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Our recipe for an awesome outdoor kitchen island

Feel like your cooking dreams have outgrown your regular grill in the garden set-up? Come and meet the next level! Here our resident BBQ enthusiast (and interior designer) Emilia shows us how to use indoor kitchen thinking to make the ultimate cooking setup for the outdoors.
Make a modular outdoor kitchen with the help of a grill and 4 serving carts
An outdoor kitchen made with 3 serving carts, a grill and a cabinet.
Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, a good kitchen has to wear many hats. It’s got to be easy to cook and prepare at, have practical storage, not to mention making room for a few chefs. Emilia’s advice to fit all those categories? Go with an island shape.
“Islands are great because they give you four sides you can work at, walk around and socialise while you’re cooking. Grilling can be pretty stressful when there’s only one chef! I made this one using 3 serving trolleys and a grill, that can be rolled away come winter and moved easily to better fit your space.”
“For me running back indoors after a forgotten glass, plate or condiment is the worst. With everything outside with you can just enjoy the cooking.”
Emilia, Interior Designer and BBQ enthusiast
Grouping her four sections together, Emilia used one side of the island for a grill and a prepping space for preparing barbecue ingredients. Down below the grill there’s a bin for charcoal (or space for a gas bottle) and wood for smoking if you’re that kind of BBQ maestro. Under the prep station she added another bin for grill ash and containers to put dirty things in for washing up later.
A grill with space for storing charcoal or a gas bottle underneath, as well as woodchips for smoking food.
A grill with a whole fish and a couple of lemons cooking on top.A container makes a home for storing need to wash itemsPlace to prep an outdoor meal
“I hope this helps everyone at home (even the non-grillmasters) to enjoy cooking outdoors. Even if it’s just to lean in and chat while enjoying the sunshine.”
Emilia, Interior Designer and BBQ enthusiast
An outdoor kitchen prepping area with workspace for making salads and side dishes.
Moving over to the other side, the 2 serving trolleys make a big prepping area out of the way of the grillmaster. All that space on the worktop gives plenty of room to put together salads and cold dishes, and the bins underneath help to store compost and other rubbish. See those white containers? Emilia used them as electricity free fridge.
“You just fill the bottom container with a bag of ice cubes to keep all your drinks (and other items if needed) cold throughout the evening. The box above gets chilled by the box below so here’s where I store salad and veggies so they stay crisp and fresh.”
Make an outdoor fridge by filling containers with iceA bin for compost is always handy in an outdoor kitchenContainers for rubbish are always handy in an outdoor kitchen
To solve the whole “trek back indoors” for that extra plate or glass, Emilia set up a kitchen cupboard outdoors. All your essentials like cutlery, crockery, serving bowls and grill tools are stored here, so that they are easy to grab when you need them.
A kitchen cabinet outdoors is super handy for an outdoor kitchen
Keep your outdoor kitchen safe from the elements with fitted covers.
Of course, sometimes even in summer, the weather can forget that it’s supposed to be sunny. To keep your kitchen protected Emilia recommends using a cover over your island and a shade cloth above your kitchen cupboard. Hope you enjoy your summer cooking outdoors!
Interior designer: Emilia Ljungberg
Digital designer: Lasse Johansson
Copywriter: Jamie Rynd
Photographer: Micke Persson
Editor: Linda Harkell