I can’t help it. We all have addictions, and mine is grilling and cooking. (I also like to sail, but I don’t get to do that nearly as often as I get to prepare meals!) One of my favorite things to do is to entertain friends and serve them a sizzling hot meal hot off the grill. If you, too, love to grill and enjoy entertaining, here are five important features for your outdoor kitchen.
But before I tell you about those five things, let me say this. You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get what you need to cook outside. Our outdoor living space is not a huge, elaborate, expensive area. It’s just a simple deck that came with our house, but we’ve been able to add in features that make it easy to entertain. You can, too.
Feature Number One:
It goes without saying that you need a grill, and in today’s world, there are dozens of options. You can get a traditional gas grill using either natural gas or propane. Or you can choose a grill that cooks with charcoal. You can even get a grill that cooks with either gas OR charcoal. Electric grills are also an option, and so are grills that burn wood pellets.
Grills come in all sizes, all kinds of finishes, and with all kinds of accessories. Do you want extra burners for cooking in pots while you’re grilling? Do you want a griddle feature? Side tables? A Bluetooth app that monitors temperatures?
Stainless steel. Porcelain. Black enamel. Even colored lacquered paint finishes.
Simple or sophisticated, you can get a grill that will fit your budget, your style, and your taste. (Literally.)
Feature Number Two:
A counter or serving area.
If you’re going to entertain and cook outside, you’ll need a surface that you can use to place dishes and cooking implements on.
Some people are very creative with making countertops out of wood pallets, leftover tiles, or broken-pottery-mosaic slabs. The countertops can be laid on an old table, columns of stacked stone, or old bricks. Shorter pieces of countertop material might be found in home improvement stores for a discounted price.
If new construction or DIY projects are not your idea of fun, consider purchasing a rolling bar cart, baker’s rack, or outdoor table as a counter to prep and serve on.
Feature Number Three:
A table and chairs.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. From an old picnic table with benches to sleek modern furniture made from materials fabricated to be weather-resistant.
The important thing is to have a place where your guests can sit down comfortably and have a place to eat their food.
The best gatherings stimulate a lot of conversation and laughter between guests, so having places for people to sit and talk is an important feature of any outdoor kitchen.
Feature Number Four:
An outdoor sink.
Anytime you cook and serve, it’s nice to have a place for running water so that you can wash your hands, utensils, and serving areas. An outdoor sink enables you to easily prepare side dishes and serve drinks.
No more traipsing through the living room dripping potato salad from a dirty spoon or flinging drips of barbeque sauce from a pair of serving tongs.
An outdoor sink doesn’t take much room and can be easily plumbed from your existing water lines. (ServiceOne can help you with this!)
Feature Number Five:
You can easily incorporate a small, dorm-room-sized refrigerator either on top of or underneath your serving counter. Or you could build in a large side-by-side refrigerator freezer.
No matter how big or how small your refrigerator, you’ll incorporate the ability to keep items cool and have cold drinks available.
Depending on the size of your outdoor refrigerator, you may have access to a constant supply of ice.
The outdoor kitchen is a popular addition to any home, particularly in our area where we can count on being able to be outside 9 months out of the year. One recent study suggested that outdoor kitchens actually have a 100-200% return on investment.
You don’t have to stop with these five important features. You can add as many more as you want. Smokers. Pizza ovens. Griddles. Ice machines. Built-in Bars.
And because you’re cooking outside, you can never have too many cooks in the kitchen! The more, the merrier.
Things to Remember:
- You don’t have to have a huge, expensive outdoor kitchen to enjoy it.
- The style and scope are up to you.
- Being creative with design and materials makes your outdoor kitchen unique and useable.
- ServiceOne is offering FREE estimates on the cost of installing a permanent gas line for your outdoor grill. If you book the job before May 31, 2022, you’ll get $100 OFF the cost of the job!
- The plumbers of ServiceOne can also install an outdoor sink or ice machine.
Call us to find out how we can help you cook up some summer fun!