An outdoor kitchen for your Dutchess County, NY home can be an expensive investment and while the joy of cooking and eating outside is its own reward, it can also add value to your home and quality of life. Unfortunately, while dreams of nightly outdoor meals and being the master chef of every Sunday barbeque might inspire you to have your own outdoor cooking area, many outdoor kitchens go unused due to poor planning, poor design, or bad weather. Here are some tips to make sure you the get the most out of your outdoor kitchen!
Make your outdoor kitchen a central feature
Making your outdoor kitchen a central feature is easiest in the planning stages, but if your outdoor kitchen is already built and gathering dust, there are still some measures you can take. Proximity to the house, coupled with sliding doors for easy access and flow, is ideal. You might also consider having your outdoor kitchen and indoor kitchen connected. If your outdoor kitchen is really separated from the house, make sure you have easy access via a comfortable walking path. Keeping your outdoor kitchen fully stocked with necessary crockery, cutlery and utensils will also encourage its use. It’s a fully functional room after all, why not keep it stocked as one? Also, make sure it’s designed for ease of use in the same way your indoor kitchen is. This includes keeping heating and cooling equipment separate and making sure there is enough counter space to work on. Comfort, accessibility, usability, and attractiveness can turn a neglected space into one that demands to be used. Related: Must Haves For Your Outdoor Kitchen Design.
Combine outdoor eating and cooking areas
Having your outdoor kitchen and outdoor dining area on different sides of the backyard will not only mean extra hassle transporting food once it’s cooked, it’ll discourage guests from entering the outdoor kitchen area, making for some lonely cooking. Combining outdoor eating and cooking areas will ensure that the kitchen serves not only a functional purpose, but a social one as well. So in other words, the outdoor chef should be able to look at guests while cooking up at the grill. Comfortable seating and stylish décor on your patio and near your outdoor kitchen will further inspire people to gather and enjoy the area while you cook. If you have a swimming, make sure your outdoor kitchen is nearby the pool, outdoor entertainment area or outdoor bar. Just make sure it’s part of the action!
Provisions for bad weather
If bad weather is keeping you from using your outdoor kitchen, consider adding covering. This can either be permanent or retractable, depending on your tastes. Either way, this will ensure that your barbeques will never be washed out again (or too sunny!). With the addition of outdoor gas heaters, you can ensure that you and your guests are comfortable, even on cool nights. Keeping a stockpile of blankets for your outdoor eating area will encourage guests to stay outdoors while you cook, rather than leaving you alone out in the cold. Screens can also be installed to shield against wind and keep in the warmth.
Schedule those weekend and weekday BBQs
Of course nothing will help make better use of your outdoor kitchen than a reason to use it! Make it an occasion and schedule a barbeques with friends or family at your place, or better yet, make it a family tradition and do it weekly. It’s a great way to spend time with the people you love while putting your home to good use.