Want To Have The Neighborhood Hangout Spot This Summer? Consider A Backyard Kitchen
Summer is right around the corner, and barbecue enthusiasts, great outdoors-loving chefs and dinner party hosts alike all know outdoor cookouts are the hallmark of warm, sunny weather. Sure, we can all set up a few plastic folding tables and lawn chairs in the backyard, fire up the hibachi and call it good. But for those wanting a more permanent outdoor cooking, dining and socializing area, think about a handsome, custom-crafted backyard kitchen from Tri-County General Contracting this summer.
Think About Kitchen Zones
Here at Tri-County, we understand that a really effective backyard kitchen integrates all the different kitchen functional zones, including cold areas (refrigeration), hot areas (stoves and grills), wet areas (bars and sinks) and dry areas (prep counter tops and storage). A well-crafted outdoor kitchen will incorporate all of these zones into its design, reducing clutter, wait times and the problem of having “too many cooks in the (outdoor) kitchen”.
When Designing A Backyard Kitchen, Some Things to Consider:
- Pick Space and Location: Since outdoor kitchens rarely, if ever, have real walls, they are essentially open to foot traffic from every angle. Locating a backyard kitchen far enough away from other backyard attractions like pools, lawn game courses, sitting areas, etc. will help prevent cooking and playing/relaxing activities from conflicting. Homeowners should also consider how many people will be using the kitchen, if there is sufficient counter space to accommodate multiple meal preparations at the same time. A serving counter is a good idea to keep cooks and diners from stepping on each others’ toes.
Choose the Right Materials: Selecting low-maintenance materials and equipment made to withstand the elements is always a good idea. As a general rule, the easier an outdoor kitchen is to maintain and clean, the more often it will be used and enjoyed. Stainless steel is easy to clean, sanitary and corrosion-resistant, but can get dreadfully hot on long summer days. Counter tops, patios and decking should be resistant to grease stains and able to withstand cooking temperatures. Since natural stone used outdoors requires sealing on a regular basis, using cultured granite with UV stabilizers is a good idea. In places with significant freezing and thawing, avoid tile counter tops.
- Get The Grill You Need, Not The One You Want: Everyone wants the giant fancy stainless steel grill with a dozen different burners. Not everyone needs it. Consider what the typical use of your backyard kitchen will be, and choose an appropriate grill. After all, there’s no point splurging on a rotisserie grill to cook a whole goat if you are primarily going to be just serving up hot dogs and baked potatoes. With grills, keep it simple and easy to clean and you can’t go wrong.
- Never Skimp On Shelter: A few overcooked steaks won’t necessarily ruin a backyard cookout, but a sudden rain shower definitely could. Be sure to take elemental exposure seriously, and give adequate cover to guests, prep areas and cooking appliances. Also, be fire-safety smart; don’t put combustible awnings anywhere near open flames or heat sources. Rather, spring for an outdoor-rated range hood or permanent metal roof.