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Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for the Ultimate Backyard

The barbecue has long been a Kiwi summer pastime, but people increasingly take their backyard barbeques to the next level with built-in outdoor kitchens. Whether you love grilling on a sunny arvo or pouring your friends a sangria on a summer evening, these NZ outdoor kitchen ideas will transform your backyard into the ultimate entertainment area. Continue reading for an outdoor kitchen sure to be the talk of the neighbourhood!

Location, Location, Location

Location can make or break your outdoor kitchen design. A statement piece like our bold Capri Outdoor Table deserves the spotlight, so why tuck it away in a remote, unused corner of your garden? Make your outdoor kitchen the heart and soul of your outdoor space by ensuring it’s the first thing you see when you look outside.

The closer your kitchen, the more you'll use it. Even in the chilly winter months, when sitting outside becomes a frosty endeavour, having your grill just beyond the ranch slider might tempt you to fire it up for the occasional feast (although you may still wish to enjoy your meal indoors).

A closer outdoor kitchen will also save you from the long, clumsy dashes between the two, carrying utensils, platters, and all sorts back and forth. Oh, and did we mention the cost savings? By locating your outdoor kitchen near your home, connecting all the necessary services like electricity, plumbing, and gas becomes easier and cheaper.

Add Creature Comforts

While outdoor entertaining may be all the rage, guests don't want to be roughing it, so ensure you bring some of the creature comforts of the indoors to your outdoor kitchen.

Conveniently Situated Seating

Nobody likes grilling alone, and guests will likely gather around the chef, so include plenty of seating in your outdoor kitchen. Approach it the same way you would an indoor kitchen. Aim for maximum comfort and functionality; remember that your outdoor furniture will take a beating from the elements, so it must be robust. If you're expecting to host the whole family (cousins included), opt for something like our Venus Outdoor Lounge Set, which offers plenty of cosy seating for everyone to gather around. If you are after something a little more intimate, our Olina bar Set can help create a more mature setting within your outdoor kitchen.

Effective, Evocative Lighting

Nobody wants to barbecue in the dark, so ample lighting is necessary. Go for some directional task lighting for your cooking and prep areas. You can get funkier with fireplaces or feature lighting to spice up your seating areas. Pair our charcoal Antoni Table with a dramatic candlelight centrepiece for a dramatic outdoor kitchen fit for a fine dining experience.

Listen to Your Inner Chef

The barbecue may be the crowning jewel for many of our backyards, but it isn't the only option. As interest in outdoor kitchens has grown, so has the range of available outdoor kitchen appliances. Beyond your bog-standard barbecues are smokers, pizza ovens, burners, refrigerators, ice makers, and beverage centres, to name a few popular options.

But with so many options, how do you know what to choose? Our best advice is to consult your inner chef. We aren't talking about the rat hiding under your hat, but what you and your family enjoy cooking. Let your pallet guide you towards the right choice. Perhaps a smoker is for you if you're a sucker for a bit of brisket, or a pizza oven if make-your-own pizza nights are more your speed.

Build for Year-Round-Use

There's no point in having a killer outdoor kitchen if you never get to use it! Whether it's blistering heat in summer or torrential rain in winter, NZ weather can be tricky for outdoor entertaining. Ensure the outdoor furniture that makes up the foundation of your kitchen won’t crumble after our first bout of bad weather. Consider our Venus 7-Piece Outdoor Dining Set. The aluminium frame makes it easy to clean and stubbornly robust.

Leveraging existing architecture to provide wind coverage is another great way to ensure year-round use, but often not enough. Consider canopies, pergolas, or even outdoor shutters to completely enclose your outdoor area when needed. These coverings allow you to control when and how much of the great outdoors you want to invite to your next barbecue. All these outdoor kitchen ideas become pointless if you can't use the space! That's why it's important to build your kitchen for year-round use.

Fire up the Barbecue in Style with Target Furniture

With some design help from these outdoor kitchen ideas, you can transform a tired old backyard into the perfect entertaining area. Whether it's a cosy spot for alfresco dining or a fully stocked bar in your backyard, Target Furniture has what you need to bring your vision to life. You'll find just what you need, from outdoor umbrellas to complete lounge sets. Explore our range of outdoor furniture online today to start your outdoor kitchen journey.

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