In countries outside of the UK (think Mediterranean places like Greece, Italy, South France, and Spain) it’s common for families to cook, eat, and drink outside. Since they have the weather for it, it makes sense that these people would dine al fresco almost every night during the summer months. Here in the UK, we’re not as lucky when it comes to sunny weather, but that just makes a summer evening even more special.
If you, like many others, want to take advantage of those warm afternoons and evenings by cooking a delicious meal for your loved ones, then an outdoor kitchen is a great way to go. Since we’ve all found ourselves spending more time at home over the last two years, more and more people are transforming their gardens into multi-purpose spaces. For many homes, the garden is an extension of the house, mirroring the taste level, shapes, lighting, and furniture decoration. So if you need a sign to follow that idea and get the ball rolling on your outdoor kitchen project, this is it!
Read on as we take a look at some reasons an outdoor kitchen could transform your outdoor area entirely.
11 Reasons Why You Need an Outdoor Kitchen in Your Garden
Who doesn’t love the idea of having an outdoor kitchen? It’s perfect for almost every homeowner: those who love to craft sumptuous meals with plenty of space, those who love to entertain, and those who simply enjoy the taste of barbecued food. Here are ten great reasons to build an outdoor kitchen in your garden:
1. An outdoor cooking area can increase the value of your home. A well-built outdoor kitchen often means that modellers can earn a high rate of return when the time comes to sell. It may seem strange to think about what something so far in the future as selling your home, but it’s always worth considering your plans for the future when considering a big change to your home or garden. A functional outdoor kitchen provides you with something to enjoy now and the security of knowing your investment was worth it in the long run.
2. An outdoor kitchen doesn’t take much maintenance these days. Unlike the barbecues of yore, today’s grills and patio appliances are typically stainless steel, which is easy to clean. Stainless steel barbecues also mean you don’t have to worry about them deteriorating as the seasons change. Plus, if you’re cooking in an outdoor kitchen, you’re afforded a more relaxed and laid-back cooking experience. The stakes are lower if you accidentally spill some of your marinade or drop some food on the ground (other than the fact that the dog will have to eat it!). You don’t have to be quite so particular about where the crumbs go or how thoroughly you’ve cleaned the surfaces because, well, you’re outside!
3. Building a second kitchen from scratch may sound like a daunting task, but with the right team behind you, it can be a hugely satisfying project. A second kitchen allows for more creativity and individuality. Many people end up with kitchens of a certain design simply because it was that way when they moved in. But if you’re starting from square one, and moving outdoors, you get to be as adventurous as you want. Think double grills, fully stocked cabinets, a weather-proof radio, and an outdoor bar with built-in ice makers. Or a simple and classy patio with a barbecue and picnic set. Whatever you choose, the design is up to you (though professionals will be happy to help if you’re not sure!).
4. It makes healthy eating so much easier. For many of us, the taste of high-salt, high-fat foods are far more delicious than plain boiled vegetables and dry-fried meat. But with an outdoor grill, your food can harness the delicious flavours of BBQ much more often. Grilling foods is one of the easiest ways to impart that quintessentially smokey taste onto your food without complicated cooking techniques or hard-to-source seasonings. Whether you’re a meat-lover and savour the taste of barbecued pork, seared steak, and succulent chicken, or prefer perfectly grilled vegetables, it’s all delicious. Not to mention easy! To keep things healthy and simple, add your favourites to a salad and enjoy!
5. It encourages you to stop eating out so much – you can eat out in your garden! Not only does grilling your food make it more delicious, but it also gives you restaurant-quality food without having to leave the comfort of your garden. This is particularly beneficial if you find yourself eating out twice a week, which can add up surprisingly quickly. Even if you only eat at restaurants once a fortnight, you’ll still save huge amounts of money by eating food that’s just as tasty at home. Plus, having more control over your food is great if you have certain dietary requirements that often leave you with limited choices at restaurants.
6. Cooking outside keeps smells out of your home. Have you ever been cooking something in the kitchen, thinking it smells delicious, only to leave and re-enter the room to realize that your hair, clothes, and furniture all smell like oil and meat? Certain smells are okay when fresh, but the smell of some cooked foods can linger in the house for days. By grilling and barbecuing outside, you can keep that lovely, clean smell in the home.
7. Having two kitchens makes it easier to entertain large groups. If your home has the space for big get-togethers, then why not utilize it to its full potential? If you have lots of friends and family over for a big birthday, the last thing you want is to have one person standing at the hob all afternoon. Having two kitchens means you could have two cooks and double the food at the same speed. This means one of you can pass out burgers and hot dogs to hungry kids while the other can prep, chop, boil, and roast in the indoor kitchen. Alternatively, take everything outside so the person cooking can still be a part of the party!
8. An outdoor cookout is a great way to entertain without having to think about running out of space or having too many guests inside. If you love to have the whole family over but can’t bring yourself to leave anyone out of the summer festivities, an outdoor kitchen extends the space you have to offer. With an outdoor kitchen, guests can choose to relax indoors or outdoors, or move between the two! It also means fewer people indoors and less clean-up afterwards!
9. Surprisingly, cooking outside is often safer. Even the most experienced, time-efficient chef makes mistakes sometimes. If you’re in a rush to make dinner and make a cooking error, you may end up with rising smoke that travels through the house, setting off the smoke alarm. When you cook outside, this issue is eliminated, leaving you calmer and more able to host your friends and family.
10. Keep heat out of the house. Unless you’re one of the few with an air-conditioned home in the UK, cooking anything in very hot weather is just no fun – your house is already hot and sticky, and adding the heat from an oven is only going to make that worse. When you have an outdoor kitchen you don’t have to rely on your microwave or ready-to-eat-cold foods, you can sizzle your way to a delicious meal and then sit and enjoy it in the shade.
11. With an outdoor kitchen, your home will be set aside from the rest. When your friends and family think about the parties, dinners, and barbecues you host, they’ll remember your food, your perfectly installed equipment; your outdoor kitchen. Your outdoor space will be special, and you’ll have guests begging you to host the next family cookout!
What kind of equipment and accessories should I get for my outdoor kitchen?
If you want to go for something extravagant and showy, you could consider things like a pizza oven, a garden-safe blender, outdoor heating, heated chairs or flooring, LED lighting, and a fire pit. However, the basics of an outdoor kitchen should include things like a barbecue or smoker, fridge, wine fridge, prep area or countertops, a sink, and a ceiling fan if it’s undercover. You can choose exactly how fancy or down-to-earth your outdoor kitchen will be.
You’ll also want things like outdoor cups, plates, cutlery, tongs, a meat thermometer, skewers, and some cleaning supplies. Remember, this kitchen doesn’t have to be as involved as your indoor kitchen, but there’s no reason you can’t make your life easier by having these things around.
As for design accessories, you’ll want to base your choices on the type of atmosphere you’d like to evoke. For example, if you’re going for a stylish and chic outdoor space, think of large glass tables, monochrome throws and pillows, palm trees, and oversized outdoor candles. If you prefer the idea of a cozy and inviting garden, think of wicker side tables, outdoor rugs, cozy outdoor blankets, and soft, plump cushions.
Is there anything I should consider before I start on my outdoor kitchen?
Consider things like the size of your grill. If you’re planning to cook for lots of people every other weekend, you’ll need something large, but if you’ll most likely just cook for your family, a smaller grill will do the trick. Size is also important when it comes to choosing a fridge. The same rule as with grills applies: if you’ll be storing large amounts of food, then go for something with a large volume. But if it’s just a couple of friends you’ll usually be cooking for, a mini-fridge will probably do you fine. Consider how far away it is from your kitchen when it comes to fridges – if it’s not far from your kitchen door, popping back in to get something may not be a problem.
You may also need some help with the design of your countertops and cabinets. You’ll want to make sure your countertops can withstand the changing weather and function properly without becoming damaged. Stone and wood are generally good options, but make sure you speak to an expert so you don’t make a mistake here.
Another big thing to think about is lighting. While the summer evenings are far longer and brighter than those throughout winter, you still want to make sure you can see what you’re doing as you cook.
When done properly, an outdoor kitchen can totally transform an entire home. Whether you’re passionate about food and want to take it to the next level or love spending time in your garden, an outdoor kitchen could be your next best idea. Cooking outside gives you the feeling that you’re in an exotic country, enjoying the weather and connecting with nature during the warmer months. Unless you’ve done this before and are extremely confident with home and garden improvement, your best bet might be to call in the professionals.
Build an Outdoor Kitchen in Essex
If you live in Essex and are considering making some changes to your garden, patio, or outdoor area, contact SE Landscaping. Our experienced and skilled team takes great pride in regularly transforming dull and unused gardens into beautifully functional outdoor spaces that wow you and all your friends.
At SE Landscaping, we specialize in hard landscaping, offering our valued clients a wide range of landscaping services, from artificial lawns and garden design to gravel driveways and decking. So, if you’re ready to have your garden remodelled into something glorious, why not reach out? You can contact us by filling in this form, calling us on 01245 697 688, or emailing us today!