21 Apr Outdoor Kitchens
Traditionally when most people would think of cooking outdoors, they imagine one of two scenarios:
1) A grill, gas or charcoal, with dad flipping burgers and roasting hot-dogs.
2) Sitting by the campfire, roasting pole of some sort in hand, with either weenies or marshmallows over the open fire.
Living on the coast, especially, it’s hard to imagine either of these cases being a bad idea. With such wonderful weather, and advancements in technology as well as designs, why keep things so watered down though? Nowadays folks are taking things up another notch and installing FULL outdoor kitchens.
Just as any indoor kitchen, there are infinite options for customizing and designing your new outdoor kitchen. Make a check-list of things that are important to you before you get started. Will the type of cooking station matter, (gas/electric/charcoal), to you? How much work space do you want near/around you cooking area? Are you going to want plumbing, for a sink or cleaning station, as well? You don’t want to forget how all this is going to also fit in with, if any, either pre-existing or future entertaining/dining area and decor as well. One of the great things about this upgrade is the added time you’ll have to enjoy with family and guests while you’re getting your meals prepared, so let’s not forget about that while you’re preparing your list.
With this list in hand, chances are you’re going to need some help from professionals at some point or another. Either with the work itself, or at the least with permits, materials and appliances and such. How much help you will need is, of course, going to vary from person to person and layout to layout. This also includes the thought that you may not be building entirely from scratch either. It may be more ideal, or just plain old less expensive, to just add to an already existing patio rather than do everything anew. It’s usually not as expensive to run utilities a short distance versus half way across the yard, so there’s a huge money-saver right there. Another good reason to keep things closer to the house is distance alone. Not everyone wants to trek across the yard every time you left that plate of burgers on the counter, or your spatula in the dishwasher. There’s no right or wrong about how you like/want things, but it pays to at least take all this into consideration.
By no means does this article cover all the bases on the subject of outdoor cooking. Hopefully,though, it gives you some ideas for consideration or at least gets you thinking about how you want to handle your next cookout. It’s not easy for some folks to dedicate as much of an investment to such a project as others, or maybe you just don’t have that kind of space in your own yard for those kind of upgrades. With a project like this it’s all about your own preference/budget/means, so as nice as it is to think about all the extras from inside your home on the outside, that’s not always feasible for folks for a number of different reasons. Make this project your own: buy that new grill you’ve had your eye on, get a rolling cart with a top and some storage for your grill utensils to make prep and cooking easier, completely overhaul your entire back deck with outdoor lighting, a fridge, pub tables, etc. Whatever you decide, just make sure to plan ahead and you’ll be grilling as good as always…but hopefully a little easier or with a little more style than before.