If you live anywhere with nice weather during a large part of the year, then there is one thing to add to your home to bring your lifestyle farther outdoors. An outdoor kitchen in your backyard can bring your whole family outside for whole afternoon and evening hangouts, as well as providing a wonderful entertainment space for friends and families that everyone is sure to love. Creating the perfect backyard kitchen space isn’t easy, having a clunky or uninspired set up can sink the usefulness of the space, making it a net loss rather than a gain. So here are a few tips to help you create a perfect backyard kitchen.
Create Patio Space
The first thing that you need to do for your backyard kitchen is to create a patio space. You can’t set up a kitchen right on your grass, so you are going to need to start with a patio. You can do this in a few ways, but the best option for a kitchen space is to use cement or other hardscaping like stone for your patio space. This provides the most stable and safe base for your kitchen equipment, and helps you offer a space for lounging and hanging out near the kitchen to make the backyard a kitchen an all-encompassing entertainment venue
Add Cover to Protect from Weather
No matter where you live, you experience some type of weather at some point that is going to make using your backyard kitchen harder to use. If this means you live somewhere rainy, you are going to need a roof or canopy that covers your outdoor patio space to provide shelter to your patio space. If you live somewhere cold, consider adding heaters. If you live somewhere very hot that gets a lot of sun, consider canopy shades, fans, or drop-down tarp to provide shade to your patio space. Get creative and make sure that you do everything you can to make your patio space as usable as possible no matter the weather.
Put in Utility Hookups
You can’t have a kitchen without utility hookups. You need to make sure that you consider your utility hookups when designing and building your backyard kitchen. You are going to need electrical hookups, and a lot of them. You will also need a gas hookup if you are going to use a gas stove top for your kitchen backyard. You should also remember to have a water line hookup for your patio so that you can have a sink – many people forget this but cooking without a sink is next to impossible. Make sure you know all the utility hookups you will need before breaking ground so that you can plan.
Add Key Appliances
Now your next step is going to be adding your key appliances. There are many appliances that are nice to have in an outdoor kitchen, and there are other appliances that are necessary to have in an outdoor kitchen. You must have an oven, stove (preferably gas), a fridge, a grill, and a sink. It can be nice to have a microwave and dishwasher. If you do decide to go the gas stove route, think about using a tank instead of main line access. You can use 120-gallon tanks to fuel your stove and other gas appliances.
Consider the Living Space
Now that you have planned and begun to realize the kitchen space, you should look to make the rest of your patio a great living space for friends and family. There is no point cooking outdoors if you are not going to be eating and lounging outdoors. Make sure to get comfortable outdoor seating options, like couches and chairs. You should also have a large table to eat at, and consider a bar area, a television, speakers, perhaps even a fire pit or hotel. Whatever you can do to encourage people to want to spend time outside the better.
You can’t use your outdoor kitchen once it gets dark if you don’t consider lighting elements. Many people overlook lighting, believing that natural light will be sufficient to light your patio space. But weather and daylight savings can have a major impact on your light, and if you want to be having dinner outdoors, you’ll need lights for the evening. Make sure that you have sufficient lighting both at the kitchen area and at your lounge area on your patio. They should be independently adjustable so that there can be light for cooking and the opportunity to create the proper atmosphere in the lounge space.
Don’t Forget Cooking Equipment
The unfortunate truth of a backyard kitchen, or any second kitchen you add to your home, is that for it to truly be usable, you will need a whole new set of cooking equipment. Pots, pans, utensils, appliances – if you must carry everything that you are going to use to cook from your indoor kitchen to your backyard kitchen, you are going to cook less outdoors. By setting yourself limitations like these, you are putting friction between yourself and using your outdoor kitchen. Make sure to set aside some of your budget to purchase kitchen equipment exclusively for the outdoor kitchen, it will come in handy.
And finally, there are the finishing touches. Nobody likes a bland or sparse patio area, so make sure to decorate and furnish your patio nicely. Plants and foliage are great – if you are going to be outdoors you should try to incorporate natural elements wherever you can. An outdoor rug can make your patio homier and throw pillows and blankets for cold nights are always welcome. Consider wall art that is outdoor safe for the walls, and don’t skimp on small touches that bring the space together. Your outdoor kitchen is another room of your house, so give it that same care and attention you would to any other room of your home.
Having a backyard kitchen is a luxury that is worth it for any family that cooks often. Being able to enjoy your kitchen and the outdoors all in one is a brilliant experience that doesn’t have to be exclusive. Follow these tips to make sure that you create the most perfect backyard kitchen possible.
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