Consider These 4 Things Before Building An Outdoor Kitchen Space

If you’re a skilled home cook – or an aspiring one – there’s nothing quite as alluring as the idea of having an outdoor kitchen space!

Photos By: Stock Images

It can provide you with lots of options that just aren’t doable inside a home, and it can be a great way to entertain guests. From hosting a classic barbeque to whipping up a gourmet meal, there are endless possibilities for what you can do in an outdoor kitchen. However, before you build an outdoor kitchen space, there are 4 important things you need to consider.

1. Prefab Vs Custom Built?

The first thing you need to decide on is what kind of kitchen you want. Both a prefab and a custom-built outdoor living space have their own set of pros and cons. The main disadvantage of custom-built outdoor kitchens is that they require a more significant investment upfront. That said, while a prefabricated one is cheaper to start with, it might end up costing more when it comes to maintenance since the materials used are usually not as premium as you might like. The other thing to consider here is what kind of appliances you need and want. Depending on your preferences, you might find the perfect prefab kitchen. However, if you’d like to have more options when it comes to the way you can prepare your dishes – grilled, smoked, in a wood oven, etc, that might mean you’ll need to buy extra appliances, which largely defeats the purpose of going down the prefab route.

2. Placing And Enclosing Options

One of the most important things to consider when planning an outdoor kitchen space is size. You need to make sure that you have enough room for all of your appliances and that there’s enough counter space for you to work. If you’re tight on space, you might want to consider a U-shaped kitchen, which is usually more compact. However, if your outdoor space is larger, you can place the grill in the middle of the “U” and have cabinets surrounding it on both sides. One thing to keep in mind when placing your outdoor living space is whether or not you want it enclosed or open to the great outdoors. If you choose to enclose it, you’ll need to factor in the cost of adding walls and a roof. However, if you choose to go open-air, you’ll need to think about how you’ll protect yourself from the elements – like wind, rain, and sun. In general, even if you don’t want to have any walls surrounding you, installing a pergola-type roof is often a great way to protect yourself from the sun and add extra appeal to your kitchen.

3. Preparing The Space For Seating

When it comes to seating, you have a few options available – from bar stools to patio tables with chairs on them. If the primary purpose of your outdoor kitchen is for entertaining, then having ample seating is a must. Having a large rustic table with plenty of chairs – or even a bench on each side ensures that you can seat all your guests comfortably. On the other hand, if you plan on having an outdoor kitchen that serves as a secondary cooking space, then seating probably isn’t as important to you and you can put together a smaller table for 3 or 4 people and call it a day. However, no matter what you decide on, you need to revert back to how enclosed the space is? If it’s completely protected from rain and snow, you have much more freedom when it comes to making the seating area more comfortable – from throw pillows to blankets for those chilly nights.

4. The Extras That Make It Feel Like Home

When you’re cooking inside your home, you have all the necessary tools at your fingertips – from pots and pans to measuring cups and spoons. However, when you’re cooking outdoors, you need to consider what you’ll bring with you to make your kitchen space functional. For example, if you don’t have a thermometer on hand, then what will you use to check the temperature of your grill? Or, if you’re looking for something to be able to measure out ingredients with, are all your measuring spoons and cups really that easy to carry around? While on that subject, having a place where you can store some spices or even your cooking wine and oil is also a must-have. All these little extras help to turn your outdoor kitchen into the perfect place to be – whether you’re entertaining or just looking for a way to get away from it all while still being able to cook up some delicious food.

The great outdoors is truly one of the best places to be, but it’s even better when you have an outdoor kitchen space that makes cooking fun and functional. Planning for your outdoor kitchen space can seem like a daunting task, but if you’re smart about the way you plan out your measurements – having all of your appliances in mind – you’ll be set.