No matter whereabouts you live, the chances are high that you have hosted or been to a barbecue, or several barbecues. By the end of barbecue season, you will be experts on what has worked, and what hasn’t – and that is not purely a food based assessment.
Creating an appropriate space for your outside cooking is not simply a matter of stoking the fire; with entertaining at home becoming a cheaper and healthier alternative to dining out, the extra thought you apply to its design will pay dividends. Here are five key areas to contemplate before you make any decisions:
1.Built in or portable
This decision is entirely based upon how long you think you will stay at your current home. While built in units and appliances can look the business, have a look at modern and stylish portable grills and ovens from Fontana Forni for a pizza oven for sale. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they're also incredibly functional and can be moved – want to take the party to a different part of the yard, no problem!
2. Built-in cabinets
How close to your house is your outdoor eating area? Do not underestimate how annoying it is to have to keep going inside for forgotten ingredients; build cabinets which can hold your produce while cooking – maybe even invest in a fridge! Make sure they’re weather resistant, though.
How much prep work will you do outside? Have a think about the key dishes you like to serve, and whether it will be of benefit to have countertops. Again, you need to think about the materials used to suit your climate, budget and how long you think you will be at the property.
Ensure that you have adequate lighting to complete the task in hand. Remember that you will need task lighting for your grill so that you can check that the meats are cooked properly. You may also need it for your food prep area to prevent accidents! You will also want to consider the ambient lighting around the general area – nobody wants floodlights, but equally, your guests will want to see what they are eating.
You will want flooring that is practical for cleaning. Concrete is the ideal as it is relatively cheap, hard wearing and weather resistant. Avoid gravel like the plague – there is nothing worse than having to pick old food out of it – you want something that you can sweep.
With the basics covered above, you may want to think about some extras that can add a real sense of luxury and style to your area:
- Add a sink with running water near the food preparation area.
- Add a fridge to your space, it doesn’t have to be fully sized, an under or over counter fridge would be very useful.
- Add a dimmer switch to your lighting to change the ambiance as the evening draws on. You could even add disco lights, depending on your style!
- Have a built in under counter trash facility – you don’t go to people’s homes for dinner and see trash around the eating area, so why have it just because you are eating outside? You can hide your trash can under the counter, behind a cabinet door.