5 Ideas for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

It’s this simple: outdoor kitchens are awesome. They change the way you entertain and spend time in the garden. If you’re considering building out the perfect outdoor kitchen in your backyard, read on for some excellent ideas to inspire your project.

man grilling outside at family outdoor kitchen

In America, 57.2% of people over 15 spend time preparing food and drink in the kitchen on an average day – so you may as well do it outside, right? There’s something truly magical about cooking and dining al fresco. An outdoor kitchen isn’t just a trendy addition to your home—it’s a way to embrace the beauty of the outdoors fully, capitalize on sunny days, and create a space that serves as a functional cooking area and a relaxing haven for family and friends. 

However, creating an outdoor kitchen is not without its challenges. The elements can be unpredictable—blazing sun one day, torrential rain the next. This means thoughtful planning, smart design choices, and a realistic budget are crucial to turning these potential pitfalls into opportunities for a standout space. These ideas will help you create a space that remains enjoyable and functional all year round.

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are looking to transform their outdoor space. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened backyard remodeling contractors in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties, then provides ongoing support. Give us a call at 818.317.3567 to get started.

Idea #1: Choose the right location for your outdoor kitchen

The location of your outdoor kitchen is beyond important. It should be a place that takes advantage of the natural beauty around you and offers practicality. Ideally, you want it close to your indoor kitchen to easily transport food and utensils. Consider how the sun will move across your yard throughout the day. 

A spot that’s shaded from the harsh afternoon sun will be more comfortable for cooking and dining. Existing structures can provide some shelter, but you might also consider adding an outdoor kitchen pavilion for extra shade and protection from the elements. By selecting the right location, you set the stage for an outdoor kitchen that’s as convenient as it is delightful! 

exterior kitchen family cooking together

Idea #2: Design to create a seamless extension

Depending on how much you’d like to spend on your outdoor kitchen, the design options are nearly endless. One of the most effective uses for your dollars is to create a fluid connection between your indoor and outdoor spaces by opening up your existing kitchen to the outside. Think of bifold doors that disappear, erasing the boundary between indoors and outdoors. This setup allows for a smooth transition, making your kitchen feel expansive and integrated with the natural surroundings.

Take, for instance, a setup where a dining table with steel frame legs and casters serves as a versatile centerpiece. This table can easily be moved to suit your needs—placed in the outdoor zone for a casual meal or adjacent to the indoor island bench when entertaining a larger crowd. The flexibility ensures that no matter the size of your gathering, you’ll always have plenty of room to accommodate your guests comfortably.

Related: Top 10 Ideas For Your Backyard Remodel

Idea #3: Hide that BBQ

Keeping your outdoor space tidy and clutter-free is essential for maintaining its appeal. One clever way to achieve this is by incorporating a hidden barbecue setup. Include a sleek, modern shed that conceals your barbecue, utensils, and kitchenware when they’re not in use. This design keeps the area looking pristine and ready for entertaining at a moment’s notice.

A refined teak table and benchtops in a modern country-style outdoor kitchen evoke a charming farm-style ambiance, blending beautifully with contemporary architectural elements. The shed’s sliding doors effortlessly slide open to reveal a gleaming barbecue, ready for action. Once your cooking is done, the doors slide shut, transforming the space back into a serene, clutter-free courtyard perfect for dining and relaxation.

outdoor kitchen pizza oven in backyard

Idea #4: Embrace the pizza oven

While the classic barbecue remains a staple of outdoor cooking, introducing new culinary elements can elevate your outdoor kitchen experience. A traditional wood-fired pizza oven is one such addition that promises to delight your taste buds and impress your guests.

Nothing beats the smell of a freshly baked pizza wafting through your backyard. A wood-fired pizza oven brings an authentic touch to your outdoor kitchen and opens up a world of new cooking possibilities.

The true beauty of a wood-fired oven lies in its simplicity and efficiency. The dome-shaped structure radiates intense heat, cooking pizzas evenly and quickly. This method ensures that your pizzas are full of rich, smoky flavor and have the perfect texture—crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Plus, the high heat means you can churn out pizzas in minutes, making it ideal for entertaining large groups.

Another advantage of a wood-fired oven is the low maintenance. Unlike a barbecue, there’s no need to worry about cleaning out greasy residue from the oven’s interior. The high temperatures burn off any food remnants, leaving the oven ready for its next use with minimal effort on your part.

outdoor pergola backyard for privacy

Idea #5: Incorporate a Privacy Screen

Creating a cozy and private oasis in your outdoor kitchen is not just about aesthetics; it’s about feeling secure in your own space, especially if your neighbors are nearby. A well-designed privacy screen can offer this sense of security while enhancing your space’s overall aesthetic.

Incorporating a stacked stone wall panel is an effective way to achieve privacy. Opting for a steely grey color provides a modern, sleek look and an attractive splashback behind the barbecue. This adds texture and visual interest, elevating the sophistication of your outdoor kitchen.

A matching timber screen can complement the stone wall and offer additional privacy while maintaining a cohesive look. Timber screens are practical and add warmth and natural beauty to the space. Combining stone and timber creates a balanced and inviting atmosphere, perfect for relaxed outdoor dining and entertaining.

Pro tip: An open pergola, paired with your privacy screens, creates a harmonious blend of seclusion and openness. The result is a large dining zone that is both intimate and filled with natural light, making it the perfect setting for any outdoor gathering.

Get a little help to build your outdoor kitchen

GreatBuildz handpicks contractors, all individually selected based on the requirements of your outdoor kitchen. We provide ongoing support and guidance via a personalized approach that means a genuinely stress-free remodeling experience. We have assisted thousands of homeowners in accomplishing their renovation goals. Let’s start your GreatBuildz Renovation journey today.

GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange Counties with reliable, thoroughly screened contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Contact us to discuss your potential outdoor kitchen project – give us a call at 818.317.3567 or submit the form at the bottom of this page.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.
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