A trend that is really taking off in the UK is to move the kitchen outside! These have been popular in Australia for some years due to their hot climate, but are making moves over here now. This does not mean that you no longer have a kitchen inside the house, but it is referring to people building a kitchen outdoors for the summer months which is much more than just a BBQ.
The summers are hotting up and cooking in a stuffy kitchen in this boiling hot weather is not ideal. This is why many of us are choosing to create a space in our garden to cook al fresco, which is also much more fun and sociable.
For some inspiration, we have put together some ideas for an outdoor kitchen area and what you need to consider when looking into creating one of your own.
Choose your preferred cooking style
The beauty of an outdoor kitchen is that you can choose your weapon when it comes to what you want to cook with. You can even have multiple appliances installed or stand-alone.
The classic choice is a BBQ or a grill. These are great, but you could be really adventurous and get a pizza oven put into your garden to make home-made pizzas. You can even have a traditional hob installed so that you can do all of your cooking outdoors in the hot, summer months.
The workspace and countertops are also very important and you should make sure that there is enough space for cooking and decoration.
You should also ensure that you choose weatherproof materials for the countertops as your outdoor kitchen is going to be exposed to all types of weather. Avoid things like wood and rather go for things like stone tiles, flagstones or slabs. It is important that they are treated with an acrylic sealer. This will not only make the surface more weather resistant, but it will also make it easier to clean.
An outdoor sink
For the full al fresco experience, you could also install an outdoor sink so that you can do your washing up or cooking which requires water in the open air.
Please note that installing the plumbing which is required is potentially very costly. You may want to look into placing your sink on an external wall of your house, just below an existing outdoor tap to successfully minimise the cost. However, you will still need to factor in the hot water supply so you may need to install an additional tap.
Make sure that you consider the weather here as well by having a way to cover the tap to protect it in the winter or in generally bad weather. An outdoor sink will also need more cleaning as well!
As you are probably aware, British weather is rather unpredictable. But, a shelter isn’t just for the rain, it is also useful to have shelter to provide shade on those really sunny and hot days.
You can build in a designated area or you can have a “fold-away” option. Do take into account the safety of the this as it will be close to the BBQ, hob or grill, so make sure the area is well ventilated and the materials used are not highly flammable.
Keeping it cool
A really nice and smart idea, when you are planning on entertaining in the back garden with ice cold drinks, is to install an outdoor fridge and/or cooler to keep the bottles cool within reaching distance.
When looking for fridges specifically, you should look into models which are able to be placed outside. Also, factor in the expense this will bring to power it up.
Outdoor Fire Pit
When the evening draws in and the temperature starts to drop, having an outside fire pit can be a really great idea to carry on the outside relaxation station.
Again, make sure this is safe and done professionally rather than DIY as you do not want to be burning down your new outdoor kitchen!