“Outdoor living” has become a catch phrase in lifestyle magazines and on home improvement shows. In light of that trend, outdoor kitchens have been growing in popularity. If you’ve seen outdoor kitchens in magazines or on TV and you’re wondering whether an outdoor kitchen could be right for your home, here’s what you need to know.

Outdoor kitchens come in all shapes and sizes.

When you think of an outdoor kitchen, you might envision a dream kitchen setup outdoors: A giant gas grill, countertop surrounds, an island for entertaining and accessories like sinks, refrigerators and pizza ovens. While your outdoor kitchen certainly can be the kitchen of your dreams, they can also be more modest. In reality, an outdoor kitchen can range from a portable grill island to a large, elaborate permanent outdoor kitchen. That means regardless of the size of your yard, your cooking needs, and your budget, you can design an outdoor kitchen that’s right for you.

Your outdoor kitchen should be conveniently located.

If you’re trying to find the perfect space in your backyard for an outdoor kitchen, consider the overall flow of your backyard. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to design an outdoor kitchen that’s isolated from the rest of your backyard space and from your kitchen. Know that you probably will make trips between your indoor an outdoor kitchen to fetch ingredients, utensils and cookbooks. For that reason, you want to have your outdoor kitchen located conveniently to your indoor kitchen. You also will want your outdoor kitchen to flow seamlessly to your outdoor entertaining spaces. This way, whoever is cooking the meal doesn’t feel isolated from family or friends while preparing a meal.

Outdoor kitchens must be constructed from durable materials.

Outdoor kitchens have to be able to take the abuse of the elements. In the summer, they must deal with rain and storms, as well as plenty of sunshine. In the winter, they have to withstand snow and freezing temperatures. For that reason, your outdoor kitchen needs to be constructed from durable materials. Stainless steel appliances hold up well, as do nonporous countertop surfaces like limestone, sealed concrete, or UV protected cultured granite.

Outdoor kitchens should start with the basics.

Designing an outdoor kitchen can seem intimidating, but the best way to go is to start with the basics and expand from there. At a minimum, your outdoor kitchen should have an area for food preparation, cooking, and cleanup. Like indoor kitchens, outdoor kitchens can be set up in a variety of classic constructions, such as L-shaped, U-shaped or galley. They should also take work flow into consideration. Once you have the basics considered and settle on a design shape, you can add in all sorts of extras, such as a fryer, an extra cooktop, a sink, an oven or a bar space, the possibilities are endless!

If you’re ready to explore installing an outdoor kitchen in your yard this summer, stop by one of FireSide Hearth & Home’s showrooms. Our experts can show you some of the possibilities of an outdoor kitchen. We’ll help you plan the perfect space for your yard and your cooking and entertaining needs!

Royal Oak

30295 Woodward Ave.

Royal Oak, MI 48073

(248) 291-9050

Canton

42679 Ford Rd.

Canton, MI 48187

(734) 844-1164

Utica

8335 Hall Rd.

Utica, MI 48317

(586) 726-7100

Brighton

7041 Grand River

Brighton, MI 48114

(810) 775-5300