Erin Doman on May 11, 2015 3 Comments In the Mediterranean, it is very common to see families cooking outdoors. Today, this style of outdoor cooking has become a popular trend in the United States. Homeowners are learning about the joys of using an outdoor kitchen in their own backyards. Have you considered the benefits of adding a patio kitchen to your home? Whether you’re building a new house, or simply making better use of the space you have, creating a place to cook outdoors could be a good investment to make. Here are seven advantages of outdoor kitchens to consider: 1. Good for Entertaining A top benefit of having an outdoor kitchen is that they’re perfect spaces for entertaining. When food is grilled out on the patio, guests can gather around the BBQ grill and socialize as dinner is being prepared. It might get crowded in an indoor kitchen when everyone hangs out with the cook, but outside there’s much more space. You can increase the comfort for your party guests by adding patio heaters, outdoor furnishings, strings of lights, and some mood music. 2. Increases Value of Your Home Because of the popularity of this home improvement, remodelers earn a high rate of return on their financial investment. Most of today’s BBQ grills and other patio appliances are made from stainless steel, which makes them able to handle the changing temperatures with the seasons. Stainless steel is also desirable because it is easy to clean. When you have a functional outdoor kitchen, you have an investment you can use and enjoy for many years to come. 3. Saves on Utility Bills When you’re grilling outside during the summer, your air conditioner won’t have to work overtime to keep your house cool. When you bake, fry, roast, and broil foods in your inside-kitchen, the temperature in your house elevates several degrees, which kicks the AC into overdrive. When you cook outdoors, you will save on energy consumption. 4. Keeps Smells Outside Some foods smell delicious while they’re cooking, while others are less desirable. When you cook especially odiferous foods such as fish or deep-fried items, those aromas can linger for days. When you prepare the same menu items outside, your house stays fresh smelling. 5. Expands Your Living Space No need to add on a room with walls and a roof; simply incorporate the space you already have on your back porch. If you have a covered patio, you’re all set to bring in appliances and have the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. In your outdoor cooking area, you and your family members can celebrate birthdays, holidays, or just enjoy the great outdoors. 6. Improve the Taste of Healthier Food Not only does grilling enhance the taste of food, this cooking technique is better for your waistline, as well. Because fat drips off of meats when they’re grilled, the end result will be healthier and contain few calories from fat. 7. Save Money on Restaurant Meals When you have your own little patio cooking and dining area in your backyard, why would you want to go out to a restaurant to eat? Eating out at restaurants can drain your bank account pretty quickly, especially if you go out to eat on a regular basis. Every time you opt to dine at home rather than go out for a night on the town, you keep dollars in your wallet. What You Need Now that you have seven good reasons to add an outdoor kitchen to your home, you’ll need to make a few plans to get started. First, here’s a list of possibilities to think about including: BBQ grill Smoker Prep surface Refrigerator Storage space for food Pizza oven Bar Lighting Ceiling fan Table Heating Chairs Entertainment system Plants Firepit Design Considerations You’ll need to give some thought to the design of your outdoor kitchen. For example, ventilation is important, so pay attention to the space above and below your grill. You want the smoke to blow away from your cooking area. Make sure to sketch out the dimensions of your kitchen layout before buying your appliances and accessories. Some additions to contemplate when planning your design are: Built-in or Portable Grill: Decide how large of a grill you need or want, and whether you want one that’s permanently positioned or mobile. If you plan to cook for large crowds, you’ll need a larger size, but if you’ll just cook for your family, invest in a smaller BBQ. Countertops: How much preparation space will you need in your outdoor kitchen? Plan your countertop space accordingly. Also, make sure you select a product that can withstand changes in weather. Built-in Cabinets: You might need some help designing the layout of your patio cabinets. Don’t underestimate the need for cupboards outdoors, or you will be running back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchen, which will put a crimp in the convenience factor. Lighting: Since you will probably be doing much of your meal preparation during the evening hours, you’ll need to have adequate lighting on your patio. You definitely don’t want to be chopping and slicing in the dark. Plus, you need to be able to see your grilled items clearly to make sure they’re rare, medium, or well done. Sink: Having a sink with running water is essential to convenient meal preparation. Install yours near your prep station for ease in clean up and adding liquid to recipes. Refrigerator: You might decide to have a small fridge or a full-sized one. It all depends on how much you plan to store outdoors. Flooring: Concrete, natural stone, brick, and tile are good options for outdoor flooring. You don’t want a high-maintenance product outside, but you do want it to be stylish and weather-resistant. Grill Aids and Dining Accessories You’ll need aids and accessories to complete your outdoor kitchen, including: Outdoor cups, plates, and utensils Tongs Serving spoons Knives Meat thermometer Serving dishes Griddle Outdoor ice machine Baskets for grilling vegetables and fish Shish-kabob skewers Once you have your outdoor kitchen up and running, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. If you ever decide to sell your home and move to a new location, your outdoor cooking space will be a sought-after selling feature. Now that you’ve experienced creating this extra space in your abode, you’ll be able to set up a new one wherever you move.