Outdoor kitchens promise easy entertaining and more living space, so is now the time to take it outside?

Outdoor kitchens could well be the answer to using your backyard as a supplementary living space. More than just the place where you keep your barbie, an outdoor kitchen is a functional kitchen area that includes things such as a barbecue, bench and preparation space, other appliances such as pizza ovens, and perhaps a bar fridge or sink.

But how affordably can you create an al fresco kitchen that you will actually use? And what should be included? Here we unpack the why, the how and the should you of outdoor kitchen ideas.

Is an outdoor kitchen worth it?
First to consider when embarking on your outdoor kitchen adventure is how much you will actually use it. They're great in theory, but with the good times comes maintenance and, depending on where you live, the possibility it will only be used for half the year.

You'll also need to have the space for various appliances and benches, adequate ventilation for cooking and perhaps a dining or seating area to enjoy the fruits of your outdoor kitchen. In some locations, it may add value to your house or property, but not always.

Why build an outdoor kitchen?
There are plenty of reasons outdoor kitchens are appealing. For entertainers, it's a veritable stroke of brilliance. You can keep all the cooking and partying outside, leaving the house a mess-free zone, while also enjoying the convenience of serving freshly grilled food straight off the barbecue to your guests.