Summer is coming, complete with long days ending in long get-togethers around the barbecue. There’s no better place to soak up the smells and tastes of summer than your very own yard or porch. Whether you have a humble grill or a full-fledged kitchen that would put most people’s indoor kitchens to shame, it’s time to spruce up your outdoor kitchen. Transform your cooking space and get it ready for those hot and sticky moonlit parties!
Every outdoor kitchen, regardless of size and impressiveness, should have these five features:
Your outdoor kitchen should flow with the adjoining indoor space. Ideally, the outdoor kitchen should be situated near its indoor counterpart for practical purposes (food storage, cleanup) and aesthetic reasons alike. You don’t need to have matching, uninterrupted countertops (though it would be nice) – even a simple inside/outside pass-through window will make your life so much easier, especially if outdoor cooking elements are limited..
What good is a party with nowhere to sit? Stop parking your guests on the damp grass and a couple of rusty folding chairs; make sure you have a comfortable spot to park yourself on while you enjoy the food.
Harmony with the landscape
Forest? Good. Waterfront? Good. Cityscape? That’s good too. Take your surroundings – and your view – into account when you decorate your outdoor kitchen.They should complement one another, not fight for attention.
Protection from the elements
Outdoor kitchens are obviously subject to much more wear and tear than indoor kitchens. Make sure yours is protected by a sturdy stationary or retractable cover of some sort, and check it regularly to make sure it’s still adequate. If you want to keep it open (or don’t want to invest in a covered space), get covers for all costly equipment (grill, nice lawn chairs, etc.).
Function and convenience
This one’s the most important. Keep the outdoor kitchen near the house so that you can run in and out as needed, and make sure to keep the sink (if you have one) near the cooking stations and all tools and gadgets handy. Having everything you need nearby can mean the difference between a perfect medium-rare steak and a charcoal briquette.
(Side note, but: outdoor dishwasher? Awesome.)
Are you – and your kitchen – ready for the first BBQ of the summer?