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Planning an Outdoor Kitchen

So, you've decided you want to add an outdoor kitchen to more fully enjoy your backyard. If you are just in the beginning planning stages, here are a number of questions you'll want to consider so you can get a better idea of exactly what you need:
  • Are you planning on cooking complete meals (while you can make outdoor kitchens pretty fancy, replete with ovens and refrigerators, it's usually a better idea to do temperamental dishes in your regular, climate-controlled kitchen, and use your outdoor kitchen for simpler cuisine) or is this just going to be a place for poolside snacks and the occasional barbeque?
  • Meat smokers and rotisserie ovens are popular choices in outdoor kitchens where you don't have to worry about the smells overpowering the house for houses at a time. Is this something you're interested in adding?
  • Will you need electricity for refrigerators or electric burners/stoves?
  • Will you need water run for a food preparation area that includes a sink?
  • Will the weather in your area make a roof a necessity? If you don't want a roof, you'll need to get weather proofed appliances and installations for the occasional rain shower.
  • Where does the prevailing wind come from when it enters your yard? Can you place a wall so that your items won't consistently be blown around?
  • Do you want an attached outdoor kitchen or an island farther away from the house, perhaps as a poolside bar?
  • Do you have young children? You need to consider safety, especially for grills and burners.

These are just a few of the questions to consider when in the planning stage of your outdoor kitchen. A book like Better Homes and Gardens' Outdoor Kitchens can help you further and even provides do-it-yourself plans for a number of different outdoor kitchen scenarios.


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