Take the Cooking Outside: How to Design an Outdoor Kitchen

Long summer days are great for outdoor dining. If you love grilling, read our primer on outdoor kitchens, a rewarding DIY project everyone will enjoy.

Summer’s just around the corner, and that means long days perfect for firing up the barbecue and dining outdoors. And with a few simple tips you can take away a lot of the mess and hassle of transferring your cooking from the kitchen to the patio.

  • Choose from the huge range of hooded barbecues and outdoor kitchens available that allow for gourmet cooking – beyond sausages – with a minimum of work. You’ll save time on cleaning, too.
  • Buy a barbecue with a closed-in storage area underneath so all the necessary equipment and tools are always close at hand. And make sure you have a full spare gas can handy as well.
  • Choose an outdoor table setting that is low maintenance and weather resistant so that you don’t spend a lot of time looking after it.
  • Install a sink in the benchtop alongside the barbecue, to make cleaning up quicker and easier.

Popular Mechanics says outdoor kitchens are great DIY projects, and offers these tips for homeowners ready to take the kitchen outside:

Constructing an outdoor kitchen is a big project, but one most people find manageable. Expect a lot of heavy lifting and consider calling in a contractor to button up skilled tasks, like gas appliance hookups.

Orientation is key when you’re in the planning phase of your project. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in the northeast or southwest, houses absorb heat during the day and radiate it back in the late afternoon and early evening. When figuring out where to set up the kitchen, look to the north-facing wall, not the sunnier south or west. You want to place the seating so that guests are not blinded when the sun sets.

Visit the building department. Your outdoor kitchen will require a building permit, so it’s smart to make a trip to your local building department and meet with a building inspector early on. Remember, since you’ll want a sink, you’ll need a plumber to install a supply line from the house. GFCI outlets above the counter may require more electrical work, as will the fridge and an oven fired by natural gas.

Consider protection from the elements. If wind is a problem where you live, consider adding a windbreak or try adding trees.

For more tips on taking your kitchen outside, read the full story at Popular Mechanics: “Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Source: popularmechanics.com, 10,001 Timesaving Ideas

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest