Is there anything nicer than inviting a bunch of family or friends over to your home to enjoy some home cooked hearty fare in the outdoors? We're not just talking about the ritual of a summer barbecue, we mean proper food, perfectly cooked on a bespoke grill that has been installed in a specific al fresco dining area!
If you are thinking that you don't have a garden large enough for such a luxury, think again, as there are numerous options available to make cooking in the great outdoors accessible for everyone with every kind of budget. Take a look at these fantastic ideas for outdoor cooking and see if you could be tempted to take your prep outside!
In certain parts of the world it is absolutely customary for every home to have an outside dining area, complete with a fully functioning grill. In fact, in Argentina, where this example comes from, no courtyard house is without the means to prepare and cook meal in the great outdoors. This installation from FAARQ is lovely, not just because it is in line with a long standing tradition, but due to the inherent beauty and simplicity of the space as a whole. We are certain inspired to build something similar in our backyard and all we need is the Argentinian weather to go with it!
For connoisseurs of outdoor grilling, an al fresco dining and cooking area is something of an altar that pays tribute to the fire gods! One way to ensure the perfect cook is to install a high quality cooking apparatus, in a designated area that enjoys complimentary wind flow and easy shelter in the face of bad weather. This example is great as it has a beautiful wooden balcony perfectly paced to offer shelter and structure. Bon appetit!
Showing exactly what can be possible in even the most enclosed and modest of garden spaces, this example is wonderful in its simplicity. A purely perfunctory hole in the wall allows for a stunning open fire to be created that is ideal for relaxed al fresco cooking. With a beautiful all weather dining set in situ, this space could be effortlessly transformed into an elegant socialising location.
Come rain or shine, al fresco dining can be enjoyed to the fullest in this amazing space. With easy access to the garden, should beautiful weather encourage a picnic on the lawn, this one stop dining spot offers the best of every world. Perfect for barbecues or something a little more extravagant, this covered dining zone, complete with beautiful wooden furniture that looks to have been freshly oiled, has us sending out invitations to our nearest and dearest for an evening cook out!
Another Mediterranean style, this classical structure, complete with dazzling white render and a precise, minimal and basic design. The silver chimney flue brings a modern element to a traditional item and contributes to the creation of a beautiful space at the side of a, no doubt, stunning property. While there is sunshine in the sky, people will always have a yearning for al fresco cooking, so exterior cooking areas, such as this, will never go out of style.
Outdoor grilling isn't all just about meat, contrary to popular and carnivorous beliefs! Here we can see another fantastic use for al fresco cooking installations and it looks so good that our mouths are watering as we type! Imagine having access to perfectly crispy, fresh pizza every day. Suddenly we can see why outdoor cooking is so popular the world over and why countless countries take it so seriously. No short cuts are taken when it comes to food in Italy and we love the Italiano inspiration clearly at play here!
For those that want to try outdoor grilling, this portable solution is the perfect purchase! If a large garden space is not available, the ritual of cooking and eating outdoors can still be embraced with smaller items, such as this one and can be a great way to get reluctant or new cooks interested in the heritage of al fresco food prep. Though beautifully rusted on the exterior, the inside is perfectly clean and useable, making this as much a decorative item as a practical one!
Here we have another portable grilling solution, this time with a flair for the dramatic. Skewered into the ground, this open fire pit allows for perfect outdoor grilling, as long as you have the right ground for installing it. We can picture this being the central campfire, around which family and friends gather to eat and socialise together on a chilly evening and having been finished in a fabulous black, it offers as much beauty as it does practical cooking function which blurs the lines between aesthetics and usability.
In the Mediterranean, the party never ends, especially when it comes to eating and enjoying life. With this in mind, al fresco grilling has become an intrinsic part of every day living and we adore this stylish, eye-catching design. Featuring neutral tones and decorative tile work, as well as a protective mesh housing, this small but mighty grill offers infinite warmth and cooking potential. Don't be fooled into thinking that it's only marshmallows that can be cooked in an open fire, with a little imagination and skill, almost anything can be served up!
Now this is not a small grill, nor is it what you might call aesthetically beautiful, but for the efficient smoking and grilling of meat in an al fresco setting, we're not sure you could do much better than this gargantuan set up! What we do like is the inferred portability of this amazing piece of equipment and could imagine a group of friends taking it in turns to cook on it at their houses. What a fun way to bond with a group of people!
For more al fresco dining inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Outdoor kitchens.