Entertaining Options in the Great Outdoors
Everyone knows the kind of outdoor living space they want. Something that’s comfortable, beautiful, and efficient in which to entertain your family and friends. A place where you can gather, cook a delicious meal, and enjoy the balmy days and stellar sunsets of Southwest Florida. You also want the design to complement your home and the construction to endure. But where do you start?
At the Outdoor Kitchen Place, we know that designing your kitchen can be an overwhelming experience when you don’t know where to start and what things to consider. We always encourage people to bring in photos of their home, site plans, even some basic measurements as you begin to create the space. Some of the questions that might come up: What do you plan to cook—a few burgers occasionally or steaks every Sunday? Do you prefer cooking with gas, lump charcoal, infrared, wood pellets? How many people will you usually host? Will you want to include features like fountains, fireplaces, and pizza ovens? We’ve put together a few things we think are important when designing your outdoor kitchen.
The location of the kitchen is a good starting point to consider. If the kitchen is close to the house, sometimes conveniences like plumbing and electricity are easily accessible. This will save you money, considering most equipment utilizes electricity. If you will need a sink, plumbing will be necessary. You also want to locate the kitchen so that it is not blocking any views and if it is against a wall, proper ventilation should be planned accordingly. The location of the sun is another factor, especially if refrigeration is needed.
Style & Shape
Obviously, there are many different shapes and styles of a kitchen designed specifically for your space. Do you want a seated bar area around the kitchen? In this case, an L- or U-shaped kitchen may be suitable for your needs. The positioning of the grill is very important because you don’t want smoke blowing back in your dining room. Linear kitchens are often put up against a wall to save space, or placed under the enclosed area of the lanai.
There are many options today as far as building materials are concerned. A kitchen can be covered with stone, tile, porcelain, or any other material that is heat- and moisture-resistant and coordinates with your backyard theme. With these types of kitchens, we usually suggest 304 stainless steel doors that will not rust or pit in your outdoor area. If you are looking for a wood grain look, we suggest using a polyurethane cabinet, such as Naturkast, which is made from high density resin that is not affected by the heat and moisture. Choosing the right counter in your new outdoor kitchen is also very important. Surfaces that stand up to food prep and can also handle the humidity and heat and the sun should be considered. Quartzite is one of the countertop materials recommended for outdoor use, not to be confused with quartz which has no UV protection and could actually bend and flex in the heat. New to the market are two man-made products that carry lifetime warranties. SapienStone and DEKTON® are pressurized and heat-treated materials that yield porcelain-like finishes without imperfections.
Moisture is the enemy when building your outdoor kitchen. Because of our high humidity levels year-round, the materials used throughout the whole kitchen are important. We suggest not using wood products in applications where the structure may come in contact with moisture. This also applies to the frame of the cabinets. We use galvanized steel frames in all of our cabinets, custom cutting and building everything on site. This helps prevent warping on a structural level and ensures your kitchen is usable and attractive for years.
There are many different choices today as far as fuel. A standard 20 gallon propane tank is the most common, but natural gas and propane lines have become much more popular here in Florida. Of course, other options are traditional charcoal or pellet grills.
Appliances & Layout
Choosing the right appliances for your kitchen is probably the most important tip we could offer. You want to make sure the appliances are laid out in the most strategic “zone” to optimize flow and comfort. If the cook is right or left handed, the placement of a grill and/or burner to the island can make a difference. If a sink is vital, ensure that it is in a placed in an easily accessible place for the cook. The location of your trash bin is also important and should be easy to access. Make sure the refrigerator is placed in an area that does not receive direct sunlight. Most importantly, don’t crowd your counter space with kitchen appliances—good closed storage space can help you keep your counters free and clear.
In a place like Southwest Florida, creating a well-planned outdoor kitchen is a fun way to take advantage of our great weather as you casually entertain family and friends throughout the year.
The Outdoor Kitchen Place is your Southwest Florida choice for the best kitchen accessories and materials in the area. Our experienced team is helping build, plan, and design kitchen areas for looks as well as functionality.
239.221.3504 | www.theoutdoorkitchenplace.com