Relax, socialize, eat… These daily activities take place largely outside in summer months of the year. Current barbecues have multiple functions and offer different cooking possibilities. With so many different cooking options, we can prepare the entire meal outdoors!

Creating a kitchen area around the grill allows the cook to enjoy family and guests while cooking – making the grill not only a utilitarian appliance, but also a social gathering place. There are a wide range of home kitchen appliances built for outdoor use. Fridge, ice machine, pantry, beer keg… everything you need.

Quality is Key

It’s important to choose quality appliances and products that are designed for outdoor use. Quartz or granite countertops are suitable for an outdoor kitchen, but a protective sealant must be applied every year to preserve the luster of the stone. Concrete also needs to be sealed regularly. Another option is a non-porous material such as neolith, not requiring any yearly maintenance. Appliances and materials of good quality are essential for the sustainability of an outdoor kitchen. Even with protective coverings for the winter months, appliances must be able to withstand extreme temperature ranges, so buying good quality appliances that are suitable for outdoor use is crucial. Specialty retailers generally offer good warranties.

Plan Ahead When Designing

Be sure to always check dimensions and sizing of new appliances in order to integrate them without trouble into the kitchen. Although you may be only installing a few features now, proactively think about what else you would like to add in the future so you have the space to do so. Accounting for counter space is crucial – side burners, sinks, portable appliances and a work area all take up counter space. If the area is small, you may want to stick to a grill, a prep area and a space for the trash. Installing a sink with running water available in your outdoor kitchen is very practical. However, this requires plumbing work and the convenience may not outweigh the costs, depending on the configuration of your outdoor area.

Smart and Stylish Design

Make your outdoor kitchen an extension of your home – both in use, but also in style and design. Be sure to choose colours and styles that flow with the rest of the home and consider tying in different features to match your indoor kitchen, whether it be your cabinet colour, backsplash or countertop. This will harmonize the feel of your home. Also, remember to consider the amount of direct sunlight your outdoor space receives – dark colours can become very hot. You may want to avoid a dark counter if your outdoor kitchen is exposed. It’s important to prioritize what is important for you and your family to make the most of your outdoor living area. Don’t be afraid to start by brainstorming your dream outdoor kitchen and working backwards to ensure you meet your budget.