Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Hosting Unforgettable Parties

If you want to take your next backyard barbecue up a notch, you might want to think about building or renovating your outdoor kitchen. You’ll be amazed by what a huge difference a little planning can make.

The ROI of Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens typically cost somewhere between $5,514 to $22,323, with the average price to build hovering right around $13,882. 

Why such a wide range? 

It depends on the size, materials, location, contractor, and other factors. Some homeowners are happy with nothing more than a countertop, grill, and a couple of cabinets. 

Other homeowners want built-in grills, refrigerators, sinks/plumbing, and additional appliances. You’ll also find that some homeowners are able to do much of the work themselves – saving on labor costs – while others outsource everything to professionals. 

But do you want to know the good news? You can usually expect at least a 60 percent return on investment. In other words, if you spend $14,000, the value of your home should increase by at least $8,400. And in some cases – especially in warmer climates – the ROI is in the 100 to 200 percent range!

 

5 Ideas for an Amazing Outdoor Kitchen

One of the reasons outdoor kitchens deliver such a high ROI is because they’re great for entertaining. They allow you to throw outdoor dinner parties and barbecues while still being part of the action. It provides a place to congregate and entertain people. 

The question is, where do you start? In other words, how do you design an amazing outdoor kitchen that’s great for entertaining without breaking the bank? 

Well, here are a few ideas:

1. Try a Modular Setup

Building a fully custom kitchen with your own custom cabinetry and appliance layout can be extremely expensive. You have to get someone to design the kitchen and build each individual element from scratch, which adds up. But have you ever thought about a modular outdoor kitchen?

Modular outdoor kitchens are basically custom kitchens without the custom price tag. They consist of multiple prefabricated pieces that the homeowner can arrange to fit their space. For example, the homeowner could arrange everything in one straight line along a brick retaining wall, in an “L” shape on a deck, or in a horseshoe orientation with a grill island in the middle. There are so many options!

2. Keep it Close to the House

While it might be tempting to build your outdoor kitchen toward the back of your property – particularly if you live on a lake or have a patio that’s tucked away in a more secluded area – it’s highly recommended that you keep it close to the house.

As anyone who has ever hosted a backyard party knows, there’s always something you need from inside. Whether it’s more napkins, salt and pepper, ice, drinks, or appetizers, you’ll be traveling back and forth from the outdoor kitchen to the indoor kitchen. Keeping it close is more convenient. 

3. Install a Sink

A sink might seem unnecessary in most outdoor kitchens, but you’ll actually find it quite valuable. It transforms your outdoor space from a cooking space into a food prep space  and helps eliminate trips back inside.

4. Include a Refrigerator

A refrigerator is a game-changer for outdoor kitchens – particularly when it comes to entertaining. It allows you to store beer and wine, as well as condiments for grilling. And if you install a tandem icemaker, you won’t have to spend so much time worrying about buying bags of ice and hauling heavy coolers around. 

5. Use These Countertop Materials

There are several different types of countertop materials that can be used in an outdoor kitchen. Some of the most common are granite, concrete, and outdoor-rated ceramic tile. These are durable options that can be installed relatively inexpensively. (We recommend avoiding soapstone, marble, and slate, which are more likely to stain and/or fade in the sun.)

Entertain in Style!

If you’re serious about throwing unforgettable backyard parties and barbecues, you need a nice outdoor kitchen. However, you don’t have to overpay or accrue serious debt to make it happen. All it takes is a few of the right pieces!

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