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Planning an Outdoor Kitchen That's Right for You
Motivated by the mouth-watering aromas and seasonings that only come with cooking on outdoor barbecues and grills, the act itself has evolved into a favorite at-home activity. Whether it's a small family meal or a weekend party, having an actual well-equipped kitchen is at the top of many homeowners' list of home improvements.
Three in four adults in the United States own a grill or smoker, according to the most recent report from the Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association (HPBA). While a portable grill will get you started, you can quickly make it more elaborate with an easy-to-assemble bbq island kit, by building something yourself or hiring a professional to create a kitchen that reflects the materials and style of your home. Like any outdoor building project, you will need to think about:
- Size of space
- How often you'll use it
- Equipment and appliances, like grills, stove burners, pizza ovens, refrigerators, wine storage, etc. (You should only use appliances rated for outdoors)
- Type and availability of fuel, like gas or electric
- Codes and regulations
- Climate: Some appliances need to be protected from harsh climates and extremes in temperature.
Additional features like pizza ovens, beer dispensers, ice machines, smokers, and patio heating will add more to the final cost. Many outdoor "all-weather" kitchen appliances cost more than indoor models.
Take a look at these 50 outdoor kitchen designs that should help you cook up some ideas for your own outdoor space.Continue to 2 of 51 below.
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A four-bedroom modern home designed by CleverHomes in Burlingame, California includes a spacious outdoor kitchen, accessible via expansive bifold doors that connect the interior and exterior spaces of the home. A gas grill with granite countertops and custom cabinetry is framed by large stone pillars that also frame the view to the garden and support a large wood roof covering that provides shelter for a large hardwood deck.Continue to 3 of 51 below.
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Soft blues that reflect the sky and nearby ocean give this Ft. Lauderdale, Florida kitchen designed by Blue Sky Environments Interior Design a cheerful and colorful feeling. A built-in grill and countertop with a sink, refrigerator, and cabinets is accented with a stunning blue tile wall/backsplash.Continue to 5 of 51 below.
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Cooking in Coronado
Torrey Pines Landscape Co. in San Diego County transformed a plain outdoor kitchen for a house on Coronado Island into something functional and beautiful that reflects the homeowners' outdoor lifestyle. Featuring a flagstone surface, the kitchen includes a grill, oven, refrigerator, sink, cabinets, countertops, and a bar.Continue to 6 of 51 below.
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A covered patio with limestone flooring and Somerset columns features a clever hideaway kitchen building that measures about 8-by-12 feet and is accessible via Simpson sliding barn doors. Designed by Rill Architects, the project includes kitchen storage located behind the counter and grill and accessed by a door around the corner. Protecting outdoor kitchen appliances in climates like metropolitan Washington, D.C. helps prolong their use.Continue to 8 of 51 below.
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The Burnett River House designed by Tomas O'Malley Architect in North Brundaberg, Queensland, Australia features large sheltered outdoor spaces, including a kitchen that provides protection from the elements while cooking with the pleasure of spending time outdoors.Continue to 9 of 51 below.
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A fully equipped stone kitchen designed by Alterra Landscape Architects features a modern interpretation of living close to the land. For this San Francisco area family, it means growing food in their garden, cooking dinner outdoors for friends and neighbors, and enjoying evenings by the fire.Continue to 11 of 51 below.
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A Summer House
Five years after renovating a historic country house in In King George, Virginia, the homeowners asked McInturff Architects to add a pool/guest house. Influenced by 18th-century farm dependencies and summer kitchens, McInturff designed a complete, primarily open-air house that could be used during warm weather. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom structure includes an outdoor kitchen with a Viking grill and hood pendant lights, all housed under timber louvers.Continue to 12 of 51 below.
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Brick Porch Kitchen
A reclaimed brick porch features a kitchen neatly tucked on one end that does the job without obscuring the view. Designed by Stone Acorn, this Houston outdoor kitchen features nice appliances that include a DCS gas grill and hood to provide proper ventilation.Continue to 13 of 51 below.
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An open bar area creates a casual place to dine or hang out while the chef cooks in the kitchen of this home in Highlands, North Carolina. Futral Construction used Tennessee Crab Orchard stone that they bought in large slabs, which worked well for this project. The ceiling is made of pine.Continue to 14 of 51 below.
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Urban Farm Kitchen
A lively farm-in-the-city appeal makes this Northern California backyard created by Jake Moss Designs a fun place to cook and hang out. Those planters are actually raised livestock water troughs. The kitchen features concrete slab flooring and shingle-covered counters that house a grill and workspace. A chalkboard allows the chef to get artistic when promoting the menu.Continue to 15 of 51 below.
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Step-Down Stone Kitchen
Random rectangular Pennsylvania flagstone sets a striking surface for an outdoor kitchen in Potomac Falls, Maryland. Clearwater Landscape & Nursery designed this space on a large lot that is equipped with a grill, refrigerator, and countertop to take in the surrounding view.Continue to 16 of 51 below.
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Cooking in Toronto
An outdoor unit is set at an angle and includes a pergola that holds hanging containers of colorful flowering plants to blend with the surrounding landscape. Forest Ridge Landscaping incorporated a grill, refrigerator, counter, and covered stove into the fully equipped feature.Continue to 17 of 51 below.
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Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day
Situated under a large heritage oak tree, an outdoor kitchen and dining room created by Urrutia Designs features a table that seats 10 and is built of redwood, as are the cubes, cabinet doors, and guard railings. A kitchen unit made with Napa Cobblestone culled from local fields includes a concrete countertop, Viking rotisseries/range, and U-Line undercounter refrigerator.Continue to 18 of 51 below.
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Santa Monica Slim
Backyard space is often limited at homes in densely populated cities surrounding Los Angeles. Electric Bowery cleverly used a sidewall of a Santa Monica house to build a long grill space with built-in counters and cabinets underneath.Continue to 20 of 51 below.
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Dallas Stone Kitchen
A Mediterranean-style outdoor kitchen designed by Sterling Brook features a large stainless grill, under-cabinet refrigerator, and a stainless pull-out trash bin. Granbury stone surfaces and Ubatuba granite countertops are topped by a cedar pergola. Travertine pavers set in a herringbone pattern extend to all of the outdoor areas around the adjacent pool.Continue to 21 of 51 below.
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Room Without Walls
An open-air room at a house in Perth, Australia was designed by Outside In. The living space features a stainless steel Matador outdoor kitchen with a nearby granite dining table.Continue to 22 of 51 below.
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A covered backyard porch extends this Houston home's living space and allows the owners to cook and hang out when things heat up. Stone Acorn built a reclaimed-brick kitchen unit that matches the home's facade.Continue to 23 of 51 below.
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Big Sky Vibe
Wisconsin-based Vive Home Transformations brought an open, Big Sky State sensibility to a new home in the Midwest for clients who moved from Montana and loved the outdoors. A too-small patio was redesigned to incorporate more indoor-outdoor living space for the homeowners to enjoy the beautiful setting. Retractable vinyl walls and screens can be opened in sunny weather; when it gets humid or windy, the walls and/or screens can be closed without disrupting the view.Continue to 24 of 51 below.
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There's a colorful surfboard propped against a wall just around the corner from this outdoor kitchen created by Point 2 Design of Sydney, Australia. The sleek grill and prep area features a modern wall with cutouts as a backdrop.Continue to 25 of 51 below.
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Bay Area Mediterranean
A curving kitchen and fireplace outdoor feature by Derviss Design is built with true blue New England bluestone, while the counter is honed-finish granite.Continue to 28 of 51 below.
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Hot Texas Nights
An intricate inlaid-wood overhead designed by Texas Custom Patios houses a complete outdoor kitchen for cooking meals to enjoy by the fire.Continue to 29 of 51 below.
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Well-Equipped Mediterranean Kitchen
This Sacramento, California kitchen is so completely equipped, it would be hard to find a reason to not cook outside most evenings. From Reynolds Gualco Architecture-Interior Design, the efficient workspace includes a grill, refrigerator, cabinets, sink, wine cooler, covered stove, and much more.Continue to 30 of 51 below.
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Pizza in Manitoba
Outdoor pizza ovens are an increasingly requested item for outdoor kitchen projects and Barkman Concrete satisfied its client's order with a cohesive stone bar, kitchen, and oven in a patio that was made for eating and entertaining.Continue to 31 of 51 below.
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Chef's in the Center
The chef stays in the middle of the action of this stacked-rock outdoor kitchen designed by Georgio Home of Westchester County, New York. Overhead lights help the chefs see what they're doing on the grill in the dark.Continue to 32 of 51 below.
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An adobe-style oven with a rounded top gives a special flavor to pizzas, bread, and roasts. That curvilinear form is repeated in the kitchen island; all by Derviss Design.Continue to 33 of 51 below.
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Freestanding Modern Cottage
Continuing the horizontal lines and clean, modern design of this Lilyfield home in Sydney, Australia, this covered room provides overhead shelter for the kitchen. From Pilcher Residential, the vent was smartly designed to code and for safety.Continue to 34 of 51 below.
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Encino Ranch Style
A soft, earthy palette makes this outdoor space in Encino, near Los Angeles, an inviting and relaxing place to unwind or entertain. Von Fitz Designs used flagstone for the patio and a similar colored large stone for the custom kitchen and fireplace.Continue to 35 of 51 below.
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Chicago Bluestone Kitchen
While this kitchen island counter is a standard 36 inches, Hursthouse Landscape Architects raised the bar to 42 inches to accommodate standard tall chairs. The backsplash is created with a row of vertically laid bricks and a bullnose coping to match the bullnose edge of the honed-bluestone countertops.Continue to 36 of 51 below.
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A property in California's wine country features a pavilion designed by John Montgomery Landscape Architects that features chiseled countertops, a full kitchen, ceiling fans, heaters, and a breathtaking view.Continue to 37 of 51 below.
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Houston Home Kitchen
The comfort and convenience of cooking and relaxing continues on this Houston back designed by Stone Acorn Builders. Vintage brick is used for the flooring and kitchen unit.Continue to 38 of 51 below.
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Rocky Mountain Living
A large kitchen and outdoor entertaining space from CC Designs in Denver, Colorado features General Shale Sequoyah stone, Mediterranean Boardwalk tile, a cedar ceiling, Contempo fireplace, Lynx grill, and Minka light fixtures. Since the indoor kitchen is nearby, the homeowner opted for just a grill, hood, and workspace.Continue to 39 of 51 below.
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New Jersey Farmhouse
Rough stone set in buff mortar was used by B&B Pool and Spa on the outdoor fireplace, kitchen, and low walls for a cohesive look that blends well with this elegant sprawling farmhouse in Bernardsville, New Jersey.Continue to 40 of 51 below.
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A classic L-shaped kitchen island is set against a wall toward the back of this Los Angeles area property. Designed by Globus Builder, it includes additional counter space and storage under the gazebo.Continue to 41 of 51 below.
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Austin EleganceContinue to 42 of 51 below.
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Colorado Country Home
While the fire pit is the focal point of a patio at a country house in Loveland, Colorado, a pergola-covered kitchen is just steps away to grill bison burgers and beans to enjoy while sitting 'round the fire. Designed and built by Highcraft Builders, the kitchen is constructed of stone and features a built-in grill, plenty of workspace, and a covered picnic table.Continue to 43 of 51 below.
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A colorful kitchen becomes a focal point in this stunning desert backyard masterminded by Prideaux Design to make smart use of a very small space with shared walls. The vibrant, glossy tile backsplash contrasts with the rough ashlar stone of the kitchen's base.Continue to 44 of 51 below.
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Completely covered overhead, but still an outdoor room, this space designed by Texas Custom Patios features a fully equipped brick kitchen with a raised bar and chairs for hanging out with the grillmaster.Continue to 45 of 51 below.
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Redesigned and rebuilt after a fire, Shuler Architecture came up with a new outdoor space for the owner of this Mercer Island, Washington, waterfront home. A grill with a vent and small counter and storage space was positioned next to a charming fireplace constructed with El Dorado stone veneer.Continue to 46 of 51 below.
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Tucked in the corner of a patio is a kitchen with all the necessities but nothing to block the view. Luminosus Designs used slender lights that shine on the prep spaces but don't take up much room.Continue to 47 of 51 below.
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A raised covered patio designed by Dena Brody Interiors is built for fixing complete dinners and entertaining, fit for a Texas-sized group of family and friends.Continue to 48 of 51 below.
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Private Bar and Kitchen
Stone veneer was used for a wall and base of an outdoor kitchen created by Paradise Found of Portland, Oregon.Continue to 49 of 51 below.
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The Frisco Grill
An L-shaped stacked-stone kitchen provides plenty of space for more than one outdoor chef of this San Francisco yard designed by John Montgomery Landscape Architects.Continue to 50 of 51 below.
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Pool House Kitchen
A pool house was Fluid Design's clever solution for locating an outdoor kitchen at a home in Sydney, Australia.Continue to 51 of 51 below.
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Like a destination in a backyard, this covered patio designed by Texas Custom Patios includes a kitchen, bar, fireplace, TV, and deep-seating set for escape and entertainment.