How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are popular with families seeking ways to enjoy more outside entertaining and recreation.

With an outdoor kitchen, you can maximize your backyard time by cooking and serving meals on the patio. Keep a few guidelines in mind when you're ready to build your outdoor kitchen. .

Choose an appropriate location. Your outdoor kitchen should be an extension of your home. Optimally, it will be just outside your regular kitchen or dining area to make transportation of food items easy.

Place your outdoor kitchen on an existing patio, or install one. Make sure your patio can withstand the weight of the cabinets, grill or fire pit.

Allow for utility hookups. A gas grill requires a gas line, and a sink will need proper plumbing and drainage. In addition, if you choose to install or operate electrical appliances, you will need outlets and wiring.

Build or purchase prebuilt cabinet bases and install them in a workable design. When incorporating your grill and appliances, make sure you consider fire safety. Some commercial grills and cooktops should not sit closely to cabinets and need ventilation.

Use weatherproof materials, or seal your outdoor kitchen surfaces. Water and moisture will warp wood and countertops. If you can't find stainless cabinets or can't afford them, buy a commercial sealant product and put several coats on your wood and laminate surfaces. Use treated lumber wherever possible.

Consider installing a premade outdoor kitchen unit. It may be difficult to find a contractor willing to build an outdoor kitchen, but fabricated units are available from major lumber centers and superstores.