Public barbecues that are appealing, safe, easy to use and maintain will encourage high use and be valued by the community. We offer free expert consultation for our clients designing their barbecue facilities to ensure these criteria are met.
We recently conducted a CPD presentation with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) on best practice barbecue specification and deployment. There are several important considerations for the placement of barbecue facilities.
Accessibility and orientation
Barbecues should be accessible for all, including wheelchair users and cleaners:
- Allow clear access to the cooktop controls for all barbecue users
- Leave sufficient clearance around the doors so cleaners can access the cabinet’s interior.
- Ensure that all clearances and approach pathways meet the minimum regulatory requirements.
- Ensure the barbecue controls face the user, especially when specifying wheelchair-accessible cabinets.
- Orientate the cooktop so that the cook faces family and friends at any nearby picnic or eating facilities
- Install barbecues in plain view to ensure that children are always visible.
- Locate barbecue facilities in a well-ventilated area.
Barbecues in highly exposed environments may not be as popular as those in sheltered locations:
- Preferably install barbecues underneath a shelter or cover that protects users from the sun and rain.
- A shelter will also prolong the life expectancy of your barbecue by reducing exposure to the weather.
- Excessive wind will blow heat from the hotplate. Therefore, barbecue facilities in exposed areas may use more energy and require more cleaning and maintenance.
- Barbecues in corrosive locations, e.g. next to a surf beach, may require more frequent cleaning to remove salt and other contaminants.
Hygiene can be a barrier to use. Clean, well-maintained facilities will encourage frequent usage:
- Benchtops and cooking surfaces should be fabricated from non-porous materials such as stainless steel that are hygienic and easy to clean.
- The cooktop should have large radius corners to allow for cleaning to the edge of the plate.
- Cabinets should be cleaned regularly to encourage asset use and longevity.
Public electric barbecues are commercial electronic cooking appliances. Therefore, they should incorporate the same food safety principles as household kitchen appliances:
- The hotplate must be pressed from a single piece of material. Welded seam crevices are difficult to clean and could harbour bacteria.
- The most popular grades of stainless steel (316 and 304) are poor heat conductors. Select alloys with good heat dispersal properties or a copper coating to avoid cold spots on the hotplate.
- A sterilization cycle with built-in failsafes will ensure that harmful organisms are destroyed before cooking and that a safe cooking temperature is always reached.
Public safety is our number one priority. We are proud that our products have maintained an impeccable safety record for half a century:
- The hotplate must be recessed at least 100mm from the outside edge of the benchtop so that small children can’t reach it.
- Remove all possible climbing aids, including walls, water taps, and meter boxes.
- Benchtop corners must be rounded and preferably manufactured from nylon or similar material to reduce the likelihood of impact injury.