Though the setting is perhaps more relaxed and spacious, an alfresco kitchen plays the same role as its indoor counterpart.
The bare essentials of a well-equipped outdoor
cooking area are the grill, the island, the cabinets, a wet bar and
a mini fridge.
barbecue grill is
usually the main feature, with other amenities revolving around
The serious outdoor cook might also consider side-burners, rotisseries, smokers, and cook center lighting worthwhile add-ons.
Already have a deck or patio? A kitchen out
back is the next logical step. The space doesn't need to be
elaborate, just a nice, flat surface to act as a supporting foundation.
right combination of shelter, climate control, comfortable furnishings,
and lighting will ensure an outdoor environment that is
always welcoming and convenient for food preparation.
Many homeowners choose locations like underneath a gazebo or pergola. Others prefer to be near an outdoor room such as a screened-in patio area.
Keep in mind that the main goal when planning the kitchen should be to create a centralized area where everyone wants to gather.
Locate the dining table nearby so food can be
served easily and everyone can eat together.
No room for
a dining table? Add a snack bar near the cook zone being
careful to locate it a safe distance from the grill.
Counter space for food preparation is critical. If at all
possible, plan for 3'x24" of waterproof counter space on both sides
of the grill.
A modular unit with a self-contained sink, counter, storage
cabinet, and water hook-up is a budget-friendly alternative.
Although not the most glamorus aspect,
the food-prep area should also be equipped with hot water for easy
Another budget-friendly alternative is to purchase as many of the
peripheral appliances, refrigeration, hot water heater, dishwasher even,
used via Craigslist. If minor repairs or replacement parts are needed partselect/ or similar sites not only
provide replacement parts but offer DIY tutorials as well. Remember, these
items are not going to see the type of heavy use that indoor kitchens do.
Furthermore, these appliances need not be designed specifically for outdoor
use as long as they are sufficiently protected from the elements. Even then,
however, stainless steel exteriors are recommended for exposed facades. Round out the ambience with extra
features, such as a waterfall, beverage bar, or outdoor television.
These not only perfect the kitchen's design, they appeal to visitors enticing them to come over to watch a football game or help cook.
When designing the space, remember that the sky is the limit and almost anything can be a part of the fun.
An alfresco kitchen
can be as elaborate as your favorite bar or restaurant or as basic as a picnic in the park.
No matter which direction you decide to take with yours,
you'll be happy to show off your new outdoor kitchen!