Getting Outside with an Outdoor Kitchen
Spring has sprung and summer is on the way. With summer comes spending more time outside in the backyard, enjoying the pool or having a burger fresh off the barbeque. While the standard grill has been found in many homes over the years, a new trend has brought the entire kitchen outdoors. Though, depending on its size and design, it can be a large investment, there is often a much greater return in both experience and value.
Features and Styles
Outdoor kitchens can be just as unique as their homes. Their design is entirely up to the imagination and they are only limited by space and budget. They can be an extension of the building or something detached and completely different. Basic set ups will generally include at least a grill and counter top, but they can include refrigerators several other feature, such as sinks, smokers, bars, pizza ovens, televisions, extra storage and even more.
Most of these appliances will be stainless steel to extend their life and make it easier to clean. The counter tops generally come in a variety of stones, sometimes polished. Even bars and tables have been built into the area and covered with gazebos, pergolas or awnings that are designed around the space.
An Investment In the Home
The cost of installation comes down to several factors, including size and which features are selected. The national average falls between $2,700 and $10,000, but can run as low as $900 for a basic, self-installed counter and grill and upwards of $10,000 for a complex or professional installation. However, these outdoor kitchens can add value to the home and can create an average return on investment of 70-80%. CNN Money has even suggested that some outdoor kitchens can fetch up to a return of double their value.
Their use can also save money in other ways. Cooking inside warms the enclosed space while utilizing an outdoor kitchen allows that warm air to escape, reducing cost with air conditioning the home. It also encourages eating at home instead of going out to a restaurant, which has the potential to drastically slash the average cost of meals. Of course, the value of the return greatly depends on the use of the outdoor kitchen as well.
It goes without saying that one of the primary use for an outdoor kitchen is entertaining guest. On these occasions, cooking in an indoor kitchen will often split the guest who are visiting the cook with those that are enjoying the backyard. An outdoor kitchen allows guests to socialize and play together in a large, open setting with enough space for everyone. It is also excellent for keeping an eye on children playing or swimming in the backyard while making food.
Additionally, this airy expanse helps to prevent a stuffy, enclosed feeling from a large amount of people and noise in a smaller space. The heat from cooking is allowed to escape which contributes to a cool, comfortable atmosphere and avoids prevents from particularly odoriferous foods lingering in the home.
The most direct health benefit from an outdoor kitchen comes from grilling. This particular style of cooking allows fat to drip off meats as they are being cooked, which results in a healthier meal with less calorie intake. As an added bonus, it also enhances the flavor of the food, which can get even the pickiest eaters to try out a few grilled vegetables.
With getting the family outside, it can also get the family active. Meals in the backyard encourage family members to get out of the house, step away from the electronics and enjoy fresh air. Having activities available while cooking and after meals can get them moving and active, masking exercise with play and promoting a healthy lifestyle.