5 Ideas for Building a Killer Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is the ultimate dream for a lot of people who enjoy backyard entertaining. Imagine gathering your friends or family together for a summertime barbecue or a cozy winter cocktail party in the comfort of your own garden. Here are some great tips for designing your killer outdoor kitchen.

1. Design Ideas

Pinterest is a great resource to find design inspiration and to compile your plans. Simply go to pinterest.com, register an account, and type in “outdoor kitchen ideas”. There is a multitude of design options out there. Take a look at some of these tips!

Moern and Sleek

Concrete or rich colored woods are a great way to create a modern design aesthetic. Most classic or traditional kitchens use white-washed or light colored wood to create the look so go the opposite way for modern! Minimal furniture and features also help to create a modern feel. This also helps with maintenance and clean-up too. Check out these images for inspiration.

Classic or Country

White wood, blue accents, and exposed stone are a great way to give your outdoor kitchen rustic, classic appeal. Flowers and plants growing up the sides of walls or arbors are great for creating softness and a traditional appeal as well. Think of white-washed cabinets, pale-wood benches, and large rustic dining tables.

2. Grills

So many grilling options! There are 6 major types of grills to consider for your outdoor kitchen. Think about what you most enjoy cooking and what you can get the most use out of before choosing your grill.

Open Grills

This is the simplest set up of all grills. It consists of a metal or stone box with a heating element (wood, charcoal, gas) and a metal grate over the top of the box directly over the fire. Open grills are best for direct grilling over high heat and are best suited for quick cooking foods like kebabs, thin steaks and chops, and fish.

Covered Grills

Add a cover to the open grill and it allows you to add smoking and indirect grilling features to your outdoor grill. Covered grills are best for thicker steaks, rack-of-ribs, or whole chickens and ducks. You can also add different types of wood to your grill, close the lid, and let the meat slowly absorb the aroma of the wood.

Ceramic Grills

Ceramic grills are made of thick walls that allows heat to radiate off the side of the walls for even cooking. Ceramic grills are usually much deeper than typical grills and are generally used to cook bread (like flatbreads or India’s naan) directly on the side walls. The grill portion of ceramic grills are best suited for thin sliced meat, kebabs, fish, or veggies.

Rotisserie Grills

A rotisserie grill adds a rotating spit to the grill to allow for even cooking of thick slabs of meat or whole animals. Food is cooked slowly over several hours that results in crispy skins on the outside and tender, moist meat on the inside. Rotisserie grills are best suited for thick steaks, fatty meats, or whole animals like chickens, ducks, or even whole pigs (if your grill is big enough).

Smoker Grills

A smoker grill cooks meat on low heat for several hours over aromatic wood chips for flavorful and tender meat. The most common woods used for smokers include maple, hickory, mesquite, oak, and pecan. Smokers are best suited for tough cuts of meat that it slowly tenderizes while in the smoker. Meats like briskets and ribs are perfect for this.

Firepit Grills

A firepit grill allows your whole family to feel like you’re camping out right in your backyard! Firepit grills are just like campfires but with a metal grate positioned above the fire to cook food. The grates for the grills are height adjustable so that the food raised or lowered to be closer or farther from the fire. This makes firepit grills extremely versatile and can handle delicate foods like fish, veggies, and S’mores to thick cuts of beef and whole animals.

3. Appliances

Take a browse through these links for some ideas for your appliance purchases.

Pizza Ovens

Here is an affordable, moveable outdoor pizza oven.

Grilling Space

This is a comprehensive, versatile grill designed especially for outdoor use.

Beverage Center

This is a great option for those who really want to entertain! Store your drinks and drink accessories in a sleek design.

4. Furnishing Ideas

There are so many options to consider when it comes to furnishing. Will you go for a table and chair configuration, or a bench and stool set-up? Consider what kinds of gatherings you will use your kitchen for to help you decide which is best.

Color: try to think about what color scheme you will like and enjoy throughout the years. You don’t want to choose a bold, crazy color palette that you end up tiring of after one season. If you want a bold, bright touch, use interchangeable pillows, cushions, and throws. You can choose, bright appliances or flowers to add color too. That way, your base palette remains neutral while adding add splashes color that are easy to change out.
Fabric: Obviously, you need to choose a weather-resistant fabric for your outdoor furnishings, especially if there is a minimal overhead cover. Treated canvas and Olefin fiber are good choices for outdoor furniture.
Shade Sails and Covers: It is important to protect your appliances and furniture from the weather and potentially harsh elements. If you live in an extreme climate, consider the kind of protection you want to use for your outdoor kitchen. You can build awnings to shade the patio area or you can build a structure, like an arbor or pergola. Basically, this has a sturdy roof and side pillars. You can also install weather-resistant curtains to the side pillars that you can pull closed to act as walls if you’d like some privacy in your patio.
Finishing Touches: once the heavy appliances and furniture pieces are installed, take a step back and think of what else space needs. Here are some ideas for finishing touches:

– Ornaments

– Lamps

– Small side-tables

– Decorative trays and bowls

– Vases and good-quality fake flowers

– Water-resistant throws and blankets for winter months

5. Money-Saving DIY Options

You don’t need to rely on the expertise of others for every aspect of your outdoor kitchen needs. You can handle some of it yourself if you’re up to it!

Use recycled wood and old furniture/benches from second-hand stores or yard sales. Upcycle it yourself and get to work making your chairs, benches, or shade sails.
Go out and find weather-resistant fabrics from fabric stores or furniture sales. You can re-upholster your outdoor furniture to suit your own personal aesthetic.

Home improvement options require clever financing. Missing out on small business grants can mean you may be missing out on more funds for your business and so diminishing the value of your private wealth

3 Benefits of Metal Handrails Vs Wood

If you are planing to renovate or build a new home, it’s likely that you are going to need some handrails. Most handrails come in either wood or metal, and both have advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s start with why wooden handrails are chosen by so many builders and home owners. Wooden handrails are the least expensive and easy to install. Builders and carpenters can easily build wooden handrails, and they do not need any speciality tools. They can match a variety of home styles, and there is a huge selection of components from which to choose. In general, wood is the most likely choice based on cost and availability.

Metal handrails are a much safer option, but also cost a lot more. Metal offers a unique design aspect that wood cannot offer. Many builders don’t offer metal, because it requires a speciality contractor that is knowledgable in metal working and welding. If you have the budget and access to a metal handrail builder, then they are the superior option. As with all home designs, pricing depends on the complexity of the work and the availability of metal stair builders in your area.

Metal handrails are superior in safety, because it is many times stronger than wood. To be precise, steel made to A-36 qualifications means a single square inch of that steel has a tensile strength of 36,000 pounds per square inch. That is seriously tough and can be a life saver. Imagine this: you are walking on your second floor and your dog left his bone in your path. If you don’t see it and step on it, you could lose your balance and go full-weight into your wooden handrails. Chances are those handrails and pickets are going to splinter and break, leaving you in for a 1-story fall that could cost you your life or a broken neck. Wooden handrails are only designed to be held onto, not to take a off-balanced adult weight straight-on with some momentum. Lets say the same accident happened, and you had metal handrails. Chances are you would have a few bruises from hitting them, but they would not move. This could literally save your life. This is especially true of even higher floors.

Metal is very easy to work with. Metal handrails can be bent, molded, forged, shaped, and welded. Not only are metal handrails superior in strength, but they also give more flexibility for creative design.

Most people think of metal handrails as just an industrial design element. However, with modern and contemporary handrail designs, it is very common to use handrail accents such as wood, stone, or even leather to match the finish to the style of the home.

Our Temporary Kitchen Renovation

Since most of Pam’s activities revolve around the kitchen area we decided that we would need to do something fast to correct this nasty and forgotten area of the house. With that thought in mind the kitchen was designated as the next priority. As you can see from the before photos this area had some serious problems, actually more than we were aware of. Our immediate concern was to establish some sort of functionality in the room. We first thought perhaps we would renovate the kitchen first before the living room but I wanted to see some progress being made and chose the lesser of the evils. Who knows it is likely that the kitchen will undergo a number of transformations in the future.

We started with a couple of coat of fresh paint on the walls and woodwork. This helped a lot. It is amazing what a little paint can accomplish for a room. We carefully looked at all the kitchen appliances (stove and dishwasher were the only appliances in the home) and decided that the filth was too much. I went out and purchased a new dishwasher and stove for Pam. We still had our refrigerator so we put that in place. Even a good scrubbing couldn’t help those appliances that were in the home.

It was almost too fearful to start taking pictures of our new home. From one room to the next all we see was vast amounts of filth. Nasty surroundings greeted us at every corner of the home however during our pre-cleaning phase when all we were doing is taking pictures I thought I would break the rooms down one by one. I must warn everyone this house is the leader in the “Cult of the Filth” so have your life insurance paid as you view these pictures. You can see the before images of the filthy kitchen which we recently encountered. First notice the unclean stove ready to haunt anyone entering the kitchen. Who would ever want to cook a meal on that? The refrigerator was not working so that was sent to the salvage yard for scrape (as was the unclean stove). Glance with caution at the image showing behind the stove as it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned for many long years.

You will notice that there were many floor tiles in the kitchen that will need to be replaced. It is obvious that the previous occupant was not very clean and failed to maintain the house to standards.

The light and fan assemblies that were in the kitchen/dining room combination were in pretty bad condition and we decided to replace them with just a ceiling light. The fan in the dining area would hit the door of the cabinet when it was opened. The lights served much better for us.

We placed our refrigerator where the previous tenets frig was located and since it had a water supply line already run for the ice maker is was very convenient for us. Pam took a small cabinet that she had and placed it in the middle of the floor to use as an island for working on. This also is merely a temporary condition. The dining room area has the table and four chairs in it while her china cabinet had to be placed essentially in the kitchen. The counters at the breakfast bar cleaned up real good and once Pam put some of her items on it the area began to take on a new and exciting life of its own.

The French doors leading from the kitchen/dining room to the rear deck are in bad shape and will need to be replaced in the future. In the mean time at some point in the future we will be adding on a formal dining room for Pam but that will be later in time. Pam put some curtains up to the windows and it doesn’t look too bad. The floor was in such bad shape that we had to place a piece of wood over a section of it. Over the wood Pam put a carpet runner and it doesn’t look bad at all. It will do until we have the time and funds to redo the complete kitchen/dining area floor. At least now we have a complete kitchen and Pam can now unpack the remainder of her kitchen boxes.