One of the most popular trends in gardens right now is ‘outdoor kitchens’. An increasing number of people enjoy home cooking, and most agree that cooking outside takes the experience to another level. So, where our outdoor cooking options were basically limited to a BBQ on the patio, now you can create your own wonderful outdoor culinary paradise! So a very common question we are asked at Ovaeda is “How do I build an outdoor kitchen”. In this article, we’ll look at the following
Key Steps for Creating an Outdoor Kitchen
- Key components of an Outdoor Kitchen
- Outdoor Kitchen building methods
- Budget & Costs
- Quality Outdoor Kitchen Suppliers and Products to Consider
- How to Build Your Outdoor Kitchen
Once we’ve been through these, you’ll be in a great position to start researching and designing your outdoor kitchen!
Key Components of an Outdoor Kitchen
Whilst every outdoor kitchen will be slightly different, let’s have a look at what most outdoor kitchen designs will likely include:
- Cooking – it goes without saying that this is the number 1 component. As well as the usual suspects of Charcoal BBQs & Gas BBQs, there are lot’s of other cook ideas to think about such as pizza ovens, griddles, wood-fired ovens, sinks, fridges, ice buckets etc!
- Preparation – Space will be needed for food & drink preparation, so some good solid worktops which are weatherproof and non-porous would be the best option – porcelain is great for this
- Storage – Built-in cupboards and other storage space is very important, stainless steel is normally used for drawings and cupboards as this will not get rusty with the rain and damp
- Drinks – An area for drinks is very important! Fridges and ice buckets are a great addition for your summer evenings with friends & family, and you could even create your own bar!
- Seating/Eating – There are great outdoor furniture options on the market, or you can create a built in bar or table for eating at
- Shelter – Creating a covered area for your outdoor kitchen can make it even more useable, especially in the UK where our weather often leaves a bit to be desired. Get in touch to discuss our canopies and pergolas which are a great option for this!
- Composite Decking & Porcelain Paving – A durable and hard-wearing flooring surface will be critical to withstand the demands of your outdoor kitchen. You’ll want to go for something low maintenance and stain resistant, so composite decking & porcelain paving are definitely the two best options to consider from this point of view. Read more about what makes composite decking a good option here , and find out the benefits of porcelain paving here. And when you are ready, why not browse through our paving & decking products!
Outdoor Kitchen Building Methods
Broadly speaking, there are three main ways you can create an outdoor kitchen; DIY to your own design & specification, use a specialist to design & install a bespoke kitchen, or purchase an ‘off the shelf’ kitchen. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of these three methods:
DIY – This option tends to be cheapest, so if you are restricted on budget this might be the route to go down. You can create a kitchen frame out of a number of different materials, but you’ll want to avoid anything that will rust or degrade. Whilst this option will save you money, it will be a lot more effort for you, and you will need to source components from a number of different suppliers. Pros: Lowest cost, endless design possibilities. Cons: Most work required to build and maintain.
Outdoor Kitchen Design & Build specialist – If you would prefer something that is bespoke and to your specification, but you don’t fancy the hard work then it would be worth considering this option. They will assist with the design to achieve exactly what you are after, then will normally look after the sourcing of everything for the build, then they will install it for you! This option is often the most expensive, partly due to the fact it is bespoke – you can design pretty much whatever you like! Pros: Endless design possibilities, least work required. Cons: Can easily become the most expensive option
Predesigned ‘Off the shelf’ kitchens – This is a great option if you are looking for something quicker to install, and also these products are more proven so you can look at customer reviews etc for your peace of mind. Some options are removeable, which also means that you have the option to take it with you if you move house. There is a wide range of options on the market, from full kitchens to smaller units which consist of a barbeque grill with ‘add-ons’ such as worktop space, sinks and fridges. Pros: Proven products and designs, quickest & simplest way to get your kitchen. Cons: Often expensive, and design options are more limited.
Budget & Costs
If you are looking to create an outdoor kitchen, as I’ve already mentioned, you need to be aware before you start your research that outdoor kitchens tend to be quite expensive. As with everything, there are different options to suit different budgets, but if you’ve ever purchased a kitchen inside (probably likely if you’re considering another one for the outside!), you will know that kitchens cost a lot. And if you think about the fact outdoor kitchens, whilst not used quite so regularly as it’s indoor cousin, has to deal with our UK weather year in year out without falling apart, you can see why these things are not cheap! Let’s look at some approximate budget costs for the different types of outdoor kitchen to give you an idea
- DIY outdoor kitchen – For a typical 15 – 20sqm kitchen with a large gas grill, charcoal bbq, pizza oven, worktops, storage & seating etc, you can expect to spend between £5K - £10K, depending on what products and materials you choose
- Specialist Design & Install outdoor kitchen – For a similar kitchen to the above DIY, you should expect the additional cost of a professional to design & install it will cost an additional £5 - £10K, so this would be likely to cost at least £10 – £20K in total
- Predesigned ‘Off the shelf’ Outdoor Kitchen – Again for a similar kitchen size and spec to the above options, this would likely cost £10 - £15K, possibly slightly more if the supplier installs it.
Bear in mind that if you create a paving or decking area for your kitchen to go on, this will likely cost you around £75 - £150 per sqm, so another £1.5 - £2.5K, and if you want a covered area, whilst there is lots of different options for this, you will be looking at at least the same again as the decking or paving. You can see how you could easily spend £20K on your outdoor kitchen without much difficulty!
Quality Outdoor Kitchen Suppliers and Products to Consider
Now that you know more about what an outdoor kitchen involve, to help out here’s three outdoor kitchen companies who I’d would recommend you consider for your outdoor kitchen
- Grillo Outdoor Kitchens – fabulously designed kitchen modules which you can used to create your dream kitchen, including grills, fridges, and even the famous ‘anvil’. Why not take a look at the amazing Grillo Outdoor Kitchen products?
- Sumo Outdoor – Bespoke Outdoor kitchens designed and installed using a long lasting durable steel frame system
- Life Outdoors – Off the shelf outdoor kitchen components from gas grill manufacturers Napoleon.
How to Build Your Outdoor Kitchen
- Plan carefully – A job well planned is a job half done!
- Prepare the Area – you will require a solid and stable floor for your outdoor kitchen. For this reason, Composite Decking or Porcelain Paving are an excellent options to consider for your Outdoor Kitchen floor.
- Run your Utility lines – you will most likely need to provide water supply, electricity, and possibly gas supply if you are having permanent gas fixtures for examples a large gas BBQ. It is highly recommended that you use professional tradesmen to carry out these tasks to ensure correct procedures and for your own safety.
- Build your Shelter – It’s very common to build a shelter over and around an outdoor kitchen, though it isn’t always required. In the UK, a canopy or pergola will provide an often needed measure of protection from the elements. A shelter also helps define your outdoor kitchen and dining area within the overall landscape.
- Install Kitchen Units & Appliances – If you have chosen to use a specialist Design & Build Supplier or an ‘off the shelf’ outdoor kitchen product, this part of the job might require less input from you. However a DIY kitchen build is no mean feat and is likely to take several weeks to complete
- Furnish and accessorize your Outdoor Area with quality Outdoor Furniture and other garden lighting to really bring it to life!