Grill & Chill

JoAnn Merenda July 10, 2023
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If you love squeezing every last drop out of summer, spending time outdoors is a must. Enjoy your everyday activities on the patio with an outdoor kitchen. Here, we share some considerations to keep you cooking all season long.
Budget, as always, will help dictate your process and selections. Be mindful of investment and resale value if applicable to your situation. Thankfully, an outdoor kitchen is attractive to buyers and can offer a great return on investment (especially post-pandemic shutdowns).
Once your budget is set, consider function. What is doable in your space? Where are your hookups? If you need help with a design, look for a local expert or use online resources such as Yardzen or Tilly. When making a plan, address plumbing, electricity, venting, and durability. Safety is paramount, even in a casual space. Never place a grill in an enclosed area or within ten feet of your home (per Weber Grills and a host of safety organizations).
You can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars having an outdoor kitchen professionally built. If that’s beyond your budget, consider some DIY solutions. Check out salvage shops for cabinets, tile, and more. Find durability and aesthetics with stainless steel, natural stone, concrete, and tile. Thoughtful material choices will help create a space you’ll enjoy that can stand up to the elements too.
If you live in a region with dramatic winter weather, weatherproof your kitchen just as you would any other exposed space. Cover a grill, empty a refrigerator, and drain any water lines before freezing temps hit.
Find a happy medium between custom and DIY with buildable outdoor kitchen sets. (We love the look of the Esola outdoor kitchen set in weathered teak from Frontgate.) Online sources help you select stand-alone pieces. Finally, do a little dreaming with bonus features such as a pergola, overhead fan, outdoor TV, and Bluetooth music system.

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