Are you currently looking for outdoor kitchen ideas? There’s nothing better than enjoying the outdoor life, whether it’s lighting up your grill station or hosting a party under your backyard pergola. Maybe you want a fancy pizza oven or marble countertops, or maybe you just want to host a casual backyard barbecue surrounded by family and friends. No matter your style, an outdoor kitchen and cooking area is an opportunity to see your outdoor space in a new light. “Outdoor kitchens are not only a natural extension of indoor living, but they also allow you to host large gatherings,” says Rhode Island-based interior designer Lindy Lowney. However, setting it up can be a daunting project, full of questions to answer about everything from materials to price.
A modern outdoor kitchen can also serve as a place to entertain and socialize with family and friends while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. It is a valuable option that many families are looking for. “Many homeowners choose to create an outdoor living environment that facilitates entertaining and light cleaning,” Rowney says.
With that spirit in mind, we spoke to over 30 designers who have created unique outdoor dining areas for inspiration. Maybe you’re just looking for design ideas for your outdoor kitchen, or maybe you need something new to complement your backyard landscape. Perhaps you’re considering having a design professional set it up for you, or you might want to set it up yourself. Below you will find many outdoor kitchen designs that will stimulate your imagination and appetite. But before you do, check out what you need to know about outdoor kitchen spaces.
What is the best material to use for an outdoor kitchen?
“Stainless steel is very durable and easy to clean,” says Loney. “It resists moisture and heat and holds up well to the outdoor elements.” When it comes to countertops, Rowney recommends granite for its strength and durability with minimal maintenance. “Commercially available heavy-duty sealers can make it more resistant to stains and moisture. Porcelain is also becoming more popular due to its ease of maintenance and attractive price point,” she adds.
How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?
Admittedly, building a full-sized outdoor kitchen with a cooking area, stainless steel appliances, and a kegerator is an expensive option. Lowney says the price of an outdoor kitchen is “very hard to put a number on because it varies so much based on design, size, labor required and materials used.” However, many people choose to tackle the planning and construction of a space on a tight budget and DIY their outdoor kitchen themselves. Remember that even a humble mini-fridge next to a wisely designed counter space can be the cornerstone of your outdoor kitchen design. When dining alfresco, simply set up a high table with a couple of comfortable bar stools to enjoy your own outdoor kitchen.
What should I do with my outdoor patio kitchen during the winter?
There are so many variables involved in designing an outdoor entertainment space, but one of the most important variables is the environment you live in. People living in dry areas with little precipitation don’t have to worry as much about the threat of snow. Or a hurricane. When you build a covered patio kitchen, there are no restrictions on how long you can use the space. Lowney, who is based in New England, recommends creating a covered kitchen area to make your kitchen last longer. “It extends the life of your investments,” she points out.
Below, take a look at a variety of backyard kitchen ideas to get you started on your outdoor kitchen journey.