Partner Content
This content was paid for by Kalamazoo and produced in partnership with the Financial Times Commercial department.
Designing the outdoor kitchen of dreams

The ultimate outdoor cooking space for grilling and gathering that’s customisable throughout the seasons

The concept of an outdoor “dream kitchen” is highly individualised and is dependent on cooking preferences, local climate and the space available for grills, cabinets and other workspace equipment. As Kalamazoo's chief product designer, Russ Faulk is uniquely positioned to guide everyone – from the most seasoned chef to the weekend grilling enthusiast – in selecting an outdoor kitchen set-up that best suits their lifestyle. Complete with integrated cabinetry and refrigeration systems, the modular Kalamazoo collection offers an integrated system of grills, cabinets and accessories that are built to withstand the elements – and the test of time.

“There are a few universal truths that apply to every outdoor kitchen design,” explains Faulk of creating aesthetically pleasing yet functional cooking spaces. “A sink is essential, so as to avoid running inside to wash hands while prepping and grilling poultry, meat and fish. Task lighting is also so important and it’s often an afterthought in the design process. Nights in the midwest, for example, come early and a chef needs to see what he/she is doing after sunset. Lastly, I like to see as much countertop workspace as possible for chopping and storage. Undercounter refrigeration and beverage centres are also important considerations that will impact the space’s functionality,” says Faulk of his basic barbecue set-up advice.

From there, cooks can get creative by choosing appliances such as a Hybrid Fire Grill that burns any combination of charcoal, wood and gas, and delivers incredible versatility. Perfect for all types of grilling recipes and techniques, this grill allows for different levels of heat so that fish cooks slowly and gently flakes, while a sleek, integrated gravity-fed charcoal Smoker Cabinet is ideal for the chef who wants to barbecue with uniform heat for longer cooks. The Shokunin Kamado Grill is another Faulk favourite, not only for its adjustable-height grates that allow for control between the food and fire, but also for its chic stainless-steel design that’s finished with Ipe wood. With this particular design-forward grill, multi-zone cooking is possible – for searing meat at higher temperatures before moving it to a cooler part of the grill to finish.

Pizza ovens are incredibly versatile, too,” says Faulk. “Pizza is such a hands-on, social food and people aren’t afraid to experiment with unexpected ingredients,” he says of the backyard fan favourite. In addition, pizza ovens are “great for roasting fish and vegetables, baking bread and cookies, too,” which makes Kalamazoo’s countertop Artisan Fire Pizza Oven an indispensable piece of outdoor kitchen equipment.

The entire Kalamazoo collection – from grills and cabinetry to integrated refrigeration systems – is designed to work together seamlessly so that the process of selecting a customised kitchen is turnkey. “The dream kitchen isn’t about the size of the space, but rather the quality of each piece of equipment that is selected for it,” says Faulk of the highly personalised Kalamazoo design approach. Working closely with clients, the experts in Kalamazoo’s Design Studio do everything from advising on the best ways to lay out an outdoor kitchen based on the existing space, to helping select the right equipment for achieving current and future grilling goals.

Clients can begin their design process by browsing past projects to gain inspiration for their own special space. For example, an expansive seaside kitchen in San Diego with appliances that withstand saltwater; a U-shaped cooking and entertaining space in Park City, Utah, that’s crafted using natural stone that melds discreetly into the mountain slope; or perhaps a sophisticated Hamptons kitchen, complete with stainless steel equipment including Signature Series storage cabinets and drawers, as well as a central fire pit – all complimenting the home’s grey colour palette. By visualising different kitchen plans and installations, home and property owners alike will undoubtedly be inspired to create their own outdoor oasis.

Set up a design consultation with a Kalamazoo expert to start planning your outdoor kitchen today.

Back to top