31 May 2022

The lowdown on outdoor kitchens – everything you need to know.

As landscapers and designers, we see trends come and go over the years. One trend that seems here to stay is incorporating an outdoor kitchen into your garden, and honestly…we totally get it! It’s a fantastic feature that can add value to your home and provide many benefits for you and your family for years to come. But why are outdoor kitchens so popular? Especially in a country like the U.K., which is known worldwide for its unpredictable weather?

There are many reasons, but we’re going to discuss 5 of the most popular ones.

  1. Outdoor Kitchens are incredibly convenient

Picture the scene: you’re looking at the aftermath of an impromptu summer get-together and wondering if you have the energy to clean away countless cups, 20 plates of uneaten salad, and one half-eaten veggie sausage for the vegan black-sheep of the family. You decide to move everything to the kitchen, only to regret your decision when you come downstairs the next morning to a counter full of greasy utensils, and an oven full of the pots you had to use when it started raining on your disposable BBQ. We’ve all been there.

Now imagine you’ve spent the entire evening cooking outside in your very own custom kitchen. You’ve incorporated a sheltered section for the brief rainy shower, cupboards for all your outdoor dishware, a sink so you can clean as you go, and even your very own pizza oven. You can enjoy everyone’s company and get everything cleaned up without ever having to go in the house.

Outdoor kitchens bring an entirely new, exciting, and convenient element to entertaining, or simply to cooking for the family any day of the week. Plus, they are designed with the country’s climate in mind, so surfaces are often more durable and less porous than the materials you may have chosen indoors. You needn’t worry about spills or messes, as they can very easily be cleaned away, either by the chef or the elements! Instead of being somewhat stressful, cooking for guests or family becomes an experience. Something to take in and enjoy.

Enjoy? Outdoor cooking? In this weather?? This brings us to our next point.

  1. Outdoor kitchens help you make the most of nice weather

You might notice that we mention the volatile British weather often in our blogs, but as people who work outside all year round, we will be the first to tell you that it’s very unpredictable. As you’ll undoubtedly know, a sunny day can very quickly turn into a rainy one, and then right back again. So surely dedicating an entire section of your garden to outdoor cooking is not a great idea, right?

It’s actually quite the opposite. Instead of rushing to the local shop and fighting your elderly neighbour for the last disposable BBQ, you’re ready to go at the first sign of sunshine. You can have everything set up just how you like it, and last-minute get-togethers become enjoyable, with less stress.

Yes, weather can still be a concern, and can be enough to put some off the idea of cooking outdoors. For most of the outdoor kitchens we build, we incorporate overhead cover that ties in nicely with your chosen aesthetic. For many, this takes the form of a pergola or pagoda, both of which can be covered and uncovered whenever you like.

  1. Outdoor Kitchens can increase the value of your home

This might not be something you’re immediately concerned with. After all, you’re creating your very own dream garden, why would you want to move?

Whether it’s something you’re planning or not, it’s good to know that installing an outdoor kitchen can only increase the value of your home, as it creates extra living space without the need to extend your home and apply for planning permissions. This means that an outdoor kitchen is a solid investment, into both your enjoyment of your home and the value of it.

  1. Time outdoors is good for you

As we’ve all learned (the hard way) this last couple of years, spending time outdoors is crucial for your mental and physical health. As well as enabling you to soak up as much vitamin D as is humanly possible in the U.K., an outdoor kitchen allows you to make cooking a relaxing experience, and an intentional one too. You can experiment with different recipes, make your own wood-fired pizzas, and turn your hand to any recipe deemed too….fragrant for your indoor kitchen. Smoked fish can be lovely, but smoked fish scented sofas? Not so much.

  1. You’re making space for memories

More than anything, an outdoor kitchen is an extension of your home, and as such is the perfect place to cook-up wonderful memories. Whether it’s with family, or friends, or neighbours who’ve decided you’re their new favourite pizza chef - you can host parties, BBQs, and pizza nights, all while enjoying everything lovely that your new garden has to offer.

Are outdoor kitchens for everyone?

It might seem that we’re trying to sell you on cooking outdoors, but that’s not the case. For some people, assigning an entire portion of the garden to something they only plan on doing once or twice a year is completely unnecessary.

When discussing a new design, we’ll never push features that we don’t think are right for you, your budget, or your space. It’s important to us that you’re happy with every single aspect of your garden. But, while some trends come and go, outdoor kitchens seem here to stay, and based on our experience, it’s for (at least 5) good reasons. If you’re still unsure, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you!