Backyard grilling kicks it up a notch!

While many men shy away from the kitchen, the backyard grill is the primal domain that beckons them to strut their stuff. Whether it is a simple charcoal bowl or an elaborate grill-zebo, dads and husbands seem to relish the thought (if you will pardon the pun) of grilling, smoking, and roasting summertime treats. 

Burgers and hotdogs are still grilling staples but backyard cookery has gotten even more creative. It is not uncommon for a grilling area to now include a barbeque with side burner, an outdoor kitchen prep area, a smoker and other specialty cookery items. A number of barbeque manufacturers have additional components that allow you to put together a grilling island that is both attractive and functional. If you have a yearning for a woodburning pizza oven, companies like Chicago Brick Oven have prefab kits and components to make building your outdoor kitchen easy!

At DrummondHousePlans, we have more and more requests for house designs that include a covered grilling deck. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, it is great to have an area to grill even when the weather is not co-operating, thus extending the season to grill comfortably and keep the barbeque out of the elements. The second reason is that the grilling deck often becomes an extension of the indoor living space, providing a natural transition to the backyard. Some great examples of outdoor grills or full kitchens can be found in our Design Ideas at Houzz.

Some helpful hints in designing an outdoor kitchen can be found at Backyard Landscape Ideas

 Outdoor kitchen designs can be as elaborate or as simple as you desire. Depending on your creativity and your budget, you can have a simple island to make outdoor cooking easier, or an elaborate outdoor room.

Before you decide what you want, be sure and explore all your options so you can get the outdoor kitchen you truly want.

The first thing to take into account is the space you have available. If space is at a premium, you’ll want to be conservative and use your space carefully. If you have a lot of space, you can design an outdoor kitchen in whatever configuration feels good to you.

Outdoor Kitchen Design

Outdoor kitchen designs include islands of various shapes, countertops, short walls, seating areas and more. Some even incorporate large outdoor patio fireplaces and plasma televisions!

You can plan for straight countertops or angled, whichever fits the shape of your house and yard the best. Maybe you’re putting your outdoor kitchen poolside or overlooking a lake or river. You can plan it any way you want.

Outdoor kitchen designs often incorporate natural surfaces like granite or slate on the countertops. Ceramic or stone tile are also popular choices. Remember to choose textures and colors that suit the exterior of your home if it is to be nestled up to an exterior wall.

In warmer climates, stucco makes a nice texture for the vertical wall surfaces. In wetter or colder climates, something durable like poly is actually an excellent choice. It does not crack, warp, fade, rust or deteriorate.

Stainless steel is the usual choice for outdoor sinks, refrigerators, cooktops and grills. It weathers well and resists rust as well as looking very professional. It is easy to clean and can withstand a lot of abuse. Your budget and space allowance will determine how many of these appliances you can install.

Be sure to incorporate some counter space for food preparation like chopping, slicing and mixing. Having running water can be very useful in your cooking space, so a sink is a wonderful addition if you have the space and budget for it. A single basin is usually sufficient. Storage drawers, access panels for the gas lines to your grill and storage shelves are also options you should consider.

Outdoor Kitchen Covers

Be sure to take your climate into consideration for your outdoor kitchen design. If you get a lot of sun, you may want to ensure that you have a covered area of some kind. This can be a permanent structure or something removable like canvas panels.

If you get a lot of rain, you’ll enjoy a permanent overhead covering as well. If you get snow in the winter, you’ll want to build some type of covering that will stand up to the weight of the snow while protecting your outdoor kitchen.

More Ideas For Outdoor Kitchens

Another thing to consider if you live in a cold climate is a fireplace. This can be anything from an outdoor patio fireplace to a large, built-in traditional fireplace. With one of these installed, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor kitchen even during the winter.

Seating is another concern. Do you entertain a lot? If you do, you might like some seating near the cooking area so your family and guests can visit with you during meal preparation. Bar stools work well, as do formed benches with cushions.

Outdoor patio furniture may also fit into your design. If you have the space, you can arrange your kitchen and all the seating areas like a room inside your house. You can include end tables, comfortable chairs, a dining area and more. It becomes an outdoor room!

Lighting Your Outdoor Kitchen

Don’t forget the lighting. Ambiance lighting is fine for setting the mood, but you’ll need better lighting to cook by. Do you want decorative lamps set into the walls? How about portable solar lights on your dining table? There are many choices available when you are designing your outdoor kitchen, so look carefully for the lighting you really want. There is nothing more annoying than not being able to see what you are doing in the kitchen, so take that into account when choosing your lighting.

Once your outdoor kitchen is built and you’re enjoying it, you’ll be glad you took the time to really consider your design.

For more ideas of how to enjoy your outdoor kitchen, make sure you follow us on Twitter.

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