An outdoor kitchen makes a great addition to a beautiful backyard entertainment area
Cooking outdoors can be an exciting experience and a great way to connect with your guests as you prepare food. However, without the right kind of outdoor living area and the right equipment, the entire event can simply fall flat. Learn how to prepare your outdoor kitchen for guests and cooking alike.
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Make The Cooking Area The Focal Point
The best way to do an outdoor kitchen is to go bold. Don’t hide the fact that it’s designed to be a convenient and functional area for cooking. Model it after your ideal indoor design. How much counter space do you want? Build that in to your plans. Next, decide whether you want to add burners or go with a more traditional grill. Having a grill is an absolute staple of any kind of setup. It just isn’t cooking outside without one!
However, a lot of people are now adding burners, broilers, and other more complex tools alongside the traditional standby for their outdoor kitchen. Naturally, how much you decide to get will be dependent on your budget and your space constraints, but in theory you could get a full range top outside if you wanted to. Just be sure you match your equipment to how much prep you plan to do out there.
Choose Your Materials
Any outdoor living area or outdoor kitchen hinges on the materials used to build it. There are three main options: stone/concrete, metal, or wood. In general, stone and metal are the most popular, as they tend to be more durable and heat-resistant than wood. But when you consider the full variety of concrete, stone, and metal available, the possibilities are still staggering. In particular, combinations of different stone can create a very compelling and stylish appearance.
One of the biggest advantages of using these kinds of materials for your outdoor kitchen is that the entire space becomes very low-maintenance. There is very little need to be concerned about stone counters in the way you’d need to worry about some indoor counters. They’re tough and multi-use, designed to hold up to the rigors of life outside.
Furnish And Finish
After the basics like materials and layout are decided, it’s time to move on to the less permanent elements of your outdoor kitchen & living area. You can start selecting furniture and other elements that you want to have, and arranging them within your space. While the basic feeling of the area is dictated largely by the materials you use to make the counters and other elements, it’s the furniture that will actually create a comfortable environment for your guests. Themed design works very well here: Tuscany/Italian can have incredible warmth and works very well with natural materials. A modern zen theme works well with darker stone options or metal.
Cooking outdoors can be an exciting experience and a great way to connect with your guests as you prepare food. However, without the right kind of outdoor living area and the right equipment, the entire event can simply fall flat.
by: Christine Harrell
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