Transform your backyard into a relaxing oasis by designing an outdoor kitchen. Today’s outdoor kitchens are often much more elaborate than those of patios past.
In fact, it’s not unusual to see gourmet appliances, oversized bars, wood-fire pizza ovens, and 4-burner built-in gas grills. Plumbing and electrical hookups make all your preparation work, cooking, and clean-up simple.
If you’re considering installing an outdoor kitchen, here are some project ideas.
Bar with Built-in Seating
Add extra seating space with this simple addition. A typical bar includes a sink, grill, and possibly a mini refrigerator or ice storage. Make the bar a focal point in your backyard by adding soft lighting under the countertop, and if there’s a ceiling, pendant lighting above the bar. Constructing the bar in a centralized location also keeps the cook from becoming isolated.
Wood-Fire Pizza Oven
Bring old-world tradition to your modern outdoor kitchen with a wood-fire pizza oven. Pizza ovens have a flat brick or ceramic surface inside a cave-like shape. The wood is placed in the oven’s rear. Radiant and reflected heat cook the pizza. You can buy a manufactured unit or hire a landscape contractor to custom build one. Before beginning this project, however, make certain your area allows this type of fixture.
Built-in grills can be seamlessly integrated into any outdoor kitchen. Whether you prefer cooking with charcoal, gas or electric, there is a wide variety of grills available on the market today. You will find multiple burner options available as well. Perhaps not as convenient as a grill on wheels, built-in grills make it simple to do all your prepping and cooking in one place.
Outdoor Kitchen Benefits
- Increases resale value
- Good for entertaining
- Saves on utility bills
- Less messes inside
- Extends your living space
- Won’t heat up your home
- Can be used year-round in warmer climates
You’ll need to give some thought to the design of your outdoor kitchen. For example, ventilation. When planning an outdoor kitchen, it’s important to pay attention to the space around your bar, pizza oven or built-in grill. You want the smoke to blow away from your cooking space.
Utility placement is equally important. Make sure to consult a licensed contractor for electricity, plumbing or gas hookups (if applicable). You will also want to check local zoning regulations. Most contractors can do this for you.
Concrete block, natural stone, brick, and tile are excellent hardscape material options to consider when creating an outdoor kitchen. Look for materials that are stylish, weather-resistant, and low-maintenance.