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  • Steph Tanguay

The Outdoor Kitchen Comes North

What was once something we dreamed about while flipping through the home-design magazines from southern California has finally become a reality in Canada.

Canadian homeowners are embracing it like never before!

With the summer season so short, it’s important to maximize the amount of time you spend outdoors.

An outdoor kitchen is the perfect solution. It will allow you to enjoy the backyard space you’ve spent time and money building, while giving you the opportunity to enjoy the company of those you invite over.

Outdoor kitchens and appliances are no longer just for those living in warmer climates.

We now have all of the ingredients for making our own outdoor kitchens that will withstand our winter climates.

Anything you can imagine in a gourmet kitchen inside your home is now available outside.

People are installing granite counters, sinks, wine fridges, warming stations, and let’s not forget about the grills!

With laser technology and searing stations, the new lines of grills available for homeowners takes the hibachi into whole new territory. When it comes to recouping money spent, outdoor kitchens are almost the same as indoor, with an expected ROI of 60% t, according to MoneySense, April 2015.

Questions to Ponder

A cooking station is a cooking station, right?

Not exactly. When you’re comparing indoor and outdoor kitchens, there are obviously a lot of factors to consider.

You first need to evaluate the main use of the space. Ask yourself these two questions.

How do you cook inside?How many people do you typically entertain? The answers to these questions will influence your outdoor space. If you’re the type of person who uses a lot of space when cooking indoors, chances are good you’ll want that space or something similar reflected outdoors.

Your outdoor kitchen, big or small, needs to be the right size to accommodate the number of guests you plan on entertaining outside.

If you’d like to maximize your backyard to its full potential by inviting all your friends, then you may want to consider building a sizable kitchen to accommodate the food and prep work involved. If, however, you’d rather invite just a few friends over at a time, you can scale back on the size of the kitchen and use that money saved for other backyard renovations.

Here are a few suggestions you can follow:

Plan Out Your Space

Are you visualizing it in your head? That’s a good place to start!

Finding the right location for your outdoor kitchen is key.

It has to be in the right spot so it can blend into the other aspects of your backyard, whether that’s a deck, pool or garden. When it comes to an outdoor kitchen, you have options.

If space is an issue, you can create an outdoor kitchen simply by using your existing barbecue and adding a portable island that has a counter top and drawers. Small tweaks like this will give you the space and tools you need to make a meal outdoors.

4 basic aspects for your own outdoor kitchen:

The Grill:

Like the stove inside, the barbecue is the center of outdoor cooking.

Stainless-steel covers with at least four burners and possibly a side burner for pots are still the most popular choice.

Add rotisserie and a 1,200-degree steak searing station and your outdoor grill can turn any homeowner into a chef.


Having space for prep near the grill is imperative when creating an outdoor galley.

While materials very based on budgets, stone or wood makes the best choice.

When planning the layout of your counter-tops, try to have the chef face into the party instead of the wall of the house.

Now guests are part of the event instead of looking at the chef’s back. You may even decide to add a raised counter with bar stools.


The best definition of an outdoor kitchen is ‘never having to go inside for anything.’

An outdoor fridge full of condiments makes this a reality. Although more homeowners seem to be filling their fridge with refreshments, having access right where you need it is key.


Being able to grill in the rain is an absolute must. There is nothing worse than standing outside under an umbrella trying to cook. Make sure your shelter is either heat resistant or high enough up to prevent scorching or fires.

Needless to say the topic of Outdoor kitchens is not only incredibly extensive but also equally as exciting to discuss.

There are several tricks of the  trade that I will definitely share in the near future to help those who are looking to create this focal point of their Outdoor Living Lifestyle.

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