For the person who loves to cook and entertain, an outdoor kitchen with a grill island would be a dream come true. Here are five tips for making your dream outdoor kitchen a reality in your Dublin, OH, backyard:
Choose the Right Layout
Depending on the size and geography of your yard, choosing a layout for the grill island is a first step. Will a straight line layout work best for you? Or a “U” shape? Building your cooking station in an “L” works for most yards. Consider how you like to cook and whether you’ll want easy access to your family and friends so that you can chat as you cook.
Location Is Everything
Think about whether you want your kitchen grill island close to your home so that transporting food from your indoor kitchen is as easy possible. Would a grill island on an existing deck or patio make sense?
Keep in mind, having the island cook space constructed away from your home could minimize the effect of smoke and insects potentially entering the house as you come and go during food preparation. As you choose where you prefer the grill island, think about what makes the most sense for you as the cook as well as where you and your guests will gather when it’s time to dig into your wonderful food.
Decide on Which Appliances You Need
Besides the grill itself, you may want a cooktop. Heating water to boil corn, frying bacon to add to burgers, and simmering barbeque sauce for ribs are all activities that would be more efficient to do alongside grilling, to get your meal on the plates quickly.
Another appliance to consider is deep sink, which makes cleanup a group process, as everyone can take a job to get the area spic and span. And, to really cut back on the trips you have to take during food prep, you could opt for a refrigerator. Imagine keeping drinks, vegetables, and salads cold until you are ready for them, without having to step indoors. If you really want to wow your guests, a pizza oven would be an excellent addition to your outdoor kitchen.
Factors to Consider for a Large Yard
With a spacious yard, you can set up defined areas for each of the outdoor “rooms”—one for the kitchen grill island, another for a dining area, and yet another for relaxing when dinner is done. Consider adding a fire pit or fireplace for chilly evenings, and you’ll no longer be limited by the weather when you get the urge to grill. A small pond or water feature adds so much atmosphere to a gathering—after all, everyone enjoys the calming sound of water. These options could take your entertaining by your outdoor kitchen quite memorable.
Features Needed for a Small Yard
A bit more creativity may be required for an outdoor kitchen in a small yard. It becomes your landscape’s centerpiece: Consider having large paving stones border your outdoor dining space, with your grill island in the middle and a fire pit right nearby. You may want a freestanding table and chairs that you can move about from eating space to warming-up space, or you could set up casual couches. Or think about adding long bar-style seating for your guests so you can chat and enjoy their company as you work in front of them. Expert contractors can help you picture various scenarios as you narrow down your decisions.