Need help designing an idyllic outdoor entertaining area? Consider how you want to interact with the space.
Then comes the fun part. From picking quality outdoor kitchen products to laying it all out, we have some tips to get you on your way.
1. Plan your outdoor kitchen layout
Think about how you’re going to use the space and plan accordingly.
While the amount of space you have will dictate a lot, the next things to consider are the cooking area (aka the barbecue) and the table or seating area.
One easy way to plan your cooking area is to head to a Weber Store, where an app can do the heavy lifting for you.
From colours and layouts to the look and feel, you can design your Weber Outdoor Kitchen in a Weber store via an interactive app. Picture: Weber
“You can design your kitchen on an app we’ve created that shows you all your options,” Dion Corbo, research and development at Weber says.
“This includes the different colours and barbecues, all the way through to choices like whether or not you want drawers, a fridge, wok burners or a sink.
“The team will then get in touch to get someone out to your backyard to measure it up.”
Opting for an end-to-end like the Weber Outdoor Kitchen service, will remove a lot of the heavy lifting and organisation on your end, including project managing, product ordering and installation.
2. What appliances do you need?
Outdoor kitchens can be as grand or minimal as you need. Whether you simply want a barbecue and a table or you want an entire kitchen in your yard, it’s all possible.
There are wok burners, fridges and sinks – your options are endless. Even a simple barbecue can have a range of features you never imagined possible.
A barbecue and a fridge stocked with drinks? Looks like an ideal summer afternoon of entertaining! Picture: Weber
“With the base model Weber Family Q® barbecue, you can completely accessorise it so it’s not just about grilling chops and sausages,” Weber grill expert Laura Romeo begins.
“You can pretty much convert it into an outdoor oven. So, you can do roasts, you can bake, there are added accessories like smoker boxes so you can infuse smoky flavours into your food, or there are rotisseries. There are all those options you can add on.”
She also notes that it’s “important that the space is functional and suits the lifestyle of whoever is using it.” If alfresco is your thing, you need never cook indoors again!
3. Cover the area
To that point: “A covered area is one of the most important things,” Laura adds.
“This means you’ll be able to use the space all year round. [It will] keep your cooking space cleaner, ensuring things last longer and protect the outdoor furniture.”
While quality products intended for outdoor use won’t rust and should also be covered by a generous warranty, having shade will offer that extra protection for you and your guests, as well as preserving the longevity of your outdoor kitchen.
4. Ensure the walls are open
While overhead cover is important, you need plenty of open space for walls.
Dion reminds us that regulations require barbecue areas to be well ventilated and installation can hit a speed bump if this is not the case in your area.
“To be a compliant area for outdoor gas appliances, you need to have at least 50% permanently open wall area,” he states.
“Having blinds for example counts as being permanently closed.”
5. Provide good outdoor lighting
Outdoor entertaining areas aren’t just for daytime use. You should be able to use it whenever you need to cook, so adequate lighting is essential.
Your outdoor space should have appropriate lighting to create the right atmosphere for entertaining. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
“If you do more night time entertaining, you want mood lighting to create the atmosphere but you also want to have good lighting around the barbecue so you can see what you’re cooking and make sure you’re not overcooking it,” Laura says.
6. Consider the social aspect
Ultimately, the goal of an outdoor kitchen should mean you don’t have to shuttle back and forth from the indoors to the outdoors, especially when you’re entertaining.
“It’s not only about being able to cook in one place, but an outdoor kitchen should also give you storage space and other functionality. So consider having a sink, a fridge for your drinks and then being able to turn around from your barbecue and go straight to your dining space,” Dion says.
We know people love a good yarn around the barbecue, and why should you miss out because you’re cooking?