After living in the city for 30 years, EC moved to the countryside. He writes about life in the mountains, dogs, plants, and cooking.
Old-Fashioned but Fun Outdoor Grills Perfect for Family Outdoor Cooking and Dining
It is more fun to cook -- and to eat -- outside, especially when the weather is balmy and cooking in the kitchen makes you feel sticky. In the early days, a fire pit or a charcoal grill is all we need to enjoy the starry skies while roasting hotdogs and steaks over red-hot coals or a small bonfire. On weekends, parents and kids used to sit on blankets spread on the grass or folding chairs; while sharing the freshly-grilled food and happy stories with each other.
A barbecue party is easy to organize because you can grill the foods that you'll be serving in front of your guests. No need to heat up the kitchen while entertaining friends. Just provide some lighting to illuminate the garden, place a long table for the drinks and utensils, and scatter chairs around. People love to grill food so you will have lots of volunteers.
Then, someone with a genius mind invented the portable gas grills. Gradually, starting up a fire or lighting chunks of charcoal are viewed as messy and time-consuming tasks. Although some people still prefer the smoky taste of the food cooked over hot coals or fire.
Portable Cooking Grills are Convenient and Flexible
The portable cooking grills that use gas became popular. They sold like hot cakes. Because everybody loves the outdoor, these gas grills are now available in different designs and sizes to suit everybody's needs. Check the best BBQ grills from Consumer Reports.
The simplest design is used only for grilling. This is quite small-sized to hold a barbecue party but it can easily be brought to a tailgate party, which is often celebrated with friends before every football game. Portable gas grills normally weigh from 15 to 20 pounds.
Bigger and classier designs of gas grills have the appearance of a cabinet with a large-sized cooking grill installed on top. Sturdier types normally use welded frames. Be sure to check the skeletal structure of an island-type barbecue grill.
The storage spaces for food and grilling paraphernalia are included in the later designs of outdoor grill to lessen the traveling time back and forth from inside to outside the house.
An Outdoor Kitchen with Cooking Grill is the Trendiest Home Improvement Today
The grilling stations with built-in food preparation areas and storage spaces are eventually giving way to the more efficient and more elaborate designs for cooking grills. The main idea is to bring out the entire kitchen outdoors so that outdoor cooking will be easier and, thus, more enjoyable.
Building an outdoor kitchen requires minimal fuss, especially when what you have in mind has the simplest of set-ups. A barbecue grill and oven made of bricks can be suitable for your needs. You may add a fancy cooking grill with advanced features like side burners, food warmers, pizza oven, and many more. This latter choice is considered as a sound but a bit expensive home improvement.
Here are some points to consider before installing an outdoor kitchen:
- a space outside your house is not used frequently, such as a deck or a patio or a pool area;
- cooking in the kitchen produces excessive heat that stresses your air conditioning during the summer;
- you are fond of throwing barbecue parties to entertain guests; and,
- your family loves outdoor grilling and dining.
How to Build a Barbeque (BBQ) Grill Surround
Design Basics of Outdoor Kitchens
Typically, outdoor kitchens are built on decks, patios, lawns, and areas near the swimming pool. The reasons are practical rather than aesthetic. First, these parts of the house are often accessible from the kitchen so transferring foods and supplies back and forth will be quicker; and second, there is no need to run new lines for the utilities such as gas, electrical, and plumbing.
The main feature to consider when choosing the design for your outdoor kitchen is - the cooking grill. The grill is the centerpiece so you must choose the design carefully. Here are some tips to help you decide:
- Measure the space that you can provide for the outdoor kitchen.
- Determine if you'd want to bake outdoors as well.
- Find space for furniture that you can bring outside.
- Draw a picture so that you can visualize the look of your future outdoor kitchen.
- Include the roofing construction and materials to your budget.
Outdoor Kitchens - Trendy Home Improvement
Other Basic Components of an Outdoor Kitchen
- Side burners are used for cooking other dishes such as vegetables while grilling, or just keeping the food warm.
- Grilling accessories are kitchen utensils that help you save time and effort when cooking.
- Work spaces or countertops must have distinctive areas for preparation, serving, and food presentation.
- Lighting fixtures are used mainly to illuminate the whole area.
- Heaters provide comfort in cold weather.
- Insect repellent is a must to drive insects away.
- Shelter can be temporary or permanent. Retractable awnings and large patio umbrellas are low-cost and easy to remove. Permanent roofing may include a pergola, which can be covered with glass panels or iron sheets during rainy days.
Add Extra Components to a Perfect Outdoor Kitchen
Sometimes, the reasons for adding an outdoor kitchen to home amenities may be for aesthetic effects rather than practical. Despite the higher costs required by flamboyant designs, more and more homes are becoming known for their extravagant outdoor kitchens.
- Sink - to avoid ferrying used dishes to the indoor kitchen for washing
- Water supply - and proper drainage will save time on washing
- Electric outlets - intended for use of small appliances such stereos and lightings
- Wood-burning oven - or pizza oven, used for roasting meats and vegetables; and making pizzas
- Exhaust hood - to control direction of smoke
- Mini-refrigerator - to keep the food cold and prevent from perishing before cooking time
- Ice machine - to have steady supply of ice
- Warming drawers - to keep the food warm before serving
- Wine storage - to avoid going back and forth the house to get wine
- Dining furniture - or living room style set-up (complete with upholstered furniture), for dining in style
- Fireplace - to keep the area warm during chilly nights
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas
Sturdy Materials for Outdoor Kitchen
Covers available for the cooking grills and amenities are usually weatherproof. Other parts of the outdoor kitchen must be made of materials that can withstand high heat, falling embers or sparks, rain, snow, and the heat of the sun. Check out the support, too, especially if the area was located on a protruded deck. Good materials include: stucco, tile, stone, slate, stainless steel, and teak.
How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen - U-Shaped
PROPANE GAS GRILLS
How Do You Grill Your Food?
- 5 killer outdoor kitchens - Viking's Outdoor Kitchen (1) - CNNMoney.com
5 killer outdoor kitchens . When throwing hot dogs on a hibachi just won't do, consider these over-the-top gourmet barbecues.
- Choose Outdoor Kitchens BBQ Island Grill & Outdoor Kitchen Store Cal Flame & Fire Magic Gas
Build an Outdoor Kitchen BBQ Grill Island… Highest Quality barbecues, fireplaces, sinks, TVs, stereos, storage components & outside kitchen appliances…Design a Custom Outdoor Kitchen. Free Delivery & Best Pricing Guaranteed…
- Outdoor Kitchen and Patio
Outdoor Kitchen provides outdoor patio furniture, indoor bar stools, barbecue grills and barbecue grill parts for your year-round backyard needs.
applejuic3 from San Diego, CA on September 03, 2011:
i'm moving out into a condo with a patio in a few weeks. can't wait to be able to do this!
daviddwarren22 on July 01, 2011:
Great info tips for outdoor grilling. This hub is awesome.
bbqsmokersite from Winter Haven, Florida on April 15, 2011:
Wow! This has to be one of the most comprehensive and well put together hubs I've seen on BBQ-ing or grilling! I write about BBQ smokers a good bit, but am not sure I've ever accomplished something this complete! Thanks for posting it!
whitton on January 17, 2011:
Nice Hub. I like that the evo outdoor kitchen pictured. That is definitely something!
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on October 28, 2010:
Hello Magnolia and Outdoor kitchen doors! Thanks for the visit :D
Outdoor kitchen doors on October 28, 2010:
Nice idea and advice as well to cook the salmon under wood board. I want to try it. cheers
Manolia on October 25, 2010:
All those pictures look tasty. Especially the one with a whole chicken. I like chicken more than any other meat.
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on July 19, 2010:
Lucky you, johnnie r :) We use a simple charcoal grill over here. It involves a lot of smoke and mess while cooking but the roasted chicken's skin is always nicely browned and crispy. Yummy!
johnnie r from Denver, CO on July 19, 2010:
I love my Fire Magic grill. It really heats up fast and makes like easy for me!!!
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on June 16, 2010:
Welcome to HubPages, basejumper! Thanks for the warm comment :)
basejumper on June 16, 2010:
Just the right kind of stuff for the coming summer!
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on June 14, 2010:
Thank you for warm comment, relica :) Thank you also to: patioman, grillrepair, Robert Ferguson, Kathy Shepherd, and w_elizabeth. :D
relica from California on June 14, 2010:
You have some great ideas on how to make your outdoor kitchen area work really well. Nice hub!
w_elizabeth on April 13, 2010:
nice grills you got there....
Kathy Shepherd on March 12, 2010:
Great hub. If your planning on doing a lot of entertaining outside with your outdoor kitchen you must have the right patio furniture as well. Check out PremiereAdirondackChairs.com
Robert Ferguson on January 11, 2010:
Beefeater Grills are also a great line of grills that are built specifically for outdoor kitchen centers.
patioman from USA, Arizona on October 15, 2009:
Cooking grills like these are some of my favorites. To be honest, though, anything that gets me out on the patio is my favorite! ;) Thanks for sharing and giving us so many different grills to look at. Outdoor kitchens will never be the same...
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on June 01, 2009:
Thank you, HKrafston. I'm happy you like the grills :D
HKrafston from Columbus, OH on May 31, 2009:
Wow, some great high end grills. Great hub.
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on May 11, 2009:
Same here :) We use something like the 'old and sturdy grill' in the hub. It looks incongruous but still very useful. Ooh, the weather from where you are is gorgeous. We're having lots of rain here these past few days. Thank you for dropping by again. :)
men are dorks from Namibia on May 11, 2009:
Cool cleo, we do that a lot here, ou of 365 days in a year we have a maz of 30 days of rain and cold.
Just lack the cash for the first pic...
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on May 11, 2009:
Thank you for the nice comment, Charlie :)
C. C. Riter on May 11, 2009:
Now yer in my territory. Funny hoiw people pay out all that money and still can't Q as well as I can on my humble Weber and my lil smoker. nice hub. good luck with the challenge now, charlie
EC Mendoza (author) from Philippines on May 11, 2009:
Thank you for visiting here, Wonder Referrals :)
Wonder Referrals on May 11, 2009:
Great ideas for outdoor grilling & the outdoor kitchen is fantastic !
I love being outside when the weather permits on my deck in Chicago.
I will certainly look into the idea of an outdoor kitchen thanks Cleo !