How to Design an Outdoor Kitchen - A Quick Guide

More and more people are designing outdoor kitchens in their homes for a number of practical reasons. But there are also things to consider first before taking this route.

How to Design an Outdoor Kitchen - A Quick Guide

Luxurious outdoor kitchen. Photo: Media Director / Flickr.

A lot of us have a BBQ somewhere in our outside space, but why not go the whole way and turn it into an outdoor kitchen? Outdoor kitchens make a lot of sense, especially in hot places where the last thing you need is an oven inside generating more unwanted heat.

Below, we dive into some of the top tips for designing an outdoor kitchen and ensuring that you have thought about every aspect of the outside space before you get started. Done right, this can turn into the perfect space for entertaining your guests.


Benefits of Having an Outdoor Kitchen 


There are many reasons why you may need an outdoor kitchen, including:

  • Keeping all of the heat from cooking outside (as well as any fumes)
  • Saving on the electricity and gas bills by using alternative methods of cooking including BBQ grilling
  • The perfect entertaining space to invite people around and put on events at home
  • Keeps all the smells outside rather than making your kitchen smell like onions or garlic for days to come


Tips and Considerations When Designing Outdoor Kitchen


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Many people are taking this route in their homes, but there are some key things to consider first when designing an outdoor kitchen, including:


1. Survey the Space


Be professional and survey the space you’ll be designing your outdoor kitchen. Work out how much room you have, and if there are any potential hazards with creating an outdoor kitchen, for instance, if there might be a fire hazard in the spot you are considering.

You should also measure the space as it will form the basis of any plans you have to build your kitchen outside.


2. Plan Your Layout


The layout needs to work well and be functional as well as look good. Think about the tools that will live outside and the way you want your kitchen to be laid out. 

For instance, there is every chance that you will want to turn this into a social space, with an open plan and seats for people to join you outside while you are cooking a meal.

The layout should also include considerations for things like cleaning and prep spaces along with cooking spaces. 

There’s an art to getting all that right, even if you are creating a kitchen outside of your own home.


3. Determine Utilities and Appliances Needed


This is where a lot of outside kitchens will vary significantly. What do you want out there? 

Some people are happy to just have a way to simply prepare their food, but others want this to be a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen. This means you will need to put a refrigerator and a sink outside, which may mean factoring electricity as well as your standard cooking methods.

Kitchen utilities and appliances will all add to the expense and difficulty of the job, but if you are dedicated to the perfect outside kitchen then they may be seen as essential.


4. Don't Forget to Weatherproof Your Space


If you have electricity, you don’t want any chance of it mixing with rain. Also, there are plenty of other weather conditions that could cause issues in your outside space, from storms to extreme sunlight. How can you prepare for this?

If you have a way to partially cover the space this can be ideal for protection from the rain. An awning or even a sturdy gazebo can be the best way to keep your outdoor kitchen protected from the weather. If you get a lot of rainfall will you need to sort out a drainage system? The last thing you want is to inadvertently turn your kitchen into a hazardous space by not planning properly for all weather conditions.


5. Stick to Your Budget


This is something a lot of people do struggle with when it comes to designing their kitchen space, whether indoors or out. 

A budget should be set beforehand and stuck to it as much as possible, because there are always things you can do that will cost you more and more. As exciting as these may be, they will keep racking up expenses that you might not be able to afford. 

Work out the full budget for the kitchen and try to build to this criteria, so you don’t waste money in the process.

Good luck.

Owen Wright is a customer experience manager at Majestic Cabinets. With several years of experience in the home improvement field, Owen loves and is keen on sharing his knowledge and secrets gathered with others.