Adding an outdoor kitchen to your De Luz or La Cresta home is an excellent investment. These kitchens offer a great source of entertainment to your family as it allows you to gather around in your backyard with your loved ones to enjoy quality time. Moreover, it offers indoor-kitchen-like convenience as it is built with plumbing and electricity and has installed sinks, lighting, and electrical outlets for kitchen appliances. However, with open-air kitchens becoming increasingly popular, they have significantly evolved from being just built-in barbecue patios.
Here we have some of the most effective tips to create a functional and durable outdoor kitchen.
- Make a budget and stick to it
Your budget plays a critical role in building a perfect outdoor kitchen for your home. Therefore, always set a realistic budget at the initial project planning phase to communicate your vision and expectations to your contractor. You can also identify certain elements where you can practice cost-cutting tactics by opting for cheaper alternatives and the ones where you cannot compromise to get a rough estimation of your project.
- Plan your layout
The functionality of your outdoor kitchen is another vital aspect that you should consider. Ensure to create a layout that is compatible with your lifestyle. For instance, while designing the layout, think about how you will utilize the space for both cooking and seating. Think about a few favorite outdoor meals and figure out whether you will be able to manage the preparations and cooking while also accommodating your guests and the foot traffic.
- Don’t forget your storage space
Like your indoor kitchen, you will always need additional storage space for your outdoor kitchen. This space will help you safely store your pans, pots, and other cooking utensils. Thus, consider the storage space requirements to keep your outdoor kitchen organized and clutter-free.
- Make it usable all year round
With the constant evolution in technology and trends, it is needless to limit your outdoor kitchen or BBQ area to summer use only. With some prior planning, you can consider designing an outdoor kitchen that you can enjoy every season. Therefore, consult with your contractor and install certain design features such as an outdoor fireplace, shelter overheads, and ceiling fans to ensure a comfortable outdoor kitchen all year round.
- Build with durable and easy-to-maintain materials
While durability is the ultimate key when choosing materials for outdoor construction, you should also consider looking for tough and enduring materials that can withstand harsh weather seasons. Thus, opt for weather-resistant cabinetry to safeguard your kitchen appliances. Besides durability, you should also opt for easy-to-clean materials to ensure easy maintenance. For instance, consider selecting grease-resistant seats and tables or concrete and stone floors to prevent staining.
One Thing to Remember
While grilling and outdoor cooking are among the great pleasures of summer, they also pose fire dangers. And because we live in Southern California and we all know about the Santa Ana winds that present themselves from time to time. Taking a few precautions when cooking or grilling outdoors can prevent unwanted fires.
- During periods of high fire danger, consider alternatives to outdoor cooking.
- Check for burn bans prior to grilling/cooking outdoors.
- Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors.
- Place the grill away from your home, deck, eves and overhead branches.
- Never leave any fire unattended, including fires in barbecue pits.
- Remove any buildup of fats or grease from grills.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Have a water source nearby when cooking/grilling.
- Have a water hose connected to a faucet, uncoiled and ready to turn on at a moment’s notice. Have a bucket of water near the grill. If no water is available, have a shovel ready to smother any escaped embers with sand/dirt.
- Check for leaks on gas grills prior to use.
- Make sure the gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- Consider using a charcoal chimney starter that allows firing up charcoal without the use of starter fluid. There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire.
- If using starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to an ongoing fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- Let coals cool completely and dispose of them in a metal container.
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