Summer is just around the corner, and nothing beats hanging outside with friends or family with some good outdoor bbq food. With an outdoor kitchen, you can do so without even having to leave your house. Outdoor kitchens are becoming an increasingly popular and diverse addition to a backyard space. If you want to be the favorite host this summer while also increasing the value of your home, an outdoor kitchen is the perfect thing to attract people.
Planning and designing outdoor kitchens can be a fun process, however, it’s easy to get caught up with certain details and neglect to remember the necessary elements. Whether you’re building one from scratch or revamping your current setup, there are many common mistakes to watch out for during the construction. Many of these common mistakes can potentially be costly, financially and sometimes even to your safety.
If you’re building an exterior kitchen, you’re more than likely going to have a grill. Most outdoor kitchen grills are not normal standalone ones, but instead attached to a counter or island to give it more of a kitchen feel. While this looks great, it’s very, very important to remember to properly ventilate the grill and the area around it. Most people assume because the grill is outside, it’s automatically safe, which is not the case. Because outdoor grills are attached to other things, the open flames have much less air to move in. When combining flame, gas, and no air, the results are explosive. You should have vents every 4 to 6 inches.
Almost as important as ventilation is insulation. A grill is essentially an open flame, and there are probably going to be flammable items around, including yourself. To keep the grill cool and avoid fire accidents or burns while you’re cooking out, simply remember to buy an insulated grill jacket for your grill.
If you’re planning to have a stove or oven, then a gas line is necessary to supply proper gas. Built in gas grills also require a gas line. Before connecting the gas, it’s a good idea to check your gas line and make sure it’s running properly and is the proper size. This is something that must be done early on, because you may find your gas line is too small and weak. If you find this out after everything’s built, you’ll have to entirely take everything apart to replace the gas line.
This may seem obvious, but not everyone realizes they need to buy outdoor-specific appliances. If you have a refrigerator or stove that is not element-proof, you’re going to have a very expensive problem on your hands. Not only that, but outdoor appliances have specific safety measures intended for outdoor use, so having indoor ones instead could be potentially dangerous. With any space you spend money and time on, you want it to last for a long time. Because of their extra amenities, outdoor appliances do run a little more expensive than indoor ones, but they are worth it in the long run. Some brands even offer outdoor kitchen appliances packages to help cut costs.
Another common mistake people make with outdoor kitchen appliances is putting them in the wrong spot. The most common mistake is placing the gas appliances like the outdoor countertop grill, built in bbq grill, or even drop in bbq grills too close to the refrigeration appliances. Separating these appliances is important for safety and functionality.
One of the main purposes of most luxury outdoor kitchens is to accommodate other people. If you’re too focused on design and bells and whistles during construction, you may find the set up doesn’t make any sense. For example, many people forget how important counter space is for an outdoor kitchen and grill. Plenty of counter space is important for safely preparing and serving food, and it also just looks less crowded, therefore more luxurious. It’s also safer when things are less crowded.
Don’t forget your outdoor kitchen isn’t just for cooking, but also for hanging out both day and night. Make sure to include space in the area for sitting, kind of like a hybrid outdoor kitchen/patio kitchen. A popular trend right now is synthetic resin patio furniture.
Need inspiration? Check out the U.S. Brick & Block Instagram page.