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Ingredients for the perfect outdoor kitchen |

Ingredients for the perfect outdoor kitchen

When the weather is in our favour (finally), we want to do just about everything outdoors: relax, entertain, and even cook. And with the surge of chef-wannabes taking over backyards this summer, it should come as no surprise that the industry is responding, pushing some of the most innovative, sleek, and efficient outdoor kitchen appliances and accessories.

The starting point for cooking up the perfect exterior kitchen is making it work for you and your needs. While an outdoor pizza oven may sound cool, if you’re not the type to go to the trouble of making your own pizzas, then there’s no point in integrating that. What do you like to cook? Are you usually having more intimate family cookouts or larger party-like gatherings? Are you more apt to prep your food indoors and bring it outside, or do all the prep work near your grill? These factors will influence the overall design of your outdoor kitchen.

Is shade something that is needed? Perhaps you only want partial coverage over the cooking areas, or maybe you want the entire outdoor kitchen to be protected from the sun and rain. There are many different options when it comes to shade, from built-in gazebos or pergolas to fabrics awning structures. These come in a huge assortment of colours and patterns, and can really help to set the decor tone of the exterior space.

Next, you need to decide on appliances as well as storage and prepping areas. Obviously, the choices are endless, so narrow down the following:

– What type of grill do you prefer? Gas? Charcoal? Or what about the new ceramic barbecues, which can grill, bake, and more?

– What other appliances would be helpful to have outside? What about a small refrigerator or a wine fridge? If you like cooking for a crowd, a warming drawer could come in handy. So, too, could a built-in microwave or small dishwasher.

– What work spaces do you need? If you want to prepare food outside, you’ll need some counter space. You may also want to integrate a bar area or add in a sink.

– Do you need any cabinetry to store outdoor dishes, glassware or cooking utensils?

The final ingredient to a recipe for outdoor kitchen success is the accoutrements: what additional features do you want to add to really personalize the space? This could be anything from the fabrics and materials you choose for accompanying outdoor furniture, like tables and chairs, to the type of lighting you favour. Hanging outdoor lanterns are a great focal point of an outdoor kitchen, and so, too, are whimsical string or Edison lights. Potted herbs could be used around the space for a touch of organic, edible style.

So get cooking… al fresco! Cooking outdoors only enhances the overall food prep experience, and you’ll not only feel invigorated sharing your cooking space with Mother Nature, but you will enjoy everything summer has to offer, even more!

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