Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

Nothing goes better than a beautiful summer night and a friendly gathering around an outdoor kitchen. From large parties to small dinner dates, an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area is always one of the most popular places in a home!

Most Important Features to Have in an Outdoor Kitchen

Good Location

Ideally when preparing food in your outdoor kitchen you will have everything at your fingertips. However in real life things will be forgotten and you will have to trek back to your indoor kitchen to retrieve it.

Planning and designing your outdoor kitchen near your indoor kitchen will be a nice convenience to have during food prep!

Adequate Overhead Covering

Mother Nature has a knack of crashing outdoor gatherings which is why planning an adequate cover for an outdoor kitchen is essential. Depending on your budget, you can go with a full blown roof or select a less expensive option such as a large gazebo tent, pergola, arbor or large umbrellas. The two most important areas to have covered are the kitchen and dining areas.

Related: 5 DIY Home Improvements to Increase Re-Sale Value

Food Prep and Cooking Area

The heart and soul of your outdoor kitchen and entertaining area will be where the food is made. A refrigerator, plenty of counter space, grill, sink, brick oven and a small bar are all common features in this area of your outdoor haven.

When purchasing your grill make sure it is stainless steel and is a good quality model to last for many years. If you are thinking of installing a sink, consider installing a small water heater underneath rather than extending your home plumbing out to the kitchen. This will save time and money.

Having a brick oven made for your kitchen may seem pricey but it is actually a fairly easy DIY option! Brick oven kits are sold for this purpose.

Eating and Lounge Area

If you want to keep it simple, you can add a nice outdoor table and chairs. If choosing metal for your outdoor chairs, wrought iron with a powder coating is the best option. This will help keep rust at bay.

Another option is to add a number of outdoor comfy lounge couches and chairs, to set up around a fire pit. Many also choose to create a bar area which is most convenient off of the kitchen where you can use bar stools for seating!


Add a little light! Whether you intend for your parties to be during the day or at night, you will need adequate lighting, especially for food prep. Ceiling fan lights work well if you have a roof installed to give some air flow and illuminate detailed areas.

Halogen lighting is good for outdoor cooking use and will withstand higher temperatures. Another thing to keep in mind for lighting fixtures is to ensure that they are suitable for humid environments. Walkways above eating areas and bars are other places to have good light sources.

These are some of the most important features but there are plenty more options and choices to choose from, like these outdoor kitchen ideas in Houzz.  Have fun with your kitchen design and remember to keep it fun and inviting for guests!

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