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A taste of the outdoors

Outdoor kitchens: Fun with garden gastronomy

In summer, everyone is tempted outdoors. We yearn to escape our own four walls and spend as much time as possible al fresco. On the balcony or in the garden, outdoor kitchens leave the simple barbecue in the shade, and are becoming more and more versatile. Thanks to modular systems and durable materials, entire kitchenettes can now be found outside.

Outdoor kitchen with stainless steel work surface and cooking station

Outdoor kitchens stand for social get-togethers and culinary delights in the open air.

Outdoor kitchens: from entry-level to professional models

Cooking has become a lifestyle trend and is increasingly moving out of doors. The kitchen trends for 2021 clearly show that open-plan kitchen layouts are becoming more and more popular for social gatherings. And it’s not just indoors that people are cooking up a storm – the pastime is also being enjoyed in gardens and on balconies. In many outdoor areas, humble barbecues have long since given ground to entire cooking stations that are no less well equipped than conventional indoor kitchens.

Versatility is particularly sought after when it comes to outdoor kitchens, and suppliers are responding to the growing need for customisable designs. The spectrum ranges from simple barbecue stations to compact kitchen islands all the way to spacious kitchenettes. Rather than being restricted to gas or charcoal, as with traditional barbecues, outdoor kitchens can be fitted with various additional cooking appliances, such as ovens, induction stoves, sinks, fridges and even extractor hoods.

Individual units for cooking and food preparation can be combined in a modular system. Many modular outdoor kitchens can be extended with the gradual addition of new elements. Even compact pizza or wood-fired ovens are available. Elements such as a barbecue grill, a greenhouse for herbs or a bar provide extra functions and create a homely atmosphere in the garden.

Outdoor kitchen with frame construction as a base with fronts in HPL, doors and drawers in stainless steel, Signature ProLine design grill and side burner all from BeefEater and built-in sink.
Napoleon Oasis modular outdoor kitchen with BiPro 825 built-in grill with four burners, infrared backburner, smoker chip burner and two infrared burners.
 DIY outdoor kitchen with brick and plaster base, and dark natural stone countertop, with Napoleon BiPro 500 built-in grill with four burners and backburner, BeefEater ProLine side burner with 6kW and sink.
Outdoor kitchen with grill plate and stainless steel fronts

A designer grill, a side burner and a sink: such a versatile outdoor kitchen offers the same comfort as an indoor kitchen. In a covered location, it can even be used all year round. (Photo: BeefEater on gardelino.de)

It would be hard to find an outdoor kitchen offering more mod cons than this. Not one but two grills and an additional griddle make barbecuing an absolute pleasure. The drawers made from weatherproof stainless steel are both practical and stylish. (Photo: Napoleon on gardelino.de)

If you choose a barbecue made from cool stainless steel, you can add a touch of warmth with a natural stone worktop and base. Combined with a generous seating area, the garden quickly becomes a feel-good location for evenings spent cooking and socialising. (Photo: Napoelon and BeefEater on gardelino.de)

Weatherproof and durable, this stainless-steel outdoor kitchen with integrated sink and large griddle makes barbecuing a joy, whatever the weather. Wooden garden furniture adds warmth and homeliness to the kitchen’s cool industrial look. (Photo: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SPA)

Balcony cooking with compact outdoor kitchens

An outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to mean a huge worktop with an integrated barbecue grill. A wealth of solutions with smaller footprints are available, too. In large cities in particular, space is often at a premium, and large gardens are something of a rarity. Compact outdoor kitchens are the ideal solution for those who might only have a small balcony but still want to enjoy the al fresco cooking experience.

With just a few additional modules, a barbecue can be upgraded to a mini outdoor kitchen. A simple kitchen trolley can be repurposed as a worktop, and shelves provide extra storage space for barbecue utensils and crockery. Mobile units with wheels are especially practical when space is limited. They can be pushed to one side quickly, giving greater flexibility.

Mobile wooden barbecue station with recess for the barbecue and integrated herb bed
Outdoor kitchen with sink and worktop in black stainless steel with a matt look
Airplane-look stewardess serving trolley with small worktops and drawers
Mobile barbecue station with stone plate for barbecuing and open fire

Despite its small size, this barbecue station has everything you’d expect from a mini outdoor kitchen, from space for a kettle barbecue to a generous worktop and even a herb garden. Thanks to its compact design, the dream of an outdoor kitchen can become a reality even on a small balcony. (Photo: Creative Outdoor Products B.V.)

Matt black stainless steel meets warm wood: The Cane-line outdoor kitchen has an unobtrusive design. With an integrated sink and four base cabinets, it offers enough storage space for all your barbecue and cooking utensils. Extra shelves can be fixed to the back wall to keep herbs, oil, etc. handy. (Photo: Cane-line A/S)

The perfect holiday vibe. This airline-style serving trolley is both practical and a real eye-catcher. It has plenty of drawers for extra storage, and the small work surface is perfect for preparing vegetables and meat. The wheels are another plus point, allowing the trolley to be pushed around a terrace easily, so it’s always on hand wherever it’s needed. (Photo: boardbar design GmbH)

Small but perfectly formed: this modular barbecue station made of high-quality wood is striking thanks to its unusual design. Meat and vegetables can be prepared over direct heat at the edge of the fire bowl, and on chillier evenings it serves as a warming firepit. An unusual alternative to a classic barbecue, and the perfect outdoor kitchen for small spaces. (Photo: Creative Outdoor Products B.V.)

What to look for when buying

If you’re interested in an outdoor kitchen – whether fixed in position or mobile – there are a few things you should think about before making a purchase. As well as personal preferences, the main aspects to consider are weatherproof materials, the right location and suitable equipment.


By far the most crucial question when buying an outdoor kitchen is where will it go? There are a few points to be aware of here. Ideally, your outdoor kitchen should be placed in as sheltered a position as possible and not directly in the wind. If possible, choose a covered location. This will allow you to continue cooking and barbecuing even when it’s raining. The supply of water and energy must play a pivotal role in your plans. The closer the outdoor kitchen is to the building, the easier it will be to lay the critical supply lines.


Before committing to a purchase, it’s important that you ask yourself what appliances you actually need and how much space is available to accommodate them. Choosing between a gas, electric or charcoal barbecue is entirely down to personal preference. Depending on the model, many barbecues can be extended with a stovetop. This is particularly useful if you intend to prepare soups or sauces in the garden alongside meat and vegetables. If there’s enough space, a sink is a handy addition, enabling you to wash up crockery immediately after eating rather than having to carry it inside. Outdoor shelves and sideboards provide extra storage space for cooking and barbecue utensils.


Permanently installed outdoor kitchens, which are very similar to their indoor cousins, stay outdoors all year round, so they need to be weatherproof and able to withstand rain, snow and wind. When buying one, it’s therefore important to check that the materials are robust. Stainless steel is recommended for sinks and taps. Natural stone, tiles or acrylic composites are good choices for worktops, because they are easy to clean and maintain. If you choose wooden cabinet doors, they should be varnished with a special oil and weatherproofed. To protect all the electrical devices in the colder months, it’s worth investing in a rainproof cover. This will also protect against weathering and extend the life of your outdoor kitchen.

Enjoy life al fresco with an outdoor kitchen

Whether it’s a large kitchen island with an integrated barbecue station, an extra worktop or a small-scale, mobile grill station, outdoor kitchens are an option for almost any garden or balcony. Thanks to the customisable design possibilities, outdoor kitchens can be extended bit by bit and tailored to suit personal budgets and individual requirements.

If you’ve been inspired to take the fun of cooking outdoors, you can find more exciting ideas on ambista .