Photo Source: Kitchens Galore

Photo Source: Kitchen Galore

The outdoor kitchen has become increasingly popular. It wasn’t that long ago when a trip to the store for a bag of charcoal and lighter fluid was the back yard kitchen but now you can have everything you need available to you while you make dinner for the whole family.

The most important element of the whole kitchen is the grill. The best idea is to have a grill built in and have it natural gas powered. There is nothing more discouraging than to run out of propane in the middle of cooking for a group. I think it is best to select a brand that is well known like Broil King, Weber, Napoleon or Lynx. Essentially you are buying a good quality appliance and if you buy it well, you will have it for a very long time. You should anticipate spending anywhere from $900 to $6,000.

Look for something that has a cooking area suited to the size of parties you might normally have and also look for a couple of side burners so you can make the whole meal at one station. Essentially you can customize the station to fit your needs.

There are a several products that are suitable for outdoor refrigeration. You have to select something designed for the outdoors specifically as the requirements are different. The biggest difference is that the fridge has to maintain a constant internal temperature while the outdoor temperature fluctuates dramatically day to day. Secondly the fridge is exposed to the elements like rain; electricity and water do not mix well. You should expect to spend somewhere around $500 to $2000 for this appliance. They have to be rust resistant so look for an 18/8 stainless exterior as not all stainless products are the same make up. Generally they do not come with a freezer unless you spend much more, however the freezer space takes up valuable interior space. They are not designed to operate in temperatures lower than 40 degrees so it needs to be unplugged, emptied and left slightly ajar for the winter. I would recommend that you keep the units under cabinet so that you can have the whole kitchen facing the people you’re making food for.

if your property allows, I think it is best to have the outdoor kitchen work like an island and face the bulk of the action of the yard. The chef is allowed to continue to be part of the party while he/she bbq’s and it also ensures that the guests stay on the opposite side of the island and out of harm’s way. You can use cut stone for the front of the island or a porcelain tile or slab. You could use wood for the kitchen front however it will stain and discolour with the food oils. Essentially you are trying to have the kitchen blend-in to the surroundings of the yard to keep the focus on relation and outdoor fun. Look for products like granite or cement as a countertop as it is non combustible and to ensure that the surface will survive the seasons . It would be smart to have someone make a fitted cover for the whole island to protect it and keep it looking neat when not in use.

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Canadian Home Trends' National Design Editor, Glen Peloso forged into the world of design 20 years ago after completing his Masters degree in Fine Art. As Principal of Grafus Design Co., he has worked in residential, hospitality and commercial spaces for clients in several countries and has successfully designed over 300 projects in that time. TV Celebrity Designer and Canadian Home Trends National Design Contributor, Glen is also recognized as a design expert on The Marilyn Denis Show and from his past work as a host/designer of the internationally popular television shows Foodnetwork/HGTV`s Restaurant Makeover, and W networks ‘Take this House and Sell it’, and “Slice Network” show, Renovate my Wardrobe.

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