Looking to spruce up your barbeque area for the summer? Or, is building a new outdoor kitchen your project for the new year? Regardless of the occasion, having a designated cooking/bbq space in your backyard or patio will make entertaining a breeze. Tick off these items on our checklist and you will have an amazing outdoor bbq area:
Types of flooring for your outdoor BBQ area
There is a wide variety of materials you can lay underfoot. For the outdoor BBQ area, our favourites are tiles, timber decking, brick, concrete, flagstone, and slate.
The advantages of these are:
- ideal for building a formal alfresco
- easy to clean (use a broom, mop, electric blower, or a jet washer)
- easy to mix and match with other flooring materials to create beautiful, contrasting textures
- great for adding colour, pattern or texture to refresh a drab and grey landscape
When choosing the floors for your outdoor BBQ area, consider the material’s utility and visual appeal. Check our guide to using concrete, lumber, stone, and brick as patio floors.
Creating a complete outdoor kitchen with features
The best outdoor BBQ areas are complete and practical to use. To make that happen, you need to invest as much for this outdoor space as you do inside.
When you have the budget for a luxury outdoor BBQ area, consider building an outdoor kitchen with an island and a functioning benchtop. It is also easier to serve food when you have a dedicated cooking and food preparation area near where you entertain your guests.
It would be nice to have two modes of cooking too: a range stove and a BBQ grill. If barbequing is one of your favourite outdoor activities, a built-in BBQ grill would be a great idea.
In this Melbourne home, the owners enjoy a high-end barbecue and a traditional pizza oven:
Another ergonomic addition is a double basin sink. With it, you have room to do two things at the same time. You can:
- Set aside your meat and fresh produce on one side, use the other side to wash them before you cook them.
- Use one side for food preparation, the other one for stashing dirty dishes.
- Separate the clean from the dirty dishes
- Separate the delicate items such as wine glasses from the heavy and dirty pots and pans.
Having appliances in your outdoor kitchen like a mini fridge, smoker, and a pizza oven would be great too. These would make your outdoor kitchen experience so much better for you and your guests.
When you have a kitchen like this, you are encouraging your guests to help out during parties. Imagine how fun it will be for them to be able to actively participate with cooking, chopping vegetables, bartending, and serving drinks and food. It’s fun when you make them feel needed and give them something to do!
Storage is very important in your outdoor BBQ area. Store your cooking utensils, kitchenware, cushions, garden tools here to minimise clutter in your outdoor space.
Built-in bench seating
You should have a lounge and a dining area next to your outdoor BBQ area. Make sure it’s comfortable, so your guests will feel more relaxed and at home. An arrangement like this makes serving food and cleaning up easier too.
Firepit or fireplace
Having a source of heat would be beneficial as well. A gas heater, electric heater, fireplace, and firepit can give you the warmth you need — the last two being the most debated choice among homeowners. To help you decide, read our guide to outdoor fireplaces and firepits.
Outdoor lighting is not only for your home’s safety and security. Lighting also enhances the look and feel of your outdoor space. It makes it easier to cook, entertain, and move around safely at night. Check out our guide to choosing outdoor lighting for more information.
A pergola frames an outdoor BBQ area nicely. It is the most favourite form of outdoor shading in the country. Fixed lighting plus the other design details mentioned above to make this a beautiful and highly functional outdoor kitchen.
If building a pergola is not an option, there are other low cost alternatives such as shade sails, cantilever umbrellas, arbour, canopy, pavilion tent, and patio curtains. You can find more options in this article about outdoor blinds and outdoor shading.
If you want a structure that’s separated from the main house, you can build a gazebo or a cabana.
Lush garden, plants, and views
A well-kept garden is one of a house’s greatest assets and features. Take advantage of the beautiful views and put a little more effort in landscaping. It would be nice to surround your outdoor BBQ with a lush green garden because plants purify the air from BBQ smoke. This is good if you opt for a charcoal burner over a gas BBQ.
If you have a green thumb, consider planting vegetables and herbs that you use in your recipes. Homegrown food strikes an impression on your guests. Make room for these edible plants in your garden.
It would be nice to display potted plants, terrariums, and flower vases in your outdoor BBQ area as well. These simple decorative touches make guests feel more welcome, so the extra effort won’t go unnoticed.