Rob Sinclair's tips on sprucing up your BBQ area
Rob Sinclair, Joint Managing Director of e&s was recently interviewed by the Herald Sun on ways to update your barbecue area – from your basic set-up to a complete outdoor kitchen.
Australians have a love for the outdoors and cooking on the barbecue, which has led to more of us investing in our alfresco areas to dine and entertain outside.
Rob says: “It’s not unusual at all now to find backyards and courtyards with full outdoor kitchens with all the bells and whistles”. But, he added that there are ways to create an outdoor cooking set-up for all budgets.
Consider the menu
Make it personal and work out what alfresco cooking options are suitable for you and consider how you will be using the space. “My advice is to have a clear idea of how you plan to use the space and its appliances and only buy what you need”, says Rob. “If you don’t cook with a wok inside then chances are, you won’t outside, so don’t opt for the wok burner,” he adds. “If the main use for your barbecue – like mine – is to cook fabulous cuts of meat and sausages but less of the fish and vegetables, then you won’t need a plate, only a grill,” Rob continues.
If your outdoor space is limited, it’s not worth buying appliances that you necessarily don’t need or won’t use. “If your fundamental requirement is a solid and reliable barbecue that you plan to use on a regular basis, but you don’t really need to undertake all the cooking and preparation outside, then spend your money on a really good barbecue and not the extras you might not use, like a sink or outdoor fridge”, he explains.
When it comes to the alfresco kitchen, Rob strongly recommends that barbecues and other outdoor appliances should be kept under cover. “If you spend the money on a barbecue, make sure it’s stainless steel and it comes with a cover, particularly if it’s being kept outside and not under a roof of any sort,” Rob said. This is especially important if you live near the coast. Invest in a fully stainless steel barbecue and good shelter, otherwise it will become rusty very quickly.
Go with the flow
The outdoor dining space has lately become an extension of the house. Rob says that effortless flow between the indoor and outdoors, not just increases the living space, it also adds value to the property. The trend of open living spaces has opened up doors to fully decked out alfresco areas. “These alfresco ‘rooms’ are just as comfortable as being inside, with sofas, fans, heating and food-preparation areas but connected to the outdoors, which is so appealing”, says Rob.
Consider the extras
Not every property has a large outdoor space, so if all you have space for is a barbecue and a basic table setting, then Rob suggests that it’s good to choose quality appliances with long durability. But if you want to design the full alfresco dining and entertaining space, then let your imagination run wild. “Basically, anything you’d find in an indoor kitchen, and up to a quality and standard you’d find in the kitchen of a five-star restaurant. There are the expected extras like a wok burner, fully plumbed sink, stainless-steel bench top, built-in barbecue and under-bench fridge”, says Rob. “If all you can afford is a barbecue right now, you’re already on your way.”
This article was originally published in the Herald Sun.