Pro tips

Your Outdoor kitchen project

What should you know?

By Coval’s Team

| May 18, 2018

An outdoor kitchen is a great addition to any property with a patio or yard. Indeed, just like the kitchen inside your home, the one you set up outside will bring added value to your property, in addition to great functionality for your summer receptions. In order to help you build your dream outdoor kitchen, here are several elements not to be overlooked or to keep in mind before carrying out such a project.


Identifying your Needs

The first question you should ask yourself is: “what are my needs”? Do you want an outdoor kitchen to prepare any gourmet dish from A to Z or do you want a practical space to receive your guests at a pool party? In fact, you might want both!

Depending on your answer to the first question, the choice of equipment and layout of your layout will vary. Indeed, two constraints could arise, the budget as well as the available space.

Indeed, to set up a well-equipped outdoor kitchen, you will need to budget several thousand dollars. Nevertheless, like any well-renovated room, the result will definitely be worth it. In addition, investing in quality equipment will make the difference between the layout that will last over time and one that will have to be redone shortly. Also, if you have limited space, remember that you will have to make practical and ergonomic choices in order to obtain a well-functional and uncluttered kitchen.

In short, before starting an outdoor kitchen project, think about what you want, what you really need and what is possible and achievable for you.

Space Planning

For some projects, the layout of the land and space will automatically determine the look of the outdoor kitchen. For others who have more square footage at their disposal or are building from scratch, it is important to consider the position of trees, water flow, and the movement of people in your space. Indeed, in addition to providing shade, trees produce pollen and leaves that could be harmful to your installation. Also, you don’t want puddles appearing in front of your space or under your electrical appliances. Finally, make sure that your guests or kitchen users are comfortable and have enough space to move around. For example, you wouldn’t want someone to have to get up to open a cupboard door because there isn’t enough space.

The other important point in space planning is the clearance to combustible materials. Indeed, there are standards regarding the minimum distance at which barbecues and burners must be from any flammable surface. For example, you shouldn’t have a barbecue in an enclosed or semi-enclosed area without having a smoke vent. You should also provide clearance at the back as well as the sides of your devices. Jackson Grills recommends 12″ back and 15.5″ sides.

For all these reasons, wood is to be avoided and stainless steel or stone to be prescribed! In addition to being non-flammable, these high-quality materials will guarantee you increased longevity as well as excellent resistance to bad weather (sun, rain, snow, etc.).

Of course, when it comes to countertops, you can use granite, marble, thick ceramic, or composite materials. In all these cases, you will get exceptional durability and a wide variety of colours and prices.

Finally, know that there are prefabricated furniture, such as EZ kitchens from Saber Grills, which already incorporate all the options necessary for a complete outdoor kitchen. Also, you can ask custom-made companies to manufacture furniture for outdoor kitchens with strong aluminum frames. This option can be simpler and less expensive than doing a permanent construction that involves cement, grout and bricks.

Barbecue(s) and Burner(s)

Once you have identified the components to install in your kitchen, it will be time to move on to the heart of the project, which is the choice of kitchen appliances. First, you will need to choose the type of fuel you want. Are you more of a gas or coal type? You may even be a fan of both cooking styles.

The classic case is to choose a gas “built-in” barbecue, like the Supreme Jackson Grills, which consists only of a grill head that you can install in a counter provided for this purpose. You thus obtain a permanent and harmonized design. For gourmets, a side burner will also be added in order to be able to multiply the functionalities of the outdoor kitchen. It will thus be possible to boil, sauté or sear food at the same time as grilling on the barbecue.

Another option would be to take a “cart” barbecue and either juxtapose it to your outdoor kitchen counter or insert it in the middle of your build. The advantage is that you can move, change and store your grill. Just make sure that your device has folding or removable shelves to fit well into the space. Another positive point is that most carts are made to be equipped with a side burner and thus avoid you having to embed this accessory in your counter.

For charcoal lovers, know that there are barbecues that are made to be installed in outdoor kitchens. The most popular models are the famous “kamado”. Like the freestanding Kamado Joe, which comes without a cart, these colourful models are most often added to a gas grill to expand cooking possibilities.

Accessory Components

An outdoor kitchen would not be called a kitchen if it only consisted of a barbecue. Indeed, you will most likely want to add several elements that will prevent you from going back and forth inside your home. Here are some of the most practical and popular accessories.

Drawers and cabinets are practically essential, especially if your grill is gas. You’ll want to make sure you have an access door under your grill head so you can hide the gas canister. In addition, these accessories will provide you with useful storage space so that you have your cooking utensils, cleaning products, spices and dishes for the outdoors at your fingertips.

Refrigerators, ice machines and coolers allow you to always have cold drinks in the vicinity for your guests. For lovers of cocktails by the pool, these accessories will guarantee dry floors in your home. Indeed, you no longer need to go inside to stay well hydrated. In addition, several brands offer you products that can be used indoors and outdoors. This will allow you to move the fridge to the basement during the winter months. Finally, if you want to use these accessories during cold periods or on summer evenings, make sure they are equipped with an antifreeze device, like on Jackson Grills, and built-in lights. Please also provide access to electricity nearby.

Sinks, paper towel holders and waste chutes are among the accessories that will distinguish and increase the functionality of your outdoor kitchen. You will have a complete kitchen outside your home. These accessories will make it easier to clean up and clean up after your festivities. However, keep in mind that these installations require plumbing, access to water, a waste outlet and increased maintenance.


Finally, when choosing your grill, pay attention to the fact that some brands offer, in their product line, everything you need to build your outdoor kitchen. However, they also put their logo on each of their accessories. So, if one day you want to change a part of your layout, you could end up with an inconsistency in style. It is therefore advisable to take free components of logos.

In conclusion, the realization of an outdoor kitchen is a matter of taste. You have to do it for you and your guests, while ensuring a design and functionality that will meet your needs. Make sure to choose materials that will last over time while adding character to your project. In the end, do not hesitate to take inspiration from the achievements of others to create your own dream terrace and do not forget to consult a barbecue specialist near you for personalized and professional advice.


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