Interest in outdoor home improvement projects was at a high level before the pandemic.
Now that we’re seeing the end of this difficult time coming clearer into focus, the demand for outdoor living upgrades has gone to the next level.
The importance of improving our living spaces for more comfort and function has never been so front-of-mind.
Outdoor kitchen additions are one of the projects leading the outdoor living upgrade charge. Why? Because there are so many life-improving outdoor kitchen benefits that it only makes sense to invest in one for your backyard.
As Outeriors president Daniel Albo told the Toronto Sun, “An outdoor kitchen has become the final frontier of any renovation project.”
12 outdoor kitchen benefits worth knowing
Dining out once in a while is nice, but it’s equally enjoyable to create your own grilled meals in the backyard and feed the people you enjoy spending time with the most.
The outdoor cooking area has evolved from a few square feet in the backyard occupied by a standalone grill into spacious, luxury outdoor cooking spaces with all the functionality of a traditional kitchen.
There are many good reasons why outdoor kitchens have become so attractive to homeowners – at least a dozen of them, in fact.
If adding an outdoor kitchen has been on your home improvement wish list, get inspired to start your project with these 12 outdoor kitchen benefits.
1. Increase your home’s livable space
A rarely used backyard is wasted space and wasted potential, not unlike a spare room.
Having a little more livable space is appealing to almost everyone and that’s exactly what an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area provide.
Indoor kitchen remodels are consistently one of the most popular home renovation projects. If you’re considering such a project, it makes a lot of sense to rethink that plan and devote your remodeling budget towards adding a second kitchen space outside.
An enhanced outdoor living area with a kitchen, dining, and entertaining area transforms your backyard into a space that is optimized for comfort and added home functionality.
It can be custom-designed to fit your lifestyle. For example, more livable outdoor space creates extra room for hosting large get-togethers. Guests can socialize inside or outside.
2. Expand your summer menu options
Eating the same dishes month after month gets a little boring. When the spring arrives and you can fire up the grill on a daily basis if desired, it’s fun to shake up your menu options for the next several months with some new recipes.
Barbecues offer an endless choice of grilling recipes to try out. If you Google “grilling recipes”, almost a billion results come up!
Maybe you’ve heard someone you know boast, “My indoor kitchen has everything!”. Really? Does it have a grill? Probably not.
Even an indoor kitchen with “everything” is likely missing the one thing that makes some of our favourite dishes.
Lots of Canadians use their grills year-round, too. You know a grill isn’t just any ’ol appliance when people are willing to bundle up, brave the frigid weather, and shovel snow off the patio just to grill up some burgers and steaks.
3. Take a break from your indoor kitchen
On a gorgeous early summer evening, why stand over a hot stove indoors preparing dinner if you can do your cooking out in the backyard?
You can have an outdoor kitchen designed to include all the amenities of an indoor kitchen, including:
- an ice machine
- cabinet storage for grilling tools, dining utensils, serving plates, glasses, etc.
- a wide variety of outdoor cooking and food warming appliances
- lots of countertop space
- a dishwasher
- various types of cooking surfaces
And let’s not forget the beloved grill, which is something that your indoor kitchen can’t provide you with!
Although we’re so conditioned to cooking inside our homes most of the time, cooking outside regularly shouldn’t feel unnatural. After all, our earliest ancestors were doing it ages ago.
4. Go all-out with your kitchen design
If you have a large backyard (along with the budget and desire for it), you have more space and freedom to go even bigger and more elaborate with your outdoor kitchen design than your indoor kitchen.
Get the cooking space set up with gas, electrical, and water lines. Add a built-in grill with a cooking area large enough to feed a small army. Pamper yourself with spacious countertops for dining and meal prepping. Load up your cooking space with appliances and all the outdoor cabinet storage you could possibly need.
We can’t even say you can have everything but the kitchen sink…because a sink can be included in an outdoor kitchen, too!
Without the constraints of an already-constructed and defined space to work within, you can go hog wild with your outdoor kitchen design.
Outdoor cooking areas can also be smaller and/or less elaborate. A modestly-sized patio section that is outfitted with just the essentials like a good grill, a few cabinets, a small countertop, and an appliance or two can still let you get a lot done.
5. Grilled food just tastes better
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We can add to that, “And grilled food always tastes better.”
Cooking over a hot flame brings out delicious flavours that simply aren’t achievable in an oven or with other indoor cooking appliances. And not just in meats, either.
Cooking seafood, vegetables, and even fruit on the grill can produce surprising results that add some welcome variety to your summer menu.
6. More time spent outdoors is good for your health
Spending more time in the great outdoors is good for your health. Don’t just take our word for it – science shows that spending more time outside has many health benefits.
Here are a few examples of how more outside living can benefit you:
- Sunlight provides vitamin D and can lessen the effects of pain on the body.
- Some people pay for aromatherapy sessions to relieve stress. Experiencing the smells of nature like freshly cut grass, pine trees, and flowers does the exact same thing.
- Being outside more boosts your immune system.
- The outdoors helps calm your mind and restore your focus, which makes you more creative.
The pandemic eliminated the ability for us to socialize much – if at all – with our friends for far too long. FaceTime and Zoom calls simply aren’t the same as spending quality face-to-face time with those we’re closest to. A lack of social interaction took a toll on the mental health of many of us.
As normalcy returns, socializing more with friends and family in places like backyards, on pub patios, or at a ball game (if the Blue Jays ever make it back home) will be good for the well-being of everybody.
7. A beautiful outdoor kitchen impresses everyone
A high-end outdoor cooking and entertaining area will become a go-to summer destination for your friends, neighbours, and family.
A fully outfitted backyard kitchen that can satisfy everyone’s appetites is only part of the appeal. With an outdoor entertainment area that includes an outdoor bar, TV, fire pit, and comfy furniture, your guests will never want to leave.
Not only will everyone want to soak up the cozy, inviting atmosphere and good food, they know they’ll be well taken care of by their hosts.
8. Maximize the enjoyment of your spring and summer
We’d bet that no other country in the world enjoys their summers more than Canadians. Summers here are all-too-short, but the amount of time we spend outside enjoying the warm weather shouldn’t be.
Make it your favourite part of the house from early spring through to late fall (and even beyond that if you’re particularly resilient!) with the right design and supplying the space with heating.
All sorts of practical backyard heating solutions are available to help extend your enjoyment of the outdoors. This includes:
- outdoor fireplaces
- gas and propane fire pits and fire tables
- wood-burning fire pits
- patio heaters
9. Grilling is healthier for you
Grilling your food on a barbecue instead of frying or broiling it is considered more healthy for you.
Fried foods absorb lots of fat. If too much of it is consumed, the higher cholesterol levels they contain can raise your blood pressure and increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
If you grill your food more often, a lot of the fat on the meat drips off. That lowers your calorie intake and results in a healthier diet and potentially fewer health issues.
Another health-related benefit of grilling that most people aren’t aware of is a piece of food that is grilled has more nutritional value than if you fried the same type of food. Grilled meats and veggies cook faster, which lets them retain more of their nutrients.
10. Outdoor kitchen building projects are less disruptive
If you’ve ever undergone a major renovation on an interior space like the kitchen or bathroom, you know how inconvenient and disruptive it can be.
Because all of the work with an outdoor kitchen project occurs, well, outdoors, there is less disruption to your family’s daily routine.
To ensure the project is done right and in a timely manner, hire an outdoor kitchen design company like Outeriors. Did you know that 8 in 10 homeowners used professional installers for their outdoor kitchen additions?
Here are some interesting statistics about home improvement trends in Canada, courtesy of the RE/MAX 2021 Renovation Investment Report:
11. Outdoor summer cooking saves energy
Next on our list of outdoor kitchen benefits is the energy conservation it contributes to.
Being outside more to cook during the summer keeps your home a little cooler because the indoor oven will be used less. Your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your living space if the largest source of indoor heat during the summer (that isn’t weather-related) is on vacation.
The dishwasher, which also generates a lot of heat, can take a break, too. Consider air-drying your dishes to save energy or you could add an outdoor dishwasher to your exterior living space for even more convenience.
Another way an outdoor kitchen saves energy is that with everything you need in your food prep area, trips in and out of the home are all but eliminated. That prevents the escape of cold air from your house’s interior and keeps the warm air outside where it belongs.
Your outdoor kitchen appliances will still be using electricity, naturally, but the heat from things like a pizza oven and side burners will dissipate quicker outside.
12. Add value to your home
If you’re adding an outdoor cooking space to your home, you’re obviously not planning to move anytime soon. One day, however, you might find yourself being a seller.
The 12 outdoor kitchen benefits we have listed here certainly make your house more attractive to potential buyers. The added functionality an outdoor kitchen and living space offers adds value to your home and is a great selling point. And until that happens, you’ll get years of enjoyment from your investment.
Buying products made with premium materials and finishes that last longer will make your outdoor kitchen retain its long-term value even more.
Outdoor kitchens have a high return on investment
If you do an online search for the estimated return on investment (ROI) of an outdoor kitchen addition, the numbers vary quite widely.
Some real estate professionals believe an outdoor kitchen project has a 70% ROI, which is considered very good. Others believe it’s much higher and in the 90-100% range. Some even believe adding an outdoor kitchen recoups well over 100% of your building costs in the long run.
Whichever ROI estimate you trust, even at the lowest end, outdoor kitchens are a smart investment that provides a return on investment that exceeds the 68.6% average for the most popular home remodel projects.
Reap the benefits of an outdoor kitchen
Have these outdoor kitchen benefits convinced you that it’s time to add a second kitchen to your home?
Prioritize outdoor living and reimagine your backyard space. Our design pros will work with you to choose the best products, materials, colours, and styles to make your outdoor living space concept above and beyond what you dreamed it could be.
Kick-start your outdoor kitchen and living space project by booking a free design consultation with an Outeriors design consultant.
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