The idea of cooking meals in an outdoor kitchen has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years, but it’s actually a tradition with a long and storied history. Here are a few fascinating tidbits about outdoor grilling, according to the article, History of Outdoor Kitchens: A Look Back In Time . . . (you can read the whole story here):
- Archaeologists found evidence of grills as early as 2300 BC
- Outdoor grills in the Western world came from the West Indies (circa the 1600s)
- The term “barbacoa,” (generally refers to meats or whole sheep slow-cooked over an open fire)
- Colonial settlers and explorers brought the practice to the southeastern United States.
- President George Washington made mention of the practice in a May 27, 1769, entry in his diary!
Things have come a long way since then for Naples residents who want to enjoy a meal out on the patio, onthe deck, or in their lanai.But there’s more to creating an amazing outdoor kitchen than just sticking a grill outside your back door. Here are a few things to consider that will turn your outdoor kitchen into a great place to entertain.
Make It Comfortable: You really want to make your outdoor kitchen and dining area feel like an extension of the rest of your home. Just like people tend to congregate in the indoor kitchen, they’ll do the same in your outdoor kitchen. Give yourself as much space as possible. Design things so that you (as the cook) aren’t cut off from your guests. Make it easy for your guests to move from the cooking area to a comfortable seating area.
Make it Convenient: You’ll want most of the same conveniences in your outdoor kitchen that you have inside. Plan for workspace (cutting/chopping/mixing) and staging (enough counter space). Consider what you’ll want for appliances. In addition to a great grill (The folks at BBQGuys do a good job of evaluating grills and other equipment) you’ll want to think about a refrigerator, and even a sink. It’s likely you’ll want cabinets to store spices and utensils you need for cooking. You might also want to plan a full bar. It can be smaller, but it’s nice if you don’t have to keep running back into the house to refresh drinks. Another popular item these days is a built-in pizza oven.
Create Ambiance: In addition to having comfortable chairs and tables for drinks, you’ll want to set the mood. You can create a rustic look with lanterns and rope lights, or you can install can lights and pendants that are adjustable. Another part of creating the ambiance is keeping things such as electrical wiring and plumbing out of sight. So it’s important to talk to your remodeler about those needs before you get too far down the road. You’ll also want to consider ventilation—both for cooking and for keeping your company cool.
The best way to ensure that you get the outdoor kitchen that really suits your sense of hospitality is to talk to your design team up front so that they can help you map out all the details you’ll need to create an outdoor kitchen that will be truly amazing.