Tips for Optimizing an Outdoor Kitchen

Posted on: 22 September 2015

If you dine or entertain outside a lot, you may be finding out that just having an indoor kitchen is inconvenient. Outdoor kitchens facilitate food-based activities better. An outdoor kitchen can be a simple food preparation area around a grill to a fully-equipped second kitchen. Consider how much food preparation you'll be doing outside, and optimize your kitchen for maximum convenience.

Visualize Work Zones

Any kitchen includes four work zones. The hot zone is the cooking area, the cold zone the refrigeration area, the wet zone the sink, and the dry zone the food preparation space.  To help you determine the size of your outdoor kitchen, think about how much space you want to dedicate to the four work zones.

Plan Your Work Zones

Consider what you would ideally like to be able to do in your outdoor kitchen, and visualize what amenities are necessary. For instance, if you mostly want to grill, the hot and dry zones are probably the key spaces. However, if you want to prepare side dishes and even mix drinks, the wet and cold zones are equally important.

Kit Out the Work Space

Think of how integral your countertop area is in your main kitchen – it'll be the same in your outdoor kitchen. For that reason, consider kitting out your countertops in granite or even marble. Both are very sturdy and will withstand the vagaries of weather well. Likewise, all the qualities that make them ideal for your indoor kitchen – attractive, versatile, easily maintained – hold true for your outdoor kitchen.

A bonus to adding granite or marble to your outdoor kitchen is you can choose colors or patterns you were hesitant to include in your formal indoor space. For instance, granite comes in bright colors such as red and green that take center stage. Perhaps that didn't mesh with your indoor décor, but an outdoor space is far less formal.

Choose Kitchen Cabinets

As with countertops, your storage space needs to be durable. The Landscaping Network suggests either polymer board or stainless steel cabinets for an exposed kitchen. Polymer board is similar to dense plastic. Stainless steel is a material upgrade as it carries a higher cost. If your kitchen will be covered, wood cabinets are an option.

Consider a Pergola

Speaking of coverage, consider placing a pergola over your outdoor kitchen. One option is an open pergola with grapevines trained over it for a Mediterranean appeal. It also keeps the sun off your back. However, if you want more protection and even climate control, consider a closed top. It's not necessary to build a room addition, but adding a roof to your pergola makes your food preparation safe from sudden rainstorms or midday sun.

An outside kitchen adds value both to your home and to your outdoor living. For assistance, talk to a professional like A. Padilla Marble, Inc.

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