When you spend a lot of time and effort on your garden, it makes sense that when you’re entertaining friends and family you want to bring them outside and enjoy the space with you. But if you regularly entertain loved ones during the warmer months, you probably find that running back and forth to the kitchen is a bit of a hassle. If you’re usually the person that hosts things like family weddings and family reunions, birthday parties, afternoon teas and barbeques for all of your loved ones then chances are this is a problem on a regular basis. If so, have you considered adding a ‘kitchen garden’ to your yard? This can be a fantastic investment and mean all of your garden parties are even better as well as easier to run. If you’re considering going about this, here are a few things to take into consideration!
Shade and Shelter
Having your garden kitchen built under some kind of shade or shelter could be a smart move. That way if it’s very hot and sunny or if you get a little drizzle, you’re protected either way. You could go with a gazebo- like structure, or you could have a roof fitted which is attached to the side of the house. There are even companies that offer retractable patio covers, so you have the option to have it shady or bright over the cooking area.
Cupboards and Work Surfaces
This will make up the main structure of your garden kitchen. If you’re a dab hand at DIY, you could build something yourself from brick or stone using sites like Pinterest for inspiration. Otherwise, you could speak to a local handyman or even specialist company and see if this is something they can build for you. Natural stone worktops are a good choice, be sure you’re only using materials that are suitable for outside. You want worktops that are easy to clean properly and materials used that will stand the test of time. Don’t forget space to store things like the equipment you want to use outdoors, from cooking pots to trays to utensils like tongs and knives. That way you have a separate set to use outside, and don’t have to clutter up your indoor kitchen with extra things.
Of course you won’t have any actual electric appliances outside in the garden. But you will still need a way to cook food. You could either purchase a barbeque and have the rest of your kitchen built around it, or have a brick barbeque built and buy a kit to finish it off. This includes things like the pan for the charcoal and grilling rack. Another great option to build into your kitchen is a pizza oven. Throwing a pizza party and cooking delicious pizzas is an obvious choice, but these stone ovens can cook just about anything. You essentially have another oven you can use outdoors which gives you lots of options for entertaining friends and family in the garden. Again, have the rest of your kitchen built around these ways of cooking.
Having a sink with running water outdoors can certainly make everything a lot easier. It allows you to wash up anything you’ve used right away to stay on top of mess, and if you need water to add to dishes you’re not running back and forth to the kitchen. And importantly, you can easily wash your hands before and after touching food. Many cases of food poisoning come about in the summer where people handle raw meat and don’t properly clean their hands afterwards. Invest in a sink that can be used outdoors, there are lots available for outside use and will withstand the weather. Have a plumber plumb this into your outdoor kitchen. Keep your tap covered and protected and make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned before use since mold and bacteria can accumulate outside. A simple plastic cover or any kind of sheeting can be wrapped around it after use to stop this from happening and keep it safe.
Heating, Cooling and Lighting
During a scorching hot day, cooking in the garden can feel like hard work. To combat this, you could look into freestanding or ceiling fans for outdoor use. Along with shade from the roof you’ve chosen will help to keep you cool and make cooking outside a breeze. The same applies to heating, if your parties often continue through to the evening then you might find it starts getting a little chilly. If you have some heating, you can entertain in the evening as well as into later in the year. An autumnal barbeque with lots of seasonal vegetables on the grill for example can be fantastic, but the cold weather can have people wanting to dash indoors. Lighting too is something not to overlook, in the evening when it starts getting dark you don’t want to be stood outside not being able to see. Along with standard outdoor lights, you could go a little fancy and have things like outdoor spotlights fitted along the bottom of your kitchen. If you’re going to invest in something as big as an outdoor kitchen, it makes sense that you would get these kinds of details right.
What better way to complement your outdoor kitchen than by growing your own food to cook? Your own herbs, tomatoes and mushrooms for example would be fantastic for pizza toppings in your wood fired pizza oven. All kinds of salad vegetables, onions, garlic, potatoes and more would make excellent side dish additions. You could even grow fruit to be served with ice cream or stewed to use in pies later in the year, again these would be fantastic cooked in the pizza oven. If you have a greenhouse, make the most of it. Find out what’s easy to grow in your climate zone, and you have the perfect hobby to accompany your investment.
Have you ever considered adding an outdoor kitchen to your garden?