If you enjoy entertaining and spending time outside, an outdoor kitchen is a must-have addition to your backyard, but which appliances and features should you include?
While most backyard kitchens include a grill, countertop prep space, refrigerator, sink, and dining area, the options are truly endless. In fact, many outdoor kitchens in the Hampton Roads area also include a roof or pergola for shade, a fire pit, lighting, cabinets, bar seating and a pizza oven.
With so many choices, designing an outdoor kitchen can feel overwhelming. To help you work through the decision, we’ve narrowed it down to the top seven essentials for every outdoor kitchen.
The grill is the foundation of any outdoor kitchen, as well as an aesthetic focal point. Many outdoor kitchens include a built-in stainless steel gas grill, since they tend to be higher quality and last longer than freestanding grills, but it’s entirely up to you, your budget and the look you want to achieve.
From food prep to clean up, a sink is an essential component of the outdoor kitchen. Just think about how often you use your sink when cooking and eating indoors, and how convenient it would be to have one close by to wash your hands, rinse vegetables, wipe up a spill, or wash dishes and utensils.
No one wants to run back inside a dozen times to grab cold drinks and more ice. Plus, you’ll want a convenient place to keep cold food items and condiments. Rather than a full-size refrigerator, a wine fridge is a sleek and less expensive alternative, especially when paired with an ice maker.
Your outdoor kitchen is just as much about the entertaining as it is the cooking, which is why seating is so important. It’s also a great way to showcase your style. Personalize your space with a formal or casual dining set, bar seating, a sectional, or chaise lounges, a comfy sofa and chairs.
To protect your kitchen and your guests from the elements, it’s a good idea to consider overhead cover. Either a roof or pergola with a canopy is perfect for providing shade, and, if you’ve got the budget, ceiling fans and overhead lighting are an excellent addition.
To extend the use of your outdoor kitchen into the cooler months, a fire pit or outdoor heater is a must. In fact, many of our Hampton Roads customers use their outdoor kitchens all winter long by adding heaters, an outdoor fireplace or a custom fire pit with built-in bench seating.
Okay, so maybe this one isn’t an essential, but it’s a definite nice-to-have, especially if you’ll be entertaining kids. Pizza ovens add an authentic touch to an outdoor kitchen, and can be used to bake just about anything you’d make in a conventional oven, just with more wood-fired flavor.
Get Help Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen
Your outdoor kitchen should include whatever you want or need to enjoy cooking and entertaining outside, and if you’re not sure, our outdoor kitchen designers in Hampton Roads can help. Backed by more than 55 years of experience, Marlowe’s family-owned and operated business has designed and installed many beautiful and creative outdoor kitchens throughout the Virginia Peninsula. Our goal is to build the highest quality outdoor kitchen for a price that works for you. Contact us for a free outdoor kitchen estimate in Yorktown, Virginia Beach, Newport News and throughout Hampton Roads VA.