The outdoor kitchen of today can be as intricate or as simple as homeowners desire. There are some elements that can set the space apart, which can be customized depending on design style and budget.
•Grill: Instead of a simple grate over some coals, think about investing in a grill that has multipurpose cooking aides. These can include a side burner, a rotisserie turner and various temperature-control features. A grill should boast the conveniences of an indoor range and stove with the added benefit of a grill surface.
•Pergola: The outdoor kitchen should be comfortable, and that means having an area outside of the immediate elements. A pergola or awning can offer a shade source under which cooking is much more agreeable. Plus, you can then install a fan or overhead lighting to the pergola for even more comfort.
•Sink: Washing produce or washing up is much easier if there is a sink nearby. The closer the outdoor kitchen is to the actual house, the easier (and less expensive) it will be to run plumbing.
•Counters: Whether butcher block or an expanse of granite, having a work space available for food prep or as a serving surface can make an outdoor kitchen more convenient.
•Fireplace: When the weather turns chilly, a fireplace will be a focal point and also a source of warmth. If a fireplace is beyond budget, consider a chiminea or fire pit instead. Placing an outdoor sofa or some reclining chairs by the fire creates an intimate, and cozy place to congregate.
•Garden: Herbs and vegetables can grow adjacent to the outdoor kitchen. This enables pick-and-cook possibilities. Also, consider a compost pile or bin in proximity so that scraps can easily be turned into rich fertilizer.
•Refrigerator: Some homeowners choose to install a small refrigerator or wine cooler to keep items chilled for use. This helps promote safe cooking and serving practices.
•Entertainment: When installing electrical components for lights, consider installing surround-sound speakers that connect to a music player or home theater. Those with larger budgets can explore the options in televisions that can resist some outdoor weather and provide a different ambiance for watching movies.