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Outdoor Retreats

Outdoor Kitchen Trends (page 3 of 7)

Check out the latest in backyard barbecuing and outdoor cooking.

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Outdoor Kitchen Pizza Oven

Image courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

Everything and the kitchen sink

The cooking power of grill units is only part of the story, however. The overriding trend is bringing the entire kitchen experience outside — along with a good measure of dining and family room accouterment. Weatherproof cabinets, lighting, furniture, storage, fireplaces, space heating, refrigerators and music systems are all migrating to the wilds of the backyard, substantially extending living space.

“Outdoor living is becoming a focal point of the home,” says Matt Chadwick of Chadwick Outdoor Kitchens in Naples, Fla. “And the outdoor appliance category is simply exploding.” He should know. A professional architect, Chadwick two years ago began to focus exclusively on the growing demand for outdoor kitchens.

“There’s so much innovation going on right now,” he says. “It’s more than simply cooking; it’s all about entertaining and being comfortable outside.”

A typical Chadwick customer may ask for an entire bank of stainless steel cabinets topped with granite countertops and housed in an open-air structure featuring tile floors, ceiling fans, adjustable lighting and a food prep center.

From there, it’s possible to add sinks, refrigerators, wine coolers, warming drawers, deep fryers and icemakers — all UL-listed specifically for outdoor use. Chadwick estimates that a typical 10-foot-long run of one of his outdoor kitchens costs about twice that of an indoor kitchen, or $15,000 to $20,000.