appliances

Entertaining your guests in the heat of the summer means they’ll crave cold drinks. Summer heat also means keeping foods at the proper temperature. If you host many large parties, you may want 2 refrigerators, one for food, the other for drinks.

Many adults love to drink wine at get togethers. Wine, however, is fragile. Expose it to too much heat, light, or humidity and you can ruin the flavor. Including a wine cooler in your outdoor kitchen plans ensures your wine stays at peak, flavorful freshness.

Along the same vein, you can dispense cold, delicious draft beer with a kegerator. But even if you’re not a beer drinker, you may want to consider including a kegerator in your outdoor kitchen. You can also serve soda pop, cold brew coffee, and wine. Whichever beverage you decide upon, the kegerator gives you a consistent, fresh flavor every time.

Does your outdoor kitchen design have a roof or any walls? Then you’ll want to include a vent hood to remove smoke and grease. Your ceiling and walls can trap these byproducts creating an unhealthy environment for your guests. Prolonged exposure to smoke and grease can also cause discoloration or peeling paint on ceiling and walls.

Another common feature is a sink with running water. Resisting rust and corrosion, a stainless-steel sink is a perfect addition. No longer will you have to run inside to wash your hands when preparing food, and we know that has become a critical part of food handling.

Pergolas and Cabanas Can Provide Much-Needed Shade

As you look at different outdoor kitchen ideas, consider including a shade-producing structure for relief from the sun. Pergolas and cabanas are popular choices for outdoor kitchens. Both define your outdoor living space while creating visual interest.

The bold look of an open, airy pergola transforms your patio or deck into a luxurious dining area. And because they’re so airy, they also provide the perfect cover for a fire pit. A pergola is completely open without any walls and topped with a flat, latticed roof. Easy to install and generally the least expensive choice, pergolas can be free-standing or attached to your home.

Cabanas are typically smaller, semi-enclosed structures. Not just for the poolside any longer, cabanas can supply much-needed shade for your outdoor kitchen. With a solid roof and 2-3 walls, you’re protected from the sun, wind, and rain. Have a party planned but the forecast calls for rain? Your guests will stay dry socializing in your cabana.

So, which one should you build over your outdoor grill? It all depends on your budget, needs, and location of your kitchen area. The more enclosed structure of a cabana provides better protection, but a pergola is less expensive. Whichever you decide upon, remember the objective is to make your outdoor kitchen a fun, comfortable place to socialize.

Whether you’re looking for a BBQ island, patio kitchen, or a luxury outdoor kitchen, we’ll make your dream a reality. At Landscape Solutions & Design, our focus on detail will help turn your drab backyard into a fabulous cooking and gathering space. We specialize in creating the perfect outdoor kitchen.

Call us at 336-442-0160 for your free estimate. The warm months pass by quickly, but it’s not too late to start working on your dream. We are fortunate that in central NC, we have much longer seasons of mild weather than most places. That allows us to enjoy our outdoor activities most of the year, thus getting our money’s worth from an investment in outdoor improvements! Let’s begin working on your outdoor kitchen plan today.