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In Print: What's Cooking? Outdoor Kitchens! From Alpharetta Magazine

Find this article in the May edition of Alpharetta Magazine.

What's Cooking In OUTDOOR KITCHENS?

Everyone loves a barbecue. Which may be one of the reasons OUTDOOR KITCHENS and their delectable cuisine have continued to soar in popularity, despite the tough economic times. It’s getting harder and harder to bring the family together around the dinner table each night; but when you’re talking barbecue, everyone shows up! What once meant a simple grill and a picnic table now refers to one of the homes most innovative and inspiring rooms. OUTDOOR KITCHENS now boast not only a grill but other appliances like a refrigerator and beverage chiller, CABINETS with GRANITE or CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS, an island with a sink, a fire pit, fashionable furniture over a decorative rug and even a huge flat screen television.

Countless manufacturers have been hard at work the past few years developing weather resistant specialty items specifically for the OUTDOOR KITCHEN. Sharon O’Malley of Custom Home Magazine who has been following this trend says “outdoor appliances often have thicker insulation, moisture barriers to protect against rain and humidity, and gaskets that can survive the sun's intense ultraviolet rays. The latest outdoor grills boast huge BTU outputs—20,000 or more, so a family chef can sear meat the way high-end steak houses serve it. Lower-BTU side burners are tested to make sure the wind won't spread their open flames or smoke; beer taps come with sturdy, teenager-proof locks; and wine coolers are designed sans glass fronts so sunlight doesn't distort beverage quality.”

Even the gloom and doom of the economic news can’t rain on this picnic! Design experts say that the ever expanding OUTDOOR KITCHEN is still the latest trend in casual living and entertaining. What’s more, unlike a lot of trends this one is actually affordable and workable from your starter homes up. With the help of a PROFESSIONAL DESIGN BUILD FIRM the KITCHEN can be tailor-made to fit the individual’s budget. AK COMPLETE HOME RENOVATIONS in Marietta recommends starting simple with a built-in grill and then incorporating extras like stainless steel cabinetry, countertops and additional appliances. For those in larger homes who want the Cadillac or even the Bentley of the line, starting with stainless steel modular units, like those from Viking, is good idea. Because the units are modular, you can pick and choose the style of your OUTDOOR KITCHEN to include everything from the grill to refrigeration to a refreshment center.

Design professionals know that the layout of your OUTDOOR KITCHEN is just as important as the appliances. Just like placing furniture inside your home when you’re designing outside you have to pay attention to foot-traffic patterns and provide guests with unobstructed views of the room’s, or yard’s, best features. The outdoor living space should be at least partially shaded and be sure to give some consideration to heating features like a fire pit, chiminea or fireplace; these elements will allow you to maximize the time you can spend in your new space. Two commonly overlooked features of the OUTDOOR KITCHEN are lighting and trash storage; yes you will want these! AK recommends combining luau-style torch lamps in heavy-duty copper or iron and modest landscape lighting to illuminate walkways; also look for grills with built-in lights for nighttime cooking. An under counter trash pullout is an ideal place for refuse and recycling; this is one of countless customizable options from an OUTDOOR CABINETRY company like Danver.

Finally, if your home’s RESALE VALUE is a top priority you may want to start making plans for your OUTDOOR KITCHEN right away. The National Association of Home Builders found that, historically, adding an outdoor kitchen will add value to your home and the return on what you spend can be as much as 130 percent. At the very least, your investment in an outdoor kitchen is practically guaranteed to create some fantastic family memories; and that is truly priceless.

Thinking about investing in an outdoor kitchen for your family? Click Here!

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