Add spice to your garden with an outside kitchen
One of the simple pleasures of having a garden is being able to enjoy entertaining and dining outdoors with family and friends. We don’t know why, but food always tastes better in the open air, especially when accompanied by a nice glass of wine, a chilled beer or a cool cocktail.
However, spare a thought for the lonely chef stuck indoors, preparing the food and drinks while their guests are outside enjoying themselves. There is of course a solution to this: take the kitchen outside.
Outdoor kitchens have long been popular around the world, especially in the USA and in southern Europe where their climates are perfect for enjoying an outdoor lifestyle. However, they’ve been gaining in popularity in the UK in recent years, with better designs and specialist equipment available, built to withstand the worst of the British weather.
We think outdoor kitchens are a fantastic addition to a garden, especially if the home owner loves cooking and entertaining. Outdoor kitchens become the natural focus point for any garden party, putting the chef at the heart of the fun.
Of course, getting the best outdoor kitchen to suit your needs is important and here are some things to consider to help you get it right:
Combine functionality with style
We believe it is important to design a kitchen that blends into your outdoor space and enhances its appearance. Consider the materials being used: stone; granite; tiles; stucco; various types of wood. What would blend in and look best for the space, as well as being the most durable and easy to maintain?
Garden Kitchen Equipment
Obviously, this will be influenced by the space you have available and the budget you set for the project, but do consider the range and types of food you’ll be preparing. Central to a well-equipped outdoor kitchen will be a good grill, which can either be gas or charcoal fuelled. A pizza oven is a nice addition that will look great too. See picture attached of a pizza oven Papillon recently fitted into a client’s garden near Ellon, Aberdeenshire. We also love Uuni’s new innovative outdoor pizza ovens – see here: uk.uuni.net.
In addition to the various options for grills and ovens, remember to have sufficient worktop and storage space, while a bar and beverage service area is also handy for parties. Add in a sink and a refrigerator and you’ll have a well-equipped outdoor kitchen.
The Perfect Location
Especially in Scotland, the right spot in your garden will be where you have the most shelter from the elements. It’s also important to consider where the sunlight will be at the times when you’re most likely to be cooking outside.
Depending on the scope of your kitchen design, it’s also worth considering the practicalities for installing electricity, gas and plumbing, while if you’re outdoor kitchen is going to be more basic, then consider the ease of access to your indoor kitchen.
Maintenance and Weather Protection
An outdoor kitchen will require regular maintenance and protection from the weather. Given the Scottish climate, it is important to use durable materials and to fit specialist outdoor appliances and equipment.
An open-air kitchen is exposed to dirt and dust in the air and to wild life, so regular cleaning is essential, while specialist weather proof covers should be used to protect your kitchen from the elements. Many protective features, such as covers and screens can be cleverly built into the design for added convenience.
In the winter months, remember to drain and turn off the outside water supply, to avoid burst pipes.
Enjoying good food and drinks outdoors with friends and family is a perfect way to spend a relaxing summers evening, and an outdoor kitchen will really add to the enjoyment. Such happy occasions are at the heart of family and social life in countries blessed with sunnier climates. However, with the good planning and design, suitable equipment and regular maintenance, outdoor kitchens can be enjoyed in Scotland too.