Tips and Tricks to Build Your Own Outdoor Kitchen


Cooking is one of your passions, especially being able to grill. Whenever you get a chance, you cook outside. You would love to have an outdoor kitchen area that rivals your indoor one.

You’ve finally decided it was time to work on your dream space. With some time and work you know you can get it done. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you build your own outdoor kitchen.


The Space

The best location for your outdoor kitchen is an area that is large enough to accommodate the footprint dimensions you are looking to build. An existing patio or deck is an ideal space, especially if it’s covered. If you have the yard space, you can create a patio or deck specifically for your kitchen.

For smaller yards, you can add an outdoor kitchen area on a patio behind a garage shed, or a portable one in front of a shed. When your outdoor kitchen isn’t in use, movable items store easily and quickly into the shed.

The area of your kitchen depends on how elaborate your design is, and whether you will need electricity or plumbing. A landscape contractor can work with you to determine the best location on your property for an outdoor kitchen.

The Best Type of Outdoor Cooking Center

Your cooking center needs to be a reflection of your lifestyle and your home’s design. Other parameters for your project include your budget and the amount of space you have in your yard.

If your yard is small, consider more traditional grilling items such as a grill, portable counter, and a picnic table. In larger yards, you can have a more elaborate cooking device, counter area, and plentiful seating. For areas that have access to plumbing and electricity options, you can create a custom-designed space with all the amenities needed to cook up a delicious meal.

The items you choose to include in your outdoor kitchen can be luxurious, pricey elements or flea market finds that you refurbish. You can decorate your area the same way you would an indoor room. One thing to take into consideration is whether the space is open and will be affected by rain, wind, or other forms of nature.


Making a Budget

A budget is an essential part of any DIY home project. Without a budget, the costs could easily sky-rocket out of control. For your budget, consider the cost of all the appliances and other elements you want to include in the design, materials for a deck or patio, and the fees of any professional contractors you may decide to hire. Always include a buffer within your budget to cover any hidden expenses that may show up.

Cooking Preferences

You can create the outdoor cooking space of your dreams, whether it be one that would rival any indoor kitchen, or something a bit more low-key. It should be centered on your favorite outdoor cooking methods.

Traditional outdoor cooking devices are charcoal grills. They come as small as a tabletop hibachi grill to larger stand-alone styles. Charcoal grills are best used away from the house and other buildings in an open area of your yard.

Gas and propane grills are another more traditional way to cook outside. These types of cooking devices can be as simple as a single flat metal cooking surface, or burners covered by a grill. They come in a variety of styles and sizes including ones with shelving, side counters, and side-burners.  

For built-in outdoor kitchens that have electricity or natural gas lines, you can include electric or gas stoves. For a unique configuration, incorporate an electric or gas oven, warming trays, or a pizza oven.  


The materials you use to create the space should complement your home’s exterior, and be an extension of your home’s interior design. To create a cohesive design element between indoors and outdoors, use the same materials including kitchen cabinets, backsplash, flooring, and furniture. Mimic the appliances from your indoor kitchen in your outdoor one.

You can also create a space that is distinct from the rest of your home, making the design unique. Make it a colorful, fun party area with bright colored accessories, and furniture. Or, create a place for friends and family to gather to relax and enjoy each other’s company by decorating with warm tones and softer accessories.

Lighting options are another element you can add to your outdoor kitchen area. For smaller areas try fun tiki torches, electric lanterns, or solar lights. String sets of outdoor lights to define the kitchen area.

Areas with electricity and a roof can have any style of lighting that fits the aesthetics of the kitchen. Place sconces, or pendant lights for task lighting over the cooking and food preparation counters. Hang a chandelier over a large table and chairs to make a dining room. Some of the more elaborate grills have internal halogen lights and LED lighting.

With these tips and tricks, you can build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. The only limitations are your budget, yard space, and your imagination.