In the past, outdoor cooking was limited to the smoke and sizzle of a backyard grill. If you wanted to prepare anything else or you needed a cold refreshing beverage, you had to run back inside the house to the kitchen. If your deck or patio was far from your home’s kitchen, this could be a dangerous proposition!
In recent years the durability of outdoor appliances and advancements in outdoor entertainment spaces have made outdoor kitchens a very realistic possibility. This gives you the chance to stay where the action is outside, entertaining as you cook while having everything you need right at your fingertips.
CM’s has worked with many homeowners who already had a vision in their mind as well as families who simply wanted to explore their options from a blank slate. The variety of options available for an outdoor kitchen space can be staggering. Fortunately, our experienced design team can walk you through the planning process answering all your important questions along the way.
Beyond the ever-popular grill station, other options include an independent smoker, a high heat pizza oven, integrated griddles, warming cabinets, built-in refrigerators, freezers, and ice makers, just to name a few. Other food prep options might also call for sleek storage compartments, durable cutting boards, sinks, and pull out trash bins.
Grills and Smokers
The grill is often the beating heart of most outdoor kitchens. Quick to realize this, grill manufacturers offer a wide range of options. Most of these units are constructed from high-quality stainless steel and other durable materials that have been specifically designed to withstand the rigors of seasonal weather. Our designers can help you understand the different brand choices available, their features and benefits as well as how they can impact the overall budget of the project.
Gas grills are increasingly popular for their convenience and ease of cleanup. Propane grills can be attached to a municipal line or run off of a large, portable liquid propane tank. Natural gas grills and conversion kits that transform propane grills to use natural gas have become popular in recent years. Just keep in mind that since natural gas is not available in portable tanks, you will need to make sure that it is available from a municipal provider in your location.
If you are interested in a charcoal grill or a wood pellet smoker we can help you understand your options and how things like ash removal and storage can be worked into your outdoor kitchen layout. These units are designed to impart fire-kissed, smoky flavors to meats and vegetables.
Ranges and Griddles
A grill isn’t the only way to prepare food outdoors. Many cooking appliance manufacturers realize the appeal of outdoor burners, ranges, and griddles. Most use stainless steel and other durable materials, tucked under a sealable domed hood to prevent water, tree debris and other outdoor materials from affecting the cooktop when not in use. Electric and gas are the two primary choices for these appliances.
In the past, a simple cooler sitting by the grill was the best you could hope for keeping cold beverages and foods chilled. Today appliance manufacturers use high-quality materials and durable construction techniques to make refrigerators and freezers that can withstand the rigors of life outdoors. Most can be integrated in one way or another to fit tightly under a counter or integrated into a wall panel.
Outdoor fireplaces are also very popular with many of the outdoor kitchens we design and install. For some people, these features are little more than ambiance running off an independent propane or natural gas line. For others the outdoor fireplace doubles as a firepit. For some, an outdoor fireplace is a very functional thing serving as a wood fire oven or even an outdoor pizza oven.
A gas or electric outdoor fireplace that is meant to be largely ornamental is often sealed behind glass or a special grate to provide it with aesthetics. These units have little functional value, yet they can certainly enhance the appearance of your outdoor kitchen or entertainment space.
A firepit located nearby your outdoor kitchen can sometimes plan an aesthetic role adding visual appeal and the gentle appealing waft of natural smoke. At the same time, it can also serve as a gathering place for entertaining a group or a place where the occasional late night hotdog or marshmallow gets roasted at the end of a stick.
An outdoor oven or pizza oven can be heated by propane, natural gas, charcoal or even wood. They are created with a special domed top to trap the intense heat inside creating a baking area. Some of these units include doors that can be securely latched. Special tools and techniques may be needed to bake effectively with an outdoor oven. However, they are capable of creating some very unique foods.
Regardless of the vision you have for your outdoor kitchen space, our designers can help walk you through options and concepts, then our professional installers can make it a reality.