Thinking about the good weather might make you wonder about all the things you would like to do in your yard this year. If you’re like a lot of homeowners, an outdoor kitchen is at the top of the list. Here are a few things to help you get started.
What Is an Outdoor Kitchen?
An outdoor kitchen is a great way to expand the use of your outdoor space, without having to put extra pressure on your indoor kitchen. Although you might have a few ideas in mind for the outdoor kitchen, you should remember that there are plenty of ways to create one that’s perfect for you. If you want to use an outdoor kitchen to accommodate all the cooking styles that don’t work as well indoors-like a wood-fired pizza oven-you can make it happen. If you’d rather have an outdoor kitchen for appetizers and drinks, you can do that too.
What Do You Have in an Outdoor Kitchen?
Before you get lost in writing down ideas or planning an outdoor kitchen for your home in New Castle County, it’s important to start with the key items. The main difference between an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor entertaining space is the ability to prepare food, cook and serve without having to rush indoors. Here’s a list of our favorites things to include.
Many people assume outdoor cooking begins and ends with a grill or fire pit, but what about an outdoor kitchen oven? If you hate running your oven when the weather is hot, an oven might be just the ticket for broiling, baking and more. Love the idea of a pizza oven but worried it will take over? Try a mini pizza oven. You can make pizzas as delicious as the local joint, with plenty of room left for other tools.
If your idea of paradise includes making breakfast for the family in an outdoor setting, an outdoor kitchen griddle is the perfect choice. Electric or gas, you can make up a big batch of pancakes with eggs, bacon and sausage. Griddles don’t have to take up a lot of room, so you can easily add them to a grill or range.
3. Outdoor Bar
Preparing food is one thing, but sometimes it’s nice to sit back with a cold drink and just look at the stars. An outdoor bar gives you room to mix up the latest cocktail, share one of your brews on tap, or enjoy a mocktail on a Saturday morning. Don’t forget the bar seating, especially if you want to entertain family and friends.
4. Grill Island
Ah, to finally have a grill setup that really allows you to become the master chef! An outdoor grill island centers the grill as the star of the show. You have everything you need right at hand, so there’s no need to head back indoors for the tools you forgot. Remember to add a side burner to make your sauces and sides while you cook.
5. Outdoor Prep Stations
Of course, you’ll need a prep station, unless you want to do extra work inside. Prep stations allow you to wash, peel, chop and measure, without worrying that you will drop it as you walk outdoors. Common must-haves include a weatherproof countertop, a sink with hot and cold water, and a refrigerator to store things until you’re ready.
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Cleaning up after a meal is so much easier with an outdoor sink. You can let the disposal take care of food bits and keep your counters nice and clean. It’s easy to put in a cold water line, but adding hot water may not be as difficult as it sounds. You might benefit from an instant hot water heater that goes under the sink, delivering hot water right when you need it.
7. Modern Hardscaping
Of course, none of this works very well without hardscaping. Modern concrete can look as luxurious as natural stone, with custom designs in your choice of color. Stacked stone adds a rustic feel, perfect for a hearth, fire pit or oven.
Looking for more outdoor living design trends? We’re happy to help.
What Appliances Do I Need in My Outdoor Kitchen?
Although you don’t have to add any appliances to your outdoor kitchen, there are a few that make life a lot easier and more fun:
- Water heater
If you’re worried about ensuring a supply of energy, you should know that you have options. Many homeowners run an electrical circuit to the kitchen, add a natural gas line, or bury a large propane tank underground. That way, you always have what you need.
Does an Outdoor Kitchen Add Value to Your Home?
Outdoor kitchens can add a lot of value to your home, especially if your neighborhood already has a lot of them. Experts estimate that installing an outdoor kitchen could recoup 75% or more of what you paid. You’ll need to do a little extra work to prepare your living space for changing seasons, but we think you’ll find it’s well worth the effort.
How Do You Plan an Outdoor Kitchen?
In order to plan an outdoor kitchen, you should start by writing down all the things that you want to do. Evaluate the amount of space that you are willing to devote to the kitchen, making sure that you have seating and walkways around it. Look online for pictures of outdoor kitchens, and note which ones you like best. Then, all you have to do is find the right professionals to make it a reality. At First Class Lawn Care, we believe that your outdoor space is one of the most important. Contact us to learn more about how we can transform yours.