Planning the Outdoor Kitchen
The owner of Romantic Fireplaces & BBQs, Mike Pilon, is also a former kitchen designer and offers the following tips on planning and equipping the outdoor kitchen:
An outdoor kitchen can be affordable or go to $30,000 and up. Starting with the grill, decide on required features and quality of a built-in or stand-alone model. A good one by Vermont Castings can run from $1,250 to $2,000. Grills by Peterson range from $3-5,000 at the mid to upper level and the best line with higher end heads costs between $8-10,000.
Depending on the area size and lifestyle needs, decide on a straight line or L-shaped design and desired features. If used as a lifestyle component, build a raised seating bar to comfortably entertain guests while cooking, just like indoors.
All appliances and features should be specially designed and manufactured for outdoor use. Different systems with a variety of accessories are available and can be built-in or portable products. Clever features include fridges with pull-out drawers, dual zone wine coolers, keg coolers with a tap, sink units and storage components.
The kitchen structure needs a maintenance-free finish like real stone. Stainless steel and granite surfaces are less work than ceramic tile. Structures can be open to the elements or covered in a gazebo type setting.
Wall or post-mounted and free-standing torches and lanterns are popular. The Tempest Torch gas lamp starts at $1,600. Fire place units and table-top fires are also available with eco-friendly and odourless Ethanol fuel. There is a wide variety of portable heating units as well as totem torches.
Island campfires and fire pits in high table tops are great for entertaining. Natural gas and propane fire pits that are smoke and spark-free are allowed in backyards.
— Mike Pilon, Romantic Fireplaces & BBQs