Inspiration for cooking outdoors

Stylish outdoor kitchens: Ideas for cooking in the fresh air

Al fresco: This Italian expression literally means ‘in the fresh air’ and describes the trend towards cooking and eating outdoors. Preparing culinary delicacies in a carefully styled outdoor kitchen surrounded by family and friends – life doesn’t get better than this. Are you looking for ideas for your dream outdoor kitchen? You can find numerous tips to make evenings cooking for your loved ones a special experience here.

Under-cover outdoor kitchen with seating and an island
Stylish kitchen in the fresh air: This outdoor kitchen with seating area has it all.

Out with barbecues and in with outdoor kitchens for exquisite dishes

Colourful dishes on a wooden table outdoors
In an outdoor kitchen with a sophisticated design, you can prepare all the courses of the meal without needing to go inside at any point.

In this part of the world, barbecues are a steady trend. Whether you have a balcony or your own garden, BBQs have long been considered the epitome of cooking outdoors. However, the trend is now moving away from the more or less simple roasting flavours of the grill, as more and more households are opting for a fully furnished second kitchen in their garden.

What’s behind this trend? Here are the benefits of cooking outside:

  • You can prepare all courses in a well furnished cooking area, while also enjoying the sunshine, fresh air and the view of the greenery.
  • An outdoor kitchen with an excellent design concept is an aesthetic indulgence that makes you feel free.
  • Running between the indoor kitchen and garden becomes a thing of the past: The outdoor kitchen is now right next to the dining area.
  • The smell cooked food remains outside and does not spread through the house – an act of kindness for people with sensitive noses.
  • During garden parties, hosts are always close to the guests, so they can do what they need to do effortlessly and simultaneously.
  • If the cooking and dining area features a roof or canopy, you can use this area no matter the weather.
Pergola with glass roof above the dining table and kitchen unit
This glass pergola roof looks light and airy, while also providing sufficient protection in all weathers.

The stylish and luxurious way to cook outside

Before you develop the ideas behind your design, we recommend carefully analysing the existing space and the structural conditions.

  • Are connections for electricity, water and gas already in place?
  • How much space is available?
  • Which appliances do you want to have?
  • How many guests would you like to host?

If there is enough space, you could incorporate a dining table next to the kitchen structure. You might want to keep the style consistent to ensure the entire space has a harmonious feel here. Do you want pure minimalism or a cosy and rustic ambiance? 

The style choice will influence the use of materials. Stainless steel, faux concrete and aluminium paired with glass are great for minimalism, while wood and other natural materials create a nature-inspired look.

A kitchen worktop with bar stools is the perfect place for casual chats while you prep the food. This is also a great location for a celebratory meal.

The entire range of kitchen appliances for indulgent cooking

Having the entire range of kitchen appliances guarantees you can make all dishes there and then. In addition to a hob, an oven and a grill, a refrigerator and sink need to be in the mix. A dishwasher will ensure that plates and cutlery from each course aren’t left lying around. It is important to have a practical worktop with plenty of room. There should also be storage space for crockery, glasses and cooking utensils.

A modern induction hob saves energy and is easier to use than a gas hob. When it comes to the grill, however, gas is the recommended energy source. Unlike charcoal, it is not tedious to ignite and also does not give off sooty smoke. The rule of thumb for fridges is it’s better to be too big than too small – ultimately, it needs to be big enough to cool drinks for your guests.

A natural-stone worktop is easy to clean, moisture-resistant and looks great in a natural setting. Elegant wood varieties for the kitchen fronts are a great match here. Having said this, natural stone also looks great with stainless steel and aluminium. Brushed metal surface finishes are easier to clean than high-gloss fronts.

Important: supply lines and roofing

During the design phase, please be aware that your outdoor kitchen will require various pipelines. You definitely need electricity and water in your kitchen. A gas grill could also be fired up using a gas cylinder, but the bottle will need to be replaced regularly. A gas pipeline is therefore more convenient, as long as there is a gas connection.

An outdoor cooking area on a roofed terrace is perfect because it means it can be used in all weathers. If this is not possible, you could design a versatile aluminium roof with glass elements. This would offer protection when the weather is bad, while also making the area look spacious and appealing.

The stylish way to cook in a natural setting

A carefully designed, roofed outdoor kitchen can make a massive improvement to your quality of life. You can prepare feasts for family and friends outdoors in the fresh air in any weather. When it comes to the design, it is worth maximising the use of space. And in terms of appliances, the bigger, the better. The materials play a key role in the look and the functionality.

Frequently asked questions about outdoor kitchens

Why is the outdoor cooking trend gaining in popularity?

You can prepare all the courses of a meal in an outdoor kitchen. You are always close to your guests and no longer need to make many trips into the house.

When it comes to planning, how do I start?

The first step is always to analyse the existing space and your requirements. This is how the initial ideas for an outdoor kitchen emerge.

Which appliances do I need?

A complete set of kitchen appliances consists of the hob, oven, grill, sink, dishwasher and fridge, plus a worktop and storage space. Having a roof over your outdoor kitchen is also wise.

Which material is suitable for the worktop?

Natural stone is a great fit for the natural setting of the garden and can withstand all weathers with ease.

Why is gas better than charcoal for a grill?

A gas grill is not laborious to ignite like charcoal is, and soot is not an issue.
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