Cooking outdoors – although similar to indoors – has a few differences. The most important is location which relates to the type of cooking preferred (ie grilling or providing an outdoor cook center). Grilling usually involves a great deal of smoke (or it does in my case). With this in mind then the location should account for prevailing winds. If possible it would be good to place the grilling center downwind from any of your congregating spaces. If you are a good cook or have a cook center that minimizes smoke then placing the center upwind could be a feature, allowing the inviting aromas of a perfectly seared steak and fresh grilled vegetables to permeate the whole yard. You also don’t want to be so far removed from the kitchen that you must run a marathon between the kitchen and grill to prepare a simple meal.
So now you know where to put it – what is everything you want to put in it? Is it going to be simply a place for your mega grill or do you want a mini-kitchen (for those gourmet grillers)? Will this include a bar and dining area? Is the space going to be covered (good for year round grilling)? Do you do your prep work inside or is it done at the grill (ie will you need a sink and counter space)? The sky’s the limit even if your budget is not. Proper planning will incorporate all of these needs and budget constraints. But do not fret if you have a limited budget – you can still plan the perfect grilling center for you.