Since the basic backyard barbecue began evolving into the outdoor kitchen, the trend has taken off. Some of today’s outdoor cooking areas are full-on kitchens, with appliances, food prep space — even walls, ceilings and TVs.
It’s not just where you prepare the food. It’s where people gather. Just as the kitchens inside of our homes are kind of the center of energy at a party or gathering, the outdoor kitchen really has become that, as well.
This trend used to be limited to the upper end of the market. But today even the middle portion of the market is embracing it.
Homeowners are doing more outdoor cooking throughout the year. One goal is better health — you’re not frying with oil if you’re outside grilling, or even using an outdoor ovens.
Below are some thoughts on what’s trending in outdoor kitchen, and how you can create one even on a relatively modest budget.
Prep space with sink and storage: Many homeowners begin by installing a small island. These are usually built around a grill and offer counter space, plus the option of adding other conveniences. Among the most popular: a small sink connected to the outdoor water system, and a small refrigerator.
Also, a built-in outdoor kitchen adds monetary value to a home.
Cooking beyond the grill: Another trend Gaubeka sees is the addition of a brick or gas-fired pizza oven that can be used for much more.
You can bake outside or you can actually sear a thick piece of meat. While indoor ovens generally reach 550F, outdoor pizza ovens can reach 700F or 800F.
A fire pit can also be a fun place to cook “anything from s’mores to hamburgers.
Walls and ceilings: A permanent roof structure is a much better way to go because it allows you to use that room during more times of the year. It also helps protect your investment.
Grow your groceries: An outdoor kitchen is a great place for planter-grown herbs and veggies. Use pots or troughs for parsley, fennel, basil, thyme, oregano and tomatoes.
Going further: Wall-mounted TVs are also popular for outdoor entertaining areas, though they must be outdoor-rated and protected from the elements.
Everyone loves the idea of being able to hang out outside. We’ve really moved toward a grilling, outdoor entertaining, casual culture.
For more information, contact The Woodstove Fireplace & Patio Shop.