Entertain Like a Pro with an Outdoor Kitchen Island

True or false: a picturesque revamp of a turn of the century cape cod would be rendered incomplete without a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen island, deck, and 6” pool. True.

Kitchen IslandWell, at least we’d like to think so. When the standard charcoal grill with its porcelain lid and handy side table, it won’t cut it for your entertainment aspirations, it’s time to upgrade. With backyards and patios increasingly being seen more as an extension of a home rather than its entity, many homeowners are splurging on fully functional, satisfying, and quite livable outdoor spaces for themselves and generations to come. In addition to providing an attractive landscape and architectural highlights, a comfortable backyard space should also be equipped with some of the amenities and comforts of indoor activity. It means food preparation station that will not only grill up a good piece of meat, but also wash your hands, saute a sauce, chill a soda and keep the bread warm-all without you stepping foot into your real kitchen.Outdoor kitchen So for those of you who are feeling a bit inclined to the high life, here are a few practical steps to take to installing an outdoor kitchen island of your very own. Think dollars and cents-budget for your outdoor project. It goes without saying that the home accents such as an outdoor island, grilling station, service bar, or even a high-end patio set are all luxury items in their right, but not ones that you can’t afford to obtain. Prepare yourself on the finance end of things by deciding whether or not you’d like to invest in a prefabricated island or a custom built one. Some points to consider before making this decision:

  • A nice prefabricated island can be bought for under $6 or $7,000 with some designs as low as $3,000
  • A custom built outdoor kitchen island can be reasonably constructed for under $10,000 and even under 5 for very simple structures; other more complicated and luxurious constructions can cost upwards of $50,000
  • A prefabricated outdoor kitchen island will often boast the same or similar features as custom made island, the primary difference is usually in size and quantity; for instance, a prefab island may only come with one side burner while a custom made one can easily have four
  • A built-in or custom made outdoor kitchen will likely have utilities hardwired (justifying the additional costs) and features such as a sink with hot and cold water hookups as well as sustainable plumbing and drainage
  • One of the most-treasured aspects of the built-in is that homeowners have the freedom to decorate and design it as they see fit; this allows them to mix and match the layout with current home decor and furnishings, making it truly an extension of their home and style

Ask yourself: What do I really need to run a successful outdoor kitchen?   Now, after opting for custom built or prefab, think about your ideal outdoor cooking experience to identify which features you’d like to have and which ones you can do.

Outdoor Kitchen Island

Below are some common (and not-so-common) features of an outdoor kitchen island:

  • grill
  • side burner(s)
  • refrigerator
  • tile countertop
  • warmer drawer
  • pizza oven
  • stainless steel sink
  • service bar
  • fireplace
  • storage compartment or storage

So for instance, a fireplace is a nice aesthetic touch, but will it be used for cooking or primarily to keep guests warm during cooler months?

Overall, the decision to lose or keep many of these features will rest ultimately on your main objective for grilling, entertaining and the general use of your outdoor kitchen island. If you’re a very private person who will use the kitchen mainly for family dinners or small gatherings, then you may want to sacrifice a large counter space and seating area for example. But if you know that you love to entertain and will have gatherings of 50 people or more, then you may want to invest a little more in equipment and features that will ease the burden of the cook and accommodate large numbers. These and other tips will hopefully set you in the right direction for investing in your very own outdoor kitchen unit.

In your opinion, does a prefabricated design live up to a custom built one? Is the wow factor of certain features worth the investment for a top-shelf outdoor kitchen island?

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Published : 10 Aug 2014
Category : Blog Kitchen Outdoor

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