If you really want to make your outdoor kitchen a special place, you can add as many components as you want. You could go basic with just a portable grill and a place to eat or you can go all out with a built-in outdoor kitchen complete with appliances, cooktops and more. Some patio slabs are better suited to a big built-in kitchen than others, but you can have a kitchen space no matter the size if you’re willing to compromise. Before you plan, make sure you get the basic elements in place first and then figure out how much of your budget is left for the more luxurious items.
Outdoor Kitchen Basics
A grill is the cornerstone of any outdoor cook space. Some people still prefer charcoal grills, but a gas grill is really one of the favored pieces. You can get a portable grill that can be rolled away and stored in a garage or you can opt for a fancy built-in grill on a permanent or portable kitchen island with electric outlets and granite worktops. Which you choose depends on the look you’re going for, the amount of convenience you want and your budget.
Once you’ve decided on a grill, the next step is a place to keep your utensils and other items while you cook. This can be as simple as a flat space next to the grill, which is possible with either a portable or a built-in, or it can be its own little cabinet in your built-in island as well as a portable kitchen cart where you can store things. If you’re going for a very basic outdoor kitchen on a very tight budget, then be sure that you budget for chairs, outdoor bar stools and a seating area where people can eat before you worry about anything else. Those are the essential elements as everything else can be brought from the inside kitchen when needed.
Advanced Outdoor Kitchen Components
For an elaborate outdoor kitchen, think about adding plumbing so that you can have a sink to both wash dishes and provide water for cooking purposes. A cooktop with burners that replicates your indoor stove is great for a built-in island in your cooking area so you can sauté onions and mushrooms to go on top of those great grilled steaks.
A refrigerator is a great addition so that you have the cold items you need right at your fingertips. For a small budget, a good quality cooler will work. Beyond these basic items you can add things like a wine cooler, a bar, portable appliances like a microwave and blender, and anything you really want to have handy for your outdoor cooking. Whether you want a high-end or a basic outdoor kitchen, don’t forget how the area will look at night. You want good task lighting, and why not add some fun outdoor string lights to really make the place looks special.
Almost every kitchen item is made in a variety that can be used outdoors so look around your home and garden store as well as places online that specialize in great outdoor kitchen accessories to see what’s available to you.
Great outdoor kitchens are something that I have looked at for many years and it is the next thing on my list of things to install in my backyard patio area.