It’s time to design your outdoor kitchen: What do you want included? A fantastic grill, a cold refrigerator, a fire pit, beautiful countertops? It’s easy to list of the things you want, but what should you avoid? What should you know before you begin? Instead of guessing and hoping for good results, ask the experts: the contractors and those who have been through the outdoor kitchen design experience before.
Do you have enough storage?
One of the most-common complaints customers have after their outdoor kitchen installation is complete is that there isn’t enough storage. Without proper storage, outdoor cooking isn’t efficient.
Let’s start with the trash. The last thing you think about when designing your outdoor kitchen is the trash, but it’s also something you don’t want to think about while using your outdoor kitchen. Blaze Outdoor Products offers a variety of trash storage options to fit any outdoor kitchen.
Jonathan Pinke recently had an outdoor kitchen installed at his house with exclusively Blaze Outdoor Products. When asked what he would do differently, one thing he recommended and wished he had done was go with the double trash storage so that they could store both trash and recycling in their outdoor kitchen. Plus, it reduces the number of times you have to take the trash out.
Another unique storage option from Blaze Outdoor Products is the Paper Towel Holder. Many people skip over the Paper Towel Holder thinking it’s a waste of money … it’s not. “If we had to do it all over again, we would have probably worked with Creative Outdoor Kitchens to find a way to incorporate the paper towel holder,” said Pinke. You don’t realize how useful this can actually be until you start cooking outdoors.
Do you have enough counter space?
One popular question from customers when designing their outdoor kitchen is if they can put their side burner directly beside their grill. While there is no safety concern with positioning them close together, usability comes into question. Think about actually cooking in your outdoor kitchen – where will you set your tongs while food cooks? What about the platter for your steaks to go on when they finish cooking? Sometimes adding extra space will make your outdoor kitchen much easier to actually cook in.
Where is your kamado grill?
Kamados offer another complication when designing an outdoor kitchen. Sometimes, kamados are built into the island, but this isn’t always the best option. “Do not enclose a Kamado grill like I did. Rather just build a space to sit the kamado grill in – not a full enclosure,” said Mike Butash.
First of all, kamados don’t come in standard sizes so if you try to replace your current kamado grill, it’s unlikely to fit in the same cutout. In addition, enclosing the kamado in an island makes it more difficult to clean. Butash suggested building a space to sit the kamado grill – and Blaze Outdoor Products offers just that! The Blaze Kamado Island Sleeve offers a place to sit your kamado grill as well as storage below.
What kind of warranty is offered?
Most of the products you install in your outdoor kitchen will come with some kind of warranty. Not all warranties are equal, though. Be sure to research the warranties so you know exactly what you are getting. Blaze Outdoor Products offers an unbeatable warranty and peace of mind for all those involved.
“I always suggest Blaze. It’s what I know the most about and once they are installed, Blaze takes over warranty issues and helps me sleep a little better at night because they are on top of any calls from clients with issues,” according to James LaBounty, owner of Dallas Patio Guy.
Is your budget realistic?
Practically everyone starts designing their outdoor kitchen with a budget in mind. However, you need to be realistic when determining the true budget because creating an outdoor living space that is usable and suits your wants and needs doesn’t come cheap.
“There is a lot of work that goes into creating a whole new living space and understand it is a big time and financial commitment to ensure it is exactly what you want,” said Pinke.
In addition to being realistic with your budget, don’t go with the cheapest option every time – but don’t go with the most expensive either. Do your research to find the best contractor for your needs. Communicate with several contractors you are interested in before making a final decision so that you can see how quickly they respond to your questions and concerns – and you can see how knowledgeable they are at the same time.
Do you need all the fancy add-ons?
Many products today come with cool features that aren’t necessary, like high-tech digital thermometers. But many times these features end up causing more problems than you’d expect – and it ends up not being worth the extra cost.
Even after many years working with Blaze Outdoor Products, LaBounty still recommends the products to all of his clients. “There isn’t anything out there with better value. I’m a simple guy. I want my grill to look great and work. I don’t need all the bells and whistles. Blaze offers a product that accomplishes my needs and always has – that’s why I always go back.”
When you decide the time is right to design your outdoor kitchen, stop and take the time to take advice from those with experience. You’ll thank them later.