Outdoor Kitchen Concepts For An Unforgettable Backyard Experience

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.

outdoor kitchen

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

What is the average size of an outdoor kitchenView in gallery

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 

What’s included in an outdoor kitchen?View in gallery

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
  • Smoker 
  • 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 

Outdoor kitchen and pool comboView in gallery

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.

Contemporary Outdoor Kitchen Design with Pizza Oven Under StairsView in gallery

The kitchen island also functions as an outdoor bar. It’s protected by the roof of the house.

Small Backyard Kitchen And Seating Area

Small backyard with a kitchen and seating areaView in gallery

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

Modern Outdoor kitchen with a minimalist islandView in gallery

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

Waterfront lounge area with a cool viewView in gallery

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

Indoor and outdoor kitchen symmetryView in gallery

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

Small kitchen and outdoor dining areaView in gallery

The Story Pool House was designed by Lake Flato.

Contemporary Outdoor Kitchen Design with Pizza Oven Under StairsView in gallery

 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

Outdoor entertainment area with a fire pitView in gallery

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.

Rooftop Terrace 

Rooftop terrace with an outdoor kitchenView in gallery

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

Open kitchen with a great viewView in gallery

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

White outdoor kitchen with a minimalist designView in gallery

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

Wooden kitchen in a small gardenView in gallery

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

A small outdoor bbq areaView in gallery

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.

Wood-Burning Oven

Large kitchen with wood-burning ovenView in gallery

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 modern concept for sustainable livingView in gallery

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 

Covered porch with kitchen and dining areaView in gallery

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.

Outdoor-Indoor Connection

An indoor kitchen then extends outsideView in gallery

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.

Contemporary Outdoor Kitchen Design with Pizza Oven Under StairsView in gallery

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

Outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and grillView in gallery

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

Contemporary Outdoor Kitchen Design with Pizza Oven Under StairsView in gallery

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

An outdoor kitchen built from natural materialsView in gallery

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

Outdoor kitchen with a roof and wallsView in gallery

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

Inviting outdoor space with archwaysView in gallery

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

Ample counter space and comfortable seatingView in gallery

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

Small multi-functional porchView in gallery

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

Simple, practical, and unclutteredView in gallery

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

The best outdoor kitchen countertopsView in gallery

When choosing an outdoor countertop, the material is most important. Some are suited for exposed areas and some are not. 

Granite

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.

Quartzite

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

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.

Soapstone

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.

Porcelain

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

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.