Outdoor kitchen/ cooking

For a while Hel and her sister have had this half baked idea to convert the second outbuilding at the back of the house into a dining area by removing the front wall and opening out that space to the garden - I have poo poo’d this as girl nonsense, and how many areas do they need to sit down and fill their faces with food and wine anyway?

Anyway last night Hel got me by saying we could turn it into a nice outdoor kitchen and dining area, and offering to buy me something like this to cook on -

Damn that woman she knows how much I love hot plate cooking!

The area would have walls on three sides and a roof with tall ceiling - so a bit like this but more rustic/ hispterish in style -

Would want a decent worktop prep area, counter space for the pizza oven, a beer fridge. We have electricity in there but no running water or drainage so a sink would be more difficult. The floor is concrete and the walls bare brickwork with the back having two big opening hatches and a pair of stain glass windows. Space is about 16’ by 9’.

So woke up this morning and started wondering about design and budget required to get this done next year in time for summer. Reckon about £20-25k?

Anyone built an outside kitchen before - advice is welcome at this stage, as well as design ideas.

Cheaper to take a sledgehammer to your current kitchen wall surely?


I’ve got friends who have done this - and also my current work kitchen isn’t a million miles away given its layout and structure.

Main thought is that the circular flat top in that top photo is going to be a nightmare - there’s zero shielding so you’re going to be cleaning fat splatters from every surface within a metre radius every time you use it.

Forum tagline etc etc


For safety and hygiene purposes I think that I would want bifold doors. You’re then quickly into the realm of a conservatory and an increase in budget, probably. Does sound like a nice idea though.

I would have thought this would put the mockers on it.

Around this time of year I start to think about motor bikes and boats. Not long into this reverie England reminds me its England and the beauty fades for another year.

Fuck you England.


Cellar > Speakers > outside cooking nonsense



Have you seen better hot plate/ grill solutions?

Maybe not. It’s not impossible to sort that (although increases complexity/ cost), but also my utility room is right next to entrance into the garden and has a big sink in it and is only about 30’ away from the outbuilding.

Is there a chance of swimming the dangerous waters of logic with Mrs Donkey?

Q: What would get more use?

A) Dedicated Music Room
B) Ken Wok’s outdoor 328 days a year wildlife & leaf retreat?


Total non starter -

“You pretty much already have a dedicated music room already”

“Oh you want even bigger fucking speakers do you, off you fuck”

She likes to be outside, she like to be fed, she likes a continuous flow of chilled white wine. If there is music at the same time then fine but she does not want to see where it emanates from.

You’ve gone from swimming in the warm clear sunny waters of “I’ll buy you a £4k cooking toy” to the dark and bitey river of doom that stops at “how much did you spend on your current speakers anyway” :scream:


Murky waters indeed.

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Serious for a minute…some of the things I would consider next time I set up something bigger than my current lean-to;

You will always fill the space you have, but always under-estimate the space you need
Smooth walls are better (uneven or rough surfaces are harder to keep clean and insect free)
Likewise, smooth, easy clean surfaces are a must
Enclose the area when not in use (saves having custom covers that may well blow off)
Running water near the prep area is a must (if you can’t enable it, bin the idea)
Due to the vagaries of English weather, closing panels or doors are a must (I cook all year round but when it’s too windy, I have tarps that I hang)
Good ventilation is a must. Consider some fan forcing/extraction (a must of using a BBQ or smoker)
Create a working triangle of equipment (galleys are for boats).

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Bulldoze it and build a nice rockery. Or put a sex pond in it.


Even a modest side / screen to the cooking surface will significantly help reduce the level of cleanup required.

Wait, missed the obvious choice here:



Seems civilized - BBQ cabin

Call it Gandalf’s kitchen, I dare you.

Maybe something in keeping with Sir’s tastes?



Just to give you an idea, this is the back plate behind the plancha in my little restaurant, which is actually currently using a garden plancha as temporary measure (long story), just prior to me giving it a proper scrub.

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