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Patio Designs Part 4: Ten Facts About Outdoor Kitchen Islands


As far as beautiful backyards go, few outside home improvements yield as much bang for your buck as outdoor kitchen islands. That’s why we’re dedicating this final installment of our Patio Designs series to the selection, maintenance and use of outdoor kitchen islands. Once you’ve finished reading this blog, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed purchase, which is important anytime you’re making an investment as a homeowner.

A common misconception surrounding outdoor kitchens islands is the notion that these products must be custom-made. Custom-built outdoor kitchens are certainly one option, but working with contractors sometimes mean a long and expensive process. Depending on the size of the island, the project could take weeks or months. Between the timeline and the fact you don’t know what the finished product will look, a custom kitchen island can be a risky decision.

With all the gorgeous products available on the market today, we prefer the ready-made route. With a high-quality brand like Bull, you get prefabricated units with gorgeous personalization options (tons of choices including tile, granite and stucco) and simpler installation — along with a more attractive price tag.

With all the end-of-season sales happening now, we figure it’s the perfect time to share some tips that could help you select your outdoor kitchen island.

  1. Small, Medium or Large? When it comes to outdoor kitchen islands, there is no such thing as a “standard” size. Sizes range from compact — with the countertop spanning four to six feet — to sprawling, for those interested in plenty of surface space.
  2. Shape Matters, Too — Depending on the size you have in mind, you may be able to choose from either a rectangular island or an L-shaped one.  Typically both allow for either straight edge or rounded corners.
  3. Components vary — Depending on their size, outdoor kitchen islands may include any number of components. Of course, the BBQ grill is typically the centerpiece of the unit, but specifics like construction material, cooking capacity and heat output are up to you. Beyond the BBQ, you may want to consider including a mini refrigerator, side burners, sink and faucet, extra cabinets and drawers, drop-in ice chests and chopping blocks.
  4. Entertainment opportunities abound — Many outdoor kitchen islands offer ample counter space for bar seating. Pair this with outdoor furniture, such as a dining set or sofa and lounge seating, and you’ve likely doubled your entertainment space and set up, thereby enhancing and updating your patio design.
  5. Location, Location, Location — The most common location we’ve seen families select for their outdoor kitchen islands is atop the deck or patio. There are plenty of other places to consider, though. We love when our customers get creative and place their outdoor kitchen beneath a pergola or retractable awning. This essentially adds another room to your home, and the end result is almost always an elegant, sophisticated outdoor space.
  6. Quick Cleaning is Key — Like most expensive items in your home, maintenance is an important part of owning an outdoor kitchen island. We’re of the mindset that cleaning doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Instead, we recommend a regular upkeep routine, say every week, that will take just a few minutes of your time. At the least, this should include caring for the stainless steel components of your outdoor kitchen, as well as cleaning the inside of the grill. Sticking to a schedule will prevent you from falling behind on maintain and having to dedicate many hours on a deep cleaning.
  7. Pricing — Prices for outdoor kitchen islands start around $4,500. When you compare this cost to the cost of renovating and/or expanding your indoor kitchen, the value is clear to see!
  8. Professional Installation — Considering the electrical aspect and the heavy weight of outdoor kitchen islands, as well as the potential water supply connection, we highly recommend purchasing professional installation. Spending a couple extra hundred dollars will save you stress. You’re also paying for peace of mind, as you can rest easy knowing that your unit has been securely and safely installed.
  9. Tis the Season, Four Times a Year — As any BBQ-lover knows, you don’t have to say goodbye to the grill just because it’s winter. The same is true for your outdoor kitchen island. Keeping it covered during the cold months will keep it in pristine condition, so when the weather is clear, bundle up and step outside into the fresh air as you whip up dinner. Plus, the outdoor kitchen island gives you the perfect excuse to head outside on those unseasonably warm fall, winter and early spring days. Get the whole family outside while you cook, or even enjoy some dessert or hot cocoa in the crisp weather.
  10. Think Outside the Box — Outdoor kitchen islands are just too gorgeous to use only for your average cookout. Instead, we recommend making the most out of your outdoor kitchen island, as an entertainment space and a cooking area, by adding your own personal touches. For the music lover, that may mean incorporating a radio system. For the pizza lover, investing in a pizza stone will give you a new recipe for the grill. For the interior decorator in the family, adorn your outdoor kitchen with trinkets that express your style and passions. The list goes on and on!

Whether you’re just starting to consider an outdoor kitchen islands or you’re ready to make your purchase, we hope you’ve learned something about these gorgeous products. Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below, or feel free to give us a call. We’re always happy to help.