An outdoor kitchen is usually a fantastic idea, especially in Australia where our climate allows us to make use of it year-round. A refrigerator, sink, and grill are some of the basics. However, there are a ton of other extra features to consider to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level. For that reason, this guide will cover everything you need to have in mind when designing your outdoor cooking paradise!
The Perfect Location
When hunting out premium quality alfresco outdoor kitchens to maximise the comfort and functionality of your outdoor space, consider the perfect location for this project. If you deal with limited space, for example, the wall you decide to place your kitchen against can have a significant impact.
Your outdoor kitchen ought to be a part of your house. It’s best to build it off your indoor kitchen or main living areas. Access to water is also important because most outdoor kitchens feature a sink and a faucet. To prevent having to constantly top off the gas bottles for the barbecue, try to situate your kitchen so that you can also run a gas line there. Moreover, it’s more and more common in modern homes to design an outdoor kitchen that matches the interior.
Selecting appliances is the next stage in designing your outdoor kitchen. Although you can easily get distracted by the variety of materials and details, focus on usefulness. In addition to the fridge, sink, and barbecue described in the introduction, there are many other items you might wish to include in the area.
Popular choices include a pizza oven, smoker, deep fryer, hotplate or range hood. However, the hardest working equipment is your barbecue, so make sure you choose the proper one. A huge 6-burner grill, for example, is perfect for large groups or just a dinner for two!
Since it’s not always possible to have all the appliances we want in our outdoor kitchen due to space or budget issues, write a “wish list” of your top priorities and start crossing things off as you go for the best outcome. Avoid settling for subpar goods or cramming everything into the area only to tuck them off; instead, go for thoughtful design and high-quality products.
Sink and Tap
Another important consideration of alfresco outdoor kitchens is finding the ideal sink and tap. The major factors to take into account here are toughness, upkeep, style, and size. Sinks made of durable quartz or stainless steel are best suited for outdoor use.
However, there are still more choices, such as granite, ceramic, concrete, or moulded concrete, which look especially good if the bench top and sink are formed from one piece of concrete. You only need one bowl in the sink to wash dishes or conceal some of the cooking mess.
Moreover, stainless steel is the most widely used material for tapware as well, due to its low maintenance and natural resistance to the elements. Look for PVD or electroplated finishes if you are anxious to use a speciality finish. At all costs, stay away from “powder-coated” surfaces because they will eventually fade or scrape off.
Now that you’ve chosen the necessary components, it’s time to figure out the layout. You will want to design it ergonomically, much like an indoor kitchen. According to the “triangle rule,” there shouldn’t be more than three steps between the cooking area, refrigerator, and sink in an indoor kitchen.
The fridge can be placed anywhere in an outdoor kitchen, but it usually ends up there because it’s a bar fridge for drinks. Instead, have no more than three steps separating the sink from the cooking area and the prep area on the bench.
Additionally, you must have enough bench area adjacent to your barbecue. If you deal with limited space, it can be worth it to reduce the size of your sink to make room for a seat. Drawers, on the other hand, are a great addition to any design, so use them! As they naturally bring the entire contents of the drawer out, drawers let you make the most of your available space.
Cabinetry and Benchtop
Here comes the exciting part of putting the design style into life! Pick cabinets that will best serve the purpose. Some alfresco kitchens which are simply weather resistant and not waterproof are best suited for covered locations.
Since your kitchen is exposed to the outdoors, the durability of the bench tops should be your priority. The most preferred choices are granite, engineered stone, and stainless steel, although stainless steel will scratch with use. Concrete is another lovely option. However, these must be built specifically for each customer, often on-site, which comes at a premium price.
Make sure your kitchen bench is deep enough for your appliances and sinks, regardless of the bench top material you decide on. In an outdoor kitchen where large barbecues are frequently used, the normal depth is 600mm, which is insufficient. We advise consulting the spec papers of each appliance you’ve selected so that you can modify the depth of your bench top to make room for it.
Consider the area as a whole to make sure you can utilize your alfresco kitchen all year long. Can you put in a ceiling fan to help the room stay cool and keep bugs away in the summer? Why not build a misting system if you want to get fancy? What happens throughout the winter?
A stylish choice is radiant strip heaters, especially if they are connected to the walls or ceiling. If you have the space, a fire pit or outdoor fireplace can give your patio some major style and improve the entire area. Rain and wind should also be taken into account. Blinds that block the sun or are waterproof are all common additions.
It’s time to work out the finer details now that you’ve decided on the essential components of your outdoor kitchen. If you can fit one in, a pull-out bin is a must-have element in any kitchen – including those outdoors. You can prepare food and store used drink bottles without constantly going inside with the help of a pair of sizable pull-out bins that are integrated into your cabinets.
Lighting is a frequently overlooked architectural aspect in most areas! To create an unexpected wow factor without going over budget, plan for this early. Don’t simply rely on downlights in your patio area-wall lights above the barbecue and bench top are necessary for your functional layer of lighting.
When it comes to accent or mood lighting, you can experiment and have fun. When used properly, weatherproof LED strip lights look amazing. Deciding what you want to use as a feature before placing it wherever just because you can, is our advice. Also, please hide the lighting strip for a finished product that has a designer feel.