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Outdoor Kitchen Trends for Kansas City Homeowners: How to Prep for the Summer Grilling Season

Since Kansas City has had a relatively warm winter this year, homeowners are looking forward to the summer grilling and entertaining season, if they’ve not already started. If you’re considering building a new outdoor kitchen or upgrading your current outdoor living space, now is the perfect time to explore the latest trends in outdoor cooking and dining.

From high-tech appliances to personalized outdoor kitchen design touches, here are a few trends our designers suggest to create a functional, stylish and enjoyable outdoor kitchen that can make this summer the best.

Integrate Smart Technology into Your Outdoor Kitchen

Smart technology has made its way outdoors, offering you the convenience of controlling kitchen features with a smartphone or tablet. The latest outdoor appliances, including grills, smokers and refrigerators, now come with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to monitor temperatures, adjust settings and even receive notifications about your cooking progress remotely. This trend not only enhances your grilling experience but also ensures your steaks and burgers are grilled to perfection every time.

Rethink Multi-Functional Space in Your Outdoor Kitchen

Multi-functionality is key in modern outdoor kitchen designs. Many homeowners are opting for versatile layouts that accommodate cooking, dining and relaxing. Consider incorporating a pizza oven for an Italian night under the stars or a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Adding a bar area with seating can transform your outdoor kitchen into the ultimate entertainment hub, where you can host gatherings or dine al fresco.

Upgrade Your Cooking Appliances

Beyond the traditional grill, outdoor kitchens now include a range of advanced cooking appliances to expand their outdoor options. Smokers for low-and-slow barbecue, side burners for simmering sauces, pizza ovens and teppanyaki or flat grills for interactive cooking are just a few examples.

RELATED READING: Building a Big Green Egg®, Kamado Joe® or Big Joe® into Your Outdoor Kitchen: A Kansas City Homeowner’s Guide

Updates with Durable and Stylish Materials

When it comes to materials, durability meets design. High-quality stainless steel appliances resist rust and weathering, while stone veneer offers a timeless look that complements the Kansas City landscape. Stone veneer is available in various finishes and colors to match your style.

Set the Mood with Outdoor Lighting

Strategic lighting can enhance the ambiance of your outdoor kitchen and extend your entertaining hours well into the night. LED strip lights under countertops, solar-powered lanterns and weatherproof pendant lights above dining areas create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Task lighting near the grill and prep areas is also essential for safety and convenience during nighttime cooking.

Improve the Flow Between Indoor and Outdoor Space

Creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living spaces is a trend that continues to gain popularity. Large folding or sliding doors allow for easy access to the outdoor kitchen, encouraging a blend of indoor comfort with outdoor enjoyment. Matching indoor and outdoor design elements, such as flooring and countertop materials or customized indoor/outdoor fireplaces, can also unify the spaces and make your outdoor kitchen feel like an extension of your home.

Depending on your home’s layout, an underdeck system can create additional outdoor living square footage, which can extend to an outdoor kitchen or include certain elements of the space.

Learn more about underdeck systems.

Plan for Comfort and Weather Protection

Comfort is paramount in Kansas City’s varied climate, and weather protection features have become a must-have in outdoor kitchen designs. Pergolas with retractable roofs offer shade on sunny days and shelter during unexpected rain, ensuring your outdoor cooking and dining can continue regardless of the weather. Heating elements, such as outdoor heaters or outdoor fireplaces, extend the usability of your outdoor kitchen into the cooler months, making it a year-round retreat.

As summer approaches, now is the perfect time for Kansas City homeowners to consider these outdoor kitchen trends. The best outdoor kitchen is one that suits your lifestyle, meets your needs and makes the most of the summer season.

Ready to explore designs, options, and installation timelines? Contact Complete Home Concepts in Kansas City for a comprehensive consultation.