Today’s backyard barbecues look less like Dad covered in lighter fluid and charcoal and a lot more like the family kitchen, but outside. Today’s outdoor grilling centre or kitchen includes fully-functional cooking areas for the chef and comfortable seating for the guests. Basically, it brings comfort and design to a natural setting, maximizing the use and appeal of your outdoor space.
Your location, space, the time of day when you most often entertain, and the type of entertaining you do will influence which elements to put in your outdoor kitchen, i.e. Will you need a big umbrella for shade? Bar stools or a patio sofa set? Will you be cooking alone, or will you require multiple work stations? All of these details will come into play as you decide which design option works best for your life and budget.
Here are a few outdoor grilling centre configurations to get you started.
Even if you aren’t ready to spring for a full outdoor kitchen, you can get in the outdoor grilling game with a few essentials: a grill, a work surface, and a dining area. It’ll still be a great party!
I love these tips for an essential grilling from Cook’s Illustrated.
Source: Alfonso Designs on Houzz
The Next Step
If you are serious about outdoor entertaining, you may want to upgrade with amenities such as side burners (ideal for veggies), an outdoor refrigerator to keep food cold and beverages handy, and an outdoor sink and faucet for convenient clean-up. After all, who wants to run in and out of the house when steaks are sizzling and drinks are pouring?
Want some more ideas for outdoor kitchens? We’ve got five reasons to love them here.
Source: Lorraine G. Vale on Houzz
The Big Time
Or, if cooking in the great outdoors is your calling, the ultimate outdoor grilling centre kitchen is for you. It will feature a grill, of course – the bigger the better – either free-standing or built into an island, a bar, a refrigerator to keep veggies and drinks close at hand, a dishwasher for quick and easy clean-up, wine racks/cooler, storage, a garbage can, sauce/condiment rack, and comfortable, stylish patio furniture.
Source: Arterra Landscape Architects
But why stop there?
Here are some other features and items you might want to check out to be the king or queen of your grill:
Smoker Box: Not ready to go dive head first into a full smoker yet? A smoker box is a small addition to your barbecue allowing you to add wood chips to give grilled foods extra smoky flavour.
Built-in Lighting: Many newer barbecues are coming with built in lighting, which makes keeping an eye on your kabobs a lot easier in the winter months. As Canadians, we grill all year long, more than most other countries – so lighting is key.
IR Rotisserie Burner: The infrared rotisserie burner is a feature gaining lots of attention recently. If you’ve ever wanted to cook your Thanksgiving turkey on the barbecue, this is the feature for you! Allowing you to cook at a very high heat, locking in moisture, and giving a nice crispy finish, infrared burners are the new tools in your barbecue arsenal for ruling the grill.
Whether your outdoor kitchen space is a basic backyard barbecue or a full blown outdoor kitchen space we hope you enjoy it with friends and family as you rule the grill this summer and all year long.
Isabelle, Your Appliance Expert