If you have decided to upgrade your outdoor space, consider adding an outdoor kitchen. Its benefits are numerous - you can entertain your guests thereby having a barbecue or a nice dinner without having to go inside. You can also have a nice family lunch during the weekend and spend time in the fresh air. Alternatively, you can choose to prepare your breakfast outside, giving yourself some time for reflection while drinking your morning coffee or tea.
Many people don't even think about an outdoor kitchen because they think it's too big of an investment. However, the following steps will show you how to stay on the budget and get yourself an outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor kitchen layout
The first step is to decide where in the backyard you want your outdoor kitchen to be. It's better if it's as close to the indoor kitchen as possible because it will be easier to transfer the pots, plates, cutlery and food from the inside.
If you place the outdoor kitchen near an exterior wall, it will save you a significant amount of money because the access to electricity and plumbing will be easier if you decide you need a fridge and a sink outside. However, if your budget is really tight, all you should focus on is the grill. It's the most important appliance, and you will decide on the other amenities, later on, depending on the money.
An outdoor grill
A grill is a very popular choice because it's the most common way to prepare meals outside. They range between $400 and $4000, depending on how big it is, whether it's freestanding or built-in and what type it is. Gas grills are the most expensive ones. If you get a charcoal grill, every time you use it, you'll spend approximately $3.50, while you'll spend only $.60 if you opt for a propane grill.
Alternatively, you can DIY a grill island in two days with the help of friends. Cover it in stone or brick when you finish it. The project itself is pretty simple, with many online instructions available.
Of course, the cheapest solution is to reuse old appliances. You can buy already used appliances and then you only need to replace certain parts to improve their efficiency. Spare parts for all brands and models are now easily available, for example, getting Smeg spare parts online has never been easier.
Outdoor countertop space
Countertops are one of the bigger investments when it comes to an outdoor kitchen but they are an unnecessary part. It's important to determine how much counter space you need. You'll probably need space for the sink and grill on the top of it, together with other accessories you opt for. And you will need the preparation area. Some people incorporate bar seating opposite the countertop, which then serves as a prep area and a gathering area as well. It will save you money because you won't need a table in that case.
It's also possible to DIY countertops - you can make them out of concrete, which is a perfect material for outdoors. It won't crack or be damaged by the weather conditions. Some of them are quite easy to make, like those where you start with steel studs and move up from there. It's possible to add tempered glass inlay if you want and have some extra money.
Determine the kitchen essentials
Except from the grill and the counters, you'll need to decide what else is necessary in your outdoor kitchen. You will also need burners and storage cabinets. Decide whether you will mostly be cooking for your family or you will also entertain guests as well. It will show you how much space and cabinets you need.
The post-meal clean-up is also important to mind. Garbage and recycling bins should be within your reach. Depending on how much money you will have in the end, consider adding a roof, a pizza oven or a bar.
Finish with décor
Décor will make your outdoor kitchen unique, so select a certain amount of money for this step, too. The good news is that you don't need to spend a lot to make space beautiful, cozy and personal. A few potted plants, a window bow or a couple of decorative statues will add beauty to the outdoor space. Adding strings of lights won't cost you a lot but will add romance and magic, especially during dinnertime. Hanging plants make a great statement, too, if you have a roof or a wall.
An outdoor kitchen doesn't have to be a luxury. If you plan every step thoroughly and stick to more economic essentials, you will be able to have a wonderful outdoor space for preparing meals and enjoying them with your loved ones.