Form and Function for a Fabulous Outdoor Kitchen

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Let’s face it. There are certain bragging rights when it comes to summer grilling. Everyone wants to have the best outdoor space to show off to friends and family. Lewis Shenker of Gringer and Sons talks about the secrets of selecting the perfect grill (spoiler: there’s no secret!), elements to think about when building an outdoor kitchen and more.

What are the keys to creating the ultimate outdoor kitchen? What appliances, what features, what surprising new innovations?
The ultimate outdoor kitchen should be based on the family’s wants and needs, functional and geared to enjoyment of the outdoor space. First, sit down and go over all the available choices of the product. Choose and make a list of needs and wants. Appliances such as the grill itself and what size and with what types of burners, side burners, refrigerator, an icemaker, a sink, a pizza oven, a griddle all have to be considered. Cabinetry for trash, drawers for storage, access doors, and sealed pantries all need to be looked at. Add and eliminate based on available space and budget.

What are the most important questions for people to ask when planning an outdoor kitchen/entertaining space, and also for when they are updating an existing one?
People need to ask about the track record of the brands available. They need to ask about functional, usable design of the outdoor space and about proper maintenance of the product being purchased

What are the secrets and tips you have for selecting the perfect grill? What needs/uses/features are most important to consider, and why?
There aren’t any secrets. Choose the largest grill for the space with some variety of burner configurations. Choose a grill that will allow you to adapt with accessories later on.

What mistakes have you seen that you would like to help clients avoid as they plan their outdoor kitchen spaces?
Clients who try to crowd too many appliances into too small a space. The outdoor kitchen becomes unsightly, too crowded. Using too many different brands of products creates an uncoordinated appearance.

With people needing to stay home more these days, what changes have you seen in the types of products and features people have been looking for?
People are looking for more complete outdoor kitchens. They are not just looking for a grill. Pizza ovens, griddles, high output side burners, cocktail stations, refrigerators and ice makers are being used more and more.

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