Cooking outdoors is nothing new – it was the only option for thousands of years, after all – but in 2021 we’re taking outdoor kitchens from cave man to master chef with trendy upgrades that offer the perfect excuse to cook every one of your meals in the great outdoors.
Weber grill is mostly responsible for our modern-day version of cooking out, but that doesn’t mean that your outdoor kitchen needs to be limited to a stand-alone grill. “The kitchen has always been the heart of the home,” said owner of Danver Stainless Steel Cabinetry, Mitch Slater. “But that idea has started to take hold outdoors. More people want outdoor living areas, with fully functional kitchens as opposed to just the rolling barbecue cart.” Nowadays, your options are endless when it comes to outdoor cooking appliances, from standard ovens and ranges to pizza ovens, smokers and griddles. And you can light it all up with some creative and well-designed outdoor lighting features too.
Though options abound, no outdoor kitchen is complete without a built-in grill. Look for high-end options that include fun features like a rotisserie, side burners and multiple fuel types, so that you don’t have to fret over the pros and cons of charcoal versus gas. Today’s grills offer significantly more power than they did only a few years ago, and you can take advantage of as many as twelve – 42,000 BTU burners with temperature control and built-in infrared searing capability to ensure the perfect crust on every steak.
Once you’ve settled on a bevvy of fun gadgets, you’ll need plenty of space to install them. While it’s important that your outdoor kitchen function like your indoor kitchen, chances are it won’t look quite the same. Companies like Belgard offer concrete block options that are built to withstand the elements while still delivering beautiful finish options that range from rustic and weathered to sleek and modern. Creating storage space is key – you don’t want to be running back inside every time you need a tool – and stainless-steel doors keep your items secure and dirt and moisture out, while lending a professional touch to any kitchen.
Outdoor kitchens may begin with food, but they certainly don’t end there. Now that cookouts are back on our calendars, one of the biggest trends this season is incorporating a bar into your outdoor kitchen space. For the perfect beverage station, include an ice maker, kegerator, wine fridge or can cooler paired with a small sink and plenty of storage for an acrylic glassware collection. And once again, your hardscape outdoor lighting options can not only look beautiful but play a role in having a safe kitchen area.
Whether you’re grilling up some burgers for a casual get together or finessing a whole roast fish, cooking just feels better when you’re doing it in a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen.