Spring brings warmer temperatures, and that means it’s time to start planning for outdoor living. Lots of the most enjoyable outdoor activities involve cooking and eating. While anybody can make do with a grill parked on the patio, an increasing number of homeowners are taking their outdoor cooking experiences to the next level with a full outdoor kitchen. Here are some of the key benefits of building an outdoor kitchen:
1) Outdoor Entertaining Is Easier And More Impressive
What’s the key outdoor event for spring, summer, and fall? Barbecue! Step up your entertainment game with an outdoor kitchen. This is a lot more than just a permanent home for a grill. Outdoor kitchens can include grills, stovetops, refrigerators, and even coolers for wine and draft beer kegs. A well-built kitchen also delivers ample storage space for all the gear you need to cook outdoors. In the same way that your indoor kitchen forms the center of your family life all year round, an outdoor kitchen can be central to all of your outdoor fun in the warmer months.
2) Easier Clean-Up After Parties
Party preparation can get very involved. The aftermath of a party often leaves messes on every counter in your kitchen, dishes piled in the sink, and muddy footprints all over the floor. Not to mention, the steam and smoke from party cooking can change your home’s smell and leave nasty residues in the vicinity of the stove.
Cooking outdoors does more than just move the mess outside your house. When designed properly, an outdoor kitchen is a breeze to clean up! In a lot of cases, you can handle almost the entire job with a garden hose. No more scrubbing, sweeping, and mopping! Outdoor cooking also means that all of the leftover smells will dissipate quickly once the party’s over.
3) Outdoor Cooking Is Healthy Cooking
Although an extensive outdoor kitchen may include a lot of different cooking options, grilling is still the king of backyard cooking. And cooking your food over an open flame offers a lot of health benefits. When you grill, unwanted fats and greases drip away instead of collecting on the food. That means leaner, healthier meals as well as tastier ones!
There’s also an environmental health benefit to consider when cooking outdoors. Smoke and fumes that might be unhealthy to breathe in an enclosed space are wafted quickly away before you can breathe them. No ventilation system in the world can match the air quality of cooking outdoors!
4) Outdoor Kitchens Give Your Home More Usable Space
When you build an outdoor kitchen, make no mistake about it: You’re adding a whole new room to your home. Without the expense of new walls and roofs, you get a whole new room to use and enjoy. There aren’t even as many seasonal restrictions as you might think. A smart design will make your outdoor kitchen usable all year round. It certainly helps that Southern winters tend to be mild! In most cases, all it takes is an outdoor heater or two to keep your kitchen comfortable for the entire year.
5) Outdoor Kitchens Boost Resale Value
Outdoor living isn’t just a lot of fun; it’s positively trendy. Contemporary home buyers are on the lookout for outdoor amenities, and a good outdoor kitchen makes a powerful purchasing incentive. Your new kitchen will add to the resale value of your home, and if your local real estate market happens to be crowded with good houses when you want to sell, an outdoor kitchen may become the standout feature that separates your home from the competition.
6) Lower Energy Costs
This is a particularly surprising benefit that a lot of homeowners overlook. Cooking obviously generates a lot of heat. When you do it indoors, you’re dumping a lot of waste heat into the kitchen. A serious cooking session can raise the air temperature in your kitchen by 10 degrees or even more. That higher temperature translates into added strain on your air conditioning system. If you move a lot of your warm-weather cooking outdoors, you free your home from that added heat and make things easier on your hard-working air conditioner.
You should also note that outdoor cooking is often more comfortable for you, the cook. Your indoor kitchen can get unbearably stuffy when you’re doing summertime cooking. Wouldn’t it be nicer to enjoy a cool breeze and a cooler house when you’re preparing meals?