22 Feb Outdoor Kitchens are Awesome
Just the other day, I was talking to a friend of mine about how much I love building outdoor kitchens. I was sharing some of my favorite building stories – a collection of old “war tales” about special projects, challenging clients, particularly difficult designs, and the ones that we’re proudest of completing – when my buddy stopped me and asked a question that blew my mind.
He looked me straight in the eye and said “yeah, I just don’t get it. Why would anyone want to have their kitchen outside, anyway?”
My jaw dropped so low that I think I may have hit it on the table. I was shocked. I was speechless. It’s almost like my buddy – someone that I had previously thought was a pretty clever guy – had just told me that he genuinely believes the world to be flat.
Don’t worry, though. I promptly set the record straight for my misguided friend. I proceeded to tell exactly why outdoor kitchens are awesome, and why every Hill Country home should have one.
- Grilling (Outdoors) is as Texan as a Longhorn
First off, when you talk about outdoor kitchens in Texas, you’re not talking about a ceramic cooktop range and a stove (well, I guess you could technically be talking about adding a stove, if you were interested). No, outdoor kitchens in Texas mean open-flame grills built into beautiful counter tops. Everyone knows that the Texas Food Pyramid consists of sweet tea, barbecue, Tex-Mex, steak, white bread and cold beer. Three out of those 6 are best prepared over an open flame.
To question the importance that grilled meat plays in our regional culture is like questioning whether or not bluebonnets are the best wildflowers in Texas. Only a fool would doubt such things. So, essentially, if you’re anti-grilled meat, you’re anti-Texas.
- The Hill Country is Too Beautiful to Spend Time Indoors
Sure, there are times when you have to be indoors. Maybe you work in an office building (in which case, I genuinely feel sorry for you), or your obligations keep you in the house most of the day. We can’t always have things our way.
Other than that, though, if you’re staying inside by choice, you’re missing out on the whole purpose behind living in the Hill Country. City folks from San Antonio, Austin and Houston flock to our part of the country each year because they want to escape their dreary, urban prisons and experience some of our natural beauty.
So, of course it makes sense to try and spend as much time as possible outside. Enjoy the clean air, the birds chirping, the blooming wildflowers, and all the other things that come along with life in the Hill Country. Adding an outdoor kitchen makes it easy to cook, entertain guests, and congregate outside. Otherwise, you might be stuck doing all those things indoors, and no true Hill Country resident wants that.
- Walking is for City Folk
Personally, I find one of the biggest reasons to have an outdoor kitchen to be built around convenience. Sure, you could cook your food inside, then bring it outside to serve your guests under a pergola. I guess, if you’re being difficult, you could get out of your hammock or rocking chair and walk all the way inside to get another cold Shiner. These things are technically options.
However, wouldn’t it be so much easier if the kitchen was outside, near your deck or patio, and you could just serve your guests there? What about if your beer fridge was built into a cabinet near the back porch. You wouldn’t have to go anywhere and you’d have all your amenities in one place, all while enjoying the outdoors (see point #2). Need to wash your hands before eating? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a sink built in right out there for you to use?
If you want to spend your whole day walking, you can always move to New York City and sell your truck. I hear they walk around a lot up there. Or, you could get a new outdoor kitchen from CMW and live a life of leisure while you enjoy your own backyard.