DIY Outdoor Kitchen Designs – Expert Tips and Tricks

So you cook outside a lot, and you want to expand your cooking beyond the standard Weber outdoor kitchen grill .you use almost every night of the week.  Usually, the next step is to graduate to an outdoor kitchen.  Creating an outdoor kitchen is simpler than you might think, all you need is a few tools like an espresso machine, outdoor grill, kebab rack set.  It can sometimes be as straightforward as adding a dining area to your grill, or you may desire one of the more complete outdoor kitchen designs.  The idea is to save you time.  We’re all familiar with the laborious task of transporting and relocating all of the dishes you’re going to eat out to the patio or garden for a meal.  And when you’re entertaining, the task is even bigger.  And few enjoy being stuck in a kitchen preparing salads and ingredients when all the entertaining and fun is going on outside.

The obvious question to ask is: what are your requirements, budget and space limitations?  Do you need a little extra space to cook or a full kitchen?  You also have to think long term when building an outdoor kitchen in your home, and what sort of capacity you will actually need outdoors (for large parties, you might use the indoor facilities as well).

Outdoor Kitchen Cooking Elements

So first off, what are you going to be cooking?  Is an outdoor kitchen bbq enough, or will you require gas, and perhaps an oven?  Another idea is an outdoor pizza oven (perhaps the wood-fired), which often come with a stove top.  Some cooking elements can be portable, to be moved indoors for the colder months, or taken to a new home with you.

Outdoor Kitchen Food Preparation Areas

Having an area to prepare food, and store cooking utensils are an essential ingredient in any outdoor kitchen design.  Often you’ll be able to get away with the basics – a small countertop with 1 or 2 outdoor kitchen cabinets or shelves under it to store utensils.  But perhaps a fridge is needed, or a sink.

Outdoor Kitchen Materials

Of course, anything intended to be permanently kept outdoors needs to be able to withstand the weather (at the very least water resistant), and also protect the contents stored away from pests.  The materials that are usually used are stainless steel, woods like teak and redwood (which you can match to your wooden teak outdoor furniture), or stone, tiles, concrete or brick.  Countertops can also be very easy to clean (often with a garden hose), so devote some thought to this.

How to Build Outdoor Kitchens

If you get a pro in to do the dirty work for you, be glad, as it won’t interrupt your schedule.  They’ll be entirely outdoors, which will allow you to lockup for the day and head off to work without stressing about home security.  Also worth checking local area zoning laws, and proper construction methods.  Although you might want to enlist the help of an architect for more elaborate outdoor kitchen plans, you.  You must do this right because you are essentially adding a second kitchen, so it can, therefore, add the house’s value beyond what it costs to build.  Water and electrical hookups may also be needed.  Floorplan design is identical for both outdoor patio kitchens and indoor.  The number of cooks, work zones and high traffic areas all need to be thought about.

Outdoor Kitchen Islands Location Considerations

A kitchen can be placed on an existing patio if in good condition, and if it has the excess load-bearing capacity, but if this is in any doubt, an engineer may need to be consulted and more support may be needed.  The surrounds of the cooking area also should be able to withstand high heat, especially if you want to use it in cold weather, where some time of an outdoor heating element is essential to extend the amount of time in the year you can use your outdoor kitchen.

Level ground is usually preferable and finding somewhere that has some nice cover for privacy.  You might also select the spot in your yard with the best view.  Weather protection is also a consideration – using an exterior wall, and perhaps adding outdoor roofing and/or walls can extend the kitchen to year-round usage.  Of course, you then need to think about ventilation.  A good exhaust system is key, as no one wants to breathe smoke fumes over dinner.

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