How Outdoor Kitchens Transform Your Backyard

April 15, 2024  |  8 min read

outdoor kitchen built-in grill

An outdoor kitchen is a center for entertaining and serving up amazing food on your patio.

At the heart of outdoor dining, a backyard kitchen caters to the grill master or the beginner cooking burgers and hotdogs.

Whether you’re an amateur or an expert cook, here’s how an outdoor kitchen will elevate your backyard.

What Materials Are Used for Outdoor Kitchens?

Typically, we design outdoor kitchens with blocks that match the pavers or concrete panel masonry.

In other words, when we lay the stonework for your grill, fireplace, and more, we make sure it complements your existing patio.

Custom concrete counters, granite, or metal tops are all available.

Concrete pavers give your outdoor kitchen a more rugged look, while concrete panel masonry gives a smoother classic result.

Whichever materials you decide on, your outdoor kitchen will transform hosting outdoors instantly.

How Do I Design an Outdoor Kitchen?

Just like the kitchen in your house, it’s important to think about the flow of food service and prep for your outdoor kitchen.

Also, consider how you want to serve your food outdoors.

• Do you want an outdoor island or bar?
• Do you want to serve food hot off the grill?
• Do you want an outdoor fireplace or fire oven?
• Do you want a completed dining area with a table and chairs?

Available in straight, L-shaped, U-shaped, or curved, outdoor kitchens can be configured to almost any setting.

Which style would suit your lifestyle the best?

Design your outdoor kitchen to flow seamlessly into your life outdoors—be it relaxing by the pool, barbecuing, or family gatherings.

What Are Accessories for an Outdoor Kitchen?

Design ideas for an outdoor kitchen are as flexible as your imagination.

Bar-style seating on one side and cooking on the other—or a built-in table—are all good options.

Appliances vary from a simple grill and storage doors to sinks with hot and cold water.

Other choices to help with outdoor food preparation include outdoor refrigeration, pizza ovens, smokers, flat-top griddles, and side burners.

Cabinets with full stainless-steel drawers, trash receptacles, and paper towel holders make organization and cleanup easier.

Accessorize any way you like with outdoor equipment designed to withstand the elements.

Where Should I Build My Outdoor Kitchen?

Where you build your outdoor kitchen can make or break your outdoor dining experience.

Some things to consider before building are proximity to your main kitchen and wind direction (getting a face full of smoke when you’re trying to cook isn’t what you’re going for).

Another consideration is the type of food you like to cook.

Smoking typically requires more time, meaning you want your outdoor kitchen to be as comfortable as possible—especially when you’re doing extended outdoor cooking.

Your food prep area is also a big part of your outdoor cooking experience.

You want to be able to chop and season the food with access to running water so food prep can become part of the experience as you mingle with your guests.

In summary, having the right amount of counter space is critical.

Do you want a flat-top grill or a traditional grill?

Are you going to cook for small crowds or large get-togethers?

Will you use your outdoor kitchen for family dining or entertainment and hosting?

Once you know what you’ll use your outdoor kitchen for, then you’ll know where to place your outdoor kitchen.

Lighting for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Lighting is a key part of your patio kitchen as you need to be able to see what you’re cooking in the evening. (Especially in the winter months when you want to grill but it gets dark earlier).

Lights can usually be mounted under the counter and built into the structure if it’s a covered area.

Consider what time of day you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen the most.

If you prefer summertime cookouts, lighting might not be a necessity.

But if you often host late-night campfires (or love grilling year-round), installing lighting is a must.

Essentials for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Before settling on a design, consider the utensils and supplies you want to keep in your outdoor kitchen.

Here are some outdoor essentials we recommend: charcoal and fire starter, tongs, spatulas, prep bowls, knives, serving bowls, and drinking ware.

Visualizing what type of equipment you’ll use helps determine the amount of storage needed for your kitchen.

Knowing which essentials you reach for when you’re cooking means you can decide whether you needs hooks, drawers, or cupboards for outdoor storage.

Budgeting for Your Outdoor Kitchen

The price range for your outdoor dining area will vary greatly depending on the appliances and cabinetry options you choose.

So, when you’re analyzing your outdoor kitchen, consider a realistic price range.

What do you want to be the focal point of your outdoor kitchen, and does it fit within your budget?

Standard outdoor kitchens usually start at $850 and cost up to $1,000 per linear foot.

Custom high-end kitchens can easily be over $3,000 per linear foot depending on fixtures.

Grills can cost from $1,500 to over $10,000, while pizza ovens can vary from $700 to $7,500.

But don’t let the price tag scare you.

When you explore the benefits of an outdoor kitchen, the value far outweighs the initial investment.

Before you lay the foundation, talk to us about a quote for your outdoor dining area.

Once you have a price range in place, you can better decide whether you want to add on to or stick with your initial design.

And working with an outdoor kitchen pro will get you well on the way to memorable meals shared with family and friends—in the great outdoors.

Start Your Outdoor Kitchen Design!

An outdoor kitchen takes your patio to the next level.

Relaxing is great, but why not enjoy the ability to entertain and create delicious meals outdoors?

With a dining area installed on your back patio, you can!

If you’re ready to invest in an outdoor dining area, we’re here to help.

Talk to one of our landscape experts at our store or call us at 574-202-1636 today!

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