At least 75 million households in America own at least one grill or smoker according to recent surveys. More than 20 million new grills were sold across the nation during the last year for which information is available. Of course, many people would like to take their outdoor cooking stations to the next level, evolving them far beyond simple grills and picnic tables. With so many outdoor kitchen appliances, fixtures, and accessories on the market, that’s not an unreasonable goal to reach for.
Making the Most of an Outdoor Kitchen
People have a of expectations when they install outdoor kitchens, and those areaa can be a major investment, depending on just how elaborate the owners make them. Because of that, it’s important to get the most out of them. An essential part of that is making sure such an installation truly meets your needs. Certain factors shouldn’t be overlooked when designing and installing an outdoor kitchen.
Adding Storage to the Mix
When thinking of their indoor kitchens, most homeowners have a couple of complaints in common: not enough counter space and insufficient storage. As such, adding cabinets to your outdoor kitchen can make a world of difference. Cabinets happen to cover both bases. They certainly provide extra storage. At the same time, they need to be covered to protect the items inside them. Those smooth, durable surfaces that cover them can offer added counter space. These two fixtures go hand in hand.
Choosing the right materials for cabinets and countertops is essential. That’s particularly true for outdoor kitchens because they’re constantly exposed to the elements. In general, outdoor kitchens consist of wood or metal frames. From there, they’re rounded out with additional materials. In many cases, cement board is used for cabinets because it’s resistant to moisture, extreme temperatures, and other hazards. Metal and wood can also be used to build cabinet boxes, but cement board tends to offer a few advantages.
On the surface, you’ll need to choose some type of cladding for added durability and decorative purposes. Stone, brick, and tile are a few of the most popular. Countertops are equally important. Granite, quartz, and stainless steel are among the most popular in this arena. All are known for their longevity. They’re also fairly easy to take care of, though stainless steel tends to show smudges more than its counterparts. Tile countertops are common as well, but they’re more difficult to maintain.
Choosing a Layout
Layout is also a major factor to consider. L-shaped outdoor kitchens are popular. U-shaped designs and kitchen islands are also highly sought-after. There’s no universal best choice here. The right one for you depends on your preferences and typical food preparation and cooking styles. How much space you have for an outdoor kitchen and the shape of the area also factor into the equation.
Creating the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen
Extra storage, countertops, and layout are all important design factors that can help you get the most out of an outdoor kitchen. Be sure to keep customization options in mind as well. Those might include color choice, cabinet height, adding specially designed dividers to cabinets, and numerous other considerations. In addition, think about the appliances and fixtures you’ll want to have installed. Take time to carefully plan a project like this so you’ll be completely satisfied with the end results.