15 Great Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

Outdoor Kitchen

If you’re planning on installing an outdoor kitchen, the design options may seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cater an outdoor kitchen design to your needs and taste – from small patio kitchens to palatial outdoor dining areas. Read on to learn 15 great outdoor kitchen ideas for your upcoming outdoor project. 

15 Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

Modular kitchen

A beautiful outdoor kitchen
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If you’re looking to design an outdoor kitchen that’s tailored just for you, a modular kitchen is a great option. These outdoor kitchens come in customizable appliance “module” units that allow you to add everything you need in your design. From minifridges to smokers and grills, there are plenty of options to customize your outdoor space. 

Pizza oven

Pizza Oven
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A pizza oven is a great way to make your favorite food in the comfort of your own backyard. These stone ovens will give your outdoor kitchen a classic, Old World feel and allow you to make much more than just pizza. Try using yours to sear steaks, bake wood-fired bread, and even roast vegetables. Once it’s set up, you can pair your pizza oven with a pizza garden for a delicious touch.

Built-in kitchen

Outdoor unit
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Even small spaces can be transformed with outdoor kitchens. Built-in kitchens come in compact, DIY units that can easily attach to a wall adjacent to your backyard or patio. These models can stand alone or be paired with kitchen islands and dining areas to suit your needs and tastes for outdoor cooking. Customize your design with a decorative backsplash and creative cabinetry to add a pop of color to your cooking space.

L-shaped kitchen

L-shaped kitchen
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The L-shaped outdoor kitchen unit is a classic for a reason. These kitchens allow you to host and cook alfresco with ease, and are easily turned into social hubs for your guests to gather and smell the delicious food you’re making. L-shaped cooking areas often include refrigeration and space for a grill and smoker, but you can customize the features to your taste with a sink, counter space, stovetop, or pizza oven. 

Barstool seating

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Give your outdoor kitchen a casual and cheery touch with a barstool seating area along the counters. Your guests will have a front row seat to watch you work your culinary magic, and you’ll be able to keep conversation lively while getting the cooking done. An extended countertop will create a table surface that makes it easy to tuck the barstools underneath while not in use.

Kitchen island

Kitchen Island
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If you’re looking for utility in your outdoor kitchen, keep it simple with a kitchen island. These simple additions can be part of a larger outdoor kitchen design or stand on their own in tight spaces or smaller schemes. Islands maximize countertop space for food preparation or seating, and they can be customized to provide storage and other amenities.

Outdoor bar

Outdoor bar

Wine and dine your guests in the open air! Whether you’re looking for a versatile bar cart or a decked-out unit with fridge space and drinks on tap, an outdoor bar is a great place to relax and entertain. Add some barstool seating for an on-theme touch that will bring everyone together.

Pellet grill

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A pellet grill is a must for the perfect outdoor kitchen grilling experience. They can grill, roast, and smoke food and maintain a precise temperature over long periods of time, making it easy to get the perfect char. Pellet grills will fit cleanly into your kitchen unit or grilling station, where they can cozy up with countertops and storage space for easy access.

Grilling station

grilling station
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If you’re designing your outdoor kitchen with grilling in mind, why not build a grilling station? These units can be simple tabletops or BBQ units with built-in grills and extra storage for all the essentials, like utensils, coals, and wood chunks. A pellet grill, stainless steel grill, or gas grill will be the perfect style for this addition to your outdoor kitchen. 

Dining area

Dining area
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Incorporating a dining area into your outdoor kitchen design is a no-brainer for the perfect entertainment space. It also makes serving easy when the food is ready. An outdoor dining space can be as small as a cafe table for two or a full-fledged dining table for all your guests. If you opt for a compact outdoor kitchen like a built-in model, it’s easy to save space.

Kitchen and garden

Kitchen container garden
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Turn your outdoor kitchen into a one-stop shop with a vegetable or herb garden. Raised beds and container gardens will allow you to incorporate the greenery of your garden directly into your kitchen area, where you’ll have easy access to fresh herbs and veggies to use in your recipes.

Refrigerator drawers

Refrigerator drawers
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Save on space and keep things cool with pull-out refrigerator drawers nestled into your outdoor kitchen. These are the perfect addition to an outdoor bar setup, but they can also accessorize a kitchen island or other outdoor kitchen setup.

Kitchen on wheels

Kichen on wheels
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Do you want to add an outdoor kitchen but also leave your options open? Outdoor kitchen units on wheels allow you to reposition your outdoor kitchen to maximize space and perfect your landscape design. If you’re looking for the perfect grilling station combo but less interested in electrical and plumbing features, these self-sufficient units are the perfect choice.

Covered outdoor kitchen

Some friends in an outdoor kitchen
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Get the most out of your outdoor kitchen by preparing for inclement weather! Adding an awning, pergola, or shade sail to your design will allow you to spend more time outdoors and avoid any last-minute cancellations in case the winds change. If you’re interested in a hardier setup, try installing a patio roof.

Fire pit

fire pit outdoor
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Adding a fire pit to your outdoor kitchen is a great way to extend the season of your space. Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces pair perfectly with outdoor kitchens – they provide another place to gather, a source of heat in case the weather turns chilly, and even another place to cook. Of course, you can use your fire pit to make s’mores, but be sure to try grilling meat, shellfish, or kebabs!

FAQ about designing an outdoor kitchen

Does an outdoor kitchen need a foundation?

Yes, your outdoor kitchen should be built on a sturdy base, such as an existing porch or patio. If you’re building one from scratch, consider building a simple concrete base for function and fashion.

What is the cheapest way to design an outdoor kitchen?

You can save money on your outdoor kitchen design by focusing on salvaged materials, such as reclaimed wood and recycled stone and brick. Not only does this lend a classic appearance to your outdoor kitchen design, it also saves money and is better for the environment. 

Should I put a sink in my outdoor kitchen?

Adding a sink to your outdoor kitchen design increases the convenience and functionality of your space. You’ll avoid having to make countless trips back into your indoor kitchen to wash dishes and rinse veggies. However, installing an outdoor kitchen sink will add extra costs and require a more permanent setup than a simple kitchen island, movable outdoor kitchen, or bar cart.

How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?

The national average price to install an outdoor kitchen ranges from around $5,507 to $17,276. The size, materials, and appliances you choose for your kitchen will all have an impact on the final price.

Take the party outside

An outdoor kitchen is the perfect place to combine cooking and entertaining while enjoying the benefits of the great outdoors. If you’re looking into building an outdoor kitchen, don’t get lost in all the options – reach out to a professional for help designing the perfect kitchen for your space.

Once your kitchen is ready to go, you’ll need to tend to the surrounding landscape regularly to make sure your outdoor kitchen doesn’t lose its shine. Contact a lawn care pro who can make your outdoor space look its best. 

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Annie Parnell

Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, Annie Parnell is a freelance writer and audio producer based in Richmond, Virginia. She is passionate about gardening, outdoor recreation, sustainability, and all things music and pop culture.