Dining Al Fresco

According to Food Network, “After World War II, as the middle class began to move to the suburbs, backyard grilling caught on, becoming all the rage by the 1950s.” But it wasn’t until the 1990s that the “idea of creating an integrated space [to] accommodate all kinds of grilling products, together with classic kitchen furniture and appliances, was launched. All this represented a revolution, because finally you could have fun socializing with friends and family while preparing a meal [outdoors], without having to carry utensils and other grilling products back and forth.” ( Oh, the modern conveniences!

Vintage Outdoor Kitchen

Now, fast forward to 2024 and outdoor kitchens have become all the rage, bringing the conveniences of your indoor kitchen to your outdoor entertainment space in both the city and suburbs. And the possibilities are endless.

5 Ideas for Your Outdoor Kitchen

With summer arriving next month, everyone has BBQs, graduation parties, and other backyard activities planned. But does your backyard have an outdoor kitchen? If not, and you’re in the market for one, here are five things to consider.

Group of people dining outdoors

  1. Design & Structure:

Your outdoor space needs structure, lighting and weather protection. A pergola with a retractable awning will do the trick providing both shade (when needed) and ambiance. Finish it all off by adding LED lighting adding drama after dark.

When preparing or sharing a meal outdoors, comfort is equally as important as convenience. Just like inside, you’ll want plenty of countertop space for prepping and serving. One popular material is Lapitec®, the world’s only certified sintered stone which is weatherproof, resistant to stains, mold, and bacteria – perfect for outdoor use.

The image below shows an outdoor kitchen with an extra-large countertop. It even has an overhang for seating! The whole cooking area is enclosed in stone, echoing the stone used for the pool deck. Other options are brick, stucco, or even stainless steel.

View of an outdoor kitchen with overhang seating under a pergola.

  1. Chilling (in more than one sense!)

At any backyard gathering, especially in that summer heat, you’ll want to have plenty of refrigeration for all kinds of beverages and ice. There are undercounter refrigerators, wine coolers, freezer drawers, all equipped for the outdoor use.

One brand that offers unlimited solutions for backyard kitchen appliances, is Lynx©. They even offer cocktail stations and beer taps so you can hang your wine glasses, put out your limes and let your guests help themselves…and then sit back and chill.

Outdoor Kitchen Beverage Center
Outdoor Kitchen Beverage Center – Photo Courtesy of Lynx & Middleby Corporation
  1. Prep

Who wants to run back and forth for cooking utensils, cutting boards, knives, or anything else needed when you can have everything at your fingertips?

Stainless steel base cabinets and stainless steel storage drawers with inserts can be set in any configuration and built right into the stone or brick work. And of course, you can have plenty of space for prepping the food on the bacteria-free countertop.

Your herbs, spices, marinade? They can all be stored in a cabinet right next to the grill or in the undercounter refrigerator. As you prepare, everything can be put aside in its required “temperature” until it’s time to eat – salads in the refrigerator, roasted vegetables in the warming drawers (that’s right, they have those too!).

Outdoor Kitchen with grill and sink

  1. Cooking

On the inside of the cook’s domain can be every conceivable convenience: an over-sized built-in grill, ovens, modular cook-tops, side-burners, warming drawers, rotisserie baskets, electric pizza ovens, again, all built right into the stone structure.

Outdoor Kitchen with all the Amenities

Now you’re cooking like a gourmet chef and not just grilling a steak. There are also outdoor-rated choices available for hoods. And if that summer shower suddenly slips through, you have your retractable awning for protection.

A Person Outdoor Grilling

  1. Clean-up

Every party must come to an end – and every mess must be cleaned up. An outdoor stainless steel undermount sink and faucet makes this process a whole lot easier. There are even certain manufacturers that offer out-door friendly dishwashers. Say good-bye to that 55-gallon green plastic outdoor trash can and hello to a stainless steel slide- or tilt-out trash and recycling cabinet or a countertop trash chute. Cleaning products, dish soap, etc., can all be kept in, of course, the sink base – just like inside. There are even built-in paper towel dispensers that keep the paper towels dry.

Outdoor Kitchen Stainless Pull-out Trash
Outdoor Kitchen Tilt-out Trash, Paper Towel Dispenser & Storage Drawers – Photo Courtesy of Lynx & Middleby Corporation
Outdoor Kitchen Sink
Outdoor Kitchen Sink – Photo Courtesy of Lynx & Middleby Corporation

The list of products, design options and configurations could go on forever – you can truly have your dream kitchen both inside and out. It’s imperative though that your cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets, and electric appliances all be rated for outdoor use. So, you go to the experts – your Bilotta (indoor) kitchen designer and an appliance dealer to help you pull it all together and point you in the direction of safe, weather-resistant selections. Ready to get started? Contact us!