modern outdoor kitchen

Things to Consider Before Building a Custom Outdoor Kitchen

Jim Morris
Updated on
Jim Morris

Jim Morris

Jim Morris loves to travel and visit a lot of architecture sites worldwide. He shares lots of information and is always looking forward to the next article on interior design, architecture and landscaping.
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Everyone likes to cook outside. This is why barbecues are so popular; there is just something almost spiritual about communing with nature while preparing food that speaks to our inner soul. This has inspired some people to build actual kitchens outside, usually on their decks but sometimes closer to their backyard gardens.

If you are handy, and have the extra time, building a high end outdoor kitchen is actually far simpler than one would think, especially if one has the time and money to do so. However, if you are not handy, or very busy, the idea of doing this on your own is intimidating. 

If this hits a little closer to home, by all means do not hesitate to hire a professional. There are many options locally, and online for per-fabricated and custom outdoor kitchen systems, offering ready to go personalized designs with full functionality including: ranges, barbecues, ovens, pizza ovens, fire pits, sinks and refrigeration and more. There are many reputable and well reviewed specialists in your State as well. Yelp and Google are great resources for finding a custom outdoor kitchen designer and/or builder.

If you have the ambition to try it yourself, remember the easiest way to start or decide on the best design that fits your needs, all you need to do is decide on where you will build it, what you want to power it with, and any specific types of cooking or recipes you utilize the most; do that and everything else is easy.

Framing in a Custom Outdoor Kitchen

Before you can start on the kitchen itself, you need to make sure that the kitchen has a roof of some sort. This may sound obvious, but too many people forget about the roof until it rains or snows. Making it possibly even more important is that some houses also have animals in the backyard, especially as chickens become more popular. Thus, while we will come back to it, you need to plan out space and make sure that it has a roof. If there are animals present, then remember that you will need some wire mesh around the space as well.

Where is the best Location to Build an Outdoor Kitchen?

The obvious consideration is where to build it. The best place is to build it on a deck; this ensures that the kitchen will be easy to clean; just make sure that several maps are placed throughout in order to ensure that the place does not get to slick and keep in mind that you will want to spray under the deck every so often to avoid pests coming around. You can also build it in the backyard as well, but remember to lay a cement floor. This is actually a better idea as the cement floor is easier to clean and can make the posts for the roof that much easier to place as well as sturdier.

How to Safely Run Electricity to an Outdoor Kitchen

If you are building a high end outdoor kitchen you will need to power the equipment. The obvious way is to just use a series of extension cords; this is simple, but may create potential tripping hazards. You can install some wiring; the wiring would go under the deck and tie into the house. While it would require an actual electrician, it would ensure that there were no potential issues. Also, if you use a cement floor you can build the outlets into the floor, which really helps cut down on potential issues.

It should be noted that you do not need to use the power of the main house; you can use solar to power the outdoor kitchen, or even an actual generator. These options need to be serious debated while planning as they both need to be allowed for in the plans; the generator, for example, needs to be insulated against sound and its fuel source allowed for.

How Do You Plan to Use Your Outdoor Kitchen?

You also need to allow for what you will be cooking. Barbecue is obvious as you can gear the kitchen easily enough to a barbecue; this ranges from the tools and gear you need to cook to make sure that you have room for any ingredients. You can also use a grill; it is easy enough to power and if you remember to make it large enough to handle a wide variety of different ingredients and pots at one time. You can also set up a fire pit; while it is advised that you put it on the edge of the area, it makes a great place to cook not only spitted foods but hot dogs and marshmallows as well.

When it comes down to it, building a high end outdoor kitchen can be a lot of fun and give you a wide variety of options. Make sure that you have a wide variety of shelving for various ingredients and tools, a decent cutting area to maximize your time outside, and even a decent cooler or refrigerator for ingredients that need to be kept cool, like meat or alcohol. The bottom line is that you should have some fun planning it; do that and you will find plenty of use for it for years.

Jim Morris

About the author

Jim Morris

Jim Morris loves to travel and visit a lot of architecture sites worldwide. He shares lots of information and is always looking forward to the next article on interior design, architecture and landscaping.