An outdoor kitchen allows you to enjoy the garden any time of the day, even when preparing meals. Under a pergola, appliances are protected all year round. However, choosing the right location and the best equipment requires some careful thought. Follow our advice to design the perfect summer kitchen.
Where to install the summer kitchen?
For practical reasons, the outdoor kitchen is often placed near the house, as an extension to the home. This is to avoid having to trudge back across the garden because someone forgot the salt.
However, as garden kitchens are becoming increasingly sophisticated and well-equipped, you can choose to create yours near the pool, or at the opposite end of the garden to the main house.
In both cases, you will need to take into account the water supply (to wash dishes, a wastewater pipe will be necessary) as well as the electricity supply. To ensure the sockets and appliances are completely protected from the rain, the pergola will need either a fixed or bioclimatic roof.
What's the best size for a summer kitchen?
A summer kitchen is somewhere people will gather. You will often be entertaining guests and it will undoubtedly contain a table and chairs. For optimal comfort, it should be at least 10 m².
If you only have a small space, you can just limit the amount of appliances. A simple fixed barbecue with a small worktop and a few cupboards will be enough to allow you to prepare meals outdoors.
If you have more space, don't skimp on the size of the worktop or the number of cupboards as these will make life easier. You can even choose the size of your barbecue so you can entertain as many guests as you want. Protected by the pergola, your outdoor kitchen can remain in place over winter.
The best appliances for the outdoor kitchen
While the barbecue is the classic appliance for summer cooking, planchas, woks, rotisseries and pizza ovens are also extremely popular. Barbecues are increasingly more modern and can be electric or gas.
The kitchen is becoming a real living space. Just like an indoor kitchen, it can be equipped with a dishwasher and refrigerator. The aim is to not have to go back into the house to fetch things during the meal and to have everything to hand. You will therefore need a worktop, as well as cupboards for your dishes and other utensils.
The best materials for an outdoor kitchen
For outdoors, you need materials that are resistant to the sun, as well as the cold and humidity. Concrete and stainless steel are therefore often recommended. For a warmer feel, you could also use wood or stone, or combine these different materials.
The important thing is for your kitchen to not only be aesthetic, but functional too: you don't want to be spending time cleaning when you could be relaxing instead. Why not opt for an imitation wood splashback, much easier to clean, and a granite worktop? This material is very resistant and is therefore ideal for your summer kitchen.
To shield your furniture from the elements, the choice of pergola roof is important. An aluminium pergola is an excellent compromise between aesthetics and practicality.
Don't forget the lighting either when installing your electricity supply. It will be essential to be able to make the most of your summer kitchen even after nightfall. Then you just need to add decorative touches as you would to any other room in your home!