How to Design the Ideal Outdoor Kitchen

Posted by Jim Walker on Mar 10, 2020 3:13:28 PM

Extending the living space of the home is a big trend at the moment. Right now, homeowners want to make sure that every inch of the property is efficient. An outdoor kitchen is a great way to maximize use of the space and enjoy it more.

Tools for the Job

Cooking outdoors is a little more complicated than just building a fire or turning on the grill. When people want to prepare food, cook, clean and eat outside, they need all of these elements. As you start to dream about the perfect outdoor kitchen, think about how you want to approach:

  • Heat for cooking
  • Lighting, especially at night
  • Shading for comfort during the day
  • Space to prepare food
  • Seating options

Making sure you have everything lined up will give you a result that you are more likely to use regularly.

Heat Sources

Although hooking up a five-gallon propane tank to a grill or lighting charcoal is certainly an option for an outdoor kitchen, it is far from the only choices. Heat sources vary, depending on your needs. For example, if your home uses natural gas, you can install a line to provide a steady source of fuel. Larger propane tanks can be placed underground for long-term use without the visual clutter. Keep in mind that burning fuel may have ventilation needs. Correct positioning keeps the byproducts from flowing into the home.


If you're going to be working outside, you need the ability to see what you are doing. This starts with lighting. Low-voltage lighting options are relatively easy to run outdoors, so that you can have task lighting and the right kind of ambience at night. If you want electrical outlets to run appliances or keep a refrigerator, running a new electrical line offers you that flexibility. This is usually easier to plan from the beginning than retrofit it after the fact. If you think you might want this level of function, it's best to start there.

Space for Food Preparation and Cleaning

Basic outdoor cooking usually involves preparing food indoors and then hauling it outside. An outdoor kitchen features room to do both. Installing cabinets and countertops in durable materials gives space close to the grill or oven for easy transition. Adding a sink with a cold-water line makes it easier to rinse vegetables or clean up afterward.

Ideal Entertaining Spaces

In this beautiful part of the country, it would be a shame not to be able to enjoy eating outside as well as cooking. Even the smallest outdoor kitchens can feature seating for family and friends. Patio furniture offers maximum flexibility, from bar-height seating for quick meals to tables and comfortable chairs for a late-night party. A built-in bar or benches can center around the kitchen, with stylistic transitions to other parts of the yard or garden.

A lovely outdoor kitchen maximizes function with style. It is a delight to the eyes and a real boon for homeowners to use in good weather. With all these elements, your outdoor kitchen will meet all of your needs and more.

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Topics: Home Remodeling, Remodeling Investment, Design