If you’re planning an kitchen, whether it’s for alfresco dining or just a basic BBQ kitchen, there are a lot of factors that come into play, but the most common question when planning an outdoor kitchen is “Who’s going to install it?!”
We know your pain though, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to finding the best outdoor kitchen installers, as well as some outdoor kitchen inspiration for anyone wanting something a little bit less “off the shelf”.
Basics to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Kitchen
For me, an outdoor kitchen is all about the veggie patch, but that doesn’t mean skimping on the BBQ. I reckon that the best outdoor kitchen ideas come from the food itself though, so before you start planning, think about how you’re going to be using the space, and what you’ll be cooking.
There are plenty of outdoor kitchen designs that are going to fit different needs, but if you’re planning on a veggie kitchen to make the most of your homegrown ingredients, then you should plan some cold storage, maybe even an outdoor fridge (wine fridges double up really well to keep veggies fresher for longer too).
Also, what are you going to be cooking? If it is veggies, then you need a station that can put up with a lot of knife work, but if you’re more of a traditional BBQ king, then you need a wipe-clean surface that’s weather-resistant and hygienic to keep your steaks clean.
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Kitchen Kits in Australia
The best outdoor kitchen designs are packed with storage. In the old days, outdoor kitchens were just tables with cupboards for the gas cylinders, and maybe a sink if you were really pushing the boat out, but these days, most come with wine coolers, ice buckets, cupboards and even cutlery drawers.
Remember the insects and wildlife too though. While it’s a good idea to encourage wildlife in the rest of the garden, your outdoor kitchen needs to be clean, safe, and free from wildlife, and so outdoor kitchen storage needs to be secure and weatherproof too.
Where to Position an Outdoor Kitchen
Where you put your outdoor kitchen depends massively on what you want to do with it. Are you planning an outdoor kitchen-diner, where friends can sit around while you cook?
Then you want it as far away from your plants as possible so you’re not surrounded by wasps when you’re eating. Are you building a BBQ station for quick dinners? Then think about the weather, and position it in the shade.
One last point on positioning an outdoor kitchen: Size. You can’t completely plan an outdoor kitchen until you know the exact model you need.
Small outdoor kitchens are more adaptable and can fit in more varied parts of the garden. Large outdoor kitchens have more workable space, so they’re easier to use, but you’ll struggle to fit them exactly where you want.
Best Fuel for Outdoor Kitchens
Outdoor kitchens need to be quick and easy to use. Wood-fired pizza ovens are amazing for parties, and charcoal BBQs are great for flavour, but they take an age to get going and if you plan on regular alfresco dining then look for gas grills or even outdoor ovens. The easier it is to use an outdoor kitchen, the more you’re going to use it.
Even the best grills and countertops can be battered by the sun, so picking materials that can stand up to the weather is essential, but make sure you’re not choosing materials that get so hot they can’t even be touched.
Stainless steel units might look good, but they hold heat and can create hot boxes in the Aussie sun, so any food in the cupboards is going to go off super quick.
Best Outdoor Kitchen Installers
Finding the best outdoor kitchen installers can be difficult, depending on where you live, but there are a few national suppliers that are always going to provide a reliable service.
For example, Bunnings outdoor kitchens are great products, but they don’t offer an installation service, so unless you’re confident with installing water and gas yourself, you’ll need to hire a contractor to help.
Other big brands are the same, but if you don’t want to pay for installation at all, Ikea outdoor kitchens are useful solutions that are super easy to install.
So for outdoor kitchen installation, you’ll need to look closer to home. We’ve picked out the best outdoor kitchen installers in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, so hopefully, you’ll find some close to you!
Best Outdoor Kitchen Installers in Brisbane
1. DK Cabinets
DK Cabinets offer outdoor kitchen design and installation services throughout Brisbane, whether you need full structures or simple outdoor cabinets building. They offer a full consultation service too so it’s easy to get started. Contact DK Cabinets here.
2. Homestyle Living Outdoors
Homestyle have always offered great renovation services throughout Australia, but their installation services in Brisbane are reliable, efficient, and they have an incredible stock of cabinets and can build custom designs from a readily available kit, so they’re a great choice for outdoor kitchens in Brisbane when you’re happy to have prefab units. Reach Homestyle Living Outdoors here.
3. Imperial Kitchens
Imperial Kitchens offer outdoor kitchen design and installation to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Their crisp, modern, outdoor kitchens are all designed to fit around you and your lifestyle, so just kick back and let them do the hard work. Get in touch with Imperial Kitchens here.
Best Outdoor Kitchen Installers in Perth
1. Flexi Outdoor Kitchens
Flexi Renovations are a brilliant choice for anyone who’s not sure what they’re after. Flexi’s range of outdoor kitchen appliances is unrivalled, with solutions for every problem.
While their finishes are all pretty uniform they’re brilliant at what they do and offer a great consultation service for outdoor kitchen buyers. Speak with a Flexi designer here.
2. EM FAB Outdoor Kitchens
The aptly named Outdoor Kitchens Perth makes (you guessed it) outdoor kitchens in Perth. If you want a job done properly, go to a company that specialises in it.
Outdoor Kitchens Perth are reliable builders and know exactly what you’re after. With local installers ready to help get your new outdoor kitchen set up from scratch. Contact EM FAB here.
3. PK Construction
PK Construction is more than just an outdoor kitchen installer, they’ll renovate entire areas, and build full extensions to house your outdoor kitchen.
For a serious outdoor kitchen in Perth, built from the ground up, roof and all, you won’t find a more skilled group of reliable contractors in Perth. Reach PK Construction here.
Best Outdoor Kitchen Installers in Melbourne
1. Mojito Outdoor Kitchens
Mojito Outdoor Kitchens in Melbourne offer alfresco kitchen installation to Melbourne, Geelong and regional Victoria. Their kitchens are made to order, so for a unique outdoor kitchen in Melbourne Mojito Kitchens are a great choice. Know more about Mojito Outdoor Kitchens here.
2. Grandview Kitchens
Grandview’s alfresco kitchens are gorgeous modern cooking spaces, with limitless choices of design, materials and cooking appliances for completely personalising outdoor kitchens.
You can be confident that Grandview kitchens will install the best quality kitchens perfectly every time too because they’re also gas safe plumbers and fully qualified indoor kitchen fitters too. Contact Grandview Kitchens here.
3. Hammond Kitchens
Hammond Kitchens are one of the best high-end outdoor kitchen fitters in Melbourne. For something a little bit fancier, their bespoke cabinets make any outdoor space look better than your indoor kitchen. Their range of outdoor kitchen worktops is second to none too. Reach Hammond Kitchens here.
Best Outdoor Kitchen Installers in Sydney
1. Harris Kitchens and Joinery
Just like Harris says, nothing says Australia, like an outdoor BBQ kitchen. If you want a serious outdoor kitchen installation, then only the best will do, and Harris Kitchens Sydney has years of experience installing and building bespoke kitchens, for indoors and outdoors. Contact Harris Kitchens and Joinery here.
2. Paradise Kitchens
Paradise Kitchens Sydney are professional kitchen installers and can supply, fit and build bespoke durable outdoor kitchens that last. As well as installing custom made kitchens they install pre-fab too and provide free quotes via the website for peace of mind. Get an Outdoor Kitchen quote here.
3. DSK Kitchens & Furniture
DSK Outdoor Kitchens and Cabinets specialise in outdoor kitchen storage, so your alfresco kitchen is pest-proof and safe for year-round cooking. They offer durable alternatives to traditional outdoor kitchens too, with marble worktops and even treated timber. Get in touch with DSK Kitchens & Furniture here.
Setting Up an Outdoor Kitchen
Once you’ve begun to turn your brown thumb green, you’ll want to spend as much time outside as possible admiring the fruits of your labor (literally). When the weather is warm, grilling out can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
But you can make your backyard even more enjoyable – and an ever better place to cook – by adding an outdoor kitchen space. Here are ten tips to get you started.
1. Create a budget before you get started
Kitchens in general can be expensive, so it’s key to start with a budget to figure out what kind of kitchen you can afford to create. If your budget is on the lower end, you could opt for a fire pit, rather than a full-fledged oven, for example. (See our review of the best fire pits available today.)
And if you have the time and the know-how, you can save big by renting the necessary equipment and DIY-ing much of the project (although when gas lines are involved it’s best to leave that part to the professionals!).
2. It’s all about location, location, location
One of the wonderful things about an outdoor kitchen is that you get to keep your indoor kitchen cleaner since you won’t be trekking back and forth between the grill and your house.
That said, location is key when it comes to planning where your outdoor kitchen will be. For starters, consider where the sun rises and sets in relation to your new kitchen, as that lighting may impact when you’re able to use the kitchen.
Also, if you’re not installing a sink, you’ll want to be near a water source.
3. Understand good kitchen design
The same design principles for an indoor kitchen
should be applied to your outdoor one, although outdoor spaces do have additional challenges, such as the fact that there are no walls!
4. Ensure the traffic and design flow
Traffic patterns are essential to making your kitchen as functional as possible. Consider how the kitchen’s layout will work with the rest of the property — whether you have a pool or outdoor seating — to make sure that it flows both in terms of traffic and in terms of the design elements of each space.
5. Consider the utilities needed
Any outdoor kitchen will require the use of some utilities. Where you have access to electricity and gas may impact where you install your lighting or set up your oven.
6. Build with durable materials
A key difference between an outdoor and indoor kitchen is that the outdoor one will be exposed to a whole array of elements. Even if it is technically covered by a roof or an umbrella, things like rain and snow can, and will, get in.
As such, use durable materials, and make sure things such as cabinets are waterproof to avoid as much rust and weathering as possible.
7. Make it easy to clean
The last thing you want to do in your beautiful outdoor space is to spend time cleaning. Make it easy to wipe down surfaces by building your kitchen with materials like stainless steel.
To make cleaning your outdoor space easier, be sure to check out our review on the best pressure washers available on the market.
8. Choose different kinds of lighting
For the evening and night hours, brighten up your outdoor space and install different kinds of lighting depending on the area. Above the grill and sink, install task lighting, while over the seating a ceiling fan with lights would work well to brighten up the space.
No matter which type of lighting you pick, use more than one circuit, and make sure that it’s suitable for damp conditions.
9. Pick flooring that won’t get slippery
Notice a theme here? Consider that, since it’s outdoors, everything is going to get wet at some point. For your flooring, avoid materials that get slippery easily, like tile, and opt instead for flooring that lasts longer, such as a stained wood deck.
10. Provide a seating area
While the primary function of your outdoor kitchen will be to cook, it can also be a place for people to socialize. Consider putting in a bar or serving area in your kitchen, or even a more traditional dining table and chairs.
An outdoor kitchen is an extension of your home. It should be functional yet comfortable and can quickly become a focal point of your outdoor living. With these 10 tips, you’ll be well on your way to designing a great outdoor kitchen.
Creating an Alfresco Barbecue Area
When the weather’s fine there’s no better place to spend the afternoon or evening than in the garden with friends, family and some freshly-barbecued food.
The weather might look bleak right now but spring will come around in no time. Get ready to enjoy the pleasures of alfresco cooking by filling up that empty patio space with some furniture and an inexpensive barbecue.
1. Choose Your Dining Furniture
There’s a wide range of outdoor furniture available covering a variety of styles to suit both your taste and budget. Some comfortable but waterproofed seating is best and wicker armchairs with padded seats are a traditional option.
Metal chairs, including cast aluminium, are robust and lightweight enough to be moved around, plus virtually no maintenance is needed.
Most garden furniture sets will come with a matching table and it’s a good idea to include a large parasol with a tilt function to ensure enough shade is provide when sitting outdoors .
2. Charcoal and Gas Barbecues
The choice of fuel required to cook with is largely a matter of personal taste although many experts claim that grilling on charcoal yields the best results.
Charcoal bbqs provide high temperatures, as much as 300°C, and will therefore cook meat fairly quickly; some practice will be needed for first timers.
If you’re also looking for that smoked flavour when cooking meat or pork then charcoal is the right option. Gas versions are easy to clean, have better temperature control and can also heat far quicker than charcoal.
3. Additional Points to Remember
Always check out how much free space you have on the patio or garden before heading out to buy furniture and barbecue equipment.
You also need to know where the sun rises and sets because people tend to forget this detail. Outdoor blinds placed in the right spot bring wonders.
There are plenty of differently-sized bbqs including the space-saving kettle designs and the larger portable wagons, permanent brick or half-barrel versions.
Think of investing in some additional items such as lighting; this can include dual heater/lamps for attaching to a parasol interior or brass table top lanterns. Also consider adding an outdoor gas heater so you can enjoy your garden during at night a bit longer even when it gets too cold.
Some hanging plants for the patio area make a nice touch or even a free standing water feature if you really want to splash out.
There’s no need spend a huge amount of money to create an outdoors seating area and most of the equipment is generally inexpensive.
Maintenance Tips for Your Barbeque During Winter
During the summer months, you may find yourself outside most nights cooking dinner on the barbecue. But unless you live in the tropics, barbecuing in winter is not so common.
Whether it’s a single grill barbecue you’ve had for 10 years or a big double griller from a speciality retailer such as Barbeques Galore, your barbeque needs love all year round – including during winter.
Below are five tips to get you started.
1. Spick and Span
The first step to grill maintenance in winter is to give your whole barbeque a good clean before tucking it in.
Start with the grill plates, which should be given a thorough scrub down to remove all grease and food scraps.
This is best done with a stainless steel wool scrub or brush. Don’t stop at the grill though; get a cloth and wipe down the rest of the barbeque, including the inside and outside of the lid.
2. Inspect the Goods
Once your barbeque is looking shiny, give your grill the once over for any damage or parts that aren’t working, as the dormant winter season is the perfect time to get these fixed.
Inspecting your barbeque shouldn’t just be performed before you store your grill away for the winter though; you should do several check-ups throughout winter too.
By doing this, you can make sure no insects or animals have decided to take up residence.
3. Focus on Longevity
Barbeques should not be something you’re buying a new version of every couple of years just because your old one is serving up odd tasting dishes.
This can often happen when grills aren’t cleaned or maintained properly, so it is important to combat this issue now before your barbeque goes into hibernation.
The best way to stop moisture and rust build-up is to give your grill a rub with some oil. This technique can also be done to increase longevity even if you’re using your barbeque more frequently.
4. Cover Up Your BBQ Grill
Once the above steps have been followed, you are now ready to get your barbeque covered up for the cold snap.
If your barbeque didn’t come with a cover, or the one you have is simply looking too worn out, get yourself to a speciality store or outlet to find one with the specifications for your barbeque.
Make sure it’s made of a tough, durable material in order to withstand the drop in temperature – and to protect it from too many creepy crawlies getting inside.
5. Keep It Cosy
Even though you might have invested in a good-quality cover to protect your barbeque, this doesn’t guarantee complete protection from the elements.
The best way to maintain your barbeque over the winter months, particularly if you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain or snow, is to store your covered grill in a garage or shed.
If you’re one of those people that tend to let the barbeque gather cobwebs and debris during the chilly season, the above maintenance tips are just for you.
Such advice will go a long way in helping to make sure your barbeque stays in working condition throughout winter and is ready for summer.
High quality products are usually the cost-effective option as minimal maintenance will be required throughout the year and the items will provide long-term use.
Start Your Outdoor Kitchen Project Today
There are so many outdoor kitchens for sale, but if you’re going to do something, do it properly. Outdoor kitchens should be as unique as the people who cook in them, so make sure to shop around, and get to know your contractors before settling with them.
Outdoor kitchens are a big investment, but add value to your home, and make it a much nicer place to live (and, more importantly, eat).