There is nothing quite like a warm summer evening where family and friends dine together outside. Having your own outdoor kitchen can enhance that experience. Sure, an outdoor kitchen may be more practical in more temperate climates, but they can be built anywhere you love to barbecue, grill or cook outdoors.
There are plenty of outdoor kitchen appliances to make your time more enjoyable. While Ill you really need is a grill and place to eat, other appliances designed specifically for outdoor cooking and dining can enhance that experience.
Benefits to having an outdoor kitchen include the added enjoyment and even health benefits of grilled food. You’ll enjoy more social time with friends and family, some added convenience. And, the cooking smells, while wonderful at the time, won’t linger in your drapes and carpet.
So, if you’re going to invest in an outdoor kitchen, you want to look for the best and most durable appliances your budget will allow for. Your outdoor appliances need to be stronger and built well in order to withstand nature’s moods. They’ll need to be built and coated in a way to withstand snow, rain and sunshine.
Just like any other home improvement, you can invest as much as you want. Make sure you think this through before you build and area that you really won’t use. If you only cook outside once or twice a week, maybe you don’t need all of the extras. You can get by with a sturdy grill and some storage space. On the other hand, if you choose to have as many outdoor meals as possible, you’ll want a dining space as well as things like a sink or refrigerator.
In general, outdoor kitchens would include the following appliances: a grill, a rotisserie, a refrigerator, an open top stove and a sink.
But if you’re really serious about this outdoor cooking and entertaining area, you may want to add some of the following.
For anywhere from $180-2000 you can add a built-in icemaker. That means no more trips to the convenience store for bags of ice. A built-in icemaker can blend seamlessly into your outdoor cabinetry and can produce up to 25 lbs. of ice per day. Remember that you’ll have to add the cost of having a plumber tie this into your home’s water supply.
The serious pizza aficionado you can add can add a pizza oven for as little as $700 or as much as $6,000. Gas or wood-fired pizza ovens are becoming increasingly popular as people embrace the charm of a Tuscan-style pizza experience.
What could enhance your entertaining experience more than an endless supply of ice-cold beer on tap? Beer dispensers, or kegerators, can chill and dispense beer from a keg. Less costly indoor versions are available for as little as $400 but expect to spend over $1,000 for an outdoor version. You’ll want to make sure that kegs are readily available in your area. And keep in mind, a full keg of beer is pretty heavy.
If the weather gets cool in the evenings, or if you like to entertain on those brisk afternoons, consider a patio heater. They don’t add to the food or beverage experience, but they can add to the time you spend outdoors. A patio heater won’t turn a chilly winter evening into a tropical paradise, but one can add about 10 degrees to the ambient outdoor temperature.
Before you begin purchasing appliances, take a good assessment of your electric, water and natural-gas needs for your outdoor kitchen. Be sure to check local codes for regulations about burying lines. Your building inspector and contractor should know the requirements for your area.