There’s something special about cooking outdoors. Whether you’re looking for a spot to watch the kids play, or you’re a downsizer creating a space to sit back and relax with a meal – there are a few things to consider when building your dream outdoor kitchen.
For Brian Burke Homes Group Managing Director Michael Burke, integration with the main home is paramount.
“Ease of access to your indoor amenities is important, whether that be your kitchen, wine cellar or powder room – you should think about how you use the space and what areas you want close by,” he said. “Your outdoor kitchen should be designed with your landscaping plan as well to make sure everything flows.”
Barbecue areas are generally enclosed on three sides for safety, including flame failure technology to prevent gas build up, an interlock for rangehood installation and second-tier approval from an independent gas inspector.
Mr Burke said some clients had protected blocks and thus opted for relatively open kitchens, while others preferred to have the space as an extension of the main home, able to be completely shut off in winter.
“We often use large, commercial-grade bi-fold doors and operable louvre roofs to help seal the space off to the wind and rain,” he said.
“Cabinetry and benchtops should fit in with the interior selections, but most importantly be functional. Think about all the utensils and tools you have for your barbecue, for cooking and cleaning, plus extra storage for little things like stubby holders, bar utensils, sunscreen and insect repellent.
“Built-in fridges are very popular for food and drink storage and are almost as essential to the outdoor kitchen as the barbecue.”
For larger families, or those with a penchant for entertaining, an island or bar-style bench was a welcome addition, as were comforts such as a built-in fireplace or widescreen TV to watch the game, according to Mr Burke.
“A central place to congregate while the chef is cooking, and a nice large spot to serve up food and drinks,” he said.
“Rangehoods with remote motors are a great way to keep the noise down, especially if your kitchen is more enclosed.”
An outdoor kitchen was a top priority in a recent Hamptons build by Brian Burke Homes.
“The family loves to cook and entertain, so a well fitted out space was essential,” Mr Burke said. “The outdoor entertaining space backs onto the guest suite, which has a bathroom and further kitchen amenities.
“The finishes carry through from the main house, including the timber-look tile floors which were used inside and out. The space looks over the pool, so the kids can be supervised while parents and friends catch up.”
When it comes to materials, Mr Burke said choosing higher-quality would lead to a longer-lasting and hassle-free result, and recommended being mindful of any warranties included.
His final tip – don’t forget to clean your rangehood.