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Upping the Ante on Your Summer Cookout with Outdoor Kitchens

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For decades, kitchens have become the main core behind family interactions. When it comes to my husband and I, our kitchen is the undisputed heart of our home — we thoroughly enjoy cooking together. It’s a time when we get to be together outside of our busy lives and do something we both have a passion for. We love anything and everything food. We love to entertain guests and show off our “mastery chef swag.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.34.44 AMWith outdoor kitchens becoming a trend that many have already taken the opportunity to jump on, you too can enjoy the southern weather outside in your own little outdoor kitchen. A summer cookout is amongst some of the top pleasurable things to do when the sun is shining, kids are having sleep overs and you and your friends are enjoying cocktails by the pool. The only bummer there is the fact that you’re running back and forth between the grill and the kitchen to gather those burger patties you left in the refrigerator or the plates you left sitting by the sink. It simply cuts into you and your guest’s time.

Having an outdoor kitchen can help you put all those items and many more at an arm’s reach by simply adding a storage cabinet or going all out and building your dream outdoor kitchen. One thing to keep in mind is that an outdoor kitchen should not compete with your indoor kitchen. There are many differences, and although you want your outdoor kitchen to be as elaborate as your indoor one, there’s no need in it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.47.41 AMAn existing backyard patio makes for the perfect setting of your new outdoor kitchen. The foundation is already down and now all you need to do is plan what all you want and need for your new kitchen. It’s essential to keep the outdoor kitchen as close to the house as possible, saving you steps if you need to go inside for supplies.

The second step to planning your space is making sure the spot you have chosen will accommodate all of your needs.  Is the spot structurally modified enough to fit your grill, eating space, storage cabinets and counter space? You’ll need enough space to structure the grill where it doesn’t blow smoke right into your guest’s face.  Also, do you have enough room not only for storage space and counters, but for your family and friends to sit, eat and enjoy themselves? Making the setup efficient will keep kids and other incoming traffic out of your working space when trying to prep burgers and throw them on the grill.

If you throw a lot of parties or like to entertain guests frequently, then think about going a little more above and beyond with your outdoor kitchen. Not only does it add value to your home, it gives you the opportunity to have more leisure time with your friends. Things to include: a grill, a mini or large refrigerator, storage cabinets, sinks, and even a gas patio heater for those colder months to keep the party going.

Ready to start planing your outdoor kitchen?

Brittany Bugg is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at brittany.bug@hottytoddy.com.

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