Ins and Outs of Outdoor Kitchens

We’re living in an era of upgrades – recycling to upcycling, camping to glamping, and grilling to outdoor kitchens. If your custom home designs don’t include an outdoor kitchen, you’re behind the eight ball! Maybe it didn’t cross your mind, maybe you don’t think you need one, or maybe you don’t know enough about outdoor kitchens. Regardless, this trend isn’t going anywhere, so maybe it’s time to reconsider?

What do you want your space to include? There are a lot of options when it comes to outdoor kitchens, but it’s easiest to answer this question by thinking about what you’ll be doing in this space. Most outdoor kitchens include a grill at the very least. Consider what type of cooking you enjoy and/or prefer – what appliances, features, and tools in your kitchen make your life a little easier? Outdoor kitchens can be broken into four sectors: Hot, Cold, Wet, and Dry. You may need all of these sectors and you may only need one or two. We recommend you consider the following appliances and features:

Wet Cold
Sink Refrigerator or Mini-Fridge
Beverage Tap Beverage (Wine or Beer) Cooler
Dry Hot
Countertops Built-In Grill
Cabinets/Storage Pizza Oven
Trash Stove-Top
Lounging Chairs, Couches, Swings, etc.

When selecting your outdoor kitchen cabinets, countertops, bar, etc make sure to consider spacing options. We’ve broken down standard spacing measurements for a quick frame of reference:

Normal Seating: 24”
Accessible Seating: 36”
Knee Space
Table Height Seating: 30” high with 18” knee space
Counter Height Seating: 36” high with 15” knee space
Bar Height Seating: 42” high with 12” knee space
Accessible Seating: 30-34” high with 19” knee space
Traffic Clearance
No Traffic: 32”
Tight Traffic: 36”
Unobstructed Traffic: 48”

And lastly, make sure you accommodate for the elements. You don’t want to invest in an outdoor kitchen without the appropriate protection from rain, hail, heat, etc. Your contractor will be able to recommend certain materials and design ideas based on the features and aesthetic you choose.

Once you have your basic outdoor kitchen plan, you can embellish with the fun extras like speakers, banana fans, water features, or a fireplace. Be creative with it! Chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time in this space, enjoying the outdoors or entertaining. Add your personal touches to make your outdoor kitchen a homey addition to your custom (or not) home design! For more information, tips, and ideas on outdoor kitchens contact Custom Homes by J.Scull at (605)342-2379.