Should you build an outdoor kitchen?

22 January, 2015

One of the latest trends in home renovation is the coveted outdoor kitchen. Outfitted with unique outdoor cooking gear like wood-fired ovens, multi-tiered barbecue grills and fully stocked bars, they do more than provide a little extra kitchen space. We've even seen a few with frozen margarita machines. Despite how luxurious they may seem at first glance, outdoor kitchens can find a good home in almost any backyard. Before you embark on your outdoor kitchen quest, however, take a look at the pros and cons. 

The pros
There are undoubtedly many great reasons for building an outdoor kitchen. They're perfect for pool parties, baby showers, barbecues and everything in between. Here's why we recommend including one on your patio:

Entertaining: Outdoor kitchens are, of course, fabulous for throwing parties. They can include outdoor bars and bar tops, and they pair great with patio dining tables and outdoor sofas. The more frequently you find yourself cooking for friends and family, the more likely you are to appreciate having an extra kitchen right out back.

Odor: Another reason to build one? Food with lots of smoke or strong smells, such as brisket or fish, can be made without leaving a lingering stench in your home. 

Value: Your house will be all the more marketable when it comes time to sell it one day if you have an outdoor kitchen out back. Outdoor kitchens only become more and more popular as time goes by, meaning that potential buyers will often be on the lookout for one. 

Heat: Depending on where you live, the winters may be frigid, but you'll be glad you have an outdoor kitchen when the summer heat comes back around. Instead of firing up your indoor oven when temperatures are soaring (and making your home even hotter), head outside instead. 

The cons
Alas, there are few reasons these backyard kitchens aren't so great, too. Before you make the leap, take these cons into consideration:

Price: Outdoor kitchens may be wonderful investments, but investments they are. Installing an outdoor kitchen costs thousand of dollars and quite a bit of time. If there are more pressing issues in your home, you may want to direct your funds that way first.

Weather: Your kitchen's usability will be largely determined by the weather outside, unless your outdoor kitchen is entirely covered. Even then, thunderstorms, blizzards and heavy winds can render your outdoor cooking gear totally unusable. Make sure your appliances are weather resistant when you purchase them, and always cover them when they're not in use.

Theft: Anything you consistently leave outside is susceptible to theft, meaning your cooking tools are at higher risk. The more secure the area of your yard you build your kitchen in, the better!

Well, there you have it. Outdoor kitchens are certainly awesome backyard additions, and they make hosting at your home all the more fun. They're a big responsibility, though, and you have to be prepared to shoulder it. And might we make one last suggestion? If you decide to install one, make sure your guests have somewhere to sit