Outdoor Kitchens: Start with the Basics

An outdoor kitchen is a great addition to your home. In the summer months, cooking outdoors allows you to decrease extra cooling loads on your air conditioning that comes from heat created in your kitchen (from turning on the oven, etc). Outdoor kitchens also provide a great transitions space that connects you and your home to your surrounding environment. Outdoor kitchens can be as useful and unique as their indoor counterparts—it’s all up to what you choose to include in the design! So how do you start to create an outdoor kitchen? If you already have a grill, great! If you don’t, start by purchasing one. Then add counter space. This can be done by placing your grill into stone work, creating custom built-in countertops on either side. Or, you can create a freestanding countertop by utilizing a table or cart as a less expensive option. This gives you much needed space for food prep, for cooking supplies, and even for serving.

Add lights to your cooking area so you won’t be limited to grilling only when there is daylight. You can run electricity to your outdoor kitchen area, or you can use battery or solar powered lights. The lighting you’ll need is task lighting, meaning that it doesn’t have to be too big or too bright. It just needs to be placed near your work surfaces. If you do choose to run electricity out to your kitchen, you then can use small appliances as well. Your decision should depend on your personal preferences, how much you want to spend on your kitchen, and how often you’ll be using it.

Our next blog will continue discussing elements you can include in your outdoor kitchen, so be sure to keep reading!