Is an outdoor kitchen right for you?

Posted August 10, 2017 in Blog, General

Across the country, you would be hard pressed to find a home without a grill outside in the backyard.  Grilling has become synonymous with American culture, healthy eating and warm-weather entertainment.  With cooking outdoors being so popular, at what point does it make sense to ditch the stand-alone grill and opt for a more meaningful outdoor kitchen?


Take a second to think about how often you and your family currently cook outside, or how much you know you would cook outside if given the proper setup…is your answer 2-3 times per week?  If your answer is more-often-than-not, then it may be time to start exploring your outdoor kitchen options.  Outdoor kitchens are fully customizable and can include as many or as little appliances, storage or cooktops you prefer!  For the grilling guru, be sure to account for enough counter space for meal-prep and plating.  The number one gripe from homeowners who wish they consulted a professional to install their kitchens is that they didn’t plan for enough counter space!


There is no denying that cooking outside is great in the warmer months, but are you one of those brave souls that dons a raincoat and galoshes or winter coat and snow boots to grill up the perfect slab of aged steak for the big game?  We know that everything tastes better on a grill, so what would you say if that cooking station could be closer to the house, sparing the long jaunt in the crisp winter air? Typically outdoor kitchens are located close to the home to create a seamless inside – outside transition, to be closer to the indoor amenities like refrigerators, and also to share plumbing lines for both the inside and outside sinks.  So if your grilling game doesn’t fall victim to the calendar because every day is a grilling day, an outdoor kitchen may be in your future!


If you’re a whiz in the kitchen and a gourmet on the grill, chances are you are preparing several things all at once.  Chopping vegetables and herbs, stirring sauces, slicing meats…you definitely need space!  When the grill is involved, the last thing you want to do is rush inside, outside, inside, outside when tending to your stove and the grill top at the same time…the only recipe you’re working on is a recipe for disaster!  Creating your culinary concoctions in one centralized place is the best for your sanity, your safety and the taste of the food.  Planning for a permanent outdoor cooktop and countertop space to prep your meals may just be that one missing ingredient.


It is true that you will never get back what you put in when it comes time to sell your home.  But on the flip side, while not everyone swims, everyone does eat…right?  A swimming pool might not appeal to everyone who walks through your home at an open house, but an outdoor kitchen is revered as a bonus amenity in the backyard.  An outdoor kitchen requires little maintenance, you don’t need special skills to operate onw, and it can be used 365 days a year!  Outdoor kitchens appeal to just about everyone, which is a strong selling point if this isn’t your forever home.


If the aforementioned indicators still have you on the fence if an outdoor kitchen is right for you, consider the following advantages:

  •  * Entertainment.  Everyone gathers in the kitchen during a party anyway, right?  By having an outdoor kitchen in your landscape design, you will find that you won’t have to leave the party to cook or grab the food and drinks.  This is your party, stay outside and enjoy it…your outdoor kitchen won’t take you away from the fun…it will put you center stage!
  •  * Summer utility bills.  When the weather gets hot, the utility bills get tough.  Preparing your meals and cooking outside will save your air conditioner from working overtime to keep the set temperature inside.  Cooking outside leaves your indoor retreat as cool as a cucumber and your bill in check.
  •  * Leave the stink outside.  Almost every indoor kitchen is equipped with an exhaust fan to whisk out the smelly smells of cooking, but when you’re outdoors you don’t have to worry about it!  The wind is nature’s exhaust fan.  So save the funky foods like fish or charred vegetables and seared meats for the outdoor kitchen, that’s what it’s meant for!
  •  * Healthier fare.  When using a grill, you are less likely to cook with oils, butters and fats like you would in your indoor kitchen.  The flames of your outdoor grill melt away the fats and they drop away, as opposed to being cooked back into the meat as with a conventional range.  Your waistline will thank you for opting to add an outdoor kitchen to your outdoor living space!

If an outdoor kitchen piques your interest and you would like to discuss your options for a comprehensive and cohesive outdoor living space, reach out to us at MasterPLAN Landscape DesignMasterPLAN specializes in backyard transformations that are custom-tailored to fit each family’s unique needs and lifestyle.  We would love to help you discover the full potential of your property and create a space that your family and friends fully enjoy.  When you are ready to chat, MasterPLAN is ready to listen!

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