Planning an Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchen in Oakland, San FranciscoOutdoor cooking is one of the most popular summertime activities. People love to have cookouts because the food tastes great and it is a good way to enjoy the yard with family and friends. For some people, just having a grill and a dining area is enough, but for others, their outdoor cooking goes a little further.

For people that cook outdoors more frequently or for those that like to have greater outdoor cooking capabilities, an outdoor kitchen is the way to go. Depending on your budget and the types of food preparation that you intend to engage in, your outdoor kitchen could be fairly simple or it could be a set up that almost rivals the kitchen you have in the home.

For planning an outdoor kitchen, there are a few points that you will want to consider in the design process.

Know what you want

A good way to start planning is to determine the capabilities that you want to have in the kitchen. Obviously, the grill is going to be an important consideration. Consider whether you are going to be using a gas grill or a charcoal model. You can also choose between your standard freestanding grills and there are models that can be built-in for a more integrated design. You will also want to consider things like whether you want burners, the types of appliances that you may want to use, the amount of counter space that you will need and storage.

Find a space

Once you have an idea of all of the things that you are going to want to go into the outdoor kitchen, you will have a better idea of the amount of space that you are going to need. If you have an existing deck or patio, this could potentially work for the outdoor kitchen area, but there is the possibility that you will need to have an area paved or some deck work done to provide a suitable floor for the cooking area.

As a note, you generally want to keep the outdoor kitchen out of areas of the yard that have heavy traffic. You do not want people getting in the way when you are preparing food and you do not want to obstruct traffic. If you plan to have a number of electrical components in the kitchen, you are probably going to want to keep the kitchen close to the house. This will make it easier to access electricity and you could even have some outdoor receptacles added to accommodate the new outdoor kitchen.

Think about weather and lighting

Being an outdoor kitchen, you are going to need to use materials and appliances that are suitable for outdoor use. This should not be a serious issue, as there are manufacturers that make a variety of outdoor cooking implements. For the construction of things like counters and cabinets, you could go with wood that has a weather treatment, there is stainless steel and you could even get stone countertops.

As an additional point, you may want to consider lighting for the kitchen area. If you plan to use it often, then it is likely that you may find yourself cooking after the sun has gone down. For these situations, you are going to want to have some type of outdoor lighting to make the job easier. You could go with portable outdoor lights or you could have permanent lights installed if you want to make sure that things are well lit.

Dining area

As a person that likes to cook outdoors, you probably like to eat the food in the yard on occasion. For this, you do have some options. If the outdoor kitchen is being built into a deck, then you might also build a dining area in there too. If you want to keep things simple, you could go with a standard set of outdoor chairs with a good table.

When it comes to where the cooking area is in relation to the eating area, there are some points to consider. You want to keep them close enough so that it is not a hassle to bring food and trays back and forth between the two, but you do not want them so close that people are overwhelmed by smoke when they are eating.

Different people are going to look for different things when they build an outdoor kitchen. In addition to the points above, you are going to want to consider the limitations of your yard and your budget. If it is a more simple design that you are going for, then you might be able to do the job yourself, but a more elaborate outdoor kitchen is probably going to require a construction company.

At Montclair Construction, we can handle any outdoor project that you may have. If you are planning an outdoor kitchen, we can help you all the way through the design stage and complete the project to provide you with the outdoor cooking space of your dreams. For construction jobs big or small, we are the company to call in the San Francisco area.

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