Tag Archives: outdoor kitchen

Sign of Summer: Outdoor Kitchen

source: Kris Horiuchi of Kalamazoo Gourmet 

Since it’s 97 degrees in New Jersey and hazy, hot and humid on this first day of June, I thought the best type of kitchen to write about would be the divine outdoor kitchen.  With Memorial Day behind us and Labor Day approaching more quickly than we would like to admit, many cooks turn to the outdoors to prepare meals so they can escape the hot kitchen.  Sidenote:  If you live in New Jersey and are fortunate enough to have an outdoor kitchen, you might not have any interest in using it for the next several weeks since the invasion of the cicadas has completely taken over!  Noisy, smelly, tree-hugging bugs aside, grilling and eating outdoors rank right up there with showering outdoors as some of my favorite summer-time activities.
Nine years ago, my cousin got married in Napa Valley in a wedding filled with superlatives.   The bride was absolutely beautiful.  The location of the wedding…breathtaking.  The food & wine…amazing.   And before the wedding we were entertained by the groom’s family in their lovely home, which had the most incredible outdoor kitchen and adjacent living space that I have ever seen.  The bar for such kitchens is now incredibly high in my mind, considering I still remember it vividly when often times I’m so scattered I can hardly remember my own name!
So, if you’re planning to build an outdoor kitchen, here are some things to consider:
  • If your budget allows, think about adding some plumbing for a sink…you won’t regret it 
  • Select rust-resistant hardware meant for outdoor use
  • If you’re in a sunny spot, consider adding a partial roof, pergola or some type of umbrella for shade
  • Plan your exterior lighting accordingly so that you can transition from day to night and still see what you’re doing
  • Select durable, hard-wearing and weather-resistant materials for both the countertop and flooring
  • A small bar fridge will certainly come in handy and limit trips in and out of the house
  • Plan a place for everything…cooking utensils, garbage, recycling, etc. — you’ll be happy you did!


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