Picture the perfect summer night: it’s about 75 degrees, all of your friends are out on the back deck, sipping drinks and laughing. Where are you? If you’re like a very small group of people, you may have said “inside making the food while everyone else has fun.” If you’re one of the 99.9% of people who would rather be a part of the festivities, then one thing is clear – your backyard needs an outdoor kitchen!
What’s so special about outdoor kitchens?
When most people think of cooking outside, they think about grilling up steaks, chicken, burgers and veggies. But a full-on outdoor kitchen allows you to do so much more! At a minimum, most outdoor kitchens include a grill island, storage cabinets and an area for sitting. After that, the rest is up to you! Outdoor kitchens can be outfitted with prep sinks, countertops, small refrigerators and ice makers, even wood-fired pizza ovens! If you want to get really fancy, you can even add gas or electric burners and a conventional oven to bring all the convenience of cooking indoors into the great outdoors. Outdoor kitchens all but eliminate the need to be inside at any point during your summer parties, allowing you to enjoy your time with your guests without always having to worry about what you bring in or out next.
If you want to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level, don’t feel like you have to stick to standard cooking equipment! Outdoor kitchens are fully customizable and can be equipped with high def TVs, water features such as waterfalls near the cooking area and much, much more – final design is up to you!
Outdoor kitchen designs
Designing an outdoor kitchen is not much different than designing an indoor kitchen in that the most important thing is balancing functionality and style. The first thing to make sure of is that your kitchen is not too far from the main house. No matter how efficient you are, you may sometimes need to make a trip back into the house (or send someone else in for you!), so keeping a shorter distance between your outdoor kitchen and the house means shorter trips!
The next thing to keep in mind is your “work triangle.” One of the basics of kitchen design is making sure all the most important areas in your kitchen are about equidistant – this way, you don’t have to walk around the island to get to the fridge or walk all the way across the kitchen to bring things from the oven to the counter. The same principle applies to outdoor kitchens as well. Even if you want to spread out (which you absolutely can!), make sure everything is easily accessible so that the cooking doesn’t become a chore.
Finally, make sure you have enough counter space (and that your counters can withstand the weather!) If you are cooking for guests you will most likely have a lot more food out than if you were cooking for just your family, so keep this in mind when determining the right amount of counter space. Also, make sure your countertops are made from materials suited for the outdoors. Something like slab granite is a perfect choice, as it is durable and, more importantly, easy to clean – outdoor kitchens have to be able to handle food messes as well as morning dew, pollen and dust!
Outdoor kitchen designers near you
If you are contemplating outdoor kitchen installation in your major landscape remodel, contact the expert outdoor kitchen designers and builders at Four Seasons Landscaping & Nursery. We use granite countertops and Bull stainless steel appliances to give your kitchen a sleek, modern look – and make it easy to clean. We can outfit your outdoor kitchen in the Montgomery County, Maryland area with all the amenities so you never have to slave away inside while your guests have all the fun!