In Australia, we are so lucky to enjoy long summers and gorgeous weather that’s extremely conducive to living and entertaining outdoors. Here we explore the ultimate outdoor kitchen to ensure your outdoor dining experience is one to remember.
Outdoor Kitchen Layout & Location
Before you start planning all the goodies you want in your outdoor kitchen, it’s essential to consider the location – this is one of the most crucial points. Assess where all the plumbing and electrics or gas will sit – will this need to be installed from scratch? Or can you easily tap into existing utilities? Professional advice is highly recommended. This can save you money and ensure that your kitchen is functional from a fuel point of view.
When considering the perfect space for placement, also think about how this will flow with your indoor kitchen. Many times, these zones will work in sync with each other. For example, having a clear path for traffic can be vital for many budding outdoor chefs. Also, contemplating where you will place your seating in relevance to the kitchen can be essential.
Once the perfect and most practical area is determined, you can consider the layout of your new outdoor kitchen. If you are lucky enough to have ample undercover outside space, you can create a fantastic outdoor kitchen area that is also protected from the weather. Depending on your available space, you can choose from various kitchen layouts to best suit the zone, from triangle outdoor kitchens to the popular L-shaped and U-shaped or a simply stunning straight-line kitchen. Utilising the existing space, you can create an easily accessible and free-flowing outdoor kitchen that can provide you with the ultimate outdoor cooking experience. Remember the bench space! It’s common to hear of many outdoor kitchens needing more bench area to compensate for prep and serving.
Island benches can be a simply breathtaking addition to the outdoor kitchen. They also provide additional prep areas and food serving zones while allowing you to cater to smaller, more casual, or intimate dining experiences.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliances
Like with your indoor kitchen, the choice of appliances is imperative. When contemplating your outdoor devices consider what foods you are more likely to cook when entertaining outside. It’s also crucial that you only purchase specially designed outdoor kitchen appliances. The options are endless, from high-end pizza ovens and smokers to traditional grills, flattop grills, BBQs, and side burners. These appliances can be quickly built into your customised outdoor kitchen or be purchased as freestanding elements. Additional appliances include:
- Outdoor Refrigerator – these come in various styles and can be a full-sized or the prevalent under-bench option. Refrigerators must be fully stainless steel to cope with all-year weather conditions. Many homeowners also utilise an outdoor wine cooler in this space.
- Warming Drawers – are fantastic for the outdoor kitchen space and will prevent you from running inside to keep food warm in your indoor oven. Every outdoor cooking enthusiast will attest to the different cooking times for other foods, particularly when cooking for a larger group. Keeping foods warm while the remainder of the feast is cooking will keep your food fresh, crispy, and delectably delicious.
- Outdoor Oven – Sometimes, the sensational outdoor oven is an overlooked component when creating the outdoor cooking experience. However, the outdoor oven has many advantages. One outstanding aspect is that outdoor ovens can cook at much higher temperatures than indoor ovens, which means crunchier yummier pizzas. So, if you don’t have the space for a specially designed pizza oven or are looking for an alternative that can also cook other dishes, the outdoor oven could be just what you are looking for.
- Ice-Making Machine – when the heat is on, there is nothing more enjoyable than an ice-cold drink. So ditch those bags full of ice or constantly running inside for your guests! An outdoor ice-making machine is incredibly convenient and will certainly be the talking point of your guests.
Outdoor Kitchen Surfaces & Storage
With all outdoor kitchens, the use of suitable materials is essential. They must be durable, easy to maintain, and able to cope with the throws of Mother Nature. This is necessary if you want your outdoor kitchen to stand the test of time. Popular materials are concrete, wood, or metals – stainless steel is the most popular due to its impressive weather-proof and hygienic qualities. Granite is also a prevalent and durable option. Its stain-resistant qualities and durability against the elements see many homeowners flocking to this choice of material. Not to mention – it looks simply stunning and will not fade in direct sunlight.
Outdoor kitchen storage is also a critical component of any design. Having ample storage options will prevent you from running back and forth to the indoor kitchen and allow your space to contain all the necessary crockery and utensils required for the perfect outdoor feast. This can also help you declutter your existing kitchen with all the outdoor cooking tools. Plus, everything will be kept in its place and save you time digging around looking for those long-handled tongs or spatulas while you are busy entertaining.
Like indoor kitchen design and installation, professional advice is also highly recommended. An expert outdoor kitchen designer can showcase ideas to maximise the space and provide a highly functional and beautiful-looking outdoor entertaining area.
At Art of Kitchens, we have specialist designers on staff ready to apply their expertise to your outdoor kitchen project. Contact us today to find out more.