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Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

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  • #16
    Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

    Well let's talk about the plan a little bit because the whole thing has moved about 8 feet to the right. The idea of extending the round pad on either side to square it off on the end was rejected by the spousal design committee. She wanted it moved over a little bit, to maintain the curve in the slab. Everybody loves that round slab. I can't fault her, because I think I came up with much better alternative.

    A lot of you wanted to keep the roundness of that pad, but I couldn't necessarily use it for cooking. However, I could use the roundness for serving/seating. So I sketched a semicircular seating area coming off the one corner inside the pad.

    I don't know what's wrong with me that I could pretty much slap this out in Blender and make a 3d render just a little slower than if I used a 2d drawing tool, but the big perk is you can really see what I had in mind:

    Things I factored in:

    1. Making enough room around the pizza oven such that I'm not as liable to whack somebody in the head with the peel.
    2. Having some straight area to have a sink/additional cooking device (grill/range/whatever)
    3. Maintaining the general curve of the slab. I would wind up extending the slab outside of that circular area a little bit.
    4. Having a curve.

    Not shown is that at curved area would be recessed so legs could go under it. Spare my the time to do that little step in Blender; you get what I'm trying to do. It could theoretically be regular seating height too.

    I am at a loss at how I might put a roof on that some day. I suspect it would be something like a gazebo crashing into a rectangular structure. I fear that would put a post right in the middle of the inside of that circular seating area. Most people would tell me not to worry about putting a roof on it then, but I need something to worry about or I'm not productive.

    There is an issue on the far side of the circle where I linked up everything. It is a little jarring, but could be filled in with a waist-height herb garden or a shrub or something.


    • #17
      Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

      Here's attempt #3, after additional negotiations with the spousal design committee. I was told to actually make it bigger, so the committee works! This isn't binding either, because I had proposed doing something goofy with the seating area so I could cram another cooktop into the whole mess. She did not like that because she finds that just sprays stuff into people's faces, and putting one in there would put a cook right in the way of everybody talking across to each other. That was pretty much right, so I just took the extended area and slapped it there.

      I originally was going to put a sink at the topmost area, but that's a long enough space where I could have a grill/smoker instead. So it got shifted to the peninsula. Now I'd really have to work at filling in the area behind it because that plumbing is going to be nasty.

      BTW, sink people, how are you doing that? We're worried that a garden hose into a kitchen faucet is not, well, sanitary. I can wash my hands fine, but then I'd blow it during the rinse. Do you get dedicated plumbing? As for the drain, I know the whole "just let it flow out the back somewhere" thing, and that works for me, since I have a compost pile that needs some water nearby. It doesn't need the soap though, but I guess I can pick and choose a friendly hand/wash soap.

      So here's... Mark III:

      The monolith in the back-left is the average dimensions of a person, so I could get some reference. The devices from left to right: sink, grill/smoker, pizza oven, gas cooktop.

      Table legs are non-binding. I had it floating in the air, and it offended my sensibilities. I just kind of threw those in.

      I think you 42" people are winning. I can't figure out how to even cram a 48" into there without it looking really stupid. Given an inner diameter of 42 inches, how much extra inches should I factor in to completing it? I don't know the outer dimensions. I know the norm is to add 4" of brick for the walls. I had done a light perlcrete mix with my old pseudo-cob, so I don't have experience with the best insulation. The thicker it goes, the more it will constrain me.

      Edit: I added more foreground elements. To the front-right is the edge of the pool.


      • #18
        Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

        RB - you amaze me with your capacity to chase every rabbit down a hole. I get exhausted just reading your planning process.

        I am sure it will end up being a thing of great beauty. There is a point where form and function meet - that is the part of the universe that I occupy.

        I wish you the very best with your project and look forward to admiring the result of your planning and labours.
        Cheers ......... Steve

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        • #19
          Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

          Well we're in a kind of analysis paralysis over here. Some of it was that we needed to deal with a bunch of other junk with this house since when we moved in, so I am only getting to really put thought into it now. Still, we have been grinding this out over something like two years, and I doubt we'd even get it complete this summer. I'm just hoping to at least get the slab ready, but we're having to figure out where it will be.

          We also did the first oven in a rather . . . bohemian way. In the end, I had not made enough room for an appropriate oven entryway with it, and I had to attach a 4" cinder on the front with rebar to make enough of a lip for it. We had to lay the extra cob after everything else had cured, and it was a huge misadventure to keep it together. So we learned that for some of this stuff, there's no take-backsies.


          • #20
            Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

            This is my attempt to squeeze just a little more counter space out of it. We're thinking we might do away with the burners. The ratio of kitchen stuff to kitchen counters is very poor. In the house here, the ratio is about 2.0 (2 feet of counter to every foot of "stuff"). In that design, it was less than 1.5. I think this brings it over 1.5, but less than 2.0:

            I rotated the seating area a little and extended the sink peninsular a little bit. The shape is a little poor. I don't know if I like it, but I tried.

            Another alternative was to move the pizza oven to where the sink is and reshape around that. It would clearly make the oven the focal point around the table. I don't know if it helps me create more useful counter space.
            Last edited by Rocko Bonaparte; 04-16-2015, 10:02 PM.


            • #21
              Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

              Here's what I was talking about in the last post:

              I think I should just assume to have a kitchen cart for a little extra space. I think making the oven central is growing on me. The sink has been moved to the far right corner there. I'm just not sure if I like the lack of immediate working area right around the pizza oven. Meh.


              • #22
                Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

                Where would the opening to the oven be? You may be hitting some of your seated guests with your tools in that last design.
                When doing a big party I set up a couple of small folding tables near the oven for pizza serving and also to keep people outside my work space.


                • #23
                  Re: Trying to narrow down outdoor kitchen layout from scratch

                  Originally posted by mrchipster View Post
                  Where would the opening to the oven be? You may be hitting some of your seated guests with your tools in that last design.
                  It would point directly out to the furthest point away in that semicircle. I just haven't bothered to add the mouth to the model yet. I think from oven mouth to the edge of that table, we're talking something like 7-8 feet. I would be clear so long as people were not sitting on the inside of the table.

                  The previous design with it in the corner had me at risk of bopping somebody right at the corner of the semicircle, but it wouldn't have been like I was hitting them straight in the back.

                  I remember reading some story hear about that, and it has been on my mind.


                  • #24
                    I don't have much to add other than we finally got that big pile of pavers and all the other junk off of the pad. That was over 500 pavers. It was not fun! Also, I will be getting a 2-month sabbatical at work--I work at one of the rare places where something like that is still a thing--so I will have a nice, long, paid vacation at the end of the year to do this. It is simply too hot to do anything else in Austin. They're doing that thing with the weather predictions where today is > 100F, the next 3 days will be even hotter, but a week from now it will be 99F. You go ahead four days, and they're saying the exact same thing. >100F days without end. We were doing so good this year!

                    On the other hand, the Spousal Design Committee is really against having a pavilion over the whole thing, and also wants to get the architect we used for remodeling our house on the case. I won't take that personally because the architect saved us from a lot of risk in here. So the whole thing is liable to be rearranged. The architect might come back with a pavilion anyways.

                    While also reviewing all the posts, it is obvious to me my original oven was poorly insulated. Or, well, the opening was probably too large and I did not have a real door. I clobbered a wooden door together, and it worked for some time . . . until it caught on fire! Even then, the oven would be back at ambient temperature within 24 hours. I could smoke some meat in it overnight fine, but it wasn't something where it was just about ready for baking the next day without much effort. So I will be reviewing the Forno Bravo CD-ROM--when I find it--and looking at the insulation there. I would be curious if anybody knows of newer materials or methods I should be trying instead.


                    • #25
                      A large door will not be a cause for ambient temps the next day. I have not seen ambient temps on my oven after over 10 days. It is still in the mid 100's and the ambient ave temp here in the summer is about 72F so it is insulation and a poorly designed door. Floor insulation is just as important as dome insulation and no part of the heated oven, floor and dome should ever touch anything but insulation and at least 3 inches of ceramic insulation or equal. Mor is better up to about 5 inches. After that there are significant diminishing returns (cost vs performance). A good fitting insulated door will provide additional days of usable heat. A poorly made door on a well insulated oven should give you 2 - 3 days of usable heat not just overnight. A well insulated door and oven should retain a full saturation of heat for at least 4 days if not 5-7 days befor it reaches sub 200 F temps.

                      Floor insulation ranges here from best to worst.
                      Ceramic fiber board - best
                      FoamGlas - great
                      Perlcrete or verimicrete - good
                      Sand, glass, concrete, rock - these are not insulators and when used as a "heat sink" can greatly increase fuel use.

                      Over and around the dome

                      Ceramic blanket - best
                      Loose perlite or vermiculite - very good to great but requires a house to contain it.
                      Low cement ratio verimicrete or Perlcrete - fair to good
                      Rock wool - can be good but possible problems if chemical treated.
                      As with floor other things like glass etc are not insulators.

                      Hope this helps
                      Last edited by mrchipster; 08-10-2015, 05:45 AM. Reason: added insulation info