All fired up

All fired up

Abode’s architectural expert Greg Young casts light on cooking outside in Canterbury.

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There’s something primeval about fire. It gives us a feeling of security and warmth – but we can’t have an open fire in Christchurch, can we? Why yes, there are ways to do it.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a caveman or a troglodyte to appreciate the benefits of an open fire in your living environment. And here in Canterbury you do not need to be a lawyer or a would-be felon to find a way around the rules. Environment Canterbury regulations allows you to burn wood (or charcoal) outside for cooking. The only proviso is that the smoke is not offensive or objectionable beyond your property boundary.

Environment Canterbury allowances include (but are not limited to) barbecues, pizza ovens, hangi or umu. If you are concerned about the smoke emissions, there are specialised fittings that can be installed in flues to remove and/or minimise the smoke particles.

Effectively, this opens the door for an outdoor fire as long as it‘s used for cooking. At home I have a fire pit that is ideal for baking potatoes and roasting marshmallows. Sometimes when it’s windy my children don’t like the smoke – they get around the problem by sitting around the fire wearing goggles!

In designing any home, I always consider the outside spaces, either separately or as an extension of the internal spaces. Wood burning barbecues make a great feature in an outdoor living and entertaining area. Combine the courtyard and fire with an opening roof and you have an impressive outdoor living room that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

Fireplaces fit for purpose
There are a number of fireplaces that are designed specifically as outdoor ovens. Jetmaster produce a fire that has a barbecue grill, a removable pizza oven and a large potjie (South African cooking pot). Escea have a fire with a flame cooking plate for barbecuing. We also specify Kiwi Braais which are based on South African barbecues and have a range of accessories for cooking different types of food.

Designed well, an outdoor area with an open fire for cooking can transform your landscaping and create an outside ‘room’. Regardless of the weather, you can impress your friends and family with grilled pizza, sizzling steaks and hot smoky flavoured food fresh from the grill.

Check it’s all right before you light
Fire and Emergency New Zealand has its own seasonal restrictions and permitting requirements. Even if you’re within the Environment Canterbury rules, it is always important to check if it’s an open, restricted or prohibited fire season. Visit checkitsalright.nz for details.


03 384 787 | young.co.nz

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