As the summer season approaches you’re sure to feel the call to spend more time outdoors in the warmth and sunshine. But life is full of tasks and necessary jobs that keep us tied up inside, unless we can move the workspace outside. That’s the beauty of outdoor kitchens – they allow you to spend time on your Virginia deck whether you’re cooking up dinner for the family or preparing a feast for the neighborhood party.
Essentials for the Patio Kitchen
The benefits of using an outdoor kitchen include more fresh air, the tang of grilled food and a cool breeze you just can’t get while cooped up in the house. But you need the space to be fully equipped to enjoy all of these advantages. Otherwise the experience will be dampened by your need to travel in and out those patio doors.
Invest in a stainless steel built in grill that with provide counter space for easy prep and maybe even cabinetry for storage of charcoal and other BBQ essentials. Think about including a side burner as well, to quickly boil, steam or warm your side dishes. These can be wired in, but a natural gas burner paired with a gas grill is a more popular and efficient set up.
Some people include a small sink for wash downs (fully plumbed in) and a bar fridge to keep things cool. Lighting is another important element that will allow you to use the kitchen space at any time of day or night, whipping up a gourmet grilled meal or snack.
Virginia Deck Designs That Make For Great Kitchens
It’s a wise idea to include multiple levels when designing a patio kitchen. Put the grill and other kitchen elements on the level closest to your sliding doors. Leave plenty of room for traffic over or through this level, as well as room to move around at the grill and the immediate area.
One step down from the grill level, design another for the dining furniture. This space should be at least 144 square feet in size (12 foot x 12 foot) to allow space for a full table of diners, but a little more room is desirable for traffic flow and aesthetics. Consider wrap-around stairs from this level to keep it open or possibly an overhead feature to provide shade and visual interest.
Be sure any steps are low rise so that the risk of stumbling with a full tray of food is minimized. Also be sure that any railings are built to code and installed where necessary for safety.
It’s a nice touch to finish the area around your wood deck with a stone patio and incorporate that same stone into the built in kitchen. A slate countertop will look stunning with composite or cedar decking dressed up with a slate pathway or edging around the lower level. Stone can also be used under and around the grill if a fire resistant surface is needed or desired.
Installing an outdoor kitchen onto your Virginia deck is a fantastic way to enjoy more of the coming season. Get outside and get your work done at the same time. You’ll be saving energy, enjoying freshly grilled meals and likely spending more time with the family. Who could ask for anything more?