Creating a complete outdoor cooking space can be expensive; giant fireplaces, 35 foot counters, mosquito misters and outdoor air-cooling systems are not cheap. However, you can create a great outdoor kitchen without spending a fortune. You can get as basic as you want, but there are some rules you need to follow as you save money. For instance, you may be able to save money in other areas of your outdoor kitchen, but it is recommended that you not economize when you choose your outdoor grill, the focal point of your outdoor kitchen.
When planning your outdoor kitchen, a couple of basic things to remember is to never build an outdoor island out of combustible materials, this includes plywood countertops covered in tile. Second, when you’re laying out the design of the outdoor cooking area, factor in some usable counter space, no matter how small you space will be. And, finally, if the outdoor kitchen will be any significant distance from the indoor kitchen, you may want to plan for some storage space for frequently used items, like paper towels and grill utensils; you don’t want to spend all your time running back and forth.
As mentioned before it is best to choose a high-quality grill in the beginning; trying to save money by choosing a less expensive grill will generally end up costing you money in the long run. Replacing the grill in an outdoor kitchen can be expensive and stressful after the kitchen has been completed. It is recommended you choose a grill made from high grade stainless steel; at least 304 grade stainless steel, interior and exterior. Some options to consider include grills made by Texas Pit Crafters, Fire Magic, Tec, American Outdoor and Viking.
One luxury that makes an outdoor kitchen special is a brick oven; however, these can break a modest outdoor kitchen budget. There are good quality pre-fabricated oven kits available; the easiest and fastest way to build a wood-fired oven is to build a small foundation, three masonry walls and a support shelf and then install a pre-fabricated oven kit.
Building codes and plumbing costs can make the sink in an outdoor kitchen one of the most expensive components. One option that will cut costs is an under-counter water heater; they are fairly inexpensive (approximately $300) and alleviate the need to plumb hot water from the home.
An outdoor kitchen is a nice addition to your home, but can be very expensive. It would be a very ambitious do-it-yourself project, but if you are handy with tools building it yourself would certainly be one way to save money. For the rest of us, choose a reputable contractor and ask that he help you economize in any way possible, without sacrificing quality. Once your kitchen is complete, you can relax and enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family.