As summer starts to roll in and the weather starts to get nicer, it is time to head outdoors and fire up the grill. Your backyard patio or terrace becomes an extension of your home for entertaining.
What takes that entertaining space to the next level is an outdoor kitchen. If you have or are thinking of installing an outdoor kitchen, here are some must-have items that you should consider for the ultimate patio kitchen.
1. Work Surface
You will need an area to prepare and assemble dishes, make cocktails, and serve food. This should be a durable countertop secured on top of sturdy and weather-proof cabinets. The cabinets can be used for storing cooking equipment and utensils. Sealed concrete, ceramic tile, granite, or stainless steel are all good materials for an outdoor countertop.
2. Built-in Grill
The most essential item for your kitchen is the cooking appliance. Consider placing a grill in the countertop so that you have the work surface right next to it.
There are so many grill options available. You can choose gas, charcoal, or pellet-fired. These are available in stainless steel, cast-iron, or ceramic finishes. Some are designed specifically to double as a smoker. And others come with burners for sautéing vegetables in a skillet or heating up sauces in a pot. Make sure the grill has a lid so it can double as an oven.
3. Stainless Steel Sink
For a fully functional kitchen, you will need a sink with running water. Consider a double sink so that one side can serve as an ice holder when entertaining a crowd. The best sink for the outdoors is stainless steel because it will not rust or corrode.
4. Beverage Refrigerator
There isn’t really a need for a giant refrigerator to store food in, especially if the outdoor kitchen is close to your indoor kitchen. What you do need is a small refrigerator for beverages so that your guests aren’t running in and out of the house for soda, water, beer, or wine.
These refrigerators slide in right beneath the counter. Alternatively, beverage drawer-style refrigerators are available.
5. A Variety of Cooking Tools
Lastly, you will want to equip your outdoor kitchen with essential tools and utensils. The basic items you need are a grill brush, tongs, spatula, two-pronged fork, carving knife, cutting board, digital meat thermometer, and heat-proof gloves. Make sure the cooking utensils have long handles to keep you at a safe distance from the heat source.
If you are using a charcoal-fired grill, you may also want a charcoal chimney and a butane lighter. Other items that are useful include a corkscrew, a vegetable grill basket, a basting brush, and a fish basket.
Now you are all set for your outdoor barbeque. The only things left to complete the area are a table, chairs, umbrella or pergola for shade, and maybe a fire pit for making s’mores. There is nothing more enjoyable on a summer evening or a cool fall day than a well-equipped outdoor area for chilling and grilling.