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8 Tips To Creating An Outstanding Outdoor Kitchen


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An outdoor kitchen with dining table nearby

With Christmas just around the corner, it's time to start planning your family dinner. According to Orkney Group, nothing says “Kiwi Christmas” more than a BBQ! However, if your outdoor area is lacking, it's not too late to start thinking about building an outdoor kitchen and dining space.

This will be perfect for all those Christmas parties and can be used all year round. In this post, we'll provide you with our top 8 tips for creating an outdoor kitchen that is both functional and stylish. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started!


Firstly, you need to decide on the location. Ideally, the kitchen should be near the house to make

transportation of food easy. Having it in this location also makes for good flow in and out of the house for guests and makes your living space feel larger.

Another thing to consider in terms of location is to have it close to an outdoor power outlet - handy for plugging in any electrical kitchen equipment.


Now let’s consider the usage of the kitchen. You should think about the number of people you will regularly be catering for and the type of food you want to cook. This will help you decide how big the kitchen needs to be, how much prep/counter space you'll need, and the dining area and layout. You'll also need to consider whether you need a pizza oven or just a BBQ, a mini fridge or a custom-made fridge, and a sink. If you opt for a sink, you'll need to consider plumbing.

A BBQ with a sink in the foreground of the picture


Thirdly, you need to choose materials that are durable and can handle the local weather. Some recommended materials include concrete, stone, stainless steel, and marine-grade aluminium. You should choose materials that don't require a lot of maintenance and won't corrode quickly in the harsh New Zealand weather.

Additionally, consider the heat factor; materials such as stainless steel and aluminium conduct heat, so they can become very hot if not covered when not in use.


To maximize the amount of time spent outside, consider installing a partial roof or pergola as a permanent option. Large sun umbrellas and shade sails are a good temporary, budget-friendly option.

An outdoor kitchen with table and benches nearby and pergola overhead


If you have a permanent shade structure over your kitchen, you can install pendants, recessed lighting, or even a chandelier. However, if your only form of shade is an umbrella, then your choice of lighting will be limited to strip lighting beneath the kitchen counters, lanterns, or festoon lights plugged into a nearby power socket.


Let’s talk about flooring. Concrete, durable tile, natural stone pavers, or granite are all great options. However, if you are building on an existing timber deck, make sure the area where the BBQ is installed is made of fire-proof material (i.e. stone, brick, concrete, etc.). You should also ensure the deck is sturdy enough to support any heavy materials that may be laid on top of it (e.g. stone countertops).

Outdoor kitchen with tiled flooring and islands and inbuilt fireplace


Here’s a little tip - when selecting appliances, make sure they match. Even if it means shopping around or waiting a little longer for a matching item, keeping a cohesive look in your outdoor kitchen is well worth the effort. Sometimes you can get a discount if you buy all your appliances from the same supplier.

Be sure to let your builder know the sizes of the appliances before they start building so that there are no nasty surprises at the end with things not fitting into their place.

An all-aluminium outdoor kitchen against a stone wall and flooring


Lastly, we recommend investing in quality, hard-wearing outdoor furniture that requires low maintenance. Make sure to buy enough seats or benches to accommodate the number of people you expect to cater for on a regular basis.

Well, there you have it! Our top 8 tips to consider when planning an outdoor kitchen. Applying these tips will ensure you get a kitchen that isn’t just fit for purpose but will last for many years to come.

If you would prefer to let someone else do the hard work of building your outdoor kitchen for you, contact Orkney Construction and let’s get your place ready to host all those Christmas parties!

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