In recent years we have seen a rise in the popularity of outdoor kitchens. Homeowners are taking al fresco dining a step past just an old barbecue, a patio set and a parasol. They are actually having cupboards and worktops installed in outdoor spaces. This may sound a little elaborate – especially when you consider how few sunny days we get here in the UK – but these outdoor kitchens are actually practical and functional…as well as being the perfect finishing touch to your garden.

  • Preparation
    • Very often when we host barbecues, we prepare our food inside. However, we’re not talking about barbecues here. We’re talking about fully functioning outdoor kitchens with stone worktops, storage cupboards and even outdoor refrigerators. With a true outdoor kitchen you are able to prepare and cook the finest of meals in the summer sunshine without the need to keep running into the house. There are a variety of outdoor worktops available for food preparation that are just as functional and beautiful as home kitchen worktops, although these are usually made from stones or weather proof metals, as opposed to hardwood or MDF.
  • Cooking
    • You may think that outdoor kitchens rely on the trusty old barbecues to do the cooking and in some respects you would be right. However, these are no ordinary barbecues. You can choose dual fuel arrangements that use gas primarily for cooking but which also offer charcoal for flavouring certain, you can opt for solely gas cooking facilities or you may decide to go for a second dual fuel option, which incorporates gas and also electric, as often found inside indoor kitchens. And lets not forget exclusively outdoor cooking equipment such as food smokers! While outdoor kitchens may seem to have limitations, in fact they offer more cooking options than a traditional kitchen inside your home.
  • Storage
    • It’s all well and good having space to prepare food and an array of cooking and heating options, outdoor kitchens also offer comprehensive storage options too. Of course there won’t be any MDF cupboards in your outdoor kitchen, as they would be destroyed with the first rain to hit them. Stainless steel is the number one choice when it comes to outdoor kitchen storage. There are limitless options available, which include all of the conveniences you would expect from a traditional kitchen, such as cupboards, drawers, trays, bins and even microwaves and fridges! This means there will be no running in and out of the house to prepare al fresco meals, as everything you need will be just where you want it.
  • Plumbing
    • No kitchen, whether indoors or outdoors, is complete without a kitchen sink. There are still hygiene requirements when preparing food outdoors, just as there are indoors. And just because an outdoor kitchen is exactly that – outdoors – shouldn’t mean that you can’t have hot and cold running water. Outdoor kitchen sinks range from simple stainless steel basins through to elaborate items with in-built beverage chillers and cocktail stations. So no matter what your cleaning and washing requirements, your outdoor kitchen will cater for your needs.
  • Shelter
    • As the UK isn’t exactly famed for its long dry seasons, you should expect some rain every now and then, which can be a real pain when catering for guests outside. However, a little rain shower shouldn’t put an end to a great evening. There are many canopies, shelters and buildings that can be constructed to stop the wet weather from stopping your al fresco fun. These range from simple gazebos and shelters to half brick, half timber constructions as you would find on a sunny beach in the Caribbean.

In summary, if you want to dine and entertain guests outside, you are no longer restricted to the humble barbecue. Now you can wow your guests with gourmet dishes that are prepared and eaten right there in your garden.