small outdoor kitchen ideas

25 Best Small Outdoor Kitchen Ideas to Boost Your Space

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Cooking outdoors has become popular in recent years, and this trend is expected to grow, especially when hosting guests. An outdoor kitchen allows you to bring the cooking outdoors, where there is a free flow of air and not to mention an amazing experience. If you're tight on outdoor space, keep reading to find out more.

Experts believe that a modern outdoor kitchen will increase the value of a property. According to a study done by Absolute Outdoor Kitchens, houses with an outdoor kitchen had a return on investment of up to 200 percent more than those without one.

Is an Outdoor Kitchen Worth the Investment? What Are the Benefits?

There is currently a lot of love for outdoor kitchens and the many benefits that come with having one.

By adding an outdoor kitchen to your home, you'll bring the house up to date with the newest kitchen trends, position yourself well in a volatile real estate market, and increase the selling value of your property in the future. Here are the other benefits of having an outdoor kitchen;

  • Reduced energy bills, especially in hot summer months, as you need an air conditioner when cooking.
  • The harsh smells remain outside.
  • An excellent way to entertain guests.
  • Improves the taste of most food, especially the grilled ones.
  • The advantage of fresh air and being outdoors more often.

An outdoor kitchen will serve as a gathering spot for many memories to be formed. Special occasions, birthdays, and holidays will be remembered. Check out these beautiful small outdoor kitchen ideas for your custom outdoor kitchen.

Best Small Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

1. Wood Retractable Outdoor Kitchen

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The retractable kitchen pulls out as required and slips neatly into the house's outdoor structure when not in use.

Steps by Rahel Belatchew Lerdell of Belatchew Arkitekter is made of Siberian larch and can be used as an entertainment space, patio kitchen, or cottage.

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This small outdoor kitchen has just about everything you need for a great outdoor cooking experience. It contains a sink, countertops for food prep and extra spaces for storing portable cooking appliances.

2. Retractable Canopy on Outdoor Kitchen

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A retractable canopy offers shade on sunny days but opens up to the sky on clear nights. This kitchen has a more classic feel with clean dark wood and white worktops. The gallery kitchen is made warmer by the use of brick, while stainless steel adds a touch of elegance.

3. Floating Outdoor Kitchens

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If you have a tiny patio and don't want to create some storage space? How about designing an outdoor kitchen that floats? This one comes with a tiny grill, a trendy sink, and plenty of surface space for cooking. A range hood is a must-have if you're planning to build an outdoor kitchen on your patio.

4. L-Shape Outdoor Kitchen

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Due to the grill positioning, this L-shaped outdoor kitchen with a concrete countertop stands out from the others. A TV is mounted on the wall to allow the owners to watch and cook simultaneously.

Another uncommon feature of this patio is the usage of barn doors. It's worth noting that if the grill was where the TV is, a range hood would be required. So the design really saved on costs.

5. Rooftop Garden Kitchen

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An outdoor rooftop kitchen should provide enough room for appliances used in basic outdoor cooking. This New Eco Landscape designed this rooftop kitchen and is properly equipped with a grill station, refrigerator, and sink.

This spacious rooftop not only provides the pleasure of having a kitchen space to fit appliances of your choice but it also has space to include a leisure area, dining area, or an outdoor shower.

6. Kitchen On Wheels

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This warm outdoor kitchen developed by Ryan Benoit Design and The Horticult works perfectly for small spaces. The rental beach house yard is anchored by an outdoor kitchen, which provides room for entertainment.

The garden hose, garbage pail, and other pantry goods can also be kept in the kitchen cupboards. Since the portable kitchen is on wheels, you can always move it.

7. Simple Pool Outdoor Kitchens

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This small outdoor kitchen has everything you need to prepare a delicious dinner outdoors. A large preparing area, a good gas grill, plus a refrigerator make for a great grilling area. Grill smoke will not affect visitors since it is located away from the seating area.

8. White and Wooden Outdoor Kitchen

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White is known to give an illusion of space and works well for small spaces. This Umevagen room is the ideal outdoor kitchen that gets a lot of sun and enjoys warm weather.

The built-in shelving and wrap-around counters were almost intended for lighting up the grill and hosting potlucks, BBQs, and close-knit festivities, and the all-white everything keeps it cool.

The rear wall also serves as a platform for hanging fairy lights, culinary equipment, and recipes, as well as providing some seclusion from prying eyes.

9. Movable Grill Station

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Since we're working with limited space, this grill station seems to be a perfect answer. It's small, has a basic design, and can fit on even the tiniest of lots. It can be a method used to see whether you'll use an outdoor kitchen enough to justify the investment.

If you don't use the area well enough to warrant an outdoor kitchen, then you can forego the idea. If you go with an outdoor kitchen later, you'll be able to simply sell this one.

10. Stone Space with Fire Pit and Grill Station

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This design enables you to install a grill area on the formal stone while allowing visitors to warm themselves around the fire pit after swimming.

It features an oak-toned wood and a stainless steel grill that is an excellent addition to the design. Furthermore, the stonework has a basic geometric pattern that complements the rough-cut stone surfaces. Remember not to over-decorate the space to ensure the artistry is visible.

11. Indoor-Outdoor Kitchen

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It always feels good to have an inside kitchen that can be opened up to the outside. With an open-type layout, you can easily access the kitchen when the need arises.

A long counter runs from the inside to the outside, with traditional French-style windows on both sides. Wooden panels outline the room, making it seem cozy and welcoming.

12. Outdoor Kitchen Island with Two Grills

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If you can't choose whether to use the best charcoal grill or natural gas grill, why not combine the two? When you desire the convenience of natural gas, you can have it, and when you want the taste that a charcoal grill adds, you can also have it. With this design, you don't have to pick between the two. You also don't have to compromise on the design!

13. Strategically Placed Pizza Oven

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Your outdoor kitchen doesn't have to include a grill. You can always enjoy the benefits of outdoor cooking with a pizza oven. The homeowner in the outdoor kitchen above decided to use a pizza oven instead of a grill. And, of course, there's a refrigerator for refreshments.

Add a pizza oven to your patio to take your summer parties to the next level. Although this outdoor kitchen feature can be costly, it may be worthwhile if homemade pizza is a favorite for your family. To keep a safe distance from the heat while cooking, consider using an extra-long pizza paddle.

14. Food Prep Space

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This simple outdoor kitchen is low-maintenance but very beautiful. The main points of modest include open shelves in a light grayish brown, a ceramic smoker-type barbecue and a glass water dispenser.

If you try out this outdoor kitchen design, ensure the decor is simple so that the geometric forms of the grill and water dispenser stand out, and a bit of greenery never hurts.

15. Open-Air Outdoor Kitchen

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The kind of outdoor kitchen that is appropriate for your house is influenced by the weather. If you rarely use the outdoor space during harsh weather, you can consider an open-air kitchen.

It helps save on the cost of using covered outdoor kitchen ideas. From the image above, you can see it contains a sink, an ice maker, a refrigerator, and one gas burner for cooking. This is sufficient to prepare a whole meal in an open-air kitchen.

16. A Patio Kitchen with Island

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A complete outdoor kitchen includes a grill, sink, refrigerator, dishwasher, and smoker. The stonework adds an aesthetic distinction to the area, while granite countertops give a gourmet touch.

Your guests may unwind while watching the game on the flat screen TV over the focal point. The bottom half of the backsplash is tiled with a diamond pattern, and lights complete the look.

17. DIY Metal Outdoor Space

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These simple DIY-covered outdoor kitchen ideas bring about a casual look and a calm feeling. The corrugated metal creates visual interest as well as an attractive shield during harsh weather conditions.

Looking for ways to shield your outdoor kitchen appliances from rain? Try out this affordable and effective design. However, you can add oak-toned wood to the counter space and string outdoor lights across the top to keep things from looking strained.

18. U Shape Outdoor Kitchen

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This outdoor kitchen in the form of a U is ideal for a weekly pizza night. On the left, there's a pizza oven with trash or recycle bin that pulls out.

A sink with a refreshment center is also available. An outdoor-rated refrigerator, double drawers, a power burner, a Coyote grill, and double access doors make up the center island.

19. Outdoor Kitchen with Retractable Windows

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This design allows the windows to open to the outside space on warm days, allowing visitors to relax and have a beautiful outdoor experience.

Consequently, you can close down the windows whenever it becomes windy or chilly. The neutral stone countertop and natural materials give the space a rustic feel.

20. Clay Outdoor Kitchen Setup

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Trying to come up with a unique outdoor kitchen space? Why not try the clay décor and countertops? Clay creates a sense of warmth as well as a beautiful look to the stainless steel appliances. The covered outdoor kitchen ideas with clay/adobe roofs give it a complete look.

21. Backyard Kitchen

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Mina Starsiak installed her outdoor kitchen with three different islands. Ideally, there are two refrigerators, a pizza oven with a refrigerator and lastly, a grill with a power burner.

The space is an excellent representation of how you can create a beautiful kitchen with minimal space. Actually, you don't need an outdoor space to create a beautiful and fully equipped outdoor kitchen.

22. DIY Pergola

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There are two spaces in the outdoor room above: an outdoor living room and an outdoor kitchen or dining area. Unfortunately, the patio size was insufficient to accommodate both the outdoor living room and the outdoor kitchen.

However, the designers chose to transfer the barbecue to the backyard since cooking causes smoke and stains on the ceiling. It is a stunning open concept and one of the best pergola ideas. Earthy tones and stone complement the garden's flora well.

23. Rustic Wood Outdoor Kitchen

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The kitchen has a farmhouse flavor, thanks to the grey wood. Although there aren't many decorations, a few little shelves are built into the rock wall where you may put some of your favorite items.

The addition of open shelves on each side of conventional barn door-type cabinets provides visual interest and balance without becoming crowded. As one of the best covered outdoor kitchen ideas, this design completed with a cute tin roof.

24. Upcycled Outdoor Preparation Space

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The reclaimed wood in bleached tones gives this upcycled apartment a clean yet charming air. Open shelving allows you to display your old dishes, while the lowest shelves are concealed under French sack curtains. You can hang utensil storage on the shelves and put similar items together for a creative look.

25. DIY Wood Pallet

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You can use pallets to make a modest counter and food prep station to resemble your childhood mud kitchen. It's a rustic take on outdoor kitchen ideas, yet the room is open and airy thanks to the unpainted light wood. Large accessories may be stored underneath, while a little shelf across the top keeps small cooking utensils or spices.

Tips for Designing a Small Outdoor Kitchen Space

1. Think About How You’ll Use Your Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are generally just used for secondary purposes, a lot of flexibility to experiment, or add some fun. You might add a pizza oven or a fun barbecue to really personalize your outdoor area.

Will you be grilling for all of your friends and neighbors or only on special occasions? Answering these questions will help you figure out how much room you'll need for outdoor entertaining and living.

2. Review All the Cooking Options

The outdoor cooking experience is becoming more advanced. There are wood chips, meat rubs, novelty barbecue sauces, grilling gadgets, and other add-ons to aid the cooking process. Passionate grillers shouldn't feel constrained to one style of grill. You can always have two grills, whether they're of the same type or two different types.

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A pellet grill is an ideal complement to an outdoor kitchen design for individuals who prefer smoking to cook. Also, consider a countertop pizza oven that's big enough to feed a family yet compact enough to save space and money.

3. Decide on the Ideal Location

When building an outdoor kitchen, location is crucial. Outdoor kitchens should be situated near the indoor kitchen to make visits inside for additional cooking materials as easy as possible. Avoid putting your outdoor kitchen in direct sunlight, since the sun's rays may make your stainless steel grills incredibly hot.

4. Match the Outdoor Kitchen Design with the Surrounding

It's a good idea to match the finishes of the areas of your kitchen area to the surrounding design on your patio or outdoor kitchen to ensure the outdoor cooking space blends smoothly into the space.

5. Choose the Best Materials

Cabinets and surfaces for outdoor kitchens must be able to stand up to the weather conditions in your region. Consider long-lasting materials like stainless steel, stone, slate, tile, or stucco.

Check whether all countertop surfaces and fittings are suitable for outdoor usage. Also, ensure the surface can withstand the weight of the material, outdoor furniture, and appliances, especially when working with an existing deck or patio.

6. Create Storage

Plan for storage and organization needs in your outdoor kitchen ideas. Consider what you want to have on hand to figure out how much storage you'll need. Set aside space for garbage and recycling bins, cleaning materials, and tableware, such as plates, cutlery, and glasses.

Be sure to incorporate cupboards or a cart to improve storage space. Consider using a drawer or a simple metal hanging rack to keep forks, tongs, and spatulas off the counter.

7. Choose Proper Lighting and Electricals

You'll need to prepare for varying amounts of light to optimize the hours you may spend using your outdoor kitchen. A patio umbrella positioned over the outdoor dining area may need shade from the sun during the afternoon heat.

After the sun sets, overhead chandeliers or other lightings may keep your grilling and dining areas functional far into the night.

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If your outdoor kitchen is independent, you'll also need the energy to operate the appliances. Placing an outlet near the primary cooking area will allow you to extend the time you can use the space.

8. Plan the Best Kitchen Layout

To ensure a seamless flow, divide the kitchen into cooking, prep work, and serving zones. Install a sink in your outdoor kitchen to save yourself the trouble of returning inside to wash your hands or rinse your ingredients. Include a bin beneath the sink for fast tossing vegetable scraps or empty bottles.

Create a countertop space and provide a more friendly atmosphere, especially in outdoor kitchens with limited space. Set aside an extra room for a more formal outdoor eating area somewhere. A vent hood is a fantastic choice to consider for an outdoor kitchen where air circulation is a problem.

9. Don’t Forget About Shelter

Rain, wind, and sun may make it difficult to enjoy an outdoor kitchen. Using the best covered outdoor kitchen ideas will help you make the most of your grilling and cooking area. You can use a roof overhang, a pergola or an outdoor umbrella.

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Consider the sorts of cooking surfaces you'll want to use, such as a stand-alone stove or a grill, before you design your outdoor kitchen. After that, plan the protection of your kitchen around those aspects. A built-in nook here makes it easy to store a grill when it's not in use and protects it from rain and snow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

1. How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?

The cost of your outdoor kitchen will be determined by the materials you choose and the size and appliances you choose. The price may vary depending on how lavish you want it to be.

2. What is the best outdoor kitchen location?

The optimal position for an outdoor kitchen is near the main kitchen entrance. This will make dinner preparation for big parties easier since it will eliminate the need for long-distance trips between the two locations during cooking and cleaning.

The close proximity to the inside kitchen will also make running gas and plumbing lines outdoors simpler and more cost-effective.

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Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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