Designing an Outdoor Kitchen for Your Maryland or Washington, DC Home
As the winter creeps in, most of us are not thinking much about outdoor living. However, this is the best time of year to start planning for the year ahead. There are few things better than the great outdoors, and an outdoor kitchen is a perfect way to take your warm-weather lifestyle to the next level of awesome.
In Maryland and DC, warmer weather means friends, family, and good times on the deck or patio. When we are designing a home that includes outdoor spaces, the idea is to make that space an extension of your home, where nature flows seamlessly from one environment to another.
Benefits Of An Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen accommodates all kinds of activities, from spending more time with your family to entertaining your friends and neighbors. From family gatherings to weddings, birthdays, holidays, and all sorts of occasions, everything you love to do is possible in your own backyard.
Other benefits that you may not have considered include lower energy bills, keeping the smells and mess outside, expanding your living space, and increasing the resale value and curb appeal of your home. You will enjoy more flavorful cooking, and you might even save money on restaurants because everybody will prefer to dine at home, al fresco.
Features Of An Outdoor Kitchen
Some of the items you can consider for your outdoor kitchen include:
- Barbeque Grill. Depending on what you like, there are many options to choose between. Natural gas or propane grills are efficient and convenient, but combination grills that accommodate charcoal and wood fire will appeal to the gourmand in the family.
- Smoker. If you like your meat cooked low-and-slow, a smoker is a must.
- Refrigerator. Having a fridge in your outdoor kitchen is super-convenient for everything from beverages to condiments, and more.
- Bar. A wet bar with a sink and fridge allows you to entertain with flair. Add a few bar stools, and you’ll have the most popular spot when the weather’s hot.
- Countertops. Think about what you’ll be doing in your outdoor kitchen and plan enough countertop space to do it all. You will need to choose a durable product that will not get damaged by water, heat, cold, or sudden changes in the weather.
- Sink with running water. Install your sink next to the prep area for easy cleanup. Consider the traditional “rules” of the kitchen work triangle to ensure maximum efficiency.
- Flooring. The deck material you choose should be able to withstand more than just the weather. In an outdoor kitchen, you want something low-maintenance, weather-resistant, and versatile. Brick, natural stone, concrete, and tile are good choices, but your contractor can work with you to select something that both looks good and performs well.
- Built-in wood-fired ovens. There’s nothing like wood-fired food. No matter what you cook, it’s so flavorful that you might never go back to a more conventional way of cooking. Wood-fired ovens are best known for fantastic pizza, but just about anything can be prepared in there. Whole chickens, veggies, bread – you name it, it’s better when it’s wood-fired!
- Lighting. Since day tends to fold into the night in the outdoor kitchen, you will want to have adequate task lighting to keep the party going and stay safe while you are chopping and cooking.
- Cabinets and storage. You probably don’t want to be running inside to get the things you need, so having ample storage in the outdoor kitchen is essential. Make sure you have enough room for your outdoor dishes, cutlery, pots and pans, and any utensils you use for the grill. Be sure they are weather-proof to a certain extent, as you don’t want your drawers filling up with water in a rainstorm.
Plan For Bad Weather And The Shoulder Season
In this day and age, the weather patterns are unpredictable. Weather resistance is crucial for all of your outdoor components, so it’s a good idea to purchase quality items with a good reputation and an excellent warranty. Research your selections before you buy to be sure they deliver on durability, functionality, and value.
A fire pit or bowl is always nice to cozy up around on chilly nights. You may also want to have a couple of propane heaters for the patio to extend the season as long as possible.
Does an outdoor kitchen fit into your plans for next summer? Reach out today to learn more about planning your outdoor kitchen. We’ve got plenty of great ideas, and we’d love to help.