Thinking of an Outdoor Kitchen. Makes sense. Cooking outside, as much as we love it, is actually quite difficult. There’s normally no utensils and no running water, no pantry and you don’t really want to be running back and forth all the time.

An outdoor kitchen makes entertaining outdoors really easy which in turn brings your outdoor entertaining to life.

Some of the key things to have in an outdoor kitchen is running water, bench space and shelves that you can keep the essentials on.

You’ll also want an outdoor fire to create the ambience for entertaining and so that you can cook with flame. Add a gas hot plate into the bench space and you have the best of both worlds. The fireplace brings the outdoor kitchen to life, whilst also providing the capacity to flame grill steak, smoke, roast and cook pizza. The hot plate further increases your cooking space but also enables a quick meal without the fire needing to be running.

An outdoor kitchen doesn’t need to be complicated, nor does it need to be all flash and stainless. We believe the best solutions are simple, warm and welcoming.

What power might you need? Well, some lighting is a great idea, but again, it doesn’t need to be over the top. Instead of a fridge, Al Brown drops ice into his sink for the drinks and so on. Basically you can make it as simple and cost effective as you like.

You can see Al Brown’s dedicated kitchen website here, or watch the video below.

How to have a cost effective Outdoor Kitchen

Flare Fires can easily supply extra concrete benches. If you are prepared to spend the time to find your own sink and hot plate or whatever else you want in your kitchen you can give us the dimension of those elements and we will supply benches with the necessary cut outs so you can drop them into place. If you also need help with some building or plumbing aspects, it’s easy to find a local builder or handyman to do that work.

Our installer in the BOP can do that work for you. In Auckland you could contact Lund Building Contractors who helped with Al Brown’s kitchen. If you are stuck with where to start, or just want to chat through options, give us a call or flick us an email and let us know what you are thinking.

Add a Pizza Oven to Your Outdoor Kitchen and Really Make it Sing

Everyone loves Pizza and it’s a great way to entertain. The problem with traditional pizza ovens is that they are designed to keep the heat in and not warm the surrounding area. This can mean your friends and family are sitting inside, out of the cold, whilst you’re left cooking the pizza. Now that’s not too bad if you are looking for a bit of alone time, but if you want to entertain, then adding a pizza oven to your outdoor fire is a good decision.

That’s where a Flare Outdoor Fireplace is a great centre piece of an outdoor kitchen. They really are the next step up from the traditional outdoor BBQ or Braai, allowing you to light a big fire for everyone to enjoy as your guests arrive. As the night progresses, move the ember base to one side of the firebox for use as a heat bank. Slide the cooking frame and pizza hood into place and away you go. If further heat is required, simply drag more embers across. This allows an infinite variation of heat. This level of control makes cooking a breeze.

Every Outdoor Kitchen needs Thermal Mass

Thermal mass is what really makes an outdoor kitchen come alive.

For thousands of years stones have been piled up, heated with a fire and then buried with the food to slow cook. In Hawaii it’s an imu, in central Asia a tandoor and here in New Zealand the Māori call it a Hāngi.

With each of these traditional cooking styles the secret is the stones, they retain heat and allow for steady uniform cooking. The same principle applies to the Flare Fires masonry fireplace. The bricks and concrete act as a ‘thermal mass’ and absorb the heat and evenly radiate it into the fire cavity.

Yes the flavours you get from cooking over wood are amazing, but the magic really happens when you cook with a ‘thermal mass’.

With a Flare Fire there is no steel firebox to get in the way of delicious, wood fired pizza, succulent smoked fish, slow cooked pork, amazing smoke infused breads and desserts. Yum.

The other part of the magic is the consistent radiant heat of a masonry fire. When you’re cooking breads and roasts you can start the fire early in the day and cook for many hours by just maintaining a little fire. The ‘thermal mass’ of the Flare Fire provides steady, uniform cooking.

The Radiant Heat Brings the Entertaining Space to Life

Having an outdoor fire with thermal mass not only sinks heat for cooking but also radiates heat into the surrounding area.

It brings the entertaining area to life and also enables a whole range of cooking that you just can’t achieve on a traditional BBQ. You can Rotisserie, smoke, cook steaks, pizza, desserts and more. It really is the key to having a great outdoor kitchen.