It’s hotting up out there, and we’re all getting some summer use out of our gardens. According to recent research, 73% of Brits believe that having an outdoor space has grown more important during the pandemic – and 40% intend to transform their outdoor spaces in 2021. So, what are people particularly prioritising for their gardens?
Further research showed that 56% of Brits are eager to overhaul their outdoor spaces for unwinding and relaxing in, with 37% saying they want their space to feel more welcoming to guests visiting the house following months of lockdown.
Nearly a third of respondents – 31% – even admitted to being interested in growing their own food, like herbs and vegetables. If you are looking to prepare meals for yourself and visitors in the open air, building an outdoor kitchen – complete with the following features – would make a lot of sense!
Do some outdoor food prep
This is the most important part of an outdoor kitchen, as it provides an easily accessible space for making food which means you don’t have to cart freshly prepped ingredients outdoors after preparing them indoors. Naturally, then, the worktop where you prepare your ingredients needs to hold its own against harsh weather elements such as rain.
A granite worktop would tick that particular box, and won’t easily pick up stains from food and drink. Our team can visit clients’ gardens to install granite worktops in various colours, making it easier for outdoor kitchens to visually blend in with the gardens where they are sited.
For example, you could choose a granite finish that would match or complement the look of a patio or pavement within close reach of the food prep area.
Be smart about outdoor storage
You probably already have plenty of bits and pieces – like chopping boards, knives and other kitchen utensils – that you would be happy to carry straight from your indoor kitchen to the outdoor one.
However, as you clearly won’t need to use all of these pieces at the same time, your outdoor kitchen should include handy places for you to store them when they aren’t immediately required. Makeshift solutions, like just putting everything in a basket, risk leaving you disorganised.
Therefore, as you design your kitchen, you should decide where it will have built-in storage compartments such as shelves, drawers and cupboards.
Although propane cylinders provide a convenient way to fuel many cooking appliances, you might ultimately prefer the convenience of having your outdoor kitchen connected to your gas mains. Then, you can be “cooking with gas” in more ways than one – especially in the longer term.
As for what cooking appliances you should choose, there are plenty of options out there. You should opt for one that would fit in especially well with your space and budget. Ask yourself what you expect to cook in this kitchen. Let your answer guide your choice of cooking setup.
You could go for something basic like a standalone barbecue set, or shoot for something as sophisticated as an integrated grill or pizza oven. You don’t have to just settle for a gas-powered unit, either – as many outdoor ovens can use alternative sources of fuel, good examples being wood and charcoal.
Guard against the weather
Yes, the British climate is notoriously temperamental. However, even on days when the sun is shining brightly, you just never know when rainfall could suddenly break out and leave your food – and the outdoor furniture where you would sit while eating them – drenched.
Fortunately, though, there are various ways to add forms of shelter to an outdoor kitchen. You could go for something relatively simple, like a timber pergola, or a more complex structure along the lines of an oak-framed barn or sail shade. Any of these could visually enhance your kitchen as well.
There are times, however, when you do want a lot of water in your outdoor kitchen. Those times include when you need to wash hands, surfaces and utensils during cooking sessions. Not keeping on top of hygiene in any kitchen, outdoor or otherwise, can cause nasty tummy upsets.
So, you could give your outdoor kitchen its own sink unit – and have your home’s plumbing and drainage infrastructure suitably extended to help make this hygiene station fully functional.
Remember: at every turn, you should craft your open-air kitchen to suit your household’s culinary requirements. This is just one reason why we measure, template and cut all of the granite worktops we install to ensure each one fits smoothly into its intended position.
If you would like to learn more about what this all-in-one service entails, we invite you to get in touch with our dedicated team of worktop installation specialists.