Widen your horizons and cook up a storm outdoors
With features to rival their interior counterparts, alfresco kitchens in the backyard are reaching impressive new levels of sophistication.
In addition to a barbecue, sink and wine or beer fridge, specialist designers are equipping today’s outdoor kitchens with everything from dishwashers to ice-makers to wok burners.
“Outdoor kitchens are becoming the focus for reselling a house, as the extra features attract many people,” Amanda Mitchell, of Infresco, said.
She said one of the latest design trends included the classy combination of gleaming black and sleek stainless steel.
“This is a very popular finish,” she said. “Our clients are choosing features such as flame-failure gourmet barbecues and high-powered wok burners.”
Wood smokers and charcoal cookers are also making an impact, along with kegged beer, Australian Outdoor Kitchens WA general manager Matt Lihou says.
Pyro Designs owner-director Jared Robinson said there was a definite trend towards smoothly integrated barbecues.
“The new style taking off is a drop-in solution like you’d have for the indoor kitchen hotplate — with the dials on the side and a hood or a flat lid on top,” he said.
Natural stone benchtops remained the preferred choice, he said, as many engineered stone products were not suitable for outdoor use, even under cover, without voiding their warranties.
Winning Appliances brand ambassador Rick Hart said customers had started to embrace American-style products that offered a big, industrial look and precision cooking.
“Hooded barbecues continue to be the preferred option, as they offer versatility and great results for grilling and roasting, with rotisserie,” he said.
It isn’t necessary to spend a fortune on an outdoor cooking area, but investing in quality equipment is important because it needs to endure exposure to varying weather conditions.