- Insufficient Prep Area
The single most common design mistake we see that makes day-to-day use of the outdoor kitchen more difficult is a shortage of counter space. Whether the homeowner is laying out plates to transfer food from the grill to serve or juggling tools, platters and sauces, the cook always seems to run out of room to work. A good design will allow enough counter for prepping food, serving food and keeping cooking supplies handy.
- Absentee Landing Zones
While the most frequent design flaw is a lack of overall counter space, the second most common mistake is leaving out landing zones. The grill and the sink, in particular, need counter space available to the left and the right to sit things down while working.
- Insufficient Light
Without ceilings or walls, lighting an outdoor kitchen can be a challenge. A good design will provide enough task lighting that the kitchen can be used at night, and the cook can easily tell when a steak should come off the grill.
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet publishes a number of resources for outdoor kitchen design professionals, including our 10 Tips for Better Outdoor Kitchen Design and our more detailed Outdoor Kitchen Design Guide. The design guide includes specific recommendations for counter space, seating clearances, knee space and storage to help designers create more usable outdoor kitchens.