If you enjoy hosting cookouts in the fresh air and sunshine, an outdoor kitchen is just what you need. Building an outdoor kitchen requires a bit of planning, but the rewards make it well worth it. Check out this guide to learn how you can build a backyard cooking station that will be the envy of the whole neighborhood.
As always, safety must be your first consideration. Design your outdoor kitchen so that the grill is at least 12 feet away from the house. There may also be a danger posed by the smoke from charcoal and lighter fluid, so be sure to locate your outdoor kitchen in an open area where the wind can carry these fumes away and reintroduce fresh air.
Today’s grills are bigger, better, and more accessorized than ever before. Find a grill that is large enough to serve your biggest parties. If you cook several dishes at once, you’ll want a grill with warming compartments, multiple cooking racks, and side burners. A smoker box is another useful feature. It allows you to easily burn woodchips and infuse your foods with that smoky flavor that you can only get from outdoor cooking. Some high-end grills even include a motorized rotisserie, which helps you keep those roasts juicy and tender.
Most grills use propane, charcoal, or wood pellets. Whatever fuel source you choose is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people favor the precise temperature control of gas; others enjoy the unique flavor imparted by charcoal and wood pellets. As for material, steel is still the most popular choice, but some manufacturers now produce grills made of ceramic, which offers excellent heat retention and uniform distribution. Visit a reputable online grill retailer such as AquaRec.com if you would like to compare prices and features of high-quality grills.
In addition to the grill, your outdoor kitchen will need some counter space. Think about the material you will choose for your countertops. Concrete is an affordable and functional choice, and it can be dyed before mixing to match your outdoor decor. Another great choice is tile, which is available in countless styles from modern to rustic. If your budget permits it, you can get the ultimate in elegance and durability with granite countertops.
Put counter space on both sides of your grill so that you can keep raw foods on one side and cooked foods on the other. This will keep your cooking organized and prevent cross-contamination. You may also want to have a space built into the counter that accommodates a cooler or mini-fridge so that cold drinks are always at hand. Another great feature for an outdoor kitchen is a bar area where guests can sit and socialize with the chef.
With the basic elements out of the way, it’s time to consider some accessories that will take your outdoor kitchen to the next level. For starters, it’s nice to have some shade during those summer cookouts. If your barbecues tend to be small affairs, a patio umbrella could do the trick. If you host larger parties, think about installing an awning or even a wooden pavilion. Finally, some torches, lanterns, or electric lights will illuminate your cooking during the evening.
With these considerations in mind, you’ll be ready to design and build an outdoor kitchen that will provide countless hours of enjoyment. Make use of online resources like Aqua Rec’s when shopping for grills and other outdoor recreational products. An outdoor kitchen is a commitment, but it pays huge dividends in great meals and fun times with family, friends, and neighbors.