When designing an outdoor space, personalization is key. This is especially true for outdoor kitchens. Design with your preferences and lifestyle in mind to get the most out of your space. Rather just order a pizza? Skip the outdoor pizza oven. If you’re a grill-master, opt for the tricked-out grilling station. You’ll be much more likely to get outside and use your space if it speaks to your culinary tendencies. Below you’ll find the first steps you’d need to take to help you design the perfect outdoor kitchen for you.

Plan Your Layout

The layout is just as important in an outdoor kitchen as it is for an indoor one. In addition, there are some extra considerations for an outdoor kitchen. Whereas an indoor kitchen’s layout is defined by the walls, doors, and windows that surround it, the outdoor kitchen often defines the space on its own.

For this reason, L-shaped designs are popular choices outside, lending a sense of room division for the area. Another key layout decision concerns appliance placement. Consider the best locations for your cold and hot zones. Avoid placing a gas grill directly next to a refrigerator unit that already needs to work hard during the heat of summer. Don’t forget to allow enough space for food prep as well.

Consider What Appliances You’ll Want

Continuing on from the layout design, this is a good time to consider what types of appliances you’d like built into your outdoor kitchen area. There are a wide variety of appliances you can go with, so consider what you believe you will get the most use out of. Here are a few of the most popular appliances for outdoor kitchens:

  • Flat-Top Grill: Whether you’re making a stir-fry or some crepes, cooking on a flat-top grill can be an experience, much like dining at a Hibachi restaurant.
  • Power Burner: A high-intensity burner that can bring a huge pot of water to boiling temperature in just a couple of minutes.
  • Smoker: If you’ve already invested in a nice cart for your smoker then you might want an outdoor kitchen design that accommodates that cart being easily wheeled in and out of the space.
  • Pizza Oven: With a pizza oven as one of your outdoor kitchen appliances you can create an entire destination around cooking.
  • Warming Drawers: You can keep your already-cooked foods warm as you continue to cook more. It’s a nice touch to your outdoor kitchen that will greatly simplify your ability to entertain.

Choose Your Materials

An outdoor kitchen needs to be as hardworking as its interior counterpart. However, it also needs to hold up to whatever the weather may bring, such as high winds, heavy rains, extreme heat and possibly even ice and snow storms. As you design your outdoor kitchen, think about materials that are tough enough to withstand the elements while still being low maintenance for easy care. Because of its durability and toughness, stainless steel is a great option for outdoor countertops, as well as for appliances. They look sleek, they hold up to the elements and they’re easy to clean. For those who want a warmer feel in their outdoor kitchen, granite is another great alternative for countertops. Available in a wide range of colors and textures, there is granite that fit virtually any design and style.

All that’s left after this is to plan your party. After months of planning and building, there’s no greater way to celebrate your accomplishment than by breaking out some long-anticipated backyard gourmet.