From a simple BBQ on the back deck to a fully functional kitchen…we ask Darren James about the evolving Outdoor Kitchen!
What is the definition of an outdoor kitchen – it seems everyone is calling a BBQ on the back deck an outdoor kitchen these days. How popular are they really? Is it just for homeowners with big budgets?
An outdoor kitchen can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire. To be true to its form, a true outdoor kitchen should have similar capabilities as an indoor kitchen but perhaps geared more to alfresco entertaining. The basics include a refrigerator, beverage centre, sink and of course cooking facilities which is usually is in the form of a built in BBQ. But what to include in your outdoor kitchen really depends on how you like to entertain, there are no right or wrongs. Smokers, grills, teppanyaki plates, combination cooktops, ovens, dishwasher, ice makers, specialised beverage centres and even fireplaces or pizza ovens are some of the requests we have and designed in over the years.
You can certainly design an outdoor kitchen on a budget you just may not get all the bells and whistles that go along with it. So like any room you are designing within your home, the budget is the first thing you should establish.
What are the trends within outdoor kitchens? I read somewhere recently that there is even an outdoor dishwasher you can get these days
Homeowners are defiantly demanding alternative cooking appliances that surpass the standard BBQ hotplate. As Australians we love to cook different cuisines and we are seeing growth in the demand for incorporating the likes of teppanyaki plates, woks and pizza ovens. Sometimes all of them!
You can use most fridges in an Alfresco kitchen as long as they are not exposed to water e.g. rain. Be aware that an indoor fridge will not be as energy efficient outside due temperature variances and keep in mind that direct sunlight will also help efficiency; most warranties will be void for these fridges in an outdoor application. So really important to do your research!!!
Are outdoor kitchens getting bigger and if so, are indoor kitchens getting smaller?
EVERYTHING in the home is getting bigger – just like the indoor kitchen and bathroom – outdoor kitchens are also getting bigger – our houses are getting bigger. Generally most people want more space to work with.
Do you need to “consider” men more in designing the outdoor kitchen because they tend to use it more?
No, not generally. I design the space to suit whoever the client is. I guess generally speaking most times the guys have more of a say as to what happens outside as this is where they like to cook more. Times are a changing though. Women also love cooking and entertaining outside and I am designing a lot of more indoor kitchens for men who LOVE to cook!