As we make our way through the summer months in the northern hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to think about how to maximise our outdoor space. One way to do this is to take your kitchen outdoors. If you’re wondering how to make sure your al fresco kitchen is ticking the boxes, read on. We take you through the process so you can make your dream outdoor kitchen a reality.
Why go outdoors?
Outdoor cooking isn’t a new concept. In the UK, we’ve long been fans of dining outside, with major events like National BBQ Week being a staple for nearly 30 years. In fact, the overall barbecue and alfresco eating and entertaining market in 2022 was worth around £2.3 billion, up from £150 million in 1997. With there being such an appetite for this summertime favourite, it makes sense to introduce something a little more permanent to your outdoor space.
Planning your outdoor kitchen
It’s possible to set up an outdoor kitchen in gardens and yards of all sizes. However, the final result will depend on how much room you have for this addition. Begin the planning process by having a goal in mind. For instance, do you want to incorporate a bar? Or are you sticking to creating a space that you can cook at? You can make this a fully functioning kitchen area, or you might decide to stick to the basics. A lot of the decisions you make will come down to timing, space and budget, so you can adjust to suit your needs.
Next, work out where you’d like your kitchen to go. It might be practical to keep this near to the house so that you can access supplies. It might be that you need to plan around connections to gas, electric and water supplies. At this stage, you might also need to work out where you are going to eat. Do you have outdoor seating? Will you have something formal like a table or comfy chairs and cushions? Incorporating this in relation to where you set out your kitchen will be helpful when you come to build it.
Look at the layout
As well as the logistical planning, consider how it will look. It might be that you want to take up a corner or your outdoor space may lend itself to a freestanding kitchen area. From there, consider the components. Will you need a sink? What type of cooker will you use? You may be inclined to add a hob rather than a barbecue-style grill. This part of the planning stage is crucial as you’ll need to establish a smooth workflow.
Consider the seasons
The UK isn’t known for its sunny weather. However, it’s possible to create an outdoor kitchen that can be used year-round. Build using materials that can withstand harsher, wintry conditions and you might want to introduce a protective cover to shield your kitchen in the cooler months. A roof or canopy is one the more reliable protective measures you can take. Also, build walls around the kitchen to shield it from strong winds.
What will your outdoor kitchen look like?