There’s few simple pleasures quite like enjoying a nice meal outside on a warm day. A pretty patio or backyard setup can feel like paradise combined with something tasty to nibble on and good company to enjoy. The one downside that could put a damper on this heavenly scene, would be the constant need to run inside. Any al fresco host or regular outdoor diner knows the pain of having to go inside multiple times throughout the meal to grab what’s needed for the next course. Not only is it annoying, balancing platters and whatnot as you go, but you're likely letting those pesky gnats into your home with each passage! The solution, of course, is to avoid the need for these trips altogether. An outdoor kitchen is just the thing you need.
Complete with a kitchen, cooler, storage, and grill, an outdoor kitchen is a summertime host’s and griller’s dream come true . Like an indoor kitchen renovation , building one of these can be a pricy investment depending on the scale, but that doesn’t stop us from fantasizing about easy, breezy outdoor dining for the future. Here’s our favorite outdoor kitchen ideas with serious open-air entertaining potential.
Under An Awning
Create a compact kitchenette under an awning to keep your cooking supplies dry. This hard-working outdoor spot has everything you need to cater a delightful outdoor meal with some prep indoors before the guests arrive.
While your indoor kitchen can be as polished as you please, the outdoor one is a space to have fun decorating with motifs that reflect the nature nearby. Take design cues from the great outdoors, like this kitchen with nautical decals and tile that glimmers like the ocean.
Warm Porch Kitchen
A screened-in porch makes for a stellar kitchen space. This way, you have all the pleasures of outdoor dining without having to brave the elements too much.
Grill Master's Station
In addition to a trusty propane grill , make space for all your barbecue needs with an outdoor island or prep station. With this set-up, you'll be the most envied barbecuer in the neighborhood.
Light And Breezy Kitchen
Almost always, we'll agree that Southern design reigns supreme. However, sometimes it's nice to welcome in that island style. Just because you live in the mountains or the plains doesn't mean that your outdoor kitchen can't look straight off a Mediterranean island postcard.
Fish Prep Station
For avid fishers, a spot like this can save the day. Rather than having to trek the day's catch inside, fresh fish can come straight from the water, onto the prep station, to the grill, and into guest's eager mouths.
The urge to entertain outdoors doesn't end when the weather begins to chill. An outdoor or patio fireplace extends the al fresco dining season to be all year long. An outdoor heater or two can help too!
Picture this: You're lounging at your open-air bar, sipping glass of wine, and taking in the warm weather and picturesque views. Doesn't that sound like heaven on earth? If you're installing an outdoor kitchen, this is one addition to strongly consider.
Bring The Party Outside
A seating area near the outdoor kitchen ensures that even the person cooking on the grill can get in on the conversation. With a setup like this, you'll be everyone's favorite host all season long.
Rain or shine, an outdoor pavilion will make for perfect entertaining. This lakeside one is pretty as a peach with retro appliances, Adirondack chairs, a picnic table, and Americana decor.
Outdoor Pizza Oven
A wood-fired pizza oven will make yours the most desirable backyard in town. Invest in one of these and be ready to host many pizza parties to come.
Breezy Bar Cart
In addition to the spread of small bites lined up along your outdoor buffet, don't forget to offer your guests a beverage. Set up an attractive bar cart with everything you need to mix together your favorite porch cocktails .
For those afraid of leaving their outdoor kitchens to brave the elements, a cabana kitchen like this one is the best of all worlds. A cute, fully-stocked cabana allows you to cook away in the shade without ever really leaving the party.
Whether you've got a garden shed ready to go or a bungalow in the backyard prepared for multi-generational living , you have the makings for the sweetest outdoor cooking space to dine in as you watch the summer sun set. Take this opportunity to build an outdoor kitchenette right on the side of the structure.
If an outdoor kitchen is too far out of reach, we've found a delightful middle ground. This kitchen opens right up into outdoor entertaining space, then when you're done, you can close the doors to make it fully indoors again.