With the end of the year right around the corner, Jules and I are in the home stretch of our 2022 home projects, which means the outdoor kitchen of my dreams is officially a wrap!
My biggest priority in this project was getting to use the most premium grilling products I’ve had my eyes on for years – the Twin Eagles Collection by Dometic Home. I raved about my ongoing crush on them in my ultimate grill guide, so getting to team together to make this outdoor kitchen a reality has been such a bucket-list item. They’ve also been a major constant in this project amidst a lot of pivoting.
We do what we can to plan and prepare before starting any project (which is something we preach about in our “10 Things That Can Derail a Home Renovation” post), but it’s equally important to remain flexible and open-minded because you’re never immune to the unexpected. It all started once the stone started going up, and we pumped the breaks. Jules was waving the red flags, and I trust her eye and intuition when it comes to the design stuff. So we pivoted and DIYed the vertical paneling.
Then we painted the paneling in “Mouse’s Back” and decided to repaint it “Graphite” by Benjamin Moore, and it just feels right, ya know?
Now let’s get into all the bells and whistles of this baby!
I can’t express just how much I love this grill. I use it several times a week because it’s so versatile and responsive. It heats up quickly, retains heat well, has a high-heat section for searing (perfect skirt steak every time, which is what I whipped up the other night), and an elevated rotisserie burner as well. The lighting and design are so beautiful and make grilling at night a non-issue. I. Love. This. Grill.
Beneath this masterpiece of a grill are some soft-closing, double-access doors where I keep my grill brush and a fire extinguisher and where we can easily access the gas hook-ups.
As versatile as the 42″ is, my dream outdoor kitchen wouldn’t be complete without the pellet grill & the smoker!
The pellet grill is about flavor. I do more smoking on the pellet grill than grilling, though I’ve done a good amount of both. Pulled pork, ribs, or a whole chicken. When I have more time, I go for the pellet grill. And the rotisserie makes the best chicken you’ve ever had. The touch screen makes it so easy to control the temperature and smoke level, and a front-loading hopper means you can add pellets without lifting the lid and losing any smoke. Everything on this grill turns out incredible.
Beneath the pellet grill is a 36-inch pellet storage drawer, where I have quick access to all the extra pellets.
While I prefer most foods grilled, I gotta say that when it comes to burgers, I prefer the flat top. Nothing better than a smash burger with onions. Burgers, stir fry, bacon & eggs, tacos – having a flat-top Teppanyaki cooker in the outdoor kitchen opens my options wide up.
The warming drawer (stored beneath) is something you never think you need until you have it and you feel like a butterfly, finally growing wings. I’m a stickler for serving cold food cold and warm food warm, so having this to bridge that gap between the cooking and serving times of various dishes has been amazing.
The Power Burner has a wide range of control, from 70,000 BTUs at the top end all the way down to almost nothing. I’ve used mine to fry a turkey but also to warm fudge for some poolside sundaes. On colder nights, I’ll simmer a pot of cider outdoors; on warmer evenings, I’ll boil a 10-gallon pot of crab legs. It also runs a wok like you can’t imagine.
On the other side of the kitchen, we have the sink! When you’re working in an outdoor kitchen, the last thing you want to be doing is running in and out of the house to access running water. Being able to wash all of my utensils and tools as I go makes clean-up a breeze!
I have this thing stocked with drinks always. Cooking outside and grabbing a cold drink – it’s the pinnacle of convenience and the cherry on top of every outdoor cooking experience.
What’s a drink without a little ice? Always ready for drinks, brines, and filling a cooler to take to the beach. How often are you calling the late arrivals to your party because you need them to pick up a bag of ice on their way? Not anymore!
Having not one but two pull-out containers for trash and recycling is a detail I wouldn’t be so quick to overlook.
Having these waterproof drawers to keep a lot of my utensils and hand towels (always keep a towel close by) is essential to keeping everything running smoothly while I’m cooking up a storm!
Something that has surprised me is how well the kitchen flows. I mean, I designed the layout to flow, and you hope it’s going to work out the way you think, but it’s better than I could imagine. The expansive granite island, the grills, the appliances. Everything just works, and it’s a true joy to cook out there.
Hosting with this kitchen is incredible. Something that tends to happen when I host is I’m in the kitchen while everyone else is doing something, but with this kitchen, I’m right in the middle of it. And with all the space and so many appliances, I’m usually able to enlist a few extra hands and serve them up a cold drink for their help.
We anticipated painting the pergola black, but we realized once we got it up that the white really ties everything together. As for adding a screen or covering for the pergola, we’re just leaving it uncovered for now and seeing if we really miss it down the road.
Now that the pergola is up and the lanterns are hung, I’ve been out here most nights cooking to my heart’s content. How is it December, and we’re still utilizing our outdoor space so much??
Hi! Could you provide a source for the outdoor lanterns?
Love those lanterns! Where are those from?
Geez, I wish I could come to your house for dinner!
Name for this post? “The eagle(s) have landed”. Or, rename the blog “Chrislovesgrill”.
Kidding aside, do you plan to roof over the kitchen or just waterproof yourself in rainy weather? I live in Seattle, it’s an issue here.
Leave it all white but maybe you can add some vynes or foliage or ivy on top. To avoid bugs, you may use an artificial one. This will give some shade and protect a little from rain and snow. Good luck!!
It makes me so happy to see how happy this space makes Chris! Well-deserved!!
Incredible! However, it feels…unfinished. I can’t help but look at the photo and think “Julia will paint the pergola.”
Beautiful and functional, amazing!
With the pergola uncovered, do you use any covers for your grill equipment? How is faring through its first winter?
Your enthusiasm is so infectious! What a wonderful way to expand your love of cooking for family and friends. Beautiful space.
Beautiful! I can’t help but imagine the pergola being some sort of medium to rich stained wood.
I’m just wondering if you need more light over the grills so you can cook at night? You throw your shadow over them with the lanterns on.
Must be amazing to be able to cook in that kitchen and still be able to see and be a part of what’s going on outside. Do the hanging lanterns that are over the counter provide enough light for the other side where the flat top grill, burner and smoker are located?
I reeeeeally think the pergola should be black still! I think when you walk into the backyard, the stark white pergola pulls your eye when the focus should be first and foremost on hour stunning pool! I think black would visually let your eye take in the rest of the stunning yard before settling more gently on the amazing kitchen area. And black would let the lanterns shine. Plus, if you love the white tie in to your umbrellas and poll furniture, then you could add white shades onto the black and pergola later on!! Just some ideas, you know best of course!
Leave pergola white. It matches the trim of the home and gives the outdoor kitchen. A lighter feel. You can have some wisteria or other flowering vines grow. Its beautiful!
Not that it matters, but I think painting the pergola black would make it look boxy. That said, the white is just a bit too white. Perhaps if you made the white a bit more beige-closer to the grout of the brick-but lighter? That could look really nice.
Chris it looks amazing! Glad it functions well too. It looks like a restaurant set up
Looks awesome!!!! You’ve done a great job with the design. But I still think you need to find some way to keep rainwater out. Maybe add a clear plexiglass layer to the pergola. Just saying… I’ve lived in the south for 25 years now, moved from the midwest and the need to hide from rain is real. Too many grilling parties at our house have been ruined by rain!
What a lovely space, you guys have really outdone any expectations I had, and what a FUN place to cook! Bravo, Brava to you both! The pergola is the icing on the cake. Personal opinion – I would paint it something other than white, maybe not black, but a charcoal or mid-tone that fits your house. But, NOT my home and if you love it white, keep it white. A lovely space for your family and as a homebody myself, I would never want to leave, haha!
I LOVE that you kept the pergola white! The contrast with the bar and the brick is freaking awesome. 100/10! 5 gold stars!
Beautiful!! I see a pizza oven in your future. ;)
What a luxurious, fun space to cook in! I love that you get the view of the pool and your amazing backyard. Will the grills or the lanterns rust with a lot of rain? I think that’s the only thing I would be worried about with not covering the pergola.
It looks so amazing!! I’m still dreaming about setting up my little grill and a counter as my outdoor kitchen. This spring it will happen! I have a question about keeping everything protected against the elements. Do you have covers for the grills? Do you need to clean everything first (counters mainly) before you can start cooking ? Thank you!
The outdoor kitchen turned out amazing. A big upgrade from the diy outdoor setup you built at the previous house! Can’t wait to see all the yummy food and entertainer’s dreams that come out of this massive beauty! Curious if that is a walnut Boos block on feet? I just purchased a huge 30×20 but had to return for imperfections. This one looks smaller but a better statement.
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