Outdoor kitchens are a relatively novel phenomenon that arose from people having regular barbecues on their patios. Modern outdoor kitchens often don’t feature a classic coal or wood-fired barbecue. Instead, these now look less or more the same as your standard, indoor kitchen. The BBQ is still there, but it’s a gas-fired one in most cases.
So, why do so many people install outdoor kitchens?
Firstly, indoor kitchens can accumulate various smells when you’re cooking, and you need a rather powerful hood to get rid of it. An outdoor kitchen normally doesn’t need any hoods or extractors. Second, it’s nice weather and you need to prepare food inside? No way! Getting both yourself and the kitchen to the backyard is a much better idea.
So how does your patio evolve into a fully functional outdoor kitchen? You can simply lay bricks around to make it look like a kitchen and let enough space for a couple of core appliances: the sink, a fridge, and of course, the BBQ. Also leave one or more racks for cabinets. Cabinets need to be fully enclosed, of course. Ideally they should be made of metal. The next thing is to add the worktop. While it sounds straightforward, there can be a lot of work involved with things like plumbing and supplying gas and electricity.
You probably noticed that most storage units in outdoor kitchens are made of metal – and that’s for a reason. Stainless steel, aluminium or alloys are very resistant to the outdoor environment, and if it’s an outdoor kitchen it’s no exception.
Other than brick, your kitchen may be made of marble, granite, concrete (with finishings to associate it with the facade of your house). Some kitchens use wooden or even plastic storage boxes. These usually won’t last long. . Wooden ones may be a bit better but will require frequent maintenance.
If you want to prepare your food in the yard, there’s every chance you will be sitting and eating it there, too. Cold and windy weather may prevent you from using an outdoor kitchen, but that’s why there are beautiful fireplaces and patio heaters available. Some outdoor kitchen fireplaces even double up as pizza ovens, turning them into a real kitchen appliance and not just a heater.
So, what size is ideal for an outdoor kitchen? Remember that you won’t be using your outdoor kitchen as often as the indoor one, so don’t aim to make it the same size. Try to only include things that are necessary. Total worktop span shouldn’t be greater than three meters in most cases. The kitchen on the image below serves as a perfect example. It’s compact, has everything that’s needed for preparing a delicious lunch, enough space for storing items, and is well covered.
Covering your kitchen will not just protect you and the appliances from rain, it can also serve as a ceiling for lighting fixtures. Only with a covered outdoor kitchen you will get proper illumination at night. Add to this some LEDs around the worktop and the fire and you get a brightly lit kitchen despite being outdoors.