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Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Are you looking for a cool visual reminder of what you need to make the best outdoor kitchen space? We’re looking to provide some answers that many of you have had about the exact elements that make the perfect outdoor kitchen design. We’ll be covering all the bases and including inspirational outdoor kitchen ideas related to each topic we discuss. This article makes it simple to connect the dots when it comes to explaining the things to consider for creating an awesome backyard kitchen – the rest of the work is up to you.

What Will Make A Great Outdoor Kitchen?

perfect outdoor kitchen

This is the first step in your quest to create the perfect outdoor kitchen space. It all starts with big-ticket items and for you, that’s a matter of choosing what is best and what you want to expand on after that.

A good variety of outdoor cooking BBQ options

Don’t forget that a good built-in grill should have a searing section zone, barbecue capabilities, low-temperature offset grill zones, smoker, rotisserie, or wood fired pizza oven setup. If it grills or cooks, you’ll want to choose the grilling or cooking appliance that does the job. Each of these items can help define what exactly you’re going to prepare based on what you already like. See some grill and smoker ideas here.

Which type of power to use?

There is a slew of cooking accessories that use gas, wood, pellets, charcoal, and electricity to power them. Think about which one you prefer for cooking but don’t forget that combination cooking can produce great results from using both wood and gas. Don’t forget that you can use wood and gas for fire pits for heated comfort zones. Adding a fire pit is a great way to instantly bring literal and figurative warmth to your backyard gatherings.

Outdoor Fire Ideas

Outdoor Fire Pit Inspiration 

Golden triangle zone

Even when creating outdoor kitchen spaces, there is a concept called the golden triangle which uses three zones where you plan to cook and prepare your food. The first is your cooking zone followed by your food prep zone and finished with food and beverage storage. These three elements are also supported by storage for supplies and other accessories. These need to be configured so each of these is easy access to everything you need to cook outside.

Kitchen Design Rules & Ideas

Consider the size of the outdoor kitchen

No matter what size backyard you have you still need to think about how much space you can use. This will include your serving area, entertainment area, and comfort zones. Make the most of the space that you have and give these spaces enough flow so people at your backyard grill party aren’t stepping on each other.

Outdoor Kitchen Demotions 

Creative Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Design outdoor kitchens like an indoor version

Creating a backyard entertaining area that matches the decor of your indoor space is common. The first thing that you want to stick to is a realistic budget. Since any entertaining outdoor space will be very similar to your indoor kitchen, calculate how much these will cost you to do yourself or with professional contractor costs. This will also include how often you decide to use an outdoor kitchen to maximize the amount that you intend to spend. Get some other basic kitchen design ideas here.

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Avoid too much vertical storage

Unlike an indoor kitchen, you aren’t going to need that much need for outdoor cabinets. Keep it very simple with storage that’s meant to store select items that are meant to be outside. Most of these ideas for BBQ and grill items should be designed for ergonomic storage just to keep everything nice and tidy. Outdoor wood fired pizza ovens can be purchased in portable models to allow for a quick upgrade to your outdoor entertaining space.

Vertical Storage Ideas

Build Vertical Storage Cabinet

20 Outdoor Kitchen Cabinet Designs

Where Will You Put Your Outdoor Kitchen?

outdoor kitchen in backyard

Aside from the available space in your backyard, the biggest issue is where to put a backyard kitchen. It’s not just about safety, but will be essential that you’re not too close or too far from your home according to your immediate needs. These questions will also come in handy when considering how many people you intend to have at your backyard cooking events.

Separate your back door from the outdoor kitchen

Don’t just plop yourself on the back doorstep and start making a kitchen on the side of the house. Have a designated area not too far but within reason a short walk from the house itself. This allows you to create a special zone where you can contain a group that is within your backyard and isn’t relying on being directly inside your home.

More Kitchen Layout Inspiration

Appropriate to your property design

The target here is to tie into existing features and outdoor strengths that your property already has to offer. Use existing trees and foliage to build your backyard kitchen better. In other words, build around what you have and not the other way around. Even if the shape of your backyard isn’t that great, utilize space to make an area that works best for you.

Decor Ideas for Your Backyard Gathering Place

Layout considerations are rarely mentioned

You don’t want the weather to get the best of you so you’ll also need to think about the surface of where you’re standing in your backyard. This will include flooring options and where people will be sitting and relaxing. There are also power and water needs that will go directly to your barbecue cooking area. Try to create excellent sun cover and protection from the elements and weather.

Try to ensure that ventilation and smoke are carried away from your guests correctly, and obviously lighting, water drainage, and winterization prep too.

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46 Creative Patio Layouts

Weather resistant

Your backyard kitchen should be built to last and made of materials easy to clean. This might sound like a tall order, although Mother Nature has other plans for your outdoor space. This is why you need to use materials that resist weather and don’t rust if they get wet. If they can be put away into cabinets, they should also be protected from year-round weather in your area.

Selecting Weatherproof Cabinets

Special Additions

addons to outdoor kitchen

Now that you’ve gotten a good idea about some design considerations, there are also special selective goodies that are needed to spice things up. If you aren’t used to entertaining, this won’t be a stretch to think about what will be good to add to keep friends and family happy being outside.

Add outdoor lighting for nighttime appeal

There is something magical about little sparkly lights or string lights used for outdoor parties. It gives everything a genuine feel that makes a party feel more special. Add a few strategically placed lights here and there and you can entertain the senses for a night to remember. Using LED lighting will also give you further options for saving on electricity and color-changing effects.

Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Ideas

9 Inspiring Ideas to Light Up a Backyard

Welcoming guests and friends

If you want to make the barbecue grill area interactive to stimulate conversation, be sure to design your cooking area so that it’s not intimidating. Make it fun and friendly with plenty of counter space next to the grill, pizza oven, smoker, or whatever is your central cooking area. This will help encourage people to strike up a conversation without feeling separated from your grilling activities.

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Personalized touches

This means that it’s time to break out the quality products and your best offerings. Don’t stick to the cheap stuff if you want to get the most attention, but keep in mind that there are bargain sales and discounts on name brands if you’re looking to wine and dine on a dime. And especially don’t cheap out on bug control because nobody wants to have pesky bugs ruining your backyard party.

If you can manage to offer a free WiFi connection and built-in music, you’re already on your way to being a great backyard host.

Hosting & Entertaining Ideas for Backyard Gatherings 

Great Dining Al Fresco Layout Inspiration

Natural Ways to Eliminate Outdoor Pests

Outdoor Speakers for Entertaining Enjoyment

Think about garbage bins

Another aspect of your average backyard event is garbage control. In the old days, it used to be common to have an open garbage container r plastic bag to put stuff into. These days, you can get pretty creative for recycling needs for containers and bottles. The more you show that you care about your guests throwing out the trash will further keep flies and pests from ruining your party.

Ideas for Adding Trash Cans to Backyard Spaces

How Will You Serve Guests?

serving area for guests in outdoor kitchen

It’s not a hard question to ask but deserves enough attention to the little details that you might not have considered. When you cook outside, you need to serve it right away. These ideas and tips will give you a better understanding of how your workflow will provide meals all through the day or night.

Food serving area and food stations

A good way to maximize the food that you’re making is to set up an area that’s right next to your grill setup. This way you can start to serve items that are ready to assemble into a meal with some help from your grill assistants. Almost like a self-serve area, people can start lining up as soon as you’re ready to serve the food you’ve made. You can then serve all the food that is provided as they are completed creating excellent food flow in return. Make sure you have an ideal place to feast once dinner is severed, see some of the links below outdoor dinning table inspiration.

Outdoor Food Preparation Spaces 

Food Preparation Tables

Ample counter space

As mentioned before, having enough counter space is essential for any backyard kitchen. This is great for placing drinks and meals for your family and guests but gives a place to hang out and socialize if there are chairs tall enough to perch over.

Countertops for Backyard Spaces

How to Build & Construction Outdoor Cabinets

Plenty of seating/relaxing areas

Seating and lounging in a backyard better include some impressive ideas for letting everyone relax in a spot that feels comfortable. Think of it as your outdoor living room. You can decide how you want to set up your seating to give tired legs a chance to chill out, but the more creative you are will also give everyone a chance to try out all the different places to sit.

28 Seating Ideas for Your Outdoor Enjoyment

Drink area

What’s a party without the drinks to wash down all of that great grilled food? You’ll also want to include an ice chest full of everyone’s favorite drinks. If you really want to take this one step further, an outdoor refrigerator used for soft drinks or beer is a great idea. Some ideas such as adding a beer tap at the bar are a cool thought for hot days. Yet, more sophisticated tastes can include a wine chiller for sparkling wines and mixed drinks.

Ultimate Inspiration for Outdoor Bars

Jeff HuntAuthor posts

Avatar for Jeff Hunt

When you engage our design team, we simplify the very complicated and tedious kitchen remodel process. We do this by listening to what you want, then translating your vision and expression into a virtual design that is uniquely yours.

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