Since the pandemic created new relationships with living space, homeowners are embracing the opportunity to spruce up and even reimagine what their home and outdoor space can be. One of the ways homeowners are rethinking their outdoor space is to add an outdoor kitchen. From fully equipped to a simple grill and a few chairs, outdoor kitchens are on homeowners’ must-have lists for 2023. Our experts have a few trends to watch for when creating that perfect outdoor space.
For many, an outdoor kitchen may seem like a true luxury, but when you spend a significant amount of time enjoying your deck, patio, pool, or spa, adding an outdoor kitchen enhances a sense of home. And an outdoor kitchen might not be as extravagant as you think. From a simple “plug and play” grill island to a far more complex addition of built-ins under shelter designed to take every cooking chore outdoors, outdoor kitchens allow homeowners to bring ease and entertainment to summer fun. They also provide the convenience of having everything you need at your fingertips.
Regardless of what level of outdoor kitchen you want, our experts point out the obvious – it must have a grill. A grill is essential for preparing outdoor meals, and as with most appliances, grills are available in sizes and styles to meet any need. From a top-of-the-line modern outdoor dining table with a grill built-in to a charcoal grill and a lovely outdoor table and chairs, a grill will be the center of your kitchen space. When designing your outdoor kitchen, choose the grill that suits your home and use first because it’s the layout and architecture of the outdoor kitchen that helps set the vibe no matter what’s on the menu.
Whether you are a backyard cook or a top-notch grill chef, don’t forget to think about the grill accessories. Choose sturdy accessories that work well with your grill. Tongs, a spatula, metal skewers, and a cooling rack are all essential since you’ll be cooking outside a lot and want your accessories to work well rather than waste time fighting with unsuitable accessories. Items like a tigerwood cutting board, top and bottom grade, and a cast iron griddle will add to the space and help finish the kitchen.
Because outdoor kitchens invite the openness of the great outdoors and can be similar to indoor kitchens with counter space and full food preparation areas, trips inside to clean up or grab a cold drink are less hassle. Adding some appliances helps round out the outdoor kitchen and make it a true entertaining space. Adding items like an ice maker, a wine fridge, and even a pizza oven are all trends in outdoor kitchen design this year.
Ice makers are also making a splash in outdoor kitchen design this year. They are an easy addition and a great alternative to an outdoor fridge. An ice maker provides easy access to ice on the patio, deck, or pool area and makes chilling drinks and mixing cocktails easy. Our experts point out that there are many options in ice makers to choose from, so again, research your options and find the model that works best with your design plan.
Another appliance that’s growing in popularity this year is a wine fridge. Including a wine fridge in your outdoor kitchen provides a place to store all kinds of beverages without taking up space elsewhere. They come in a range of sizes and styles and are often easily integrated into the outdoor kitchen design under the counter or behind a bar.
Something else that is growing in popularity is the addition of a pizza oven. A pizza oven adds an authentic touch to any space and offers fun and entertainment for everyone. Since pizza ovens cook at a high heat, whipping up a fresh hot pizza at home is easy, particularly when the kids are getting out of a long day in the pool and they’re hungry. Pizza ovens come in all shapes and sizes, from brick to stainless steel, and can be integrated into any size outdoor kitchen. Additionally, brick and stone-built pizza ovens often have space for storing wood for added convenience. Pizza ovens are also great for cooking any type of food, from searing steaks to roasting chicken and baking cookies, which can extend the value of the outdoor kitchen.
An outdoor kitchen also requires a place to sit and eat. A dining table and comfortable seating are imperative for entertaining friends and family. You’ve made lots of great food, and now your guests require a place to sit and enjoy their meal and the company. Choose a table that works best for your space and has the room you need and the features you want. You may not require a table with a grill in the middle so choose furniture for your kitchen area that enhances the space and allows you to be included in the fun while you’re cooking. Since you and your guests will likely spend a lot of time together in the space, choose comfortable furniture.
For homeowners who want to use their outdoor kitchens in cooler months, our experts suggest adding outdoor heaters. This will allow you to entertain and enjoy your outdoor space throughout the year. Knowing there’s a growing demand for using the outdoor space longer, manufacturers are developing new furniture designs that integrate an outdoor heater and even convert from a heater to a grill.
While the price of a fully equipped outdoor kitchen can mimic the cost of an indoor kitchen, the added value and family time are priceless. Focus on what you want to create in your space and build the outdoor kitchen around that. Add appliances and interactive experiences that bring excitement around food and encourage collaboration and creativity into the mix. While a single barbecue and a folding chair do not make an outdoor kitchen, it also doesn’t require a complete remodel either. Outdoor kitchens offer an experience where families and friends celebrate with each other in a way that allows them to be unplugged and unburdened.