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How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have been a popular popular trend to include in new home designs over the last 10-15 years, and many families love the flexibility and usefulness of being able to cook their entire meal / entertain in a dedicated outdoor space.

Outdoor cooking is not just about family barbecues anymore. It's now a full-fledged outdoor entertainment experience and many homeowners see house plans with outdoor kitchens as a great option to choose when building their dream home.

If you already have a home and are planning to build your own outdoor kitchen, you don't have to "break the bank" to DIY a beautiful and highly-functional outdoor entertaining space.

Today, we're going to talk about how to build your own DIY outdoor kitchen. Let's see how to turn your old outdoor space into the outdoor kitchen of your dreams!

What is an Outdoor Kitchen?
Before we start talking about the DIY outdoor kitchen, let's first define it. What is an outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen is a place outside your house where you can cook and prepare a meal + entertain. It may contain the same function as your indoor kitchen, but it's easier to clean up:)

More often than not, an outdoor kitchen is built on top of a patio or deck surface and gives the cook and diners some protection from the weather. It has countertop space for food preparation, and it sometimes has cabinet space and drawers for utensils underneath.

The outdoor kitchen in most craftsman house plans also has a sink with running water and a trash area for easy trash disposal and proper hygiene. But since it's outside the house, only certain types of appliances and accessories are allowed in an outdoor kitchen.

Why Do You Need an Outdoor Kitchen?
An outdoor kitchen isn't only good for aesthetic reasons-- it serves a function as well. For example, it allows you to host events such as game-day gatherings, birthday parties, or a simple get-together in your backyard without worrying about the capacity.

Also, cooking outside keeps the smells outdoors. The smell of the foods you're cooking outside won't linger long like they would in an indoor kitchen.

Aside from that, the outdoor kitchen can increase your property's value. This outdoor space can help your property stand out in your neighborhood because not all 3 bed 2 bath house plans have enough space for an outdoor kitchen.

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen?

A DIY outdoor kitchen can be relatively painless to build, especially if you already figured out if you want a fully functional kitchen or something more simple. The design of your outdoor kitchen is completely up to you. It should match your preferences or lifestyle.

But to better help you, here are some additional considerations:

Location
Build your DIY outdoor kitchen on an existing patio, over an existing deck, or near your pool. Doing this can save you money from installing new electricity wires since each would already have an electrical source.

Doing this is also convenient if you want your outdoor kitchen to serve as an entertainment area. However, take note that the smoke from your outdoor grill or stove could spread inside the house. So make sure to gauge the wind first to determine the right place for your DIY outdoor kitchen, and don't forget to add ventilation.

Flooring
You can build an outdoor kitchen on a deck or concrete slab. Concrete, natural stone, brick, and tile work best as outdoor flooring because they are not slippery and easy to clean.

Appliances and Accessories
The appliances and accessories of your outdoor kitchen depend on your design in mind. But whatever your plan is, keep in mind that the grill will be the focal point of your outdoor kitchen.

With that said, choose wisely between a portable grill or a drop-in grill built into your counter space. Just so you know, drop-in grills aren't cheap since they are made from high-grade materials. However, they typically retain heat better.

Other than the grill, here are appliances and accessories that you should include in your outdoor kitchen when choosing among open concept house plans:

  • Cabinets and Countertops - You need them both because you need storage and counter space to prepare your food.
  • Sink with Running Water - This is a requirement for food preparation and proper sanitation.
  • Smoker - This is a great accessory to your outdoor kitchen, especially if you like slow-cooked ribs, brisket, and other barbeque delicacies.
  • Furniture - There's no need to list the furniture you need because it depends on your needs. However, the best choice would be the traditional patio furniture for family and entertainment needs.
  • Shelters - Even if everything in your outdoor kitchen is weatherproof or waterproof, you still need to protect them from harsh elements. So make sure to invest in shelters such as market umbrellas, gazebo, pergola, or solarium.

In closing, adding an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area to your home is a great way to spend time with family and enjoy every moment spent in your house.