Grillkotas - also spelt as Grill Kota or Grill Cota - are small wooden huts that you can use for BBQs.
You may associate barbecues with hot parts of the world, but Grillkotas actually come from Finland. They are a traditional part of food and culture in the Scandinavian nation.
What are Grillkota’s made from?
The traditional construction of this type of Scandinavian BBQ hut is all-wood.
They are manufactured from wood such as birch, pine or spruce. Wooden planks are used to build the walls and roof, overlapping in a distinctive pattern and offering Grillkota inhabitants shelter from the wind, rain and any other challenges the weather throws up.
Wooden boards usually comprise the floor of the Grillkota, and screws or nails hold the structure together. It may sound simple, but building a Grillkota is best left to those with experience.
Grillkota purists may maintain that no glue, or any kind of chemical, should be used in the manufacturing process. However, modern Grillkotas may use treated wood.
The history of Grillkotas
For years, hunters and forest workers in Finland have used temporary shelters to cook meals while staying away from the harshest elements of the Nordic weather.
This is where the Grillkota concept comes from; a covered enclosure that houses a grill where meals can be made.
As time went on, Grillkotas came to appear in back gardens, becoming a focal point for family and social gatherings. In the latter part of the 20th Century, their popularity soared in Finland, and then spread to neighbouring Norway and Sweden - countries with the same climate.
After making their mark in Northern Europe, in recent years, more of the world has discovered the joys of having a Finnish or Swedish BBQ hut. Here in the UK, and across the pond in the US and Canada, the functionality, charm and intrigue of Grillkotas have appealed to everyone from adventurous homeowners to BBQ enthusiasts.
How do Grillkotas work?
Grillkotas vary in size and structure.
One thing they have in common - aside from the wooden build - is that the BBQ is the centrepiece of the structure, and directly above the BBQ is usually a chimney that allows the smoke from the grill to escape easily.
How much seating you have around the BBQ, if you have seating at all, and the luxury of that seating, will also differ from Grillkota to Grillkota. Some Scandinavian huts will be large enough to install sofas around the sides, while others will accommodate more basic benches.
Many people enjoy the ‘smoky’ aroma that you can acquire inside the wooden structure, and this can even lend food cooked in a Grillkota having an infused, smoky taste. You’ll find that BBQs and metal grates also double up as a heating system, warming the Grillkota up nicely as people around the perimeter eagerly await their food.
Do you need planning permission for a Grillkota?
In the UK, whether or not you need planning permission for a Grillkota in your garden will depend on its size and how it is built.
A typical Grillkota would fall under the category of BBQ huts, and in general, owners of private residences don’t need planning permission. Grillkotas, BBQ huts and the like are usually permitted developments, meaning that you don’t need to apply for permission to install them in a garden on your property.
There are exceptions, and these include properties on land designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, or on national parks. If you are installing a large Grillkota that could potentially accommodate you or your guests overnight, this throws up other considerations, and you may need to check with your local authorities to see if you do need planning clearance.
Spice up your summers, warm up your winters
The truth is, having a Grillkota to visit in your garden can be a joy at any time of year.
In the summer, the Grillkota becomes a social focal point, giving you every excuse to invite friends over, or congregate with your immediate family on long evenings. Give the kitchen a miss for a few weeks, and make the most of every bit of good weather with alfresco dining.
Come the colder months of the year, your Grillkota certainly has its place, too. Thanks to the comforting warmth it generates, there’s nothing to stop you from wrapping up warm and making the most of your outdoor grill now and then. The shelter will protect you from the worst elements of the weather, and a family adventure to the end of the garden for supper can break up your usual routine nicely.
Before long, you might be craving the unique setting and smoky scent that only a Grillkota can offer.
At Logspan, we offer over two decades of experience in unique, garden buildings and timber products. Our friendly team are here to answer your questions, so reach out today.