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7 Essential Elements to Create the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

There is nothing like a beautiful backyard, especially when it combines form and function to create a true extension of the living space. For some, that might mean creating an enviable backyard entertaining area, while others may picture a sprawling garden. One especially inspirational component of any dream backyard is the outdoor kitchen.

An outdoor kitchen takes the backyard cooking you’re already doing on the grill and adds prep, cleanup and even refrigeration stations to the mix. Of course, function isn’t the entire package. You’ll want it to look great as well. Here’s how:

Keep it Under Cover

outdoor kitchenSource: Home Design Lover

Your outdoor kitchen will experience much more wear and tear , being exposed to the elements, and for that matter, so will your chef. To help minimize exposure to sun, rain, and snow, it’s a great idea to build your outdoor kitchen in a sheltered area if possible. This can be in the form of a space under an existing balcony or through the creation of a pergola over the designated kitchen area.

Put the Bar in Barbeque

outdoor kitchensSource: HGTV

Whether for dining or drinking, your outdoor kitchen just wouldn’t be complete without a bar. Your guests will have a bird’s eye view of you and your grilling skills in action, and it’s a natural spot to sit and chat.

Light Up the Night

outdoor kitchen

Source: 101 Recycled Crafts 

Go beyond the grill light and hire an electrician to design a good lighting scheme that incorporates both task and ambient lighting.

Don’t Skimp on Storage

outdoor kitchensSource: Napoleon

Keep all of your essential tools, spices and other necessities close at hand with cabinetry and drawers specially constructed to take on the outdoor environment. You can find winter-tolerant outdoor cabinetry in stainless steel, polymer, and certain wood species.


Top it Off

outdoor kitchenSource: Decoist 

Just like the kitchen inside of your home, your outdoor kitchen needs countertops. Again, look for something that does a good job standing up to the elements, because, your outdoor kitchen will be there all year long, even on the snowiest winter days. So choose wisely.

Outdoor countertops need to be properly sealed (with an outdoor-approved sealer) and installed in such as way so as to allow water to drain off. This can often mean hiring a contractor to install the outdoor kitchen for you.


Upgrade Your Grill

outdoor kitchen

Source: Napoleon Grills

If you plan to upgrade your grill along with the space surrounding it, you’ll need to decide if you want to incorporate a freestanding grill or a built-in grill. If you’re planning a smaller outdoor kitchen or you’re working with a leaner budget, you may find that you have more options with a freestanding grill. On the other hand, if you’re after that sleek, designer look in your outdoor kitchen and there’s a bit more flexibility in your budget, you may find that a built-in offers more value.

Add Some Extras

outdoor kitchenSource: Canada Outdoor Kitchens 

Flex your outdoor cooking skills. Delight family and friends alike with the addition of a smoker or pizza oven. And don’t forget to add an outdoor refrigerator for condiments, sides and drinks.

Ready to get started on the backyard kitchen of your dreams? Explore for general contractors, deck builders, electricians, and other professionals in your local area.

Feature Image: Napoleon Oasis Modular Island Kit

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