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A quick guide to creating an outdoor kitchen

Image of the outdoor kitchen of shelleyhjgardens

A quick guide to creating an outdoor kitchen

For this blog, I want to shine a spotlight on ways to take your outside space to the next level. Enter the outdoor kitchen! So much more than a solitary barbecue, an outdoor kitchen can include anything from prep and storage space to a pizza oven, a sink and even an outdoor fridge.

Planning the kitchen

The scope of your outdoor kitchen very much depends on your budget and the amount of space you have available. It could be as simple as a barbecue teamed with an outdoor trolley featuring storage and a durable work surface for prepping and serving. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, ManoMano sells what are essentially small kitchens on wheels. Alternatively, ask a garden designer or outdoor kitchen specialist to create a fully functional built-in outdoor kitchen that rivals the one inside.

Power and water

If you want to include an outdoor sink and fridge, you’ll need to run water and electricity to your outdoor kitchen. Remember to factor this into your budget and to plan for both at the beginning of your build. You’ll also need to think about the location of your outdoor kitchen in relation to your dining area. You don’t want a long walk between the two. Take safety seriously too: for example, make sure any naked flames are at a safe distance from sheds and fences.

Image of outdoor kitchen by life_of_isatu
Image: Isatu’s (@life_of_isatu) outdoor kitchen is a garage workbench painted white to match the pergola. Isatu found the butler sink at a reclaim yard and connected it to a water container that collects diverted rainwater. She uses a portable induction hob from Ikea for cooking.
Outdoor flooring

Consider your outdoor kitchen flooring carefully to avoid anything that’s slippery when wet. It’s also best to avoid decking because you don’t want food to fall between the boards. The pros at Tile Mountain recommend installing either porcelain or natural stone tiles around a stove or a wood-burner. Natural stone tiles contain less moisture so are less prone to frost damage or cracking than ceramic tiles.

When it comes to installing outdoor floor tiles, the Tile Mountain team recommends using a weatherproof adhesive such as Mapei Adesilex P4 on top of a level concrete screed. This will mean the tiles last longer and reduce the chance of them cracking.

Featured image: Garden designer Shelley Hugh-Jones (@shelleyhjgardens) expertly blends soft and hard landscaping to create the perfect garden kitchen-cum-dining room.

Want more? This is one of a series of blogs on improving your outside space, you can see the others here.