7 Elements That Make a Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen and living space by Cottonwood Landscapes

A mark of luxury living in is an outdoor kitchen. This is an area where you can do more than just grill burgers with friends. It’s an outdoor experience worth investing in, and there are some very talented Salt Lake City landscapers to do the job. 

Like any major upgrade, you’ll want a carefully curated plan before you begin installing appliances and lighting. There are many benefits to having an outdoor kitchen, and when you carefully consider your needs and wants, you can enjoy it to its fullest. 

1. Careful Measurements 

Your first instinct might be to run out and buy the top-of-the-line appliances or choose flooring samples, but measurements must come first. You won’t know what you can fit in your outdoor space without knowing the space you’re working with. 

Most people convert an existing patio into a stylish kitchen, so you’ll want to measure that space. Will you be extending it? Will you use the entire space or just part? Will you need to put your kitchen somewhere else to fit what you need? These questions can all be answered with the right measurements. 

Talk with your Salt Lake City landscapers about taking measurements and other considerations to make in the planning phase. 

2. Choose Your Appliances 

What makes a kitchen fabulous? It’s not the countertops or the backsplash. It’s what makes it most functional, and your appliances are at the top of the list. 

Consider which appliances you’ll want and what you want them to do. Will you need a refrigerator outside as well as inside? Do you want a dishwasher, a microwave, and a stove? Will you require double ovens? 

Most commonly, outdoor kitchens contain a barbecue grill, stovetop, or both. You might also want other tools for cooking like a smoker, deep fryer, or a beer tap. You could also install a coffee maker for relaxing mornings in your outdoor space. 

When you’ve worked out which appliances you want and fit them into your measurements, you can then work the other elements into place. 

3. Take Care of Plumbing and Power Source

The first step before installing your appliances, cabinetry, and flooring will be working out the power sources and plumbing. Work out the best way to carry your plumbing outdoors and plan to place your sink within that vicinity.

You have several options for a power source for an outdoor kitchen. You can run a natural gas line, wire it for electricity, or simply use external fuel containers like propane to operate your appliances. Work out what works with your budget and space and set your plans. 

4. Designate Your Shelter 

While some people like a completely open outdoor kitchen, it’s recommended that you figure out some kind of shelter. This will not only keep your appliances and countertops clean and undamaged, but it will also provide essential protection from the sun and climate. 

There are many options for outdoor shelter from a covered patio attached to your roof to a pergola draped with heat-resistant material. Explore your options, choosing a practical option that fits your budget while also matching your tastes. 

If you live in a windy area, you’ll also need shelter from drafts. Most areas experience more wind from one direction in Salt Lake City. Landscapers can help you design some kind of wind block that will prevent heavy drafts from ruining your evening. 

5. Install Cabinets, Countertops, Flooring, Lights, and All the Details 

With the main structure in place, you’re ready to install countertops, flooring, lights, cabinets, and everything else that makes your old patio a kitchen. 

Consider options that are weather resistant. Even if your shelter is mostly enclosed, these elements will still face the weather, and you’ll want items that are impervious to these effects. For that reason, wood is usually not the best option for these fixtures, and you can benefit from stone, metal, tile, and other options that are more weather resistant. 

6. Set Up Your Seating Area 

Now that you’ve figured out your kitchen setup, don’t forget the reason you’re building this in the first place: for your own comfort and to entertain. Therefore, the next logical step is to set up a seating area that’s comfortable and stylish. 

Include weather-resistant chairs, tables, pillows, etc. that will hold up beautifully to the elements. A soft, outdoor rug, potted plants, artwork on the side of the house, and other decorative touches will make it your own. 

In Salt Lake City, swimming pools are also common fixtures for warm summers. It’s a good idea to consider seating that will accommodate wet swimmers coming in for a meal! 

7. Stock Your Kitchen 

The point of an outdoor kitchen is to keep you from running in and out of the house all night while you’re entertaining your guests on the patio. Therefore, it doesn’t work to use all of your indoor kitchen supplies for your outdoor cooking area.

This kitchen doesn’t need to be as well-stocked as your main one is, but it should contain basics like serving utensils, cutlery, dishes, mixing and serving bowls, napkins, trash bags, etc. 

Talk to your Salt Lake City Landscapers about the best options for stocking your kitchen. As you get used to having this luxury space in your home, you’ll get a better sense of the items you’ll use most often and keep your kitchen well stocked and ready for entertaining! 

Cottonwood Landscapes is your source for premier landscaping in Utah.

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