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Outdoor Kitchens

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Custom Designed Outdoor Kitchens

Learn about how to create a superior outdoor kitchen

We would like to share some important information re the development of outdoor kitchens:

  1. Outdoor kitchen space design and layout
  2. Out door kitchen materials and appliances
  3. Mistakes to avoid when designing and constructing outdoor kitchens
  4. Proper use and care of your outdoor kitchen

1. Designing an efficient kitchen space that meets your needs

#space-design-and-layout

Styles and Trends
Fashion is not limited to what we wear, so give some consideration to styles and trends in the creation of your outdoor kitchen. When planning your outdoor kitchen, think about what’s important to you; is it important to you to have an environmentally and energy efficient outdoor kitchen? Is durability an essential attribute? How will the style of your new outdoor kitchen fit with the style of your home, will it match it, or do you want something new and different to compliment your indoor space?

Considering your personal outdoor kitchen needs
When thinking about the configuration of your new outdoor kitchen design, envision how you and your family plan to use it; do you plan to entertain friends and family? If so, on average how many people do you expect to entertain? Are you a social ‘chef’, and do you like to engage your guests in the food preparation (it’s a great way to get help as well as being a good ice-breaker to get guests comfortable). Do you want to incorporate an outdoor bar design into your kitchen, so your guests can join you in the kitchen from the comfort of the bar? How much of the food preparation and clean up do you wish to perform in your outdoor kitchen, all of it, or some of it (using your main home kitchen for some of it). Answers to these questions will help the team at Azuro create a space that will match your needs, and make using your new outdoor kitchen a pleasure.

Location, location, location!
There is much to be considered when deciding where you locate your backyard outdoor kitchen. Consideration must be given to access to service supplies (gas, electricity, and drainage), this will be an important factor. However another even more important factor is ventilation. When designing an outdoor kitchen, Azuro carefully assesses external air flows in your backyard so smoke and smells are dispelled efficiently and do not interfere with your enjoyment of your outdoor space. Another consideration is accessibility to your main kitchen, even if you plan to do most of your food preparation in your outdoor kitchen, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to access your main kitchen occasionally, so make it easy on yourself.

In preparation for creating your new outdoor kitchen, fill in the following form.

Style Check your preference
Natural rustic look
Modern sleek lines
Contemporary
Cultural (e.g., European, Asian, Middle Eastern)
Other
General Requirements Rank (where 10= very important to you and 1 = not important)
Durability
Quality
Environmentally friendly
Energy efficient
Other

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2. Selecting the best outdoor kitchen materials and appliances

#materials-and-appliances

Selecting the best outdoor materials to suit your taste and style
Quality outdoor grade stainless steel appliances are not only very attractive and give the air of professionalism, they are also the most durable for outdoor kitchen installations. Beyond that you’ll need to consider what kinds of flooring, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, lighting and ceiling décor you would like. There are a variety of highly durable and beautiful materials that Azuro can incorporate into your outdoor kitchen design, including tile, stone, granite, concrete, wood, copper, aluminum, zinc, laminate, marble, corian brick, and quartz. We have worked with them all, and can provide the pros and cons of each, so you get exactly what you want and can rest assured it will meet your needs.

Appliances are the key to efficiency and making you a master chef
Quality and durability of your appliance are recommended when building an outdoor kitchen of substance. We work with many manufacturers, including DanverWolfLynxAlfresco, and Viking. When selecting your appliances, consider the foods and beverages you’ll want to serve in your kitchen, e.g., if you want to serve frozen margaritas, make sure you include a blender. Keep in mind that you’ll be counting on your outdoor appliances to operate all year long, from below zero temperatures upwards to over 30°C/86°F, so we recommend quality, sturdy appliances built for outdoor use. This will ensure a prolonged life for your outdoor appliances, your outdoor kitchen, and your enjoyment.

In preparation for creating your new outdoor kitchen, fill in the following form.

Kitchen Requirements and Preferences Rank (where 10= very important to you and 1 = do not need)
Grill (also referred to as BBQ)–infrared or direct heat
Smoker box
Grill rotisserie
Oven
Warming drawer
Pizza oven (wood-fired or built in)
Storage
Refrigeration
Ice maker
Water chiller
Dishwasher
Garbage disposal
Built in coffee maker
Storage (airtight)
Food preparation surface
Sink(s)/cleaning station
Built in chopping surface
Heaters (to keep chef and guests warm)
Lighting

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Critical components of a highly functioning outdoor kitchen

  • When preparing food outdoors we have much less control of our environment, and in particular to the whims of the wind, than indoors. We deal with this in two ways: firstly we position your outdoor kitchen to favour the natural air flows in your backyard, so smoke and smells are dispelled efficiently and do not interfere with your guests comfort; and secondly we build in ventilation to make sure your outdoor kitchen is well-ventilated, even when nature’s natural ventilation is uncooperative.
  • Your electrical requirements will vary dependent on the sophistication of your outdoor kitchen; we recommend lots of outlets, just like in your indoor kitchen. Your outdoor appliances, from lighting, your grill rotisserie, to refrigeration, will consume power, and we recommend a GFI protected main circuit to your new kitchen to eliminate any load issues. Our certified electrician will design your electrical upgrade to ensure safety and efficiency.
  • When it comes to gas requirements, it’s all about BTUs (British Thermal Unit). Our Azuro gas experts will work behind the scenes to identify all your gas appliances and their BTU requirements, from your grill (BBQ), burners, to tiki torches, fire pits or fireplaces and make sure everything is installed safely and works perfectly.
  • Special consideration must be given to your outdoor water supply due to outdoor temperatures and the risk of freezing. When designing your supply system, Azuro always incorporates critical safety elements, including building water lines 16”/40.64cms below surface, a source shut-off valve, and a drain port to facilitate emptying water lines in the winter. We also build in floor drains that drain to the storm sewer; in short we understand the safety requirements when building water features outdoors, and guarantee they are applied.
  • Today’s outdoor cooking appliances radiate significant heat; combine this with cooking delicious meals, and it can present risks of combustion. That’s why we recommend taking precautions and building safe grill enclosures. Azuro is experienced in building grill enclosures that are safe, practical, and attractive. We incorporate steel studs and concrete or cement board, but since these are not always visually pleasing, we typically dress it up with brick, stone veneer, or tile based on your preference. We can also build your grill enclosure using real stone; our primary concern is your safety and satisfaction.
  • Good times in your new outdoor kitchen will often extend beyond daylight hours, so lighting will be important to your extended enjoyment. There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to lighting; we recommend switching to halogen LED and make sure you select lighting that is attractive, easy to install, and easy to access for bulb replacement.
  • Food and kitchen utensil storage must be weatherproof and airtight; in other words, it has to keep the rain and dirt out. We recommend stainless steel storage unit for durability and peace of mind your outdoor utensils and food will be ready to use next time you decide to us your outdoor kitchen.
  • Countertops come in an ever-increasing variety of options, and we’ve worked with most of them. Whatever you choose must be able to handle the cold cycles. A new option is called Dekton, which is UV stable, has zero porosity, can withstand heat and cold, and does not stain; this is definitely worth considering. We have built many cast concrete countertops (our specialty), but keep in mind it needs to be maintained. Other options include real stone, such as large stone slabs and dolomite line stone, however it must be washed and sealed and is prone to stain. Granite, because it’s been around for many years, is a reliable fallback, and remember it does have to be sealed. Beware of tiles (slate and ceramic), as it can need a lot of attention due to heat and cold cycles.

3. Top ten mistakes to avoid when designing and constructing your outdoor kitchen

#mistakes-to-avoid

Keep this top ten list of most common mistakes to avoid handy when planning the design and layout of your luxury outdoor kitchen.

1 Insufficient counter space
2 Not enough lighting
3 Grill/BBQ too far from the house/social area
4 Seating/area in the line of smoke
5 Selecting inexpensive grills and appliances that corrode
6 Poorly designed plumbing that cannot handle winter freezing
7 Storage areas that are neither airtight nor weatherproof
8 Countertops that stain and mark
9 Lack of safety standards to avoid combustion
10 Food preparation area not well protected from sun/rain/other weather conditions

4. Proper use and care of your outdoor kitchen

#proper-use-and-care

Once your luxury outdoor kitchen has been built, you are going to want to make to make sure it is well maintained, so it functions and looks perfect far into the future. Here are some general guidelines on the proper use and care of your new Azuro-built luxury outdoor kitchen.

Grill Interior 

  • Cleaning briquettes – turn on all burners including the sear but
    not the rotisserie
  • Let the grill heat up on HIGH for 10-12 minutes with lid closed then turn off burners and let grill cool
  • Once grill is cool remove the debris from the grates with a grill brush
  • Remove the briquettes and shake off ash and spray with water
  • Cover burner tubes and infrared sear burner with plastic wrap
  • Spray the inside of the grill with oven cleaner and let stand
  • Wipe out the inside of the grill with a sponge, SOS pads and water
  • If necessary, a small putty knife can be used to scrape off larger debris
  • When replacing a halogen bulb in the interior of your grill, use a paper towel to handle it to keep oil on fingers from touching the bulb. Failure to do this will shorten the life of the bulb

Grill Exterior

  • Never clean the stainless steel when its hot
  • After the initial grilling, certain areas of the grill may discolor. This is normal and is caused by the intense heat
  • After the grill is cooled, use a mild abrasive pad such as Scotch BriteTM with a mild stainless steel cleaner to scrub the stainless steel grill parts
  • ALWAYS scrub in the direction of the stainless steel grain
  • Specks of grease can gather on the surface of the stainless steel and get baked on
  • These can be removed by using a mild abrasive pad with stainless steel cleaner
  • NEVER use steel wool to clean stainless

Warmer Drawer

  • Open slightly to let heat excess heat and steam escape
  • Store less than 75lbs
  • Cool off before cleaning
  • Use spray degreaser to clean

Stainless Steel

  • To bring out the natural luster of the stainless steel, lightly wipe the surface with a water-dampened microfiber cloth followed by a dry polishing chamois
  • For a stainless steel ice machine, use a nonabrasive stainless steel cleaner

Ice Machine

  • Cleaning and sanitizing of all surfaces that come in contact with the water system should be performed every six months
  • For a stainless steel ice machine, use a nonabrasive stainless steel cleaner
  • The water filter should generally be replaced every six months or after a prolonged shutdown or with a poor water system

Upscale outdoor kitchens for you
Azuro custom outdoor kitchens are designed based on your inspirations and dreams. They are highly functional, beautiful, and practical, and safe, so you can enjoy outdoor cooking and dining with family and friends whenever you please.

Contact us to learn more about how Azuro can help you design and build your luxury outdoor kitchen.