Have you thought about building an outdoor kitchen? Outdoor kitchens don’t have to be those expensive set-ups that are built onto a deck and featured in glossy magazines. They can be quite simple and are perfect for a homesteading, off-grid individual or family. If you haven’t thought about adding one of these to your property, consider it.
Advantages of Outdoor Kitchens
An outdoor kitchen isn’t just some luxury. It can be a perfect homestead addition for any person or family. Here are just a few advantages of having this type of setup.
1. Keeps Your House Cooler
Ovens and stoves can quickly heat up a kitchen and the rest of your house. By having a space to cook outdoors you and your home will stay cooler. This is a huge benefit if you don’t have central A/C. But even if you do, being able to keep your home cooler will save you money.
2. Excellent Area for Canning and Preserving
There are two reasons outdoor kitchens are perfect for doing large batches of canning. First off, you will have more room to work and you won’t have to worry about being bumped into or disturbed.
Secondly, canning can get a bit messy. Highly-pigmented foods like berries, jams, beets, etc., can quickly stain your floor. Canning outside eliminates this problem.
3. Gives You Space for Crafting
Doing crafts that involve a stove – such as making candles or soap – is easier and safer to do outside. If you spill something you won’t need to worry about damage to your floors and in the event of making soap, you won’t need to worry about other people (especially pets or kids) getting into chemicals like lye.
4. Gives You More Space for Barbequing and Grilling
I don’t know about you, but I think those built-in deck barbeque setups with counter space and a butcher’s block (maybe a mini-fridge!) would be amazing to grill up some ribs or burgers in. You can incorporate your grill right into your outdoor kitchen setup which is ideal since you could have access to a sink.
Counter space also is really helpful instead of trying to balance a plate on the barbeque shelves.
5. Serves as a Spot for Entertaining Guests
A working homestead is a busy homestead and sometimes you don’t have time to clean up your house or kitchen. An outdoor kitchen is a great way to still host some neighbors or friends without worrying about ensuring your kitchen is sparkling clean.
Also, an outdoor kitchen is a great way for guests camping at your place or staying in an RV or guest cabin to cook up their own food.
Planning an Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen can be purely functional or a mix between function and entertainment. There is no definition for what an outdoor kitchen is. It could be as simple as a sink, stove and table for preparing food outside. Or it could be an extravagant set-up that is Better Homes and Gardens worthy.
While you are planning your outdoor kitchen, you need to keep the following in mind:
- What do you need in your kitchen? Write a list of things you want in your outdoor kitchen. Do you need a sink? Should the stove be electric, gas or do you plan on burning wood? How much counter space are you going to need? Do you want to incorporate your barbeque into the kitchen or have it stand alone?
- How much space do you need? If you are single, a couple or have a small family you might not need a lot of space. Those of you planning on using the kitchen area as a place to entertain guests or if you have a large family, you may need more countertop space and to position your kitchen in a way that allows for more foot traffic.
- Where do you want the kitchen? Do you want your kitchen right outside by the patio or set back in the woods? Maybe closer by a barn so you have a place to process animals easily? Take a walk around and consider different areas. Keep in mind how much sun and shade the spots get, as well as how protected it will be from weather conditions.
Building an outdoor kitchen can be super-simple depending on what you are going for. If you really have no idea what you want, I recommend browsing around Google images to brainstorm. When it comes to actually building the structure, you may need to check building permit laws in your area.
Do you have an outdoor kitchen or have plans to build one? Please share your experiences, plans and any helpful advice in the comment section below.