When the weather in Colorado Springs is nice, spending time outdoors might be the only priority on your mind. With an outdoor kitchen, you can take grilling an outdoor meal to the next level with high-quality counter space, storage for your dishes, plumbing and a sink for cleaning, and more.
Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen
Before you can consider what different features you want or need for an outdoor kitchen, think through what your vision is for your outdoor kitchen and how you want it to function. Some things to consider:
- Does the outdoor kitchen need to be child safe?
- How often am I going to cook outside?
- What are my grill options (gas, propane, rotisserie, etc?)
- Do I plan on eating meals outside?
- Do I want to wash my dishes and hands outside as I cook?
- What would I like to cook outside that I can’t now?
Once you’ve assessed what your plans are for your outdoor kitchen, you can decide what materials and features you need for a long-lasting, beautiful outdoor space.
Choosing Your Countertops
Countertops materials can vary, including concrete, stone, glazed tile, and granite. You want your countertop to be extremely sturdy. Not only does the countertop need to withstand hot plates and cooking, but they also need to be able to hold their own against weather. If your countertop cannot withstand extreme weather, it will not last as long, and you won’t get your money’s worth out of the purchase.
Choosing Your Cabinets
Your choices for cabinets for an outdoor kitchen are much more limited than your choices for an indoor kitchen. Like your countertops, they have to withstand weather and stay sturdy outdoors for many years. Some of our favorite finishes are stone veneer, corrugated metal, barn wood, and stucco. We use pre-framed cabinets that are ready to finish and can add drawers and stainless-steel doors.
Choosing Your Grill and Accessories
Your grill is the center of your outdoor kitchen, and it is likely the part of your outdoor kitchen that you will use the most. That being said, there are many different options to choose from.
- Natural gas grills
- These are higher in cost up front, but their ongoing costs are typically lower than other types of grills.
- Charcoal grills
- Can be more time consuming to light and maintain than other types of grills. However, the charcoal of the grill infuses a deep flavor into the food you are grilling on it.
- A common option as well if you like to cook this way. Electricity will be required for this which can add cost.
- Low volt lights
- A great option if you like to cook out during winter when the sun goes down earlier. Again, electricity is required for this option.
Drawers to store utensils are nice additions to grills that can be installed outdoors. Some can be heated which can be used to store towels in for hot tub owners.
Choosing a Pergola
Constructing a pergola above your outdoor kitchen can add the perfect touch to your cooking and dining space. Not only does it create shade for you, but you can also grow flowers and vines on it or even implement lighting to create a beautiful, lush ambiance.
Adding a pergola to your outdoor kitchen space can not only create some shade as you cook, but it also gives you the opportunity to set up a complete outdoor dining area so you can share large meals outside comfortably with friends and family. A pergola can help define a specialized area for either dining or cooking or both. It does provide an upgraded estate feel for your property which will be noticed by all who enter the space.
Adding a Sink or Refrigerator
Considering an outdoor sink or refrigerator can be great for those who love to entertain – sinks make it easy to wash dishes outdoors and refrigerators are great for storing drinks and food. However, when installing these features, keep in mind that they must be properly winterized and maintained to ensure that they continue to function.