Spring is the unofficial time for those who love to cook outdoors to begin dusting off their patios and wipe away the winter-time frost off their grill covers. This is also the time for those with outdoor kitchens to start prepping for summer barbecues with family and friends. If you are someone that has always been invited to your friend’s house and are jealous that you yourself do not have an outdoor kitchen, do not fret. Having an outdoor kitchen can be an option for you, just make sure you keep the budget to a minimum so you can maximize the amount of grilling time.
First things first when it comes to creating an affordable outdoor kitchen, make sure you have the space available for your project; you do not want to be halfway through building your dream outdoor kitchen and then realize you do not have enough room for the sinks. The amount of space you need depends on the size of your dream outdoor kitchen. Make sure you measure out appliances, sinks, storage space, counter space, and any other extras you want to be included with your outdoor kitchen. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to outdoor kitchens is the amount of counter space needed. This is essentially a second kitchen, so take inspiration from your indoor kitchen and make sure you have enough space to prep food and have enough distance between appliances to avoid mishaps. Also, make sure you know what appliances you want. Are you going with a built-in grill or a regular stand-alone? Is the sink going to be big enough for everything you intend to do outdoors? Are you going to have a fireplace attached to your outdoor kitchen? All of these questions and others must be answered before you move on to actually building your outdoor kitchen.
Another way to keep cost down for your affordable outdoor kitchen, keep the materials cost as low as you can. The material you use to build it though cannot be combustible; otherwise you could be in some trouble. Also, make sure you have adequate cabinet/storage space. This is your kitchen away from your kitchen, so you are most likely going to have grilling utensils, plates, paper towels, etc. and you do not want to be rushing back and forth when cooking. You also may want to think about a small refrigerator in the structure, just in case you need to store food or drinks for a short period of time.
Keeping the theme of low-cost management, if you can, try to buy appliances out of season. So in the winter-time, grills and other such appliances may be on sale at your local hardware or appliance store. This might save you money in the long run and also allow some breathing room in your budget for other amenities to be added to your dream outdoor kitchen. Do not forget about the outdoor seating and table as well! Those can be a forgotten aspect of an outdoor kitchen as everyone may be more focused on the actual set up of the kitchen. A nice four seated round table is always a good start, but if you are a real go-getter and know you are going to have parties every week with a lot of guests eating outdoors, maybe two tables or an extended patio table might be a better option. Also, do not forget the seating. Little wire seats with cushions on them are a great way to show off some color with the cushions while not necessarily breaking the bank in having to buy four or more seats for you and your guests.