Adding an outdoor kitchen can make the grilling process much simpler. Not only can you more easily cook outside and protect your home from excess heat, but you clean up out there and save yourself a lot of mess.
1) Keep Your Outdoor Kitchen Close
Adding additional utility lines, such as a water line extension or additional power line, will add to the total cost of your outdoor kitchen. If you can keep the structure close, possibly adding it to a stone patio attached to your home, you can enjoy the space of an outdoor kitchen without the added expense of utility extensions.
2) Use Recycled Materials
An outdoor kitchen can benefit from rustic styling. Reusing tile or stone pavers for your countertops can both keep costs down and improve the visual appeal. If you can find second-hand stainless steel fixtures, such as shelving or sinks, these items can also be used for a more industrial look.
Cabinets made of weathered wood can also be a nice touch to your outdoor kitchen. Consider treating them with a clear marine coating to protect the wood through wet winters.
3) Skip the Refrigerator
If your winters are especially rough, an outdoor refrigerator may be more of a hassle than a help. A cold or very wet winter can destroy an outdoor refrigerator. Unless your pre-grilling ritual includes a lot of skewers, it may make more sense to simply take food to the grill on platters or in a cooler.
In such cases, a heavy-duty cooler with an extendable handle can both be useful and serve 2 purposes. Get one with wide, durable wheels. It will roll easily, fully loaded from your house to the outdoor kitchen. When you’re ready to go to the beach, it will also work on sand.
4) Keep Water Access Simple
Consider installing a second-hand stainless steel sink for your outdoor kitchen. If you can find one with a large drain board, you’ve got a food prep space that will be easy to clean up. Run flexible water lines to keep things simple until you find the perfect sink for your needs.
Another option to get water to your outdoor kitchen without spending a great deal of money is to consider a 12-volt pump spigot. A single 6-gallon jug can provide you with plenty of water for prep and cleanup. Attach a 12-volt pump to the top and you have water for your kitchen that can easily be moved indoors if a surprise frost shows up in your forecast.
5) Stay Mobile
A simple start to your outdoor kitchen may simply include wheeled tools that you can move around as needed. In addition to a wheeled grill, you may also want to add a stainless steel kitchen island that you can position as needed. Until you’re ready to make the arrangement permanent, don’t worry about creating a permanent structure.
Many rolling kitchen islands come with locking wheels. Take care not to park too many things close to your rolling kitchen island. You don’t want to block it in place if worrying weather comes up and you need to move it quickly to another spot.