Now is a good time to begin considering an outdoor kitchen for entertaining next summer. An outdoor kitchen is a fun and convenient way to prepare meals for family picnics and other get-togethers. The more complete the kitchen is, the more convenient meal preparation can be. An outdoor kitchen also provides a great way for the host to stay with the party while preparing food.
The first step to planning the outdoor kitchen is to decide if a sink should be installed. By choosing an outdoor sink, homeowners can prepare meals and clean dishes outdoors. There will be no need to run into the house for water or to wash items needed for cooking. However, before a new sink can be installed, water and a sewer line must be run to the kitchen.
Homeowners must hire a professional plumber for this installation. A plumber is trained, experienced, licensed, and insured to provide proper installation of water and sewer lines. Improper installation could lead to serious damage to the outdoor kitchen and even the home. Professional installation will ensure that the kitchen will have a properly working sink and allow for other installations, such as a dishwasher.
Having a refrigerator and dishwasher installed in an outdoor kitchen will ensure that the food is easily accessible and provide a place to clean up after the party is over. Other small appliances, such as a blender or food processor, can also make food prep easier and minimize the need to run into the home for such things. However, these items will require an electrical installation.
Just as plumbing should be performed by a professional, so should any electrical installation. Improper electrical installation could damage appliances, pose a fire risk, and create a risk of electrical shock to the homeowner and their guests. A professional electrician will install the proper lines and outlets to support any electrical appliances that may be needed for the kitchen.
Gas or Other Fuels
The next step in the process is to determine the type of cooking station that will be used. Many people want a grill for their outdoor kitchen. Propane, wood, or charcoal are easy options that require simply purchasing a grill that utilizes those fuels. However, when choosing a natural gas grill, having a gas line installed will be necessary.
Just as running plumbing or electricity requires a professional, so does running a natural gas line. This process can cost homeowners an average of $12 to $25 per linear foot of gas line. This can greatly increase the cost of installing the kitchen but will provide the convenience of having fuel on hand whenever food is being prepared.
Choosing the Right Appliances
Once the basics are selected, the next step in building the outdoor kitchen is acquiring the right appliances. For those building a complete kitchen outdoors, a refrigerator, dishwasher, grill, or other cooking appliances need to be chosen to provide the needed places to store, prepare, and clean up after every meal.
Since the kitchen will be outdoors and subject to any weather conditions, only equipment that can be outdoors should be purchased. Many appliances that would be used in the home are not able to handle a rainstorm or other outdoor conditions.
Fortunately, some appliances are created just for this purpose and come in a variety of sizes and styles to allow homeowners to create the aesthetic they want.
Before building anything, homeowners are encouraged to consider their location and the types of winters they may face. Ensuring that they understand the proper steps that must be taken to winterize the components at the end of the season will ensure the outdoor kitchen lasts for many years.