1. Think about how you will use your space
Try to visualise how you intend to use your Outdoor Kitchen and ask yourself lots of questions. A great start is; How often will I be using my Outdoor Kitchen? This will determine what inclusions you require, the space you need and will get you thinking more about detail.
You may only be using it to entertain large family gatherings or you may want the experience of cooking Outdoors on a more regular basis. If it is a regular 3-4 times a week event then where will you store all your utensils and items? What is the proximity of the indoor kitchen? Will I need a sink or dishwasher to make the space self-sufficient? All great questions and the more you ask yourself the better prepared you will be.
A great resource to start your journey is our Outdoor Kitchen Design Checklist.
2. Services and Connections
We are ranking this consideration highly as it is often overlooked. Whilst not as glamourous as appliances, material finishes and colour choices, the position and access to your services is a critical component of your Outdoor Kitchens design and function. If you are building or renovating then please consult your Outdoor Kitchen designer in the early stages. Plans can then be made to put your gas, plumbing and electrical in the correct positions. If renovating an existing space then considerations will need to be made on moving services to the required area. You will also need to engage a professional to make sure existing services have the capacity to handle the inclusions you are putting into your design. Older gas lines may need upgrading and electrical points moved to a more convenient location. Do not skip over this detail as it will save you potential pain and cost to get it right from the outset.
Dekton Kelya Benchtop Sink Cover
3. BBQ Selection
Your Barbeque is the centre piece of your functional Outdoor Kitchen and as such needs to perform, but don't forget looks. A custom built Outdoor Kitchen is a value adding piece of joinery and as such needs to look good as well as perform. It will add considerable value to your home and last many many years. The BBQ needs to do the same so do not compromise on the heart and soul. Let's face it, some BBQ's are ugly to look at so have some consideration for the aesthetic.
Here is also where you need to think hard about your cooking habits. Do you need a combination of solid plate and grill? Is the BBQ set up to take a rotisserie? What are the dimensions of the cooking surfaces? Will this be enough for your bigger events? We will go into BBQ selection in more detail in future blog posts, however as vain as it sounds, put some value in getting an eye pleasing unit. The overall look of your space will depend on it.
Your Outdoor Kitchen will have cabinets. Think about what you want to store outside to make your Outdoor Kitchen even more functional. Many inserts for storing various items are available. Integrated waste systems, pull out shelving and cutlery inserts are all popular items. Having the correct internal storage will mean that everything you need to be the greatest entertainer on your block will be organised and at your finger tips. Drawers are popular, however can be a bit more costly than doors so think about how many drawers you require and engage an Outdoor Kitchen designer to give you options and a solution.
Hettich Push to Open Drawer System
If you are going to be using your Outdoor Kitchen on a regular basis, and why wouldn't you, then a comfortable cooking environment is important. Once again the questions you ask yourself will entirely depend on your requirements and space. If sun is a problem then you might want to consider some decorative screening or even some aluminium louvres for shelter.
If you are bit more exposed then consideration should be given to some kind of pergola or awning system. A good Outdoor Kitchen specialist will have affiliate businesses that will be able to help with related items such as these.
In more enclosed environments then a rangehood is a must to clear excessive grease and smoke. A BBQ generates a large amount of heat compared to an indoor cooktop. A range hood will need to be a semi commercial unit capable of moving a minimum of 2000m3 of air per hour. It will require heavy duty filters and quality internal parts.
There you go guys. Our Top 5 Tips to structure your thinking around Outdoor Kitchen design. Please check out our website for project inspiration and more information regarding everything outdoor Kitchens. Another great blog post to catch is our FAQ's
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