A Guide to your New Outdoor Entertaining Area for the New Year - Part 1
Welcome to 2018! I hope that 2017 was a fantastic year for you and that this new year will be even better.
I thought I would start out the new year by bringing you some information on one of the biggest trends occurring over the past few years and one that doesn't seem to be losing any momentum. Outdoor areas have been one of the top features to add to your home or to incorporate into a new build. Since there is so much information to consider, I have broken this up into two separate articles. The first in the series will deal with cooking and the second will cover the entertainment and relaxations aspect.
Whether you just want a simple grill and some prep or you want a full blown outdoor entertaining area with a kitchen, fire pit, family room, pool and shower, then keep reading to get some great information on what's available.
Almost every outdoor area starts with one thing and that's a grill. When considering your outdoor cooking options, it's important that you start with a good grill. I have made sure to list grills that can be utilized as stand alone appliances or can be built in.
One of the best grills that I have found is manufactured by DCS (https://dcsgrills.com/).
The grills that they manufacture are loaded with features that you can't find on your typical grill. The greatest features of their grills are the ceramic cooking rods, the reversible grates, the grease collection and the rotisserie. They make cleaning up easy and the ability to cook a turkey possible.
Another great grill manufacturer is Blaze (http://www.blazegrills.com/). These grills are a little more affordable yet still have many features not found on your typical grill.
Some of the great features are the ability to change out the gas burner to an infrared burner as well as flame dividers so that you can cook different types of food together without worrying about inconsistent temperatures on the cooking surface. They are also unique in that you order the grill separate from the stand.
One other grilling option to consider is the Kamado Grill. These are charcoal style grills that offer a lot of versatility. They are made of ceramic so that the heat radiates around at a consistent temperature. The adjustable grates are great for cooking different foods at the same time and, depending on the manufacturer and model, they offer many other great features to cook exceptional food.
So now that you have a grill you are going to want to either build it into something or at the very least, have some prep and serving space. There are a few ways to accomplish this. The first is to buy kitchen components that can be assembled into a complete kitchen, next would be to build the kitchen as you would the one in your house with outdoor cabinets and last would be to "stick build" the kitchen and either stucco it or apply some type of decorative surface. The countertops for all of these can be whatever you want.
The component kitchen can be a great way to go because it allows you to customize your space to your needs and the area you have available. Here are two great companies that offer these types of kitchens.
Danver Outdoor (https://danver.com/) and their sister company Brown Jordan (https://brownjordanoutdoorkitchens.com/) offer stainless cabinets that come in many different colors and offer different door styles. They have been a leader in outdoor cabinetry for over 20 years. The colors available from them are amazing.
The other company is John Michael Outdoor Kitchens (https://johnmichaelkitchens.com/). Like Danver, they offer a highly customizable outdoor kitchen. They do offer different colors but not as many as Danver. You can also choose other kitchen essentials such as grills and refrigeration on their web site.
Another option is to install outdoor cabinetry. Werever cabinets (http://werever.com/) are a composite material that withstand all types of outdoor elements. They have multiple door styles and multiple colors to choose from. They offer the flexibility of an indoor kitchen, outdoors.
The third way to create your outdoor kitchen is to build it from the ground up and then either apply stucco to it or you can apply natural or manufactured material such as stone to the exterior. This type of kitchen would be one that an outdoor kitchen company can build for you. Stainless steel cabinets, door panels and voids for appliances are designed into the kitchen. With this type of kitchen you have the ability to create your own unique space.
THE REST OF THE KITCHEN
Now that you have your kitchen and grilling options nailed down, it's time to decide what else you can't live without. Items to consider are refrigeration, ice making, sink, faucet, storage (especially if you are building from the ground up), side burner, vent hood, pizza oven, etc. A design professional can help you consider all these options and make sure that your kitchen is designed for you. The most important part is to make sure that the kitchen is designed to fit your lifestyle and budget.
Stay tuned for part two of this series where we will discuss all the other features to consider when planning your outdoor living environment.
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