An outdoor kitchen isn’t a common feature in households. However, this is changing as homeowners are spending more time at home. When you have an outdoor kitchen, you add value to your home.
Today outdoor kitchens may not be common but they’re appreciated for the fact that they bring us closer to nature.
Most daily activities used to take place outdoors and that included cooking.
Average Size Of An Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor kitchen size depends on the square footage of your backyard space. Size should also be determined based on how you’re planning to use the kitchen.
If you spend time outside cooking or entertaining, you’ll need a big outdoor kitchen. If you want the kitchen to be an accent feature, a small one will work.
A small outdoor kitchen measures at least ten feet. This gives enough space for basic features and appliances.
Mid-sized outdoor kitchens are 16 feet long, providing additional storage and countertop space.
Large outdoor kitchens are 20 feet long or more. This is enough space to have more than appliances of each type as well as lots of storage.
Outdoor Kitchen Amenities
Outdoor kitchens include a grill, cooktop, fridge, sink, storage, and counter space. If the space allows it, you can add extra features.
Other amenities include:
- Pull-out trash cabinet
- Ice maker
- Outdoor grill hood in case the kitchen is not open
- Floating shelves for additional storage or as decorative elements
- Breakfast griddle
- Ice storage for beverages
- Wine cooler for guests and for yourself
- Pergola or roof for shade
Modern Outdoor Kitchen Ideas
Here are the latest outdoor kitchen designs handpicked by our team of outdoor experts.
Combination Outdoor Kitchen And Pool
The Spring Valley House from StudioMET in Houston, Texas, is a premier outdoor cooking space. It’s a two-story structure with spacious indoor areas and a comfortable modern outdoor zone which includes the swimming pool and a summer kitchen.
The kitchen island also functions as an outdoor bar. It’s protected by the roof of the house.
Small Backyard Kitchen And Seating Area
You don’t need a big backyard to have an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor spaces are cozy and inviting. With this example, an outdoor kitchen and lounge area was designed for the Belgravia House, a private residence created by Staffan Tollgard Design Group in London, England.
Minimalist Outdoor Kitchen With Island
The North Bondi House by MCK Architects doesn’t have a big yard. With this example, the designers found a way to integrate an outdoor kitchen area. It’s a simple, minimalist island that aligns with the indoor kitchen cabinetry.
Waterfront Lounge Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen seems like a natural thing to add to such a design. You can see it here together with casual lounge areas as well as a sunken seating area.
Indoor Outdoor Symmetry
Designed by Kim Duffin at Sublime Architectural Interiors, this outdoor kitchen matches the indoor one. There’s a nuanced quality among as clear lines define both spaces. The table and indoor cabinetry connect to the outdoor cabinets.
Small Kitchen Dining Area
The Story Pool House was designed by Lake Flato.
Center Point, Texas is home to this outdoor kitchen space. It’s surrounded by nature and greenery, featuring views of the nearby hills. It has a pretty vast outdoor area, like an open plan social area with a roof.
Outdoor Kitchen With Fire Pit
An outdoor kitchen goes hand in hand with an alfresco dining area, they make a great pair. The contemporary residence designed by McClellan Architects is no exception. It features a green roof and waterfront views that give it a cohesive look.
You don’t even need a yard to have an outdoor kitchen. Here’s an alternative: a rooftop terrace with a kitchen, an outdoor bar, and everything else you want. dSPACE Studio designed one that overlooks the city of Chicago.
Open Kitchen With View
Both the interior and the exterior living spaces of the Zeidler Residence were designed to maximize the views and to make the most of all the natural light and the refreshing ocean breeze.
The residence was designed by Ehrlich Architects and it overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
Minimalist Outdoor Kitchen Design
Outdoor kitchens are made with raw materials. Details and weather protection are important. That makes the residence designed by Daniel Lomma special. Located in Derby, Western Australia, its design is futuristic with a touch of classic charm.
Small Outdoor Kitchen
Designed by New Eco, after a hurricane hit, the owners installed a small cooking space. They redesigned and rebuilt the house and took this opportunity to also create a beautiful garden with an outdoor kitchen, dining space, and custom furniture.
Tiny BBQ Space
It’s hard to come up with a perfect home design from the first try. It takes a renovation to get what you want. The Brighton residence is an example.
Its new design features warm and natural materials including recycled hardwoods, natural stone, and layered fabrics. The renovation also added this small outdoor kitchen/ grill area. The project was done by Mr. Mitchell.
Outdoor kitchens are new and unfamiliar environments. The design has to be adapted to the environment and the same thing applies to the materials, textures, finishes, and colors used.
Sustainable Outdoor Kitchen
A two-year long collaboration of over 50 students from Budapest resulted in a project designed to encourage people to spend as much time outdoors as possible. They came up with a sustainable house design centered around a courtyard.
The space out here can be used for lots of different activities, including cooking, dining, and lounging.
Covered Outdoor Kitchen
Designed by architect Peter Block, the design concepts and his way of updating and reinterpreting spaces. This outdoor kitchen and dining area has the charm and warmth of a traditional home and the clean and sophisticated beauty of a modern home.
The house designed by Benn & Penna offers an interesting solution for the lack of space in a small home and the desire to connect with the outdoors.
As you can see here, the kitchen extends outdoors into an uninterrupted counter with cabinets underneath. This makes the line between indoor and outdoor insignificant.
Outdoor Pizza Oven And Grill
Think of the outdoor kitchen as an opportunity to add some elements to your home that wouldn’t fit inside the house, such as a pizza oven, a grill, and maybe even a fireplace.
Compact Kitchen Space
The grill can be the major component in an outdoor kitchen. Maybe you could add an oven too if you want one. Don’t make it look too formal.
Outdoor Natural Kitchen
Pure and natural materials such as stone and wood or concrete suit outdoor kitchens very well. Also, natural, earthy colors are a good fit as well.
Roof And Walls
An outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be exposed. In this example, a roof and walls wrap around it on three sides.
Outdoor Kitchen With Archways
Certain elements and accent pieces can make an outdoor kitchen or any outdoor space feel like home. A chandelier, for example, can change the decor and the ambiance.
Counter Space And Seating
It wouldn’t be practical to have an outdoor kitchen without also adding some comfortable seating, a dining table, and maybe even some lounge chairs or a sofa.
Small Multi-Functional Porch
It’s important to look at the big picture when you design a space. Look around to see which colors are predominant in the area and whether you should complement them with contrasting tones or with similar nuances.
Simple And Uncluttered
Don’t overdo it when you’re putting together an outdoor kitchen. It has to be convenient and practical and many details can clutter it unnecessarily.
Best Outdoor Kitchen Countertops
When choosing an outdoor countertop, the material is most important. Some are suited for exposed areas and some are not.
Granite countertops are very durable and can withstand weather conditions with ease. Seal them to prevent stains and to increase durability. They come in many colors and patterns and they require little maintenance.
Not to be confused with quartz which is an engineered stone. Quartzite countertops are made of natural stone and are great for outdoor kitchens. They’re very similar to granite countertops in terms of durability and maintenance.
Concrete is not as durable as granite or quartzite but is still a great choice for outdoor kitchens. Darker concrete colors can fade and turn yellow in the sun. You can prevent this by adding a roof to your outdoor kitchen.
It can scratch easily but other than that soapstone is great for outdoor kitchen countertops. It’s stain and heat-resistant and it can be sealed for added durability.
This is a perfect material for outdoor countertops. It’s very durable, low-maintenance and it doesn’t need sealing. Also, porcelain doesn’t fade in the sun.
Marble countertops are not great for either indoor or outdoor kitchens. A honed finish adds durability but marble still gets damaged by acidic foods and drinks. A marble countertop requires regular maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Should I Install A Sink In My Outdoor Kitchen?
An outdoor kitchen sink is a time saver. Sinks are practical in outdoor kitchens. A sink is a convenient addition. You can also use the kitchen when you’re working in the garden or doing work outside in general.
Does An Outdoor Kitchen Add Value To A Home?
An outdoor kitchen increases the value of a home. Surveys show that outdoor cooking spaces add value to homes. They are a good investment, and the more money you spend, the greater the investment.
How Long Do Outdoor Kitchens Last?
The lifespan of an outdoor kitchen is roughly a decade. It will depend on the materials and space. Another important factor will be whether the kitchen is covered.
Should I Cover My Outdoor Kitchen?
If you want your outdoor cooking space to last longer, a cover will prolong its lifespan. However, it isn’t necessary or mandatory to cover your outdoor kitchen. If it’s built with the right materials, then it will work fine.
Can I Use My BBQ Grill Under A Pergola?
Do not place the grill against the pergola beams. Remember, heat is harmful and can damage the surface of the pergola. Place the BBQ midway between the posts along the outer edge.
How Can I Weatherproof My Outdoor Kitchen?
First, you’ll need a durable canopy or roof. Vinyl material is the best in harsh or rainy weather conditions. Second, stainless steel appliances are ideal for outdoor usage. Third, waterproof flooring would last the longest and withstand outdoor conditions.
Outdoor Kitchen Conclusion
Outdoor kitchens are just as vital as indoor kitchens. Depending on the size of your outdoor patio, consider an outdoor living room. If you wanted to go “full outdoor,” an outdoor kitchen island would make your backyard the center stage of the neighborhood.
Decor is essential in outdoor spaces. Potted plants thrive in outdoor environments. Fresh air is better than air generated by an HVAC system. For homes in cooler climates, a chiminea would provide enough heat for an open-air kitchen.
Outdoor cooking isn’t limited to BBQ pork ribs cooked over charcoal or a gas grill. Anything you can make indoors can be prepared in an outdoor kitchen.