Building an ideal outdoor kitchen is a thrilling journey that blends your culinary passion with the joys of outdoor living. Outdoor kitchens are more popular than ever before, people are shifting to a more permanent solution for outdoor cooking. Transforming your lanai/patio into an elegant outdoor kitchen area takes precise planning and design experience.
As such, we have put together a useful outdoor kitchen design guide to avoid the most frequent mistakes that can save you money and time down the road. These inside tips are very helpful and will help lead you through the project. So, keep reading to join us as we guide you through the essential design considerations that will help you transform your outdoor space into a functional, stylish, and inviting kitchen.
Analyzing the Outdoor Kitchen Site
Before commencing your outdoor kitchen project, verify permit requirements and local codes regarding access, surface specifications, water regulations, and height limits.
- Utility Accessibility: Check for easy access to water and gas utilities.
- Proximity to Indoor Kitchen: Consider its proximity to your indoor kitchen.
- Overhead Covering: Ensure there’s cover to prevent smoke accumulation.
- Protection from Elements: Confirm protection from outdoor elements.
- Level Surface: Ensure the planned area is on a level surface.
- Electric Outlets: Install independent circuits for the outdoor kitchen with GFI breakers.
- Water Supply: Decide on hot and cold water needs, considering cost-effective solutions.
- Gas Line: Employ a licensed local gas professional for gas line installation.
Designating Areas of the Outdoor Kitchen
Ensure sufficient space for each area, considering functionality for preparation, cooking, serving, and clean-up activities.
- Hot Areas: Grills, side burners, pizza ovens, and prep spaces.
- Dry Areas: Counter spaces for food preparation, including cabinetry and storage.
- Wet Areas: Sink, worktop surface, and associated storage.
- Cold Zones: Refrigeration and cold storage.
Supporting Countertop Space Areas
Plan dedicated countertop space for each kitchen area to facilitate smooth operations.
- Grill: 12” on one side and 12” on the other side for a total of 24” of countertop space next to the grill
- Sink: 12” on each side
- Refrigerators: 8” inches next to or above each appliance
- Sideburner: 12” on each side
- Pizza oven: 12” on each side
What is your favorite type of cooking and how many people will you be cooking for?
- Grills: Gas Grills offer luxury and convenience. Charcoal grills offer tons of great flavor and a more traditional cooking experience. Hybrid Fire Grills are the most versatile, combining gas, wood, and charcoal cooking, on one grill!
- Pizza Ovens: Wood-fired pizza ovens are more traditional, while gas-fired ovens are the modern-day choice and very convenient. These can be built-in or framed with stone, stucco, etc. More convenient, cost-effective options are the countertop ovens or pizza ovens on a freestanding, mobile cart.
- Refrigeration: Browse our wide variety of options, from standard refrigerators and refrigerated drawers, freezers & freezer drawers, to wine coolers, beverage centers, and ice makers. You can figure out a lot about the quality of an outdoor refrigerator by looking at the manufacturer’s recommendations for heat in the summer, and winter storage.
- Smokers come in different shapes and sizes, and implement different technologies, which include: counterbalance “stick burners”, upright “water smokers”, kamado-style standing smokers, gravity-fed (the moving of a liquid without the use of a pump) charcoal smokers, and electric pellet smokers are just a few of many smoker options available.
- What are you planning for storage in your outdoor kitchen?
- Do you want a larger bar center sink with storage for ice?
- Or a smaller sink just for washing dishes outside?
Vent With An Outdoor Grill Hood
At The Outdoor Appliance Store, we want to help customers find the very best products for their outdoor kitchens and grilling areas. Apart from the cooking solution, the most important aspect of your backyard area is perhaps the grill vent hood. You don’t want smoke and fumes ruining your dining experience, and with the right outdoor grill hood, you can keep the area clear of annoying odors and haze. Check out our Venting hood guide!
- Traditional seating width is 12” wide per person.
- Easily accessible seating width is 24” wide per person.
- Bar height seating with the knee wall set at 42″ high, needs a 12-18″ counter overhang for comfortable knee space.
- Counter height seating with the counter set at 36″ high, should have a 12-15″ overhang.
- Table height seating with the counter or table 30″ high, should have at least a 16-18″ overhang for knee space.
- Accessible seating with the counter or table 30″ high, requires an 18-20″ minimum overhanng.
Clearances needed for people coming and going:
- Allow for at least 24” between the counter edge and the nearest barrier to make plenty of room for seating.
- Allow for 32-36” for people to walk behind seats
- For plenty of open space, allow 42-48”
- Make sure whatever material your patio is made out of has good traction. Avoiding slip and falls is just as important in an outdoor kitchen as it is around a pool.
- Keep at least 9-12” between any hot appliances such as grills, ovens or cooktops. This is recommended to keep the heat away from any nearby combustible materials and especially people.
- Make sure when installing your grill there isn’t anything combustible above it. Every grill manufacturer has guidelines for how far away you should be from anything combustible and it’s very important to follow these!
- The gas shutoff valve should be in a location that’s easily accessible (we recommend being at least a few feet away from any appliance using gas).
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- It’s best to have the countertop edges rounded to avoid bumping into a corner.
- Ensure that the area is well-lit.
What’s included in the Free Outdoor Kitchen Design Service?
- Professional Advice
- Colored 3D Renderings
- Custom Layout & Plan
- Itemized Quote
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