2018 has – so far – been a record-breaking British summer. With the arrival of sweltering temperatures, more and more people are investing in creating an outdoor kitchen to take full advantage of the glorious weather. This is more than just a BBQ area – a true outdoor kitchen will encompass everything including storage, ovens, sinks, and dining tables. If this is something that you are considering, have a read of this post for advice on creating an outdoor kitchen that is both well designed and practical.
The first thing you need to think about is the proximity of your outdoor kitchen to your house. This will dictate which facilities to include. For example, if you are positioning it close to your house, you might not need to include storage space or a fridge, whereas those further away might benefit from the full works. Distance from your house is also important in terms of ventilation. The wind that travels over buildings can cause turbulence, causing smoke to be blown in all directions resulting in an uncomfortable dining experience. This is particularly important for wood-fired pizza ovens or something similar, as embers from the fire can reach up to 200°C. With wind direction in mind, consider the orientation of your cooking area so that your back is to the prevailing wind.
Now you know where you are going to position your outdoor kitchen, you can decide what you are going to put in it. Work out how often it will be used and for how many people. Frequently used kitchens that have to cater to many people will require larger or more grills, and the converse is true for less frequent use and smaller groups of people. The types of food you will cook also has an impact on the facilities. Will you include pizza or tandoori ovens? Perhaps you will install a more traditional BBQ grill. Either way, this will have an effect on the layout.
Next comes the design. When creating an outdoor kitchen, you have to be mindful of functionality as well as the style. The materials you choose should complement your garden and surrounding area but be aware that the weather here in the UK is very unpredictable, so pick materials that are UV-stable and frost proof. Using the protection of a pergola roof is one method of reducing the environmental stress and fitting covers when you are less likely to use the kitchen will add further safeguards.
Designing an outdoor kitchen has fewer restrictions when compared to its indoor counterpart, however, the principles are the same. Outdoor kitchens by their very nature are social spaces so think about the layout in relation to guests as well as ergonomics – for example, the oven area could double up as a heater on colder nights.
If money is no object, creating an outdoor kitchen with the latest entertainment systems and culinary tech, such as weatherproof televisions, sound systems, and lighting, or smokers, rotisseries, and wine fridges might seem like a great idea. But consider what you actually need. Outdoor kitchens are a big investment but with careful planning they need not cost a fortune and are achievable on a smaller budget too.
Are you planning on creating an outdoor kitchen or do you already have one? We’d love to see your photos and hear your thoughts, so share them in the comments below or head over to Facebook and Twitter.