4 Ways to Take Outdoor Cooking Beyond the Barbecue

4 Ways to Take Outdoor Cooking Beyond the Barbecue

The season for dining alfresco is drawing to a close. Let these four outdoor cooking systems inspire your last meals under the stars and sun.

1 Steininger, a third-generation family-owned manufacturer based in Austria, has reduced their latest kitchen to the barest essentials, aesthetically, at least. The Rock.Air outdoor system is rigorously minimal, designed to virtually disappear into a garden or on a patio. But it also hides some surprises: when in use, it comes to life as a complete culinary environment.

Composed of individual cube-shaped units, Rock.Air includes a remote-controlled fire pit, a sink and dishwasher, a gas barbecue, and a refrigerator and freezer, complete with ice-maker. The anthracite-hued stainless steel modules are treated with a nano-coating of glass ceramic that makes them resistant to all weather conditions, including saltwater spray.


When in use, the top section of each module can be pushed back to create a horizontal overhang, while a row of units forms a surface at typical bar height. “That means you have a comfortable working surface in front of you at a height of about 90 centimetres, and behind that, a slightly higher counter,” explains designer Martin Steininger.

The collection officially launched in Milan during Eurocucina in April, but its debut took place in February at an igloo hotel in the Tyrolean Alps, 2,000 metres above sea level. Even at these sub-zero temperatures, Rock.Air cut a striking profile. “Anyone can present an outdoor kitchen in summer,” says managing director Harald Aichinger. “We wanted to show that you can cook outside all year round, no matter where.”  


2 This modern take on Argentina’s wood-fired Gaucho grills boasts an impressive stainless steel flywheel for one-handed adjustment of the grill height and to attain the ideal cooking intensity.  ­


3 Piero Lissoni’s monobloc stainless steel system, Open, is striped down to the chicest of basics. Supporting sides conceal connections for water, gas and electrical fittings.  ­


Hand-made in ash or elm, Luka Jelusic’s smokers infuse foods with rich flavour. This model uses an external burner to keep temperatures low, making it suitable for more delicate foods. 

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