It is a well known fact that no one wants to cook heavy meals inside in the summer. Stoves and ovens add heat to the kitchen, and on warm evenings most people would opt for the pool rather than the kitchen. The popularity of grills fitted that bill for many years, but over the past two or three years, grills have been upgraded and whole kitchens outdoors are now a common feature. Indeed why stop at just the kitchen? Outdoor cooking and dining can be designed to complement each other and to maximize the experience. Outdoor kitchens and dining options are a way to enjoy casual dining, and with long warm evenings in Atlanta a guarantee each summer, these features are fast becoming a favorite for everyone.
Before you start you outdoor kitchen, think about how you would use it. If the limits of your culinary skills are burgers with bottled barbecue sauce, then perhaps a major outdoor kitchen would be wasted. If however, you prefer to cook most of your meals outside, whether grilling a good steak or steaming salmon on a pine plank, you might well be a candidate for this social outdoor kitchen. People gather in kitchens, but this is difficult when the cook is outside at the grill, and the wine and the other half of the meal is being prepared inside.
So if you think this investment is for you, then your next step is to design your outdoor kitchen and figure out exactly what you need.
In cooking anything, indoor or outdoor, there are basic food safety issues that must be addressed. Things that are cooked need to be kept hot, and things that are raw need to be kept cold. If your outdoor kitchen is away from the house, you will want to have these basics addressed. A warming oven and a refrigerated section is important. Clearly this means some form of electrical outlet should be laid.
Raw meat and the utensils that touch them can be contaminated with such bacteria as e-coli and salmonella so keeping the area clean, is important. Have a sink or bowl to wash your hands, and any utensils, to avoid transferring harmful bacteria to other surfaces or food.
Light is also important for safety, so make sure that the whole cooking area is well lit.
As with most kitchen equipment this is largely up to the individual and the amount of space allocated to the outdoor kitchen. Look for easy to clean appliances that have some form of temperature control and a large enough cooking area for the number of people you serve regularly.
Ways to personalize your outdoor kitchen will be primarily geared to how you plan to use the area and how much space you want to devote to the kitchen.
A casual dining area can be created with a simple countertop bar and stools, where guests and cook can all enjoy drinks and conversation while the meal is cooking. If the area is wide enough, then the meal can be served there too.
Alternatively you might want a more formal table space. Patio or natural stone tables will give sufficient space to accommodate a family for supper.
A heat source may be needed to enjoy evenings in late fall or spring. These can be free standing or incorporated into the wall when you design the area. Likewise if you like to keep track of the news while you cook and eat, built in televisions and speakers can be accommodated.
Adding an outdoor kitchen to your property will enable you to enjoy cooking all through the summer as well as encourage you to spend more time in the garden. The kitchen and outdoor area is also ideal for those who entertain in the summer and do not want everyone to crowd into an overheated kitchen area.
"Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn." William Arthur Ward
Botanica Atlanta Landscape Design 2870 Peachtree Road NE #231, Atlanta GA 30305 404.641.3960