You can enjoy your meal under the stars or in sunny weather in your backyard, making your daily bread more palatable. But if one of the family members has to run back and forth from the backyard to the kitchen frequently, the amusement turns into distress. So, the solution to resolve this problem is an outdoor kitchen.
An outdoor kitchen is outside in the backyard or garden of your home, used to cook and enjoy dining in the open air without any stress. Before discussing some backyard-covered outdoor kitchen ideas, let’s know the benefits of an outdoor kitchen.
Benefits of an outdoor kitchen
Let us check out the advantages of an outdoor kitchen.
- Do not bring the smell inside
During summer, the aroma of the food is strong and travels more distance. If we prepare the meal outside, the smell will not come inside the home, as it will get eliminated or blended with some other aromas outside. We store some pre-cooked foods in the can to preserve them for later use, but when these smells are blended, they might cause discomfort in our olfactory senses.
- Saves energy
In the summer, cooking meals inside our home makes the temperature warmer. It leads to an increase in energy usage, eventually adding expense to the electricity bill. Sometimes the unbearable temperature makes the air conditioner stop working and the situation even worse. If you prepare your meals in the open air, the inside air will be cool and will save you energy consumption.
Sometimes cooking becomes more amusing if friends and family are involved in it. Preparing the meal cumulatively and having it together with nature is amusing for everyone at or around the table. It makes the process easier and reduces the burden on one person. One added benefit of open-air dining is guests do not feel congested like in a non-spacious house. With backyard-covered outdoor kitchen ideas, you can make an outdoor kitchen to prevent the guests from being cramped up at an event or a party.
- Not much worry about cleaning up
Naturally, the cleaning process of an outdoor kitchen and gathering is less hectic than indoor cleaning. If any food that could leave a stain trips on the outdoor ground, there is nothing to worry about. But if the same food falls onto the tiles of your home, it might fret you. An open-air kitchen allows you to enjoy the meal without worrying about cleaning after the party. It also protects a child from consuming things not meant for human consumption.
- Keeps away from bumping
If the food is inside the house, it can increase the temperature of the air inside, making the guest uneasy. When you cook a meal in large pots or containers, it becomes crucial to give some room to the person. So it does not get dropped by bumping into each other.
- Prevent multiple trips
An outdoor kitchen is not complete with just grills. Mostly, people go back and forth to prepare sides or get drinks from the refrigerator. It is better to include a refrigerator and storage space to eliminate multiple trips and enjoy the night with everyone else without any tension or worry. These are some imperative benefits of getting an outdoor kitchen.
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Points to remember before building an outdoor kitchen
Before we move on to the backyard-covered outdoor kitchen ideas discussion, let us go through a few points to consider before designing or getting an outdoor kitchen.
- How often will you use the kitchen?
It is crucial to consider this point before designing an outdoor kitchen because you cannot use it every day of the year due to the weather. People living in severely cold places will find it tough to use the kitchen every month of the year. So they might need the appliances that you can bring inside the home. Similarly, a place with more rainfall will need shade or covering for the appliances. So, the location where we live plays a significant role in the design of our outdoor kitchen because of weather disparity.
2. Use of the kitchen
Building an outdoor kitchen is not cheap, so you should know your requirements and eliminate other redundant expenses. Before planning the kitchen, understand how you are going to use it. If you are not a social person, getting a table for many people is useless, and this will save your expenses. If you are a socializing and entertaining being, then having a small appliance can vitiate the purpose of your party. You will have to cook in small quantities and cannot enjoy your gala time with the guests.
You can divide the outdoor kitchen functionality into various aspects, and each one is imperative before discussing backyard-covered outdoor kitchen ideas.
- Accessibility to the indoors
You should build an outdoor kitchen by being mindful of the house. After taking utmost care, sometimes you should go to the indoor kitchen. It might seem contradictory to the above statement, but you may need to access the indoor kitchen. So it is good to get the outdoor kitchen in proximity to the indoor one, accessing it without many complications.
- Your needs
Ensure to get things in the kitchen about another appliance. It means you should place each appliance, accessing everything hassle-free. For example, having a refrigerator in the stove vicinity is crucial when you are canning. Having it farther from the stove does not serve your goal.
- No one is left out
Decide on the outdoor kitchen located on the pretext of the other areas. In short, a kitchen should be within a dining and entertaining area altogether. It makes sure that no one is left behind to enjoy the party. Even the chef can get entertained if you put all these together. If the kitchen and entreating area are on different sides of the house, then some people cannot enjoy the night like others.
- Different items’ functionality
Determining the functionality of every appliance is crucial. For example, sink. You can build a sink alternative by hooking up the hose and using it as running water. Either way is correct. So you must decide earlier and determine the functionality of each area of your outdoor kitchen.
A grill for the kitchen is likely to be weatherproof. As an outdoor kitchen, ensure that other items like an oven, cooktop, and others can withstand the weather. Getting the same indoor appliances for the outdoor kitchen might result in quick wear and tear and more expenses in the future.
5. Protection area
Trees and awnings are an effective way to protect the sitting or dining area and kitchen. If there is a place where guests can take cover during rain or isolated thunderstorms in your open-air kitchen or dining and a shade protecting the guests from the harsh sun rays in the prickling summer, then it would be an add-on to the enjoyment.
Enjoying your coffee in a sheltered area outside your home when it is raining is not at all a bad idea. A combustible roof is a good and safe idea for an outside kitchen. The outdoor kitchen’s goal is to make cooking efficient and easier in the warmer months. Thus, using the grill under a traditional roof can create misery for you.
6. Spacious for storage
Unlike the indoor kitchen, the outdoor kitchen does not have walls. It means you will have to find places to store your food safely. Rolling storage is a good idea where winter lasts longer. Hanging pots are popular and the best method to store food. But it will only work if you are willing to get the pans and pots inside the house once you finish the party or meal. It is because leaving them outside will expose them to unwanted elements. One of the best and most used options is using stainless steel utensils to preserve and store your food in the outdoor kitchen.
7. Something extra
If you have some extra plans apart from dining, like entertainment with music and dance, you will need something additional beyond the kitchen. As per your budget, you can install lighting to make the surroundings more vibrant and amusing. A few bulbs on the kitchen roof will also add-on to the beauty of the whole outdoor kitchen.
You can invest in good speakers, but it is not a necessity. Getting a handheld speaker is not a bad option to enjoy your time. All these are not many significant requirements, unlike others, but they can be an add-on to your gala time. You can get a good outdoor kitchen if you make an open-air space with the pretext of these above points.
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Types of outdoor kitchen
Now it is time to discuss types of outdoor kitchens.
Prefab outdoor kitchens are carts or islands moved with the help of wheels or due to weight. The units are present next to each other as they are not attached directly. These are highly in demand at the current time because of their cost-effectiveness and fast process.
- Finished outdoor kitchen
As the name says, a finished outdoor kitchen is a ready-made island for your outdoor kitchen. It is a one-stop solution for building your open-air kitchen. All the designs, from side finishing and countertops to appliances and grills, will get installed in your kitchen. There are different designs available to choose the best among them, making the building process easier for a person.
Consider the grill as the main component and select the island based on it. A grill should be large enough and have enough burners to fulfil your needs. If you go with an expensive option, you can get a shade, roof, or extra features as a part of your finished outdoor kitchen.
- Modular outdoor kitchen
In a modular outdoor kitchen, you get little liberty in the design of your open-air kitchen. In this design, each appliance or component for your kitchen has its separate module or section, like a grill, storage cabinet, refrigerator, and many more. All the modules are similar in style and can fit together with a component of another module in different configurations.
Customize a modular kitchen to get things installed according to your wish, unlike a finished outdoor kitchen. There are a few advantages of a modular kitchen. First, you can arrange the components in numerous ways. Second, you are free to get the modules that you need or want. If you want your fridge section on the left side of the sink, you can get it done with no restrictions. You should limit it to a single brand for your kitchen, which is a good option.
- Pre-framed or ready-to-finish kitchen kits
It is the extension of modular kits and gives more scope for customization to the buyer. You can get the customized kit as per your wish from top to bottom, from function to appliances. You can get exactly what you desire with some extra cash in hand. You can even choose the built material of your choice that matches the exterior space. This gives you the liberty of purchasing the grill, cabinets, and countertop space of any brand, unlike the previous two options. After all of the appliance purchasing, get a pre-framed cabinet for the accommodation of these appliances.
These pre-framed cabinets simplify the setting up process of your open-air kitchen. You can set all your appliances in the structure of the frame and decorate it as per your desire. These frames are built with stainless steel or lightweight aluminum for stability and strength. Three types of kits are available for an outdoor kitchen: ready-made, customizable component kits, and fully customizable kits. Discussing these points was crucial to making backyard-covered outdoor kitchen ideas more vivid.
Before you begin building
Before you start constructing the kitchen in your backyard or garden, you need to know some vital things to prevent any problems in the future.
- Permission from the authorities
Some towns do not need permission for a prefab grill. But to avert any risk, you can do any of the two things. The first method is simple. All you need to do is to get permission to ensure that the outdoor kitchen does not trigger a rate hike. The second method you can opt for is if you did not get permission and do not want a tax hike. In the second method, you can go with a rolling island with a rolling cart and grill with an extension cord for electricity supply.
2. Prevention from fire
We recommend taking some actions before preventing fire because of the outdoor kitchen. Following are some ways to ensure the prevention of fire.
You must position the grill beyond 10 feet from any combustible substance or material. Combustible materials can easily catch fire, such as tree branches, wood, and many others. Always have a fire extinguisher in the outdoor kitchen proximity to prevent a mishap.
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a peculiar circuit breaker that switches off the power directly at the outlet to detect any electrical fault. It is also good to have a separate circuit for the kitchen. Use extension cords, lights, and fans with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) outdoor ratings because they can bear UV exposure and severe temperatures.
You should be aware of gas leakages. To check leaks, mix a few drops of dish soap into the water. Brush the heterogeneous mixture on the connector fittings and hose, and turn on the gas, but do not light it. If you see new bubbles forming, there is a leak in the gas. Tight the fittings, and if it still leaks, then replaces the fittings and hose.
3. Electricity requirements
Water, natural gas, and electric supplies are generally brought from the services in the house to the open-air kitchen. Never restrict the electric outlets from supplying power in the kitchen for the refrigerator and lights. You should also include them in dining and cooking areas. As mentioned above, outdoor outlets need a (GFCI) ground fault circuit interrupter.
Regulations on buying gas lines and electric cables vary from place to place. So you must check the codes and regulations while purchasing these things. We will advise you to consult the inspector of your building. In some areas, gas lines and electric cables should remain separated. While in others, these two needs should be present under separate trenches. To avoid any confusion, it is better to get it resolved by the building inspector.
If you keep these three points in mind before commencing construction, then it can benefit you in many ways. Always look after prevention to safeguard yourself and others from getting any damage. Thus, permission from the authorities will ensure that you do not get in any legal trouble in the future.
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Guide to building an outdoor kitchen
Let us now get into a detailed discussion about the guide to building an outdoor kitchen.
Step 1: The first and foremost step to making an outdoor kitchen is to choose the design. You can select the style of the kitchen as per your budget and with ease. Before deciding on the type of kitchen, you should know your requirements, like space, appliances, and many more things. As we have already discussed the outdoor kitchen type, you should be mindful of those points before selecting a variety.
Step 2: The outdoor kitchen location is also crucial because no one gets left out of the party. So a space that can also accommodate a dining area with the kitchen is the best place. The outdoor kitchen should not be too far from the indoor kitchen for accessibility. It will be better if the kitchen supports the house wall to save the extra cost.
Step 3: These previous two points were the most crucial factors for building an outdoor kitchen. To wrap up things, we will discuss a few aspects in brief before moving on to the ideas for an open-air kitchen. After you have determined the kitchen location, it is time to determine the areas for specific tasks in the kitchen, like the sink, grills, refrigerator, and many more. At last, you should choose the kitchen exterior and interior building materials according to your budget and requirements.
After numerous discussions, it is time to throw some light on the backyard-covered outdoor kitchen ideas. It will make your garden more aesthetic and captivating for the guests.
- Grill with a burner
It is the best choice for people who have limited space or whose primary focus is on cooking. If you are not a social person and do not invite guests for open-air dinners, then it is the best choice for you. It comes at a low cost. So people with lower budgets can also fulfill their desire to get an outdoor kitchen. The island is not big and can get accommodated easily. But the chance of adding some extra things to it is negligible.
- Outdoor kitchen with bar seating
It is an L-shape setting of the island, with one side having the grill burner and the other side having an empty counter which you can use to have your meal. This idea is best for both spacious and non-spacious gardens and backyards. A person with a non-spacious garden can use the counter to have a meal with 2 or 3 people. Have this L-shape setting intact, as it is pleasing to the eyes of the guests.
- Spacious and entertaining
If you have a relatively high budget and a spacious backyard, building a modern outdoor kitchen is worth it. An aesthetic kitchen looks more captivating, and with additional space, you can accommodate many guests at your party. To make the kitchen more beautiful, you can spend more on the flooring of the kitchen, like maple wood and many more. A spacious kitchen ensures extra appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and other equipment, which makes the task easy for you to host a party at your place. You can also spend a fair amount on the dining area to make it more presentable.
It is also better to take the advice of an architect-engineer before constructing the kitchen, as they will guide you more precisely and recommend the best option suited for you. Remember, it does not matter what you do or how you choose your outdoor kitchen. Just ensure that what you have chosen gets laid out to serve your needs the best. An outdoor kitchen is just an extension of your home, constructed to give you a sense of relaxation.
So, these were some backyard-covered outdoor kitchen ideas according to the requirements and budget of an individual. The budget plays an imperative role in the construction of the outdoor kitchen. An individual with a high budget unlocks a myriad of options for himself. The higher the budget, the more he can spend on making the outdoor kitchen and the dining areas beautiful. But do not get disheartened if you have a small pocket size. There are still reasonably good options available to make a beautiful outdoor kitchen.
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