olathe outdoor kitchen

3 Must-Have Features that Make a Great Outdoor Kitchen Area

olathe outdoor kitchen

When you think of your ideal outdoor kitchen space, which features first come to mind? Comfort, to be sure. Ease of use, aesthetically pleasing, super simple to take care of might be other attributes that we all want in our outdoor cooking space. We think three of the most important elements are the grill, countertops and seating space, and a fire pit.

The Grill: Your Outdoor Kitchen’s Main Attraction

We want it all when it comes to the grill, don’t we? The best grills are those that get the job done and look good doing it—but both of those requirements mean different things to different people.

Think about the bells and whistles when it comes to outdoor grill options: different temperature zones so you can whip up a steak and a batch of hot dogs; an option to slow cook side dishes like beans; and maybe even a rotisserie option for birds that are better than the big box store’s.

All of this translates to a few key components: the size of your cooking surface, how powerful the grill itself is, and how easy it is to use overall. And let’s not kid ourselves: money is an important factor here, too. Want a rotisserie? That ups your budget. Happy to keep things simple? A grill with a burner or two as its only perks will save you cash.

Surfaces: Countertops and Seating for Your Outdoor Kitchen

The surfaces in your outdoor cooking space need just as much attention as those inside your home. Maybe even more so, since the elements can be brutal to outdoor countertops and seating areas.

For this reason, durability should be at the top of your list when selecting both. Think stone, concrete, or tile. You can still make it your own—and even jazz it up with personalized touches—but these details are best when worked out with a professional. We can tell you how the design and material you want will react to temperature fluctuations that come with the seasons.

When you think about seating, think about location: do you want to cozy up close to the grill and other cooking surfaces, or do you want to be a bit removed? Are you someone who loves to crawl onto a barstool and eat with others, or do you like the intimacy of a table? How often will you invite guests—and how many seats will you need to accommodate a typical party?

Fire Pit: The Perfect Centerpiece to Your Outdoor Kitchen

There’s nothing better than gathering around a fire once the sun goes down—and if you look, you’ll see that there are fire pits that fit every budget and every design aesthetic. It’s best, though, to think before you jump.

Consulting with a professional is important, as is checking local ordinances to make sure fire pits are allowed in your area and checking with your insurance company to make sure you’re covered. Peace of mind and safety always have to come first.

Once you’ve taken care of those logistics, think about function first: how big do you want the fire pit to be? What materials will look gorgeous in your space? Do you want seating right around your fire pit and if so, for how many people?

All of these questions—and more—are things professional landscape architects discuss with clients before and during the process of working together. If you’re curious about working with an Olathe landscaper to make your outdoor kitchen dreams a reality, give us a call.

P.S. Ready to fire up your grill and have people over? Check out a few of these recipes for great meal ideas.

outdoor living space and outdoor kitchen

Complete Your Outdoor Kitchen Before These Busy Summer Grilling Dates

April showers bring…. summer grilling? OK, that’s not quite how the saying goes, but one of the best things about the weather turning warmer is that we can double our kitchen space by adding an outdoor kitchen area. If you love gathering family and friends in your outdoor space to enjoy food, fun, and warm weather, then it’s smart to prep your outdoor space now.

Made in the Shade

outdoor living space and outdoor kitchen

It might seem nice now to hang out in your yard, but in just a few short weeks it will be hot here again in Johnson County. Those intense summer rays aren’t just uncomfortable; they can also cause sunburns and make us want to head inside. When you’re planning your outdoor living space, be sure to include ample shade, whether that’s a custom-built outdoor kitchen, a patio shade, or umbrellas secured in strategic places.

You can also add shade with the right landscaping. Talk to your landscape architect about shrubs, trees, and other installations that can create cool havens on hot summer days.

Plan Your Menus Early!

No, you don’t have to know exactly what you’ll serve every time you dine outdoors! But it’s a good idea to know what you like to cook—and what your guests like to eat! Why? Because having the right tools for the job is important, and when it comes to your outdoor kitchen that usually means a grill—or more than one, depending on your plans. Working with a pro can help you make the most of your layout and will ensure that the space isn’t just beautiful, but also efficient.

Don’t Forget the Drinks

You can’t have a hot summer BBQ without cold drinks, and you can’t have cold drinks without a refrigerator and/or an ice maker! You can have both in your outdoor kitchen, which means family and friends will spend more time with you outside than they will trudging into your kitchen for a quick sip of something cold.

Ready to make your outdoor living space the best it can be? Get in touch and ask us. We’d love to help you create an outdoor kitchen that’s perfect for you!

host a holiday dinner in your Olathe outdoor kitchen

Celebrate the Holidays in Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

Be honest…have you ever thought of making a holiday meal in your Olathe outdoor kitchen? Picture it: a twinkling landscape of snow as your backdrop, blazing fire in your custom-built fire pit, and your family and friends in cozy coats, fuzzy hats, and super-warm gloves gathered round to toast the blessings of the holidays. All that’s missing is the food, right?

Grilling a Holiday Meal

If you have an outdoor kitchen, you can plan and execute a holiday meal made—if not entirely, then partially—outdoors. Like any other successful party, the process begins with planning. Do you want a traditional meal? Are you feeling adventuresome and want to change things up by preparing a non-traditional feast? How about timing: do you have your heart set on dinner, or would a lunch—or even a brunch—be better? Take some time now to really think about what you want; that will make pulling off an impressive gathering much easier.

Bring on the Bird!

Now it’s time to get down to details. Going traditional? You can cook a turkey on your outdoor grill, provided the grill is large enough to accommodate the bird you choose. You can prepare sides, too; roasted vegetables are easy either wrapped in foil or skewered, but you can make other things in cast iron cookware: stuffing, casseroles, and even dinner rolls. You can even make dessert on the grill! In this respect, cooking a meal in your Olathe outdoor kitchen isn’t much different than cooking indoors: you still have to make a schedule and figure out what takes longer to cook. Start there—and keep your options open, just in case you hit a snag or two.

Get a Little Crazy

Not feeling a traditional menu this year? Hosting an Olathe outdoor kitchen holiday meal gives you the perfect backdrop to change things up. Consider grilling your favorites; ribs are especially good for a crowd! Fill your table with other non-traditional holiday foods like grilled corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, and baked beans (cooked in cast iron, of course).

Other options include a chili fest, burgers and brats, or a potluck. This is your party—you get to make the rules! Just be sure to let your guests know ahead of time what to expect; you don’t want anyone disappointed because they thought “holiday meal” meant turkey or ham and the typical fixings.

Make It Cozy

Don’t forget to make sure your guests are comfortable–and in this case, details count. Have extra wraps or blankets ready, stock up on knit gloves and mittens, be sure you have plenty of warm drinks, and have a warming spot inside just in case someone needs to take a break from the cold.

Let’s Talk Logistics

You’d never throw a party without cleaning and prepping your home, would you? Same holds true for an outside holiday party. Take time now to make sure each component of your kitchen is in working order, plan for adequate—and warm—seating, and plan for Plan B: keep the inside warm and ready, too, just in case one or more of your guests needs a break from your winter wonderland. Check out our tips for prepping your Olathe outdoor kitchen for cold weather, or give us a call to discuss your needs. We’re always here to help!

Wondering how to create an outdoor kitchen or need help planning your backyard landscape? We might be based in Olathe, but we plan and create outdoor kitchens throughout the Kansas City Metro. Check out our Facebook page for photos of recent projects or reach out to learn more.

6 Occasions You’ll Use Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

Fall is right around the corner and there has never been a better time for an Olathe outdoor kitchen installation. With all the exciting events coming up, you’ll have ample opportunity to gather friends and family for some good food and great company.

When You’ll Use Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

When exactly would you use your new Olathe outdoor kitchen? Well, let’s take a look. As part of your unique landscape design, these spaces offer endless entertainment opportunities. Some of our favorites include:

  • Birthdays

If you’re hosting a birthday party, then an outdoor kitchen offers the ideal place for you to host family and friends. You can cook, socialize, and host in the outdoors. No need for anyone to enter the house and make a huge mess.

Since birthdays can happen all year around, your outdoor kitchen may get a lot of action in the spring, summer, and fall. Hosting outdoors in the winter is never a great idea in Olathe, but you can use the grill to cook up some fresh meat.

  • Fourth of July

Nothing says America like a backyard BBQ on the Fourth of July. Talk about a great time! With your new Olathe outdoor kitchen, you’ll be able to invite over the whole neighborhood for a day of fun in the sun and delicious food.

  • Labor Day

In Olathe, we really love our summertime holidays. Labor Day is another great time to put your outdoor kitchen to use. Kick off fall by having a smorgasbord in your stunning outdoor abode. That is the perfect time to catch up with friends and show them your new home.

  • Cinco de Mayo

Who doesn’t like some grilled steak fajitas on Cinco de Mayo? Cinco de Mayo is the official start of summer when Olathe outdoor kitchens are of concern. This holiday offers the perfect time to begin the grilling season for good.

  • Memorial Day

Summer is truly here when Memorial Day rolls into Olathe. Invite all your pals over for an old fashioned BBQ at your outdoor kitchen. The sun will be shining and you can whip up a delicious meal while being outside.

  • Anytime & Every Time

You can use your outdoor kitchen to cook a great meal, enjoy the company of loved ones, or just relax whenever you want. You don’t need a special event or date to grill out or have friends over to your impressive area of landscape design.

The Ideal Olathe Outdoor Kitchen for You

If you’re ready to install an Olathe outdoor kitchen before winter rolls in, get in touch. Here at Huston Contracting, we can help you build the ideal landscape design throughout your property – including a unique outdoor grilling and seating area.