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If you are interested in building an outdoor kitchen, then chances are you are wondering if you should include a sink.
Outdoor kitchens can make wonderful additions to your home, as they allow you to cook food outside while also entertaining their guests.
However, this does not mean that outdoor kitchens should be treated differently when compared to their indoor counterparts, as they still need the same basic tools and amenities.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at outdoor kitchens and whether they need sinks, as well as the components needed to make the perfect space.
The short answer? You don't NEED a sink in your outdoor kitchen, however it's definitely a nice-to-have and one of the top items we recommend.
If you plan to use your built-in grill just to cook a few burgers or a steak here and there, a sink isn't totally necessary.
But if you intend to use your outdoor kitchen to regularly entertain, the sink adds so much value - from washing hands to cleaning dishes, it will make it easier to keep the space clean without having to enter the house.
The sink can also be used to wash fruit and vegetables, while also reducing cross-contamination and other health risks.
If you intend to use the space for barbecues and celebrations, then an outdoor sink could also make it easier to clean the barbecue and other accessories.
For these reasons, most outdoor kitchens should include a sink, as it makes the space more convenient and sanitary.
It is even possible to use the sink for other activities such as cutting flowers and potting seeds.
Once you have made the decision to install an outdoor sink, you will need to consider how you will use it.
This is important because it can help you determine whether you will need access to hot water or not.
If you come to the conclusion that hot water isn’t necessary, then you could connect the sink to the hose attached to the outdoor tap.
This option is often considered a simple and cost-effective way to plumb your outdoor sink, as it does not require a new system to be installed.
However, this method does come with the risk of contaminated water, which will need to be removed.
The water will also need to flow through a plastic tube or drain, as this will move it to a secure location.
Of course, this option does come with other drawbacks, as you will be unable to wash dishes and other accessories.
This is because the water will be cold and therefore incapable of sanitizing dirt and other bacteria.
In most cases, the water will also need to drain into the yard, which means you cannot use it to rinse food scraps or grease, as these will contaminate the water and the land.
Because of this, we recommend installing a sink with hot water, as this will make it easier to use your outdoor kitchen like its indoor counterparts.
If you decide to connect your outdoor sink to the indoor plumbing, then you will need to install it close to the house.
For the best results, we recommend installing the sink next to the outdoor dishwasher (if you have one) and near the trash, as this will make it more convenient to use the sink while also cooking and throwing away scraps.
This placement will also open the space and make it more accessible, which will also make it easier to work while entertaining guests.
According to the national kitchen and bath association, the oven or barbecue should have stands between four to nine feet.
However, these measurements can fluctuate depending on the size of the outdoor space.
Despite this, we do recommend having a minimum of 20 to 24-inches of countertop space on each side of the sink, which can be used to accommodate a drain board and other notable accessories.
However, if you decide that an outdoor sink isn’t needed, then you can use other means to clean your barbecue and tools.
For example, you can use a BBQ restoration kit, which includes various cleaning products and tools.
These kits can be purchased online and are a great way to keep your grill clean without an outdoor water source.
When it comes to size and materials, it’s important to remember that large sinks tend to be more versatile and practical.
It is also advisable to use an outdoor sink made from robust materials, with the most notable being stainless steel.
Unlike other materials, stainless steel is extremely durable and easy to clean, which makes it the ideal choice for an outdoor kitchen.
It can even be coordinated with other accessories for a more uniform look.
Of course, outdoor kitchens are often exposed to various elements, which means there are other precautions that you should take.
For example, if you want to avoid your sink from filling up with leaves and debris, then you will need to purchase a cover that can be secured during the night.
In some cases, these covers can even double as cutting boards and other utensils.
Another viable option is to purchase a sink with a copper finish, as the metal is notable for its natural antibacterial properties.
Beyond this, copper can also be used for a more rustic look, as the vibrant color of the metal can be paired with earth tones and rare materials.
However, copper will start to oxidize after a period of time, which can turn the metal into a greenish hue.
While it is possible to combat this change, copper sinks will need to be replaced once the process takes place.
While installing a sink in your outdoor kitchen isn’t necessary, it can be more convenient when it comes to cooking and cleaning.
Because of this, it is important to purchase a sink that can withstand the elements, as it will be constantly exposed to the great outdoors.