by Chris Mordi
Even though we’re still in the long grip of winter, we can dream about warm breezes blowing, something cooking on the grill and the smell of it riding on those breezes. Summer. It’ll get here someday. In the meantime, here are some inspiring outdoor kitchens that will have you looking forward to those warm days of cookouts and gathered friends.
This Bethesda, Maryland, outdoor kitchen (left) is located out in the elements, but features several creature comforts. A ceiling fan built into the pergola keeps the air moving on hot Mid-Atlantic days. A retractable shade between the pergola boards keeps the sun at bay. When the nights grow chilly, a heater above the K750HB Hybrid Fire Grill rains down warmth while overhead lighting keeps the kitchen properly illuminated.
Sitting atop a hill and overlooking an apple orchard in Connecticut this is more like an indoor kitchen that came outside. Outdoor kitchens aren’t always about cooking. They’re also gathering and party places. This kitchen features a large flat-screen TV on the wall and a speaker system mounted into the ceiling – perfect for watching football games or red-carpet events. The Artisan Fire Pizza Oven in the corner and the dual-headed beer tapper make the ultimate party food and drink easily available.
Many homeowners want indoor conveniences in their outdoor kitchens. This space in Coral Gables, Florida, features an outdoor-rated dishwasher, two sets of refrigerated drawers and a pot-filler faucet over the two cooktops to the left of the grill. By bringing amenities normally found in indoor kitchens into the outdoors, storage, prep, cooking, serving and cleanup are made easier and more convenient, giving homeowners more time to spend with their guests.
This Midwestern outdoor kitchen is all about cooking and the space needed to do it. A massive limestone countertop makes it easy and efficient by giving the cook enough room to stack plates for guests as well as platters for putting food on the grill and taking it off. A storage cabinet to the left of the grill gives the cook easy access to tools, charcoal and linens.
A cheeseburger in paradise? Hanalei on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is the location of this outdoor kitchen. The scenery that surrounds an outdoor kitchen can be every bit as important as its design and layout. Each of the outdoor kitchens in this post is made more beautiful and livable by its thoughtful incorporation into the landscape. Who doesn’t like a cheeseburger or a pizza with a view of the Pacific Ocean, a beautiful woods, lawn or a relaxing pool?