Cook outdoors in style by transforming your backyard or patio into a unique outdoor kitchen for entertaining family and friends surrounded by nature. Cooking outside can be a wonderful alternative to the daily routine of preparing meals in the home. The openness of the outdoors can bring a refreshing feel to the everyday family dinner adding a festive air to the mundane. Nowadays an outdoor kitchen can mean so much more than just a barbecue and a cooler of soda. While the majority of modern outdoor kitchens still have a grill as the central fixture, most have evolved into an extension of the home’s living space.
Many people would like to incorporate into their design the same conveniences they have inside, if not more. Custom outdoor kitchens can consist of wine chillers, under counter refrigerators, pizza ovens, wet bars, fireplaces, side burners, smokers, warming drawers and even roasting spits. Below you will find some awesome outdoor kitchen design ideas as well as some tips that will make your patio stylish and inviting, enjoy!
More Ideas: If you are looking for more great ideas on outdoor space design, try these past articles: 52 Spectacular outdoor string lights to illuminate your patio and 31 Inspiring and stylish outdoor room design ideas and 38 Absolutely Fantastic Outdoor Kitchen Ideas For Dining Al Fresco.
Not much space is needed to install an outdoor kitchen, the space just needs to be functional for cooking, entertaining, and relaxing. Something to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen is the proximity to the indoor one. The more convenient this kitchen is to your indoor one, the less travel for items such as seasonings, utensils, dinnerware and food items. Also, having an attached, covered outdoor kitchen can extend the length of time you are able to use this new food preparation and serving area.
You want to be able to move effortlessly from area to area — particularly when working with a potentially dangerous medium like a grill or pizza oven. Take this into account when planning your layout — you don’t want to have to jump from place to place. This setup works perfectly: it’s simple, but everything you need is here.
Cooking space. In terms of utility, the appliances in your kitchen are going to be a very important investment. Quality more important than quantity here. Yes, it’d be fun to go crazy and get a rotisserie, warming drawer, AND a pizza oven — but do you really need them all? Be sure to get what you’ll actually use, that it works well, and is made for the outdoors.
Lighting is just as important in your outdoor space as it is inside. Ambiance is great, of course, but safety should really be the first priority when it comes to lighting around an outdoor kitchen. Brighten areas where cooking and other major activity will happen. Pathways should be well-lit, and lounge/dining areas should have adjustable lighting.
Function. As always, it’s important to think about what the primary function of this area will be. Are you a chef-in-training? Then focus on the kitchen appliances, materials and layout. Do you plan on throwing dinner parties? Will this be near a pool? Will it just be an area to lounge, eat and relax? Once you figure this out, you can choose your must-haves for each area and which portion of your outdoor kitchen you’ll want to focus on.
Location. Most outdoor kitchens are going to be situated near the main house. This allows for the easy access of existing utility lines and makes it easy to transport food and other materials to the outdoor cooking area. If these issues aren’t of particular concern for you, be sure to take wind, sun, shade, and access to amenities (such as a pool or a lawn) into consideration before choosing the perfect place.
This little outdoor kitchen has just the right essentials — nothing more, and nothing less. Make sure your appliances can plug into GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets, and are Underwriters Laboratories approved.
As it is in your home, the hearth is often the heart of your outdoor space. A fireplace, firepit or pizza oven can end up becoming even more of a focal point than the grill. Make good use of this gathering space and set up a place to relax and warm up in front of the fire.
Entertainment and dining area. If you like to have people over, odds are you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen for a lot more than just the occasional barbecue. When you’re planning your layout and considering your must-haves, think about how you’ll be entertaining your friends (or yourself). This kitchen has pretty much everything: dining table, lounge area in front of the fire, television and bar.
Including other heating sources besides a fireplace is always a good idea — it’s usually better to provide too many ways to warm up than too little! Try placing them near seating or dining areas for ultimate functionality.
Make sure you have a convenient place to store firewood. This pizza oven has a hideaway for firewood right underneath it, which means no one has to make a late night trek out to the wood pile at the other end of the yard.
Choose seating that is flexible and can be moved around. Allowing guests to move to and from the dining and lounging areas creates a more casual, intimate environment. Install speakers around your entertaining areas to add to the ambiance.
Lounge space. It helps to have your outdoor space covered — just in case. Not only is this a safeguard from the occasional summer shower, but it also offers shade and shelter from wind. You can have a large structure built into your design, like the one shown above.
Add an awning, umbrella, or another temporary option for shelter from the elements. Make sure you’re not using any kind of combustible material for the ceiling or awning above the grill area, and make sure the area is well ventilated.
If you’ve remodeled an indoor kitchen, you know how important it is to have the right amount of counter space — the same goes for the outdoors! Dry space should be a top priority, particularly prep surfaces. This outdoor kitchen has plenty of space to chop up vegetables and meat, mix drinks, and have a little serving station.
Try not to isolate the cook from the rest of the party! Nothing’s worse than getting stuck with grill duty and hearing everyone else having a blast behind your back. Cooking and entertaining places should be seamless, but with a decent amount of separation so there’s no dangerous moments when you’re taking the ribs off the grill. The setup in this photo works well because the cook doesn’t need to leave the single counter and grill area, but can still turn around and interact with the action at the pool.
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