Essentials of an Outdoor Kitchen

Who wants to be inside during the summer? We’re lucky in San Diego to have a temperate climate with lots of sun, so why not enjoy it this summer with an outdoor kitchen?

It doesn’t take a lot of work or money to set up a space where you can cook, lounge and take in the beautiful weather. Here are a few key considerations for your kitchen space:

1. The bar. Is this going to be an area where you entertain guests, or is this primarily for family? How many people will be using the space? This will dictate what kind of storage space you need for glass wear, cocktail accessories, alcohol storage and more. Some people who entertain frequently want to include a refrigerator for their beer kegs. Will you need refrigeration and if so, how much?
2. Preparation. Are you planning on prepping food and serving food from your outdoor kitchen? Do you have extra dishes and silverware that will be solely used and stored outside? Being able to prep, cook and serve outdoors means you will have more time to spend with guests without rushing in and out. It also means you’ll need some type of an island. Having running water outside is also beneficial. We recommend a small sink if you plan on doing a lot of food prep or entertaining.
3. The Barbeque. No outdoor kitchen is complete without a barbeque. Decide how large of a barbeque you are going to need. Do you want a rotisserie feature or not?
4. Wood fired pizza ovens. Pizza ovens have seen a rise in popularity lately for outdoor spaces. Having the fire adds ambiance while creating fresh, custom pizzas is an activity that families can enjoy together.
5. Lighting. Is there lighting nearby in the form of spotlights or lamps? Cooking in the dark is not an easy task. How do you want your space lit?

Once you have an idea of the key things you want for your outdoor kitchen, it’s time to start designing. It’s important to have a flow of space from indoors to outdoors, to make sure your kitchen doesn’t get in the way of traffic going into and out of the house. It’s also nice to think about how outdoor furniture will be arranged so that your guests aren’t isolated from the cooking area. Ease of accessibility into and out of the house for the cook or cooks is also important. Do you want an outdoor refrigerator to store food until it’s cooked? Is there a pool nearby where splashing on food could be an issue?

Having a general contractor help design your space is will help ensure you that details like gas piping, waterlines and the like are possible and unobtrusive. They can help guide the design and construction process, keep you on budget and have your project completed while there’s still some summer left. If you have questions about how to construct your outdoor kitchen, call SoCal Construction and Design, San Diego’s trusted general contractor.