19-21 April 2024
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Building an Outdoor Kitchen

There are a number of different bench top materials available. The location of your kitchen will influence the choice of material that is best suited for durability and warranty of materials for example resin based benchtops have no warranty when installed outdoors.

DO not forget to Insulate your Barbecue!

Make sure you fully insulate your barbecue if you choose to use combustible materials to build your cabinetry. Alternatively purchase a barbecue that has a Zero Clearance insulated cabinet or jacket. These jackets make it safe and easy to install built-in barbecues into combustible materials, perfect for outdoor cabinetry. Insulation jackets also support and protect your barbecue’s undercarriage from weathering or corrosion, which will assist in prolonging the life of your unit. When installing your barbecue into your cabinetry it is also very important to remember to have the correct ventilation space surrounding your barbecue for the rare case that your gas bottle or natural gas output valve is leaking so the gas has a way to escape your cabinetry to avoid any unwanted explosions.

Plan Your Zones

When designing your own custom outdoor kitchen never place your beverage cooler/bar fridge directly in sunlight as this will reduce its ability to cool. It will also increase energy costs as the compressor will never stop as it will be consistently trying to cool. Also, make sure you outdoor area is actually an OUTDOOR area and complies with the manual of the barbecue you purchase.

Bench Top Material Selection

There are a number of different bench top materials available. The location of your kitchen will influence the choice of material that is best suited for durability and warranty of materials for example resin based benchtops have no warranty when installed outdoors.

Granite bench tops have been the standard in outdoor kitchens for some time now as it is a natural stone and will weather better than any resin based bench tops outside exposed to sunlight. Be aware though, granite stone can vary in colour and grain and as it is a natural product no one piece is the same. It is not recommend that granite bench tops be in areas exposed to high levels of sunlight as experience has shown when granite gets hot it expands and natural fractures in the stone can be exposed and no warranty is offered against natural cracking. Granite and Marble bench tops also can stain and absorb cooking oils, red wine or similar products. It is best to wipe off these types of things as quickly as possible to avoid problems with staining.

Large Format Porcelain Tiles such as Laminam have become our most popular choice now for outdoor kitchens Laminam has a 25 year material warranty outdoors and is basically an extra-large format porcelain tile. Made in Italy it has been designed for both internal and external use. It does not need sealing and can withstand hot pots being placed directly on its surface. It has less than one tenth of 1% porosity which makes it ideal around cooking appliances that are hot or where spillage of cooking oil, wine or any other staining substance as they cannot penetrate its surface and is easily wiped clean with warm soapy water. Laminam can easily withstand all the elements like sunlight and rain even in coastal conditions. It is easy to clean, comes in a large range of colours and textures and offers a durable solution for your bench top.

What is your environment?

When building a custom outdoor kitchen modular or not, you need to consider the environment you live in. If you are next to an ocean, salt water creeks or even if your property has a salt pool, you may need to consider using a barbecue that is built from a higher grade of stainless steel such as grades 304 or 316. 316 Grade Stainless steel is a marine grade of steel that has Molybdenum in the chemical build up and this helps significantly in fighting off rusting and corrosion which in turn will make your barbecue last considerably longer prolonging the life of your outdoor kitchen. Make sure you get cabinetry that can be correctly sealed and waterproofed. Too often after a lazy job or unsealed cabinetry water will penetrate your kitchen and cause wood rot, aiding growth of moss and mould inside your cabinetry which can be an incredible health risk for you and your family.

Build for YOU!

Although this may seem like a no brainer, people tend to get caught up in the latest tech or what they are told is the best thing to have. You have to remember that this is your space you are designing for your family and friends. What do you need that will make your life easier and your parties more enjoyable? Take the time to really research the materials and appliances you are going to use to build your custom kitchen. At the end of the day you have to love using it and you should be proud to see it because will now be a big part of your home and future memories.

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