Outdoor kitchens are luxurious and rewarding additions for any backyard patio. These set-ups are more convenient for people who frequently entertain guests in the back of their home. Whether you keep it as a humble BBQ island or add other appliances and stations, they can make for many memorable meals and wonderful evenings.
Of course, you cannot just snap your fingers and manifest all this stuff from nowhere. Anyone interested in having their own outdoor kitchen must plan out as much of the layout as possible. If you are careful and thoughtful enough, the results maybe even better than expected. To help you with this project, we offer seven pieces of advice to consider when building outdoor kitchens.
Location, Location, Location
First: if you want to install an entire second kitchen on your property, then you better have enough space for everything. Second: you must choose the best spot for all your appliances. Many enthusiasts choose to have it flow with the indoor kitchen. On either side of that window, you can see something cooking.
The decision may come down to the current location of your sources for water and power. If you are stumped, you could ask for professional assistance. People who are paid to install this equipment will know the best parts of your patio for this project.
Separate the Zones
Every professional kitchen is divided into zones. These distinct areas are reserved for specific activities, and appliances are installed accordingly. Restaurants do this for the convenience of chefs. Even if you want an outdoor kitchen for your own reasons, using this principle for the layout can come in handy.
The cooking zone is self-explanatory. Grills, ovens, and similar devices go here. You should have a counter nearby for preparing the food before and after the cooking. Cooling appliances, such as fridges, should be kept far away from the heat sources. So should anything that guests would want to access, such as wine coolers and snack drawers. You would not want anyone getting burnt.
Premade or Custom?
Speaking of layouts, there are two choices for purchasing backyard food preparation equipment. You could order complete BBQ islands and all-in-one outdoor kitchen sets. These bundles contain multiple appliances and structures for a single price. They may also come with a specific layout. Options may include linear designs, L-shaped layouts, and more.
Some people prefer a little more flexibility. They want to add certain elements or remove appliances they deem unnecessary. They may even want to choose an atypical layout that makes more sense for them, their needs, and their environment. With careful planning, custom layouts can be viable and satisfying.
Install Proper Ventilation
The old saying goes, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The reverse is true as well. Your cooking equipment will produce smoke, gas, and smells when you use it. If they build up without any release, they could damage the appliances. Worse, they could ignite and cause a disaster.
This is exactly why you need proper ventilation for your grills, stoves, and ovens. Vent hoods and panels redirect the smoke away from your food, your guests, and yourself. In the event of a leak, they could also minimize the risk by giving it all somewhere to go.
Leave Room for Storage
Chefs need plenty of tools at their disposal. They need spatulas for flipping, tongs for grabbing, and meat forks for poking. They need thermometers for checking if raw meats are thoroughly cooked. Cleaning the BBQ requires its own set of instruments. Outdoor kitchens should give people enough cabinets to hold all these tools and any others they may use.
Storage drawers may also come in handy for a variety of other items. For example, those who appreciate spices could keep a whole rack in the back. This could be more convenient and save more time than running to the kitchen and back. If you plan to use the outdoor kitchen often — and you should, given that it is a big investment — then more storage is always better.
Account for the Weather
Any appliances you put outside your home should be labeled “rated for outdoor use.” This type of equipment is made from hardy materials and designed with certain protective features. For example, outdoor refrigerators can keep their contents cool even on hot days. They also do not rust or lose their color, and many often take up little space in a potentially crowded kitchen space.
In addition to keeping your appliances safe from the elements, you should also keep yourself safe as well. Umbrellas and pergolas can provide shade on sunny days and cover on stormy ones. If temperatures drop during winter in your town, an outdoor heater can help. With the right accessories, any day can be a fine occasion for grilling and cooking outside.
Get Appliances You Will Actually Use
Speaking of choosing appliances, there are many different machines that you could install in your outdoor kitchen. Your BBQ island could burgeon into a sprawling professional-grade space for preparing all kinds of food. It all depends on what dishes you want to make. Of course, it also depends on what you can afford. Each new appliance comes at a hefty cost.
You must think long and hard about your choices for your outdoor kitchen. If you enjoy cooking pizzas, then a purpose-built pizza oven would be wonderful for you. However, if you only have an interest in cooking pizza, you may want to stick with your current kitchen’s oven for now. Once you know that you love preparing this meal, you can make a more informed decision.
Outdoor Kitchens at BBQ Island
Here at BBQ Island, we enjoy everything to do with outdoor kitchens. Our massive selection includes enormous cooking equipment, including the many appliances we mentioned throughout this article. We also sell sinks, faucets, and towel bars for cleaning up afterward. Our inventory even features