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Public Electric Cooktops


Status: LIVE (concept stage)


Whilst barbecues can provide people with a sociable way of gathering, many people in Dublin City do not have the space or permission to socially gather or have a barbecue at their home.

(Families enjoying traditional barbecues in the OPW-managed Phoenix Park in 2014, despite not being permitted.)

In addition, barbecues (including the disposable type) are not usually permitted in any of the parks in Dublin City (whether managed by Dublin City Council or the OPW) due to safety, fire and damage concerns. 

(A UK council seeking to manage safer usage and disposal of hot ashes from traditional barbecues in one of their parks.)


Thousands of public (electric or gas) hotplates are deployed across Australia, in every possible location and socio-economic environment - including parks, waterfronts, beaches, student accommodation, luxury apartments, caravan parks, and even in prisons.

Would their addition to many of the public spaces in Dublin City, such as parks or beachfronts, create communal spaces for people to gather, cook and socialise whilst enjoying their surroundings? 


Fixed electric hotplates present significantly lower environmental and personal safety risks than charcoal and gas barbecues and also mitigate against smoke inhalation and burns, forest and building fires, atmospheric and environmental pollution, and food safety.

We have installed the first one in Ireland (in Herbert Park in Dublin 4) so that we can begin to explore and learn more about the idea - including whether, why and how people use it.

(We’ve stenciled a circle of leaves around the cooktop as a visual indicator to help adults keep children at a safe distance while cooking.)


This trial is free to use.

No booking is required, and the cooktop is available for use during the park's opening hours. A timer automatically shuts off the power outside of those hours. If another group is waiting to use the cooktop, users should clean up and move away to one of the nearby picnic tables with their belongings once they have finished cooking.

It's located here in Herbert Park, next to the Hive building, and near the playground and tennis courts. Next to it are several picnic tables, a drinking font and a waste bin. There are also public toilets (open until 6pm) at the nearby cafe.

To use the cooktop, first clean it and then press the START/STOP button on the cooktop to begin the sterilisation process before cooking. The light will flash red, increasing in frequency as the sterilisation cycle nears completion.

Once that has been completed, the START/STOP button will turn green indicating that you can now begin cooking. 

You cook directly on the surface, you don't need to bring any fuel or trays. Just bring your own food, utensils and cleaning supplies. There is drinking water provided onsite. 

The hotplate will automatically turn off after 20 minutes of cooking time. Or you can choose to repeat the same cooking period or to turn it off sooner.

Please click on the below image to read the cleaning and usage instructions in detail. 

Here are two general videos from a public cooktop enthusiast in Australia which may also give you a general overview:


We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

We'd particularly love to hear from you if you use it! What did you use it for? What size was your group? Is there anything that you were unsure about, or any suggestions for improving it?

Let us know:

  • in the comments below
  • by emailing beta@dublincity.ie
  • by tagging @dccbeta or using #CooktopBETA on social media


[Trial not yet complete.]

This trial will run for 6-12 months before being fully removed and dismantled - for testing elsewhere.

(The cooktop prior to assembly and installation.)


[Trial not yet complete.]



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