While the scale of your outdoor kitchen would depend on your budget and available space, there are a few features that are essential to all outdoor kitchens:
- Grill: You can either choose from a charcoal or a gas grill. While charcoal grills range from $80 to even $500, gas grills range from a minimum of $200 to even $4000 or more. The price varies according to the cooking surface and the BTU. Some charcoal grills (especially those in the high end) offer a wide variety of extras including work shelves, charcoal storage areas and auto-ignition systems. Add for the gas grills - even the least costing grill can offer up to 22,000 of BTU with 350 sq. feet of cooking surface.
- Storage Cabinets: You can either choose store bought storage cabinets or have them custom made to suit the décor. Some custom cabinets are made of masonry block and then finished with ceramic. These are durable and weather proof. Of course, the price of these is higher than store bought cabinets, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Other low cost options include modular cabinet systems made from concrete.
- Sinks: This is an absolutely essential item in an outdoor kitchen. Unless you plan to wash dishes in the outdoor kitchen, a cold water supply is enough. Stainless steel sinks are a great choice; they’re affordable as well as corrosion proof.
- Refrigerators: This isn’t an absolute essential appliance, but if you’re likely to spend more of your time in the outdoors it makes sense to install a refrigerator. You can choose from an under counter unit; they’re handy and can be protected from the weather.
- Power: Needless to say, your plans for outdoor kitchen should include electric outlets. You may need them for your refrigerator, kitchen light, cooking etc. Also plan for other supplies including gas lines and water lines. You may also need an outdoor circuit breaker for your electric outlets. Make sure that you are aware of local guidelines for compliance.
- Outdoor fireplace: This may not be an absolute essential, but a fireplace can certainly add style to the outdoor living area. Also, for those who’d like to extend their outdoor time during the winters, installing facilities for cold weather cooking would be of immense help. Gas patios can provide heat up to 10 hours even on high setting.
These are just some of the things that are required to complete your outdoor kitchen setting. Make sure that you are in compliance with all safety and health regulations set by your local administration.