Are you itching to spend more time outdoors this summer? If so, an outdoor kitchen might be the perfect addition to your home. An outdoor kitchen is a fully functioning cooking space that’s built outdoors.
These spaces are gaining popularity because they offer a great way to extend the usable space of your home during warm weather months. In fact, adding an outdoor kitchen can also increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell it. An outdoor kitchen can be constructed in almost any back garden and is a great investment for anyone looking to enjoy their back garden space all year round. Read on to learn everything you need to know about choosing and installing an outdoor kitchen in your back garden!
When planning an outdoor kitchen, there are a few things you will need to consider. In this guide, we hope to give you some general information to get you started.
Table of Contents
- What’s So Great About Outdoor Kitchens?
- Why Build an Outdoor Kitchen?
- How to Choose Your Outdoor Kitchen
- Makes And Models And Buying The Right Tool For The Job
- Where is the best location to put my outdoor kitchen?
- Hire All About Outdoor Living and get building!
- What Outdoor Kitchen appliances do I need?
- Built-in gas BBQ grill
- Charcoal cooking
- The Big Green Egg
- High-Temp Grill
- Low & Slow Smoker
- Outdoor Oven
- What is the best gas to use for an Outdoor Kitchen?
- 13kg Patio gas bottle (Propane)
- Do I need a sink?
- What is the kitchen made of?
- Whistler Cirencester range
- How much worktop space do you need for an outdoor kitchen?
- What is the best surface for an outdoor kitchen?
- What worktops are used?
- What storage and cupboards are available?
- Cupboard doors
- Storage space
- Outdoor bar area
- How to Care for Your Outdoor Kitchen
- Frequently Asked Questions
What’s So Great About Outdoor Kitchens?
There are many reasons why outdoor kitchens are quickly becoming the new norm in gardens across the country. For starters, outdoor kitchens allow you to enjoy your outdoor space for longer periods of time throughout the year. Since the kitchen is outdoors, you can use it all year round, even during extreme temperatures. Outdoor kitchens are also a great entertainment space for hosting garden parties for friends and family. They are a central gathering place for everyone to mingle and socialise. Outdoor kitchens often come with natural stone countertops and beautiful built-in fixtures like grills, sinks, and fireplaces. They can be designed to match your home’s architectural style and add to the aesthetic of your garden space. Another great thing about outdoor kitchens is that they are relatively easy to install. You can build your outdoor kitchen from scratch, or you can purchase a kit and have your contractor install it for you. Outdoor kitchens are also a fairly low-cost upgrade. With All About Outdoor Living, you can find outdoor kitchen kits for £5,000. The average outdoor kitchen project costs around £10,000, but the return on investment is well worth the initial cost.
Why Build an Outdoor Kitchen?
As we’ve already discussed, outdoor kitchens are great for extending the usable space of your home. They can also be a great way to increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell it. Outdoor kitchens are a beautiful addition to any back garden and can increase the amount of entertaining space in your home. However, if you’re thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen, there are several other reasons why it’s a good idea. First of all, outdoor kitchens are a great way to keep your indoor kitchen cleaner. Since the cooking takes place outdoors, your indoor kitchen stays cleaner and isn’t as prone to grease splatter and mess. Another great thing about outdoor kitchens is that they are a great source of entertainment. Outdoor kitchens are perfect for hosting large backyard parties. They are also a great way to bring the family together. Nothing brings people together like a good old-fashioned barbecue.
How to Choose Your Outdoor Kitchen
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re choosing your outdoor kitchen. First, you’ll want to decide where you want your kitchen to be located in your garden. Once you’ve decided where you want your kitchen to go, you’ll want to think about the style of the kitchen you want to install. There are two main types of outdoor kitchens: Standard and custom. A standard outdoor kitchen comes with a complete set of cabinets, drawers, and stone countertops. A custom outdoor kitchen, on the other hand, is completely unique to your back garden and the space you have available. If you’re looking for a standard outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to decide on the style of cabinets and countertops you want. Be sure to consider the style of your home when choosing cabinets. You also might want to consider the amount of space you have and where you want the kitchen to go.
Makes And Models And Buying The Right Tool For The Job
Choosing the right cooking appliances to fit into your new outdoor kitchen can be slightly daunting. We at All About Outdoor Living have direct access to all of the major and smaller manufacturer’s kits, we can supply many makes and models:
- Alfa Forni Pizza Ovens
- Beefeater BBQs
- Big Green Egg
- Broil King
- Bull Grills
- Fire Magic
- Gozney Pizza Ovens
- Kamado Joe
- Napoleon Grills & Fridges
- Sub Zero & Wolf
- Sunstone Grills
- Whistler Grills
To name a few. Let us guide you through the process and listen to how you want to cook, we will provide you with several options giving you the confidence that you are buying the right tool
Where is the best location to put my outdoor kitchen?
The kitchen will need to be built on a solid surface, such as a patio or deck. We would suggest that you position your outdoor kitchen in a place where it would not obstruct any existing views.
Some of our clients prefer to place their outdoor kitchen in a shaded area, and some prefer to position it in the sunshine. We would not recommend your kitchen to be positioned under any trees, due to the ongoing cleaning and debris. However, if this is the only option, we can recommend companies who can make a specially fitted cover to protect your kitchen- as seen in the photos below.
Often, our clients will finish their kitchen off with a bioclimatic pergola, which is a great option to give your kitchen a more permanent solution to shading and protection from rain and bad weather. Here’s a few examples of pergolas fitted.
Other pergolas and canopy solutions are available, we’d be happy to advise and recommend products to best suit your outdoor living space and budget.
When considering the location of your kitchen, you may want to take into account your existing services such as water, waste, and power supply. It can be costly to run utilities a long distance. The burners and grills are generally run by charcoal/wood or LPG bottled gas.
Hire All About Outdoor Living and get building!
Before you start building your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to make sure you have all your permits in place. You’ll also want to call your local utility companies and let them know about your plans to build an outdoor kitchen. A standard outdoor kitchen can be built in a few short weeks after everything is approved by the local government. However, if you want a custom outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to start the planning process a few months in advance so you have enough time to get everything approved and built. Before you start building your outdoor kitchen, make sure you do some research and find a contractor who specializes in building outdoor kitchens. All About Outdoor Living specialise in outdoor kitchens and we know the best materials to use to keep the structure weatherproof and protected from the elements.
What Outdoor Kitchen appliances do I need?
Let’s start with the cooking. A lot will depend on what type of cooking you will be doing in your outdoor kitchen: grilling, frying, roasting, baking, or a bit of everything!
Built-in gas BBQ grill
These come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of them have added extras such as searing burners for steaks, rotisseries for grilling large lumps of meat, and flat plates for frying food like bacon, eggs, vegetables and fish.
There are a huge variety of outdoor cooking appliances on the market. Here is a simple guide to some of the most popular brands we use and our clients love. We also have access to lesser-known brands and their economic ranges. All About Outdoor Living are happy to advise you on the best grill to suit your needs.
Charcoal cooking still remains a popular choice. Although the heating up of the fuel can take longer than the gas option and can take a little more time to clean and maintain, some clients prefer the more traditional BBQ experience.
Due to the extreme heat that a charcoal BBQ produces, there are only a few specialist companies who will supply charcoal built-in BBQ. (Fire Magic and Bull). There are many more stand-alone charcoal BBQs available on the market.
Fire Magic charcoal built-in grill can be placed in a bespoke outdoor kitchen. The Fire Master is operated by a handle on the front that adjusts the height of the charcoal pan, giving you lots of cooking options without burning your food.
There is also a front hatch giving you access to the charcoal. This is a great option for the charcoal cooking lover.
Bull Bison Charcoal Grill
The Bison Charcoal Grill head, manufactured by BULL, has been re-engineered for greater performance. The new vent system allows for greater temperature control with the ability to regulate the oxygen flow into the burning charcoal. Now, you can set up the Bull Bison for slow and low BBQ, or open it up to get that steak house quality sear on your meats. The Bison Built-In is a 76cm Stainless Steel Charcoal Barbecue Grill. A perfect fit for your bespoke outdoor kitchen.
These ceramic, clay-lined, egg-shaped appliances are stylish and hugely popular.
These world-renowned ceramic grills pack the latest technology and meticulous craftsmanship inside each iconic red barbecue. The thick-walled, heat-resistant shell locks in smoke and moisture at any temperature. The quality of the Kamado Joe is one of the best we’ve ever seen.
The ceramic walls are also great for increasing charcoal efficiency. You don’t need as much charcoal to reach the same temperatures as a traditional charcoal BBQ and it will burn longer.
Kamado Joe grills use true charcoal or lump charcoal fuel rather than the presoaked charcoal or traditional charcoal and lighter fluid. Cooking in a Kamado-style grill provides true smoke and charcoal flavor.
The Big Green Egg
The EGG is much more than just a grill… it is a complete outdoor cooking system. It is engineered to be stronger, more durable, and provide better heat retention than any outdoor cooker on the market. While most grills retreat in the colder months, the thermal efficiency of an EGG performs as well in winter as it does all summer. The EGG has an exterior glaze that easily wipes clean. Inside, residual heat burns away any build-up – just like a self-cleaning oven.
The EGG is known for its convenience, versatility, and fantastic cooking results.
Sear steaks, chops, burgers and seafood with a flavorful crust unmatched by other grills. High-temp steakhouse chargrilling – even stir-frying – is so quick and easy you’ll look for reasons to eat at home!
Gatherings are more memorable when you roast a juicy turkey, rack of lamb or ham on a Big Green Egg. The superior cooking qualities produce the most flavorful roasts, braises and stews you’ve ever tasted.
Low & Slow Smoker
The EGG’s insulating ceramics allow for precise temp control even at a lower heat. Want to barbecue at low heat for 16 hours or longer? No problem! An EGG can do that on a single fill of natural lump charcoal.
The EGG bakes bread, cooks casseroles and desserts better than your kitchen oven.
These are the best selling Kamado products on the market. We do have access to cheaper models copied and manufactured in China, however, we would recommend you buy the genuine products for longevity.
What is the best gas to use for an Outdoor Kitchen?
I often get asked about the best gas to use when cooking outdoors. The most common is LPG or bottled gas. You will need to buy a couple of bottles of gas if you don’t want to run out. My favorite gas is Calor.
13kg Patio gas bottle (Propane)
This bottle is available at many Calor gas retailers but is currently unavailable to buy online. Please check with a Calor retailer for local availability. We recommend calling before traveling to check if they have the bottle you are after. Ideal for patio heaters and large BBQs with 4 burners or more.
The 13kg Patio gas bottle is fitted with an innovative Gas Trac® indicator that lets you know how much gas you have remaining.
How do I connect an outdoor BBQ to a gas bottle?
What is a Cylinder Refill Agreement?
Which regulator do I need?
Do I need a sink?
When preparing food outside, having a water supply and sink top space handy will make life easier and your outdoor prep space run more smoothly. Outdoor sinks are usually only fitted with a cold water supply. A hot water heater can be installed, but it is advised to ensure you have a frost-protected heater unless you are planning to drain and isolate the unit in the winter months. As mentioned previously, if you would like to include a sink in your outdoor kitchen, you will need to think about your fresh water supply and wastewater collection.
We think a sink is a great option to have, providing there is an adequate water supply and there is a waste connection available. The sink in an outdoor kitchen is generally used to rinse plates and glasses, It’s a handy thing to have when preparing food, and washing salads and vegetables. And of course, washing your hands.
Stainless steel sinks are the most popular sink in an outdoor kitchen. They are available as drop-in or under-mounted sinks. Ceramic butler sinks look great but can mark easily when cleaning metal grills so it’s worth considering the main use of your outdoor sink when making your decision.
The sink to use is stainless steel about 500mm square. This will be big enough for most plates. There are many options available, the most popular is to be mounted under the worktop, or there are sinks that sit on top.
The All About Outdoor Team will happily advise you about plumbing solutions when designing your outdoor kitchen.
The taps are generally the same as your indoor kitchen taps. Here are some examples below of some popular choices.
What is the kitchen made of?
There are many materials used in building an outdoor kitchen. At All About Outdoor Living, we think the most suitable material is galvanised steel framework, it’s lightweight, strong, and will withstand all types of weather.
We are also able to build in solid block work, but we feel that the galvanised steel framework is a better option when building an outdoor kitchen.
Both options are non-combustible and this is the most important factor when building an outdoor kitchen.
The frame will then be clad in a non-combustible boarding and before cloaked with a porcelain tile or timber cladding. In our opinion, porcelain is the better option as it is generally safer and is easier to clean.
Whistler Cirencester range
This is a ready-made kitchen and a fantastic option for the lower budget. These kitchens are delivered to your door and are self-assembled with just screws and wing nuts. It’s very simple to put together and has amazing quality too. The unique thing about this kitchen is that it is movable. The units can be purchased separately or as a complete kitchen.
- The Whistler Cirencester range comes with a 5-year guarantee on the main grill unit which is very good in the BBQ world.
- The Cirencester 4 has 4 main burners but also has a rear rotisserie grill and a side burner.
- The 6 has 6 main burners and a rear grill and a side burner. A side burner is a great accessory to have for heating up Potts and pans.
- The system is delivered kerbside complete in boxes, there is no assembly of the units needed as they just bolt together with bolts and wingnuts apart from the fridge which has no fixings.
- The whole kitchen is on wheels and can be moved around and when the correct position is decided there are adjustable legs that come down to level and secure the kitchen in place.
- If the sink option is required there will need to be a suitable water supply and waste pipe available for the final connection.
- There will need to be a suitable power supply also for the fridge and burner. The gas bottle will need to be placed in the gas bottle cupboard supplied with all kitchens.
You will need a power supply, and water if the sink is being used. We can offer this kitchen price on application and can assist in the installation if required at an extra cost.
How much worktop space do you need for an outdoor kitchen?
When we design an outdoor kitchen we pay a lot of attention to the amount of available worktop space. Similar to your indoor kitchen, you can never have too much worktop space. It is surprising how much space can get eaten up by the appliances and it is often a good idea to allow more than you think you will need. A very useful space is above a fridge as this normally is vacant and not used for any other use than the preparation of drinks and food. If you are including a pizza oven you need to allow the sufficient area to prepare the pizza and have room for the toppings! The worktop needs to be a nonporous surface that can be easily cleaned.
What is the best surface for an outdoor kitchen?
Granite is ideal for an outdoor kitchen. If you have a porous surface be sure to include room for a large preparation board.
If you are having a sink be sure to allow room to the side of the sink to drain whatever you are washing or rinsing. The key is to get a professional outdoor kitchen designer to create a layout for you to incorporate all your wish list of appliances and have enough room to use them! All About Outdoor Living can help, we are experienced designers and can put some designs together for you in a very short period of time.
What worktops are used?
We recommend a polished granite or marble worktop. Although there are a lot of options available, these natural stone tops are proven to be the most durable and suitable for outdoor use.
Polished granite: Absolute black worktop
Polished concrete is on trend at the moment and looks fantastic when installed. It has been known to stain and fade over time if it isn’t sealed correctly.
Unfortunately, Timber, Quartz’s and Formica worktops are not suitable for outdoor kitchens.
Raised bars and extended worktops help to make your outdoor kitchen a more sociable place to gather by creating the perfect seating and eating area.
What storage and cupboards are available?
There are several options when it comes to doors and cupboards in a bespoke outdoor kitchen. If you are looking for a long-lasting outdoor kitchen, you really need to go for stainless steel, purpose-made products.
An outdoor kitchen isn’t a good place to store food, plates or cutlery unless in a sealed container or drawer unit.
The most useful unit is the bin! There are trash bins available as a combination with triple drawers.
There are single and double doors for access and larger doors for storing and hiding the gas bottles.
There are single-drawer units and triple-drawer units. All are designed to be installed in a bespoke kitchen and the height is calculated to fit beneath the appliances.
The doors are manufactured to withstand all weather conditions, made from top-quality stainless steel.
These doors and cupboards come in all different sizes and are the correct size to fit under the appliances. You can get Trash drawers and triple drawer units. There are single doors for access and double doors for storage. We always recommend you put any perishables in a sealed box.
There are tall doors to allow for the tall gas bottles with ease. The cupboard door is just a front and will not have a cupboard behind. We generally raise the floor in the cupboards and tile them to give a dry surface. The kitchen is designed to have rainwater running through them.
When All About Outdoor Living design an outdoor kitchen, we try and achieve as much storage as possible.
The appliances have covers provided but these will not stop the rain penetration into the cupboards. So if you are storing charcoal or kindling make sure they are in a waterproof container. A wood store on an outdoor kitchen is a good idea and it really looks great.
Outdoor bar area
The outdoor kitchen is a perfect place to incorporate a bar area.
We will always advise you that the type of seating you buy for this bar is important, we have come across many mistakes by clients who go online and purchased chairs and stools for their new outdoor kitchen and they just don’t fit!
It is most important to get the dimensions to the underside of the bar worktop. This will give you a better idea of what to look for. We don’t recommend stools with arms as they won’t push under the bar when not in use and are difficult to get up on and off.
Try and get an adjustable height stool with a swivel seat, this will cover all eventualities. Most importantly ensure they are suitable for outdoor use
Removable cushions are a good idea as they will get moldy over time if left out.
How to Care for Your Outdoor Kitchen
The best way to care for your outdoor kitchen is to keep a regular maintenance schedule. You’ll want to sweep the deck and clean your stone countertops at least once a week. Once a month, you should also be sure to use an outdoor cleaning spray to keep the countertops and deck clean and protected from the elements. Be sure to store your outdoor appliances during the winter months. If you live in a cold climate, you might want to cover your outdoor appliances until spring comes around again. Frequent maintenance is the best way to keep your outdoor kitchen in good shape for years to come. If your outdoor kitchen is older and needs a few repairs, be sure to contact a contractor as soon as possible. An outdoor kitchen that isn’t properly maintained can become a serious health hazard.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of contractor should I hire to build my outdoor kitchen?
How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?
What appliances should be included in an outdoor kitchen?
Will building an outdoor kitchen add value to my property?
There are many reasons to build an outdoor kitchen, including the ability to extend the usable space of your home and increase its value of it when you decide to sell. Before you start building, make sure you get all the necessary permits and call your local utility companies to let them know about your plans. Next, decide on the style of the kitchen you want and find a contractor who specialises in outdoor kitchens so you know you are getting the best materials for your kitchen. Finally, keep your outdoor kitchen maintained and clean to extend its lifetime. When all is said and done, an outdoor kitchen is a great investment for anyone looking to enjoy their garden space all year round!
If you have any questions about our products or services or would like to discuss plans for your outdoor kitchen, please get in touch with our team:
email@example.com | 07711 071505