An outdoor kitchen is an excellent place to have parties and family gatherings in the summer. Located right outside your house, it brings a fancy touch to your garden space as well as a splendid opportunity to cook and socialise. If you are looking for a few ideas for a fantastic outdoor kitchen, we prepared a few tips.
Take a look at how your garden is organised
Perhaps you can use the shade of trees, a pergola, or empty patio space. If your outdoor space is just a lawn, think about locating the kitchen on the side with a dining area next to it. If you have a rockery, perhaps you can use a kitchen wall to build another one and let the countertop emerge from behind it to create a stunning effect. Outdoor cooking units adjacent to the kitchen will give a sense of single cooking space, whereas kitchens separate from the house will be associated with relaxing.
Think about what, where and how you want to cook
The design of an outdoor kitchen depends much on what and how you want to cook. It might be a good idea to blend your home kitchen and the outdoor kitchen using similar materials. You can even extend your home cooking space with a standalone grill unit right your kitchen. Alternatively, you can make a fully-fledged outdoor kitchen at the end of the patio or in the corner of your garden.
Design your cooking workspace
The main design principles are the same as for an indoor kitchen. Keep in mind footways and the three main working zones:
- a cooking zone with a grill, hob and all sorts of ovens,
- a preparation zone with cookware and boards,
- a washing zone with a sink and drying space.
Should you choose to blend the indoor and the outdoor cooking spaces, consider building just a cooking zone with a grill and an oven as well as some preparation space as last-minute changes to food just before cooking are often a must!
Plan the layout of your outdoor cooking space
There are a few possibilities for planning the cooking space:
- C-shaped kitchens are usually made of a preparation zone, a cooking unit placed at a 45-degree angle and a washing zone, also at an angle. This layout works for modern kitchens opening towards the dining area and offers easy access to all zones.
- L-shaped kitchens are perfect for cooks who enjoy interacting with guests. They use two perpendicular lines of cooking zones and often come with an additional single countertop wall. Consider adding a seating bar with a few stools to create more dining space for informal meetings.
- U-shaped kitchens offer excellent flexibility and storage capacity. In such outdoor kitchens, the cook is surrounded by ample cooking space. Depending on the size of the kitchen, a seating bar can be built along the countertop. U-shape maximises cooking space and keeps guests outside the cooking area.
- Straight run kitchens (single or double wall) are the best choice for smaller living spaces and those of us who like to cook with a partner. A single wall kitchen offers easy access to all zones and is also great for inviting guests to cook together.
Consider something more than just a grill
Again, think about what dishes you want to prepare. Although a grill is an iconic appliance for modern outdoor kitchens, there are many more to choose. A plancha, also called a hot plate, is a good alternative and can be placed directly on the countertop. Deep-fat fryers are perfect for battered meat or fish, as well as vegetables. If you are looking for versatility, choose a hob or a burner. If you need more preparation space, you can pick a flip-up gas or induction hob as well as a flip-up hot plate that can be lifted while not in use.
Choose resistant materials
One of the best choices for outdoor kitchens is stainless steel. Not only does it have excellent technical properties, but it also looks great and adds the WOW factor. Steel is widely used in professional kitchens for all purposes, including planchas, fryers, hobs and washing bowls. For countertops and other surfaces, you can use stone and marble. They are durable, and maintenance is easy. Although wood is cheap and blends naturally with the outdoor, it might wear over time if exposed to weather conditions. It also frequently requires maintenance.