A well designed outdoor kitchen or BBQ isn’t just about the food; more importantly an outdoor kitchen provides social interaction within the garden. With so many options now available, it can be overwhelming navigating the endless possibilities. Here are our tips for creating the perfect outdoor kitchen:
Set realistic priorities
While it can be very easy to get carried away when selecting from the vast array of appliances available, it’s important to stop and prioritise what’s really important to you. Outdoor kitchens can surprisingly take up a lot of space and begin to look out of scale within the garden, so it’s a good idea to consider if you really need the pizza oven, wok burner, outdoor fridge, 8 burner BBQ, rotisserie, sink & mixer or dishwasher; especially when the kitchen in the house is only 10 feet away. Often all that’s needed to create a function outdoor kitchen that gets plenty of use is a BBQ and plenty of bench space. By only choosing the appliances that you’ll regularly use, the design will be far more simplified, refined and won’t dominate the space.
Location and position within the garden
An outdoor kitchen needs to be located within close proximity to the dining and entertaining area. Cooking a BBQ is such a social event which guests naturally gravitate towards, and it’s just not fair for the poor old cook to feel like a castaway, especially when he/she is the one doing all the hard work. The closer the outdoor kitchen is to the home or dining area will also increase the amount it gets used. BBQ’s that are located all the way down the back of the garden or down the side of the house are quickly forgotten and replaced by the ease of cooking inside.
You get what you pay for
Investing in good quality appliances which were specifically designed for outdoor use is a must. It can be tempting to purchase cheap appliances, but consider these appliances are exposed to the elements and on top of the standard wear & tear of indoor kitchen appliances, outdoor appliances just won’t be cleaned and maintained to the same level. Make sure all the appliances are made using a high grade stainless steel and were designed for exterior use.
The design needs to compliment the home
Try to create a visual connection back to the architecture & style of the home. This can be achieved by using a combination of:
Matching the external bench-top to the internal kitchen. Just remember to first check if the bench top is suitable for exterior use.
Use similar materials found elsewhere in the home and garden.
If your cabinetry is painted, use a colour found elsewhere in the home.
The actual shape and design of the structure needs to be in keeping with the home, otherwise it’ll look like an afterthought.
An outdoor kitchen which is designed correctly will create a focal point within the garden and provide a practical solution for cooking. It’ll also create a social environment and unspoken meeting place within the garden for guests, so they can debate how many times you should turn a steak!