Outdoor Kitchens: Baby, It’s Delicious Outside

The experts share some of their favorite tools for al fresco cooking and dining

There’s much to consider when undertaking the outdoor dining space. Do you regularly cook for a crowd? Do you need separate spaces for sitting and dining? Where do you want your guests to be while you’re in preparation mode?  If the door’s open, where’s the smoke going to go? Kitchens call for professionals, so we did too. Here, some of their go-to goods and experience-tried advice.

Favorite products
The Galley Workstation

Jan Neiges, CKD LLC:
The Galley Workstation. For an outdoor space, this modern sink is a real asset for versatility and coolness. It comes in different sizes, from 2 feet to 7 feet. The bigger ones are best, because they offer more room for accessories. thegalley.com


Mugnaini Pizza Oven

Kyle Webb, K.H. Webb Architects, PC:
Mugnaini Pizza Oven, which comes in wood-burning but also gas models and several different sizes, too. Up in the mountains, gas is advisable, because wood-burning restrictions happen quite often. Our approach to design is to create social spaces and a make-your-own-pizza party—an outdoor setting works well for that. mugnaini.com


Wolf 36” gas grill (OG36)

Brett La Hay, Kitchen Distributors:
Wolf 36” gas grill (OG36): My favorite, hands-down. Wolf is known for high-performance appliances, and their gas grill is ideal for outdoor kitchens. It has super-precise temperature control and a great infrared sear zone. Its interior grill lights make it easy to use during your late-night parties. Bonus: This model lets you turn your grill into a rotisserie, with built-in slots, automated turning and an included roasting spit. subzero-wolf.com


Dekton countertops

Jed MacKenzie, Bulthaup, Denver:
Dekton countertops, made of materials that can withstand the elements. We have all four seasons here, and we range from 100-plus degrees to freezing cold. Not all countertop materials are designed for those conditions. dekton.com/usa/countertops


Atlantis Outdoor Cabinetry

Patti Feagans, William Ohs Showrooms:
Atlantis Outdoor Cabinetry. I love this cabinetry, because it can handle temperatures up to 200 degrees and has beautiful styling, with the choice of several wood species for the doors. I prefer wood over stainless steel, which has a very modern look, scratches easily and is hard to keep clean. There are many wood species that handle the Colorado elements, give a softer look and are affordable. outdoorkitchensbyatlantis.com

Design tips

Kyle Webb, K.H. Webb Architects, PC
It is crucial to think of where an outdoor kitchen will work best. We always try to put them facing west, so they get the late-day sun, and we try to orient the layout facing out so that the kitchen remains a social place that invites interaction.

Jed MacKenzie, Bulthaup, Denver
Especially when considering a grill, placement is crucial. A lot of houses have indoor-outdoor elements like NanaWalls. Be sure to locate a grill in an area that is accessible but also has a natural kind of ventilation, or plan on having a system that ventilates the smoke away from the living area. 

Patti Feagans, William Ohs Showrooms
Make the layout as inviting as possible so you can face your guests while serving them food and drinks. You can do this by centering the sink on the bar area.

Brett La Hay, Kitchen Distributors
The most important thing to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen is how you and your family will use the space. I often see people getting hung up on the pizza oven, fireplace or outdoor refrigerator, and they tend to forget how they’re going to enjoy the space overall. Figuring out all of the functions your outdoor kitchen needs to perform, and how important they are to you, is the best advice I can give.

Jan Neiges, Jan Neiges, CKD LLC
Consider the outdoor living space as an extension of the indoor one, another room rather than a part of the yard. A kitchen and bath designer is ideal for enhancing that process. Design from the space out, and then landscape. Plants are easier to move than the drain to a sink.

Categories: Exteriors