Outdoor dining is a special treat in summertime, but summer can also be the enemy of fresh food. Mayo-based salads, meats and many other dishes can spoil quickly in hot weather. You'll want to find ways to keep them cold and safe with your outdoor remodeling plans, so here are some outdoor kitchen ideas to consider.
If you don't have a lot of space outside, think small-scale. Outdoor-safe appliances come in compact sizes, and custom-built kitchens can be as versatile as your imagination. Maybe you're in the market for a whole new kitchen outdoors, or you only want to perk up the outdoor kitchen you've already got. You'll also want to be sure your kitchen changes compliment your outdoor decorating scheme for summer entertaining.
When the temperature rises, these four outdoor kitchen ideas can keep your food fresher, the party safer, and everyone happier all season long.
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas & Keeping Food Cold
Refrigerators aren't just for indoors. Outdoor-safe appliances (check out appliances at BBQGuys.com) are more common now than ever before. A small fridge on your patio or deck can keep cold food fresh until you're ready to cook or serve.
A refrigerator outside also saves you steps. There's no more running back and forth to the kitchen inside the house. With salads, grilling meats, vegetables, fruits, and sauces close at hand you can stay with the party instead of walking back inside again and again.
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Keeping Drinks Cold
There's never enough cold storage for food or drinks in summertime. With enough space, you can add a drawer with ice for drinks, or you can built an ice storage/serving chest into a countertop. Either will take some of the load off your outdoor refrigerator. An ice bin can be created from almost anything using stones, bricks or deck materials that coordinate with the rest of your or bricks, or cut out a section from the center of a table (check this one out) or bar to drop in a removable ice bin.
Drainage will be important for any ice container. You'll want to build a permanent bin with a drain that directs water away from the patio or deck, and far away from electrical sources. An alternative is a stopper in a removable ice bin that lets you drain off water the same as you would with a portable cooler.
Using Drapes to Keep Flies and Mosquitoes Out
Flies and mosquitoes are more than annoying pests. They can carry contaminants to your food and water, and mosquito bites can also cause encephalitis. Patio drapes are one way to help keep those pests out of your food and off your skin, and make to buy water repellent drapes so you don't have to worry about the rain.
Drapes also add a luxury appearance to your outdoor dining area. (Read: Decks to Die For) When closed you have volumes of fabric tied off at posts and corners. When open, you have a more intimate dining area. If you don't like the look of heavy drapes, sheer netting fabric does the same job with a lighter appearance. You'll want drapery weights sewn into the hemline to keep drapes and netting from blowing around too much.
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Cooking
A clean kitchen is a healthy kitchen, and a sink helps make that possible. Even in the smallest outdoor kitchen remodel, a sink lets you wash your hands and clean utensils without making trips into the house.
Some people prefer charcoal, but a temperature-regulated grill is a safer way to cook. You can use mesquite chips to add the smoky flavor that gas doesn't have. A temperature-regulated grill gives you most of the heat control you have indoors.
Your outdoor kitchen isn't like anyone else's, and it's not supposed to be. Whether you're working with a tiny patio or an expansive deck, try incorporating some of these outdoor kitchen ideas to make your summer happier and healthier.
This is also about convenience. You already have ways to keep food fresh inside the house. But installing things like a mini fridge and sink outside let you remain outside where you can enjoy the party.
Are you gearing up for an outdoor kitchen remodel?
We'd love to hear about your favorite outdoor kitchen ideas.
PS If you want to spend more time outdoors, check out these articles:
- Outdoor Kitchen Ideas To Fit Your Lifestyle
- Favorite Outdoor Living Spaces
- Patio Living When it's Cold Outside