Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen
Before you do anything else, spend some time thinking about what you really want and need in an outdoor kitchen. Don't let your neighbors' houses or something you've seen on TV or in a magazine influence you. There's plenty of time for that later, when you've moved onto the "style" part of the planning process. Instead, ask yourself how you'll actually use the new space and what makes the most sense in terms of your home's architecture and its existing landscaping.
Ask Yourself These Questions
- How often do I cook outside?
- What kinds of foods do I cook outside: burgers, smoked meats?
- What are my grill options: natural gas, propane, charcoal or more than one?
- What would I like to cook outside that I can't now: sauces, whole birds, large cuts of meat or deep-fried foods?
- How many people will cook in the outdoor kitchen?
- Do I need to consider kid safety?
- How much prep work will I do outside?
- What do I want to store in the outdoor kitchen: barbecue tools, dishes, entertaining equipment or more?
- Will it be an entertaining area?
- Do I plan to eat outside?
- Would I like to be able to wash my hands or dishes outside?
- Do I want the outdoor kitchen to be close to the house or separate?
Think carefully about your current outdoor cooking setup and evaluate what you'd like to improve and what works well with your lifestyle.