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Ahhh summer... one of my favorite seasons! For those of you who know me well, you know that I love to cook outdoors. From brats to brisket and from tenderloin to turkey - give me a good smoker, grill and/or deep fryer and I'm king of the backyard (at least for a few hours..). So I thought, why not write about outdoor kitchens! Signature Builders has the experience and I get to pontificate on some of my favorite project ideas. Here are a few things to consider if you plan to build or remodel an outdoor kitchen:
- Think through the Design: All of the same considerations for a great indoor kitchen apply to an outdoor kitchen - but you also have to plan for sun, rain, ice, wind, varmints and the occasional neighborhood kid. More challenging...more fun!
- Overhead, Underfoot & Hidden Spaces: Most outdoor kitchens include a covered space so you can use it anytime regardless of weather. A rubber membrane can be put under an upper deck to prevent leaks in a lower patio kitchen. Lighting, outlets, overhead fans, lots of easy-access storage, easy-to-clean surfaces and flooring and simple winterizing will be key elements of your design.
- Choose Resilient Materials: There are so many great materials that can be creatively used in an outdoor kitchen. We have seen / used materials such as stained/decorative concrete, stucco, tile, stainless steel, stone and non-porus synthetic composites, etc.
- The Good Stuff: Just think about how you like to cook and then make room (and shelter) for your favorite gear, such as a built-in gas grill, smoker or firepit, mini-fridge and/or a ready-to-pour beer tapper. Don't forget built-in storage for the Weber, charcoal, uten-sils, accessories - and the ever-critical spices, herbs and rubs.
- The Extras Make it Yours: I've been thinking that adding a small garden box right next to the prep area would be perfect for picking the fresh basil. You might be thinking about a gas fire pit or a real stone fireplace. How about a sunk-in hot tub next to the wine fridge - so you can sink-in after a long day of work or play....
So enough with all this chit chat... I'm heading out to my grill with some good ol' Wisconsin brats. Don't forget to call or email me if you are thinking about building an outdoor kitchen. I can even help you break it in when we're done!