Creating the perfect outdoor kitchen - Charlie Oven

Creating the perfect outdoor kitchen

Cooking outdoors is one of life's great pleasures. The smell of the smoke, the sizzle of food on the grill and the joy of being out in the open air. But when it comes to cooking outdoors there are many things to consider before you decide on an outdoor kitchen design that will work best for you and your family.

Outdoor kitchens have become hugely popular over the last few years.

Outdoor kitchens have become hugely popular over the last few years. If you're looking to add an outdoor space to your home, this is a great place to start. Outdoor kitchens can be used year-round, and they provide a space where you can entertain family and friends while cooking up delicious meals in all seasons; if your layout is thoughtfully planned and equipped with the right kit.

The outdoor kitchen is an extension of the home.

The outdoor kitchen is an extension of your home. It's a place for cooking and eating, entertaining and spending time with family and friends. The design should reflect this idea by encouraging guests to linger over drinks or dinner while listening to music and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

An outdoor kitchen should be designed to fit into the landscape and complement your home. You'll want it to blend with the surroundings so that it doesn't look like an afterthought or an eyesore. The materials used should be durable and long-lasting, as well as easy to clean and maintain.

We've become more adventurous with our cooking equipment and our menus. Cooking outdoors is not just about traditional BBQ, in recent years pizza ovens, smokers, and ceramic eggs have grown in popularity.  And now it's been taken to the next level with the Charlie Oven, a game-changing innovation in outdoor cooking.  

The food we are cooking is more adventurous too; you might find yourself making a slow-cooked leg of lamb, a reverse-seared steak, a hot-smoked salmon on a cedar board or pizzas as close to your local pizzeria as possible.

The versatility and convenience of cooking outdoors is what makes it so appealing. Spending time outdoors makes us feel good and even just cooking outside (especially in the winter) keeps the mess in the kitchen to a minimum!

Make your outdoor kitchen into a stunning garden feature.

Designing an outdoor kitchen takes thought, planning and a dash of imagination.  The place to start the design process is with what you’ll be cooking on, or cooking in.  And then build everything around that.

We love our gardens and create beautiful outdoor spaces. An outdoor kitchen can and should add to the design. Form and function should work in harmony with the garden. Consider adding colourful elements from countertops and other materials. Some of our favourite brands - are Vlaze, Huckleberry, WWoo Concrete Kitchens, and Cubic to name but a few. We make Charlie Ovens in a wide range of beautiful colours to add a pop of colour into your design. 

You may want to consider adding a Charlie charcoal oven to your outdoor kitchen.

If you're looking to add a little something extra, a little luxury to your outdoor kitchen, consider adding a Charlie charcoal oven. Charlie charcoal ovens are great for cooking EVERYTHING from pizzas, to grilled meats and fish, as well as smoking food and baking bread.

Charlie ovens are made from heavy-duty steel with ceramic insulation, which retains heat efficiently making it the most sustainable way to cook with fire. A little fuel goes a long way. In fact, it uses almost half the fuel of an open charcoal grill. The secret is the airflow control and insulation which makes it easy to control temperature.

One of the Charlie Oven's brilliant design features is a front-opening door. This - unlike top-opening BBQs or eggs - minimises heat loss and keeps the rain, leaves (and even snow!) off your food.  It makes cooking outdoors a genuinely year-round activity ... rather than one that sounds good in theory, but doesn't really work in practice.

The shape and size of the Charlie Oven make it a perfect fit in outdoor kitchen designs. Both the floor-standing and counter-mounted versions are a mere 62 cm wide (the same width as a standard kitchen unit).  Yet both offer a huge cooking area.  The oven's "vertical" layout, with multiple cooking racks, gives a much bigger cooking area than a conventional BBQ or egg.

So, the modest footprint of the Charlie Oven gives you a lot more flexibility in your outdoor kitchen design.  Freeing up counter space for things like sinks, prep areas, storage and fridges.  Perfect: a real win-win!

Consider how you will use the outdoor kitchen in all seasons. This means having good lighting and perhaps a covered area and heating.

Once you have decided on the basic layout, it's time to consider how you will use your outdoor kitchen in all seasons, to really exploit its potential. This means having good lighting and perhaps a covered area, as well as heating if necessary. The Charlie Oven itself is designed for all seasons, with a totally weatherproof, powder-coated exterior with all stainless steel fittings.  It will live and work and last outdoors for many, many years - and continue to look beautiful.

The best way to get started is by having a clear, detailed plan. You will want to consider how much space you have and what type of appliances would work best in that area. 

Your plan will also need to consider the practicalities: electricity supply, fresh water and drainage, orientation towards shade, sun, wind and rain, hard standing options like paving, tiles or decking, vertical features like pergolas and screens.  And also the "softer", natural elements like planting for shade, screening and colour, things like herb gardens so your lovely, natural larder is always on hand.

The great thing is, it's a joy to design and create. And - once it's done - it can bring your dreams of al fresco living to reality.

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