Here's What You Need to Know Before Building Your Outdoor Cooking Setup
Michael Labriola, of Michael Labriola Inc. in Armonk, is a master when it comes to outdoor kitchens. Before you break ground on your own setup, here are some of his tips.
Designer: Deanne Walczak, 360º Design
Photo By Stefan Radtke
Preparing to Build
When planning to build an outdoor kitchen, be sure to ask the following:
• How often do I plan to cook outdoors?
• Will my outdoor kitchen be used primarily for
intimate family dining or large-scale entertaining?
• What functions are important to include in my kitchen, i.e., Will I need a sink for washing dishes
Consider the location of your outdoor kitchen, just like you would anything else. It should be close to your house and, more specifically, your back door, to cut down on the back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchens.
If you have a pool and entertain a lot, that might be the right location for your outdoor kitchen. It can be a central spot for food and drinks by the pool for guests. However, if your pool area is farther way from your home, you’ll need to plan for extra storage for the essentials, to avoid frequent trips between the house and your outdoor kitchen. Consider having serving ware, condiments, and prep tools nearby.
You will also want to make sure you are able to run all of the necessary utility lines from your house to the kitchen.
No matter where you decide to build your outdoor kitchen, Labriola suggests building a cover, such as a pergola, or using the roofline of the house as your shelter. This way, your kitchen will stay protected, and you and your guests will have coverage from the sun and/or rain should inclement weather move in.