There’s nothing like a meal to bring friends and family together, even more so when it’s a family-style barbecue in your own backyard. A simple grill that can be purchased at any hardware store can do the trick for grilling burgers, but if you spend a lot of time dining on the deck with family, an outdoor kitchen may be the way to go!
But is an outdoor kitchen right for you? To help you decide, we’ve narrowed down the main pros and cons of an outdoor kitchen and shared some of our favorite ideas to get you inspired.
First, the bad.
- Space - An outdoor kitchen is certainly going to take up more space than a simple backyard grill. Even if you have the space, do you want it dedicated to only cooking and dining?
- Cost: There’s no doubt that an outdoor kitchen is a much bigger investment upfront. You simply need to decide if you’ll use it enough to make it worth the cost.
- Weather Protection - Obviously, there is significantly more to protect for an outdoor kitchen than a grill. For a standard grill, it’s relatively easy to find a good fitting cover. When it comes to an outdoor kitchen, you’re going to need specialty outdoor kitchen island covers — luckily, Covers & All has it under control and makes protecting your backyard investment very affordable.
But it’s not all bad news! Now for the good.
- Accessibility - No need to miss out on watching the kids play in the pool or leave your guests unattended to run back and forth in the kitchen. You can be right there with the action while preparing the food. Plus you get to enjoy the outdoors!
- Customization - You can customize your kitchen to be exactly what you need! Pick out your favorite styles and colors and truly extend your home into your outdoor space.
- Entertaining - Having an outdoor kitchen will really up the levels for entertaining guests. Your backyard can be the neighborhood hang out!
Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas
If you’ve decided that an outdoor kitchen is what’s right for your home, now comes the fun and creative part — deciding how to design it for your tastes.
Do you want a full stovetop near the grill? Maybe a huge prep area with a large built-in sink? Do you want to make your cooking area completely covered or partially covered? Or not at all? You can add shelving for dish and utensil storage, and an outdoor refrigerator (or even just a mini fridge) is always a huge plus. The possibilities are truly endless.
You can choose from a variety of colors and materials including stainless steel, tile, wood, brick and stone — or a mixture of these - to create a look you’ll love.
How To Best Use Your Grill In Arranging Your Outdoor Space
There’s no doubt that the grill will be the centerpiece for the outdoor cooking area. This is where everyone will want to gather. Create seating spaces that are far enough away from the grill to be safe, but close enough that you can check on the food and carry on a conversation.
You can put in bar seating around the grill so that guests can hang nearby while you work, or more comfy lounging chairs set up in a U shape facing the direction of the grill so that you can pop back and forth between the cooking area and the lounging area, always staying within earshot of the conversation.
Spring is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to gather your ideas and start planning the outdoor kitchen of your dreams!