As the saying goes, “Form follows Function”. For a great outdoor kitchen that you will truly love and enjoy for many years to come, design your outdoor kitchen around “functionality”.
There are 5 functional zones to a well-designed outdoor kitchen,
- Prep Area
- Cooking + Grilling Area
- Serving or Staging Area
- Entertaining Area
- Storing the Goods
Whether you include all of these area and how they are laid out is crucial to outdoor kitchen design. If you get these right, you will absolutely love your outdoor kitchen!
Do you see yourself prepping foods outdoors? If so, you will likely need a sink and a cutting board/waste built-in cabinet, possibly even a prep area fridge, crisper drawer and a side burner for food items that will be precooked before a final grilling or searing. On the other hand, if your outdoor kitchen is a few feet from your indoor kitchen, and moving back and forth between them is no concern, then your prep area may only need to include open counter space (we recommend 36” in length) and cupboards beneath. Make sure you have enough space, easy access, and easy waste disposal!
Keep the peace: give the outdoor chef all he/she needs to produce a culinary delight!
2. COOKING AND GRILLING
Will you be grilling for 2 or for 20? Do you enjoy rotiserrie foods? Do you like the idea of both charcoal and gas grilling, or want to add a Kamado or Asado griddle? How about a pizza oven? The good news is there is an amazing selection of cooking equipment available today, more than ever before! The outdoor grilling experience and flavouring is what it’s all about, so make sure you plan in all the equipment you need with ample space between and around the grills to cook comfortably.
Imagine the possibilities!
3. SERVING + STAGING
If you are grilling large quantities of food, you will need ample staging space “beyond” the grill, and you may wish to add a warming drawer, as well. Will you be staging food at the outdoor kitchen and then moving it to another area, or will you serve from the outdoor kitchen surface? In either case, think about how much space you will need to properly stage or serve your prepared foods, including non-grill items like salads, breads, desserts, even beverages. Do you need a fridge for cold foods and beverages in the serving area? Look around your indoor kitchen, including the island, and consider how much space you need to stage a meal. Then plan your outdoor kitchen.
Design your outdoor kitchen to keep the great food and drinks flowing!
You’ve heard the saying, “the kitchen is the heart of the home”. It’s where everyone gathers... sometimes to the chagrin of the cook! The answer? Sit them down and give them a drink.
Do your three buddies like to tell you how to outdoor grill to perfection? Make them comfortable while they dispense critical guidance! Think of your outdoor kitchen as an entertaining area. Because it is. Then, as space allows, design in seating, counter space for snacks and drinks, a fridge, ice maker, beer tap, whatever will keep your culinary critics at bay and all your friends and family around you.
After the party ends, you'll want to make sure you have enough room to store all your dinner and entertaining-wares. Make clean up a breeze with on-board outdoor kitchen storage, so you can spend less time cleaning up, and more time relaxing.
Let the party(ies) begin!