By incorporating the right design principles, an outdoor kitchen can be the place where you and your guests enjoy delicious meals for years to come. Big or small, you can get started on your outdoor kitchen design by understanding these basics.
Smart, Stylish Designs for Outdoor Kitchens
(Family Features) Kitchens are moving outside. And they’re doing it in a big way. According to a recent study from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), outdoor kitchens are expected to be a top design trend in 2016.
“An outdoor kitchen can drastically improve the value of a home,” said Alana Busse, designer and NKBA Central Coast and Valleys chapter president. “They also bring people together. Whether, it’s simply your neighbors coming over for a weekend barbecue or a big family gathering, everyone loves being outside.”
Big or small, the basic principles of outdoor kitchen design remain the same. Get started by understanding these basics:
Get the right heat
More homeowners are also expanding their cooking capabilities with specialized products offering different types of heat. Smokers, pizza ovens and charcoal or wood-fired grills, such as Kalamazoo’s Gaucho Grill, are options to keep in mind as they can enhance the outdoor cooking experience.
Assess the space
If they are relatively close together, an outdoor kitchen can utilize the indoor kitchen’s capabilities, such as prep space and storage. Conversely, a fully independent outdoor kitchen with refrigeration, warming cabinets and cabinetry is more self-reliant, but will require more space and connections for gas, water and electricity.
In the zone
The cold zone should be next to the wet zone. This will simplify moving food from the cold zone refrigerator to the wet zone sink to wash and get ready for grilling in the hot zone.
Also plan for uninterrupted counter space, or landing areas, for placing platters and utensils while cooking. Grills should have at least 24 inches to one side and 12 inches to the other. Sinks should have 18 inches on both sides for room to wash food or place dirty dishes.
Be sure to dedicate enough space for each zone and think about the relationships among them for cooking and serving activities.
When considering refrigeration for an outdoor kitchen, Faulk stresses food-safe rated options. With these products, meats won’t go bad and drinks will stay cold, even when it’s above 95 degrees outside.
Cabinetry should be equipped to handle rain and protect the items inside. Weather-tight cabinets have seamless rain gutters around the door and drawer openings to help divert water.
By incorporating the right design principles, an outdoor kitchen can be the place where you and your guests enjoy delicious meals for years to come. For more design tips, visit kalamazoogourmet.com.
Photos courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet:
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