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Mastering the Art of Outdoor Entertaining - Your Guide to Stylish Outdoor Kitchens

There’s nothing like this time of year. We love it all: golden hour, aperitifs on the patio, sun-kissed skin and alfresco dining. If you’re like us, you’ll want to prolong these sunny days and use them to entertain family and friends on hazy summer evenings and balmy weekends. So, if you’re considering investing in an outdoor kitchen, now’s the time.

In this guide to creating a stylish outdoor kitchen, you’ll discover how to make the most of the space in your garden, the best outdoor kitchen appliances and tips on luxurious styling.

Designing your outdoor kitchen space

Careful planning and design are essential when introducing an outdoor kitchen to your garden. You don’t want to be stuck inside preparing food for guests while they bask in the sunshine. A well-designed alfresco kitchen will transport your entire prep, cooking and serving system into the heart of your garden so you don't miss a moment.

Consider the following before you start designing.

Laying the foundations

Do you prefer BBQs or pizza? Paella or sharing boards? Your cooking preferences, plus the number of guests you typically entertain, will help you determine the size and layout of your outdoor kitchen. Give good thought to this first.

Workstations and flow

Plan your outdoor kitchen just as you would if you were planning a new indoor kitchen. Organise your area into functional zones, including cooking, prep, and serving. Ensure a natural flow between these stations so the whole cooking and entertaining experience becomes smooth and enjoyable.

Select the right materials

You’ll want to return to this investment year after year. With this in mind, you should choose durable, weather-resistant materials for countertops, cabinets, and flooring. Options like stainless steel, granite, and stone are popular choices that blend style with functionality.

 Cooks & Company’s Outdoor kitchen design.
 Picture perfect. Dreamy outdoor kitchen design from Cooks & Company.

Luxury Outdoor Kitchen Appliances

Only high-end appliances will do if you want a luxury outdoor kitchen. Among our top choices is the Big Green Egg, made by artisans in Mexico. It stands out because of its stylish appearance, versatility, and exceptional cooking capabilities. 

Here's why it's a must-have:

  • Grilling perfection: The Big Green Egg is renowned for its ability to deliver consistent heat and exceptional grilling results. Its hand-crafted ceramic dome retains heat, ensuring even cooking and allowing for precise temperature control.
  • Multi-functionality: Beyond grilling, the Big Green Egg excels at smoking, roasting, and baking. Its ability to maintain low and slow temperatures makes it ideal for achieving bags of flavour from tender, slow-cooked meats. 

Enhancing flavours: The unique design of the Big Green Egg uses natural wood charcoal, which adds a rich, smoky flavour to your dishes. Experiment with different wood chips to take your culinary creations to the next level.

From roasts to pizza, the Big Green Egg can cook it all, making it the perfect addition to your outdoor kitchen.

4. Modes Pizza Ben Langdon Big Green Egg 1 scaled
3BGE190517Matt Austin scaled
4. Modes Roasts Rib of beef Matt Austin © Big Green Egg UK 1 scaled

Moving on to OFYR. Light it up and watch it turn every outdoor event into a special occasion. Even when it’s not lit, we love its stylish appearance.

Available as a standalone grill, or invest in other modules like a kitchen island and butcher's block and turn it into a complete outdoor kitchen package. Or, come along to our showroom and take a look at the The OFYR Island Corten 100 PRO, it includes a solid chopping board for food preparation, a handy accessories tray and space for under-counter wood storage. Take more time to simply be together and share a taste of the good things in life.

OFYR Classic pictured grilling seafood and vegetables outdoors.
OFYR Classic pictured grilling seafood and vegetables outdoors.
Whether you’re frying eggs, slow-cooking vegetables or grilling a tender steak, OFYR opens up a world of new possibilities for outdoor cooking.

If you’re looking for a more traditional approach to outdoor cooking, then look no further than Wolf BBQ.

Wolf BBQ claim to create “predictably delicious meals”. The precise high to low-temperature control lets you masterfully grill anything from mouthwatering steaks to grilled to perfection vegetables.

Wolf’s grills are built to last, and you can count on exceptional performance for decades; precision built to avoid rust and water damage, these outdoor cooking appliances are a sensible addition to any outdoor kitchen.

Wolf outdoor gas grill
Sear a fillet, grill vegetables, smoke trout or applewood bacon. The juicy possibilities are endless.

Styling your outdoor kitchen

You’ve planned your outdoor kitchen layout making the most of your garden space, and you’ve chosen your luxury outdoor cooking appliances. Now’s the time to bring it all to life using stylish accessories and luxury touches. 

: Outdoor kitchen design from Cooks & Company
Cooks and Company outdoor kitchen design showing you how lighting, furnishings and a beautiful parasol can add a touch of luxury to outdoor living.

We’ve talked about how to bring the outdoors in before, but what about taking the indoors out?

You’ll want to make your outdoor kitchen a comfortable space for entertaining family and friends, just as you would if you were inviting guests into your indoor kitchen. Consider the following when you’re embarking on your styling journey:

Shade and comfort

Parasols provide much-needed shade, protecting you and your guests from the sun and ensuring you’re comfortable whilst dining alfresco. Take Scolaro, for example. Handcrafted in Italy, their bespoke parasols come in a range of colours and frame options to suit you and your space. Come to our showroom to see these beautiful parasol on display, if you want to carry the luxurious feel of your home to the outdoors these are the parasols for you.

 Scolaro dual parasol in ecru with timber frame.
Scolaro - making your parasol a design feature in its own right adding a touch of luxury to the outdoors.

Luxury lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood and creating a cosy atmosphere in your outdoor kitchen. Incorporate a combination of task lighting for functional areas, ambient lighting for overall illumination, and accent lighting to highlight architectural features or decorative elements. Consider adding enchanting string lights, lanterns, or LED strip lights.

Outdoor Furniture and Seating

Create designated seating areas, such as a dining table with chairs or a cosy lounge area with sofas and coffee tables, to accommodate different activities and encourage conversation. Choose fabrics that are durable, can withstand spillages and are UV resistant.

 Outdoor kitchen design from Cooks & Company
Incorporating stylish seating and lighting features creates an ambient outdoor cooking and dining experience.

Styling your outdoor kitchen is an opportunity for you to express your uniqueness and create a space that truly reflects your lifestyle. Aim for a cohesive look that seamlessly filters into your garden and creates a relaxing and inviting sanctuary. There’s so much more we can say regarding designing and styling your outdoor kitchen, so come and visit us in our showroom if you’re looking to invest in your garden this summer.

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The Cooks & Company Blog

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