Outdoor Kitchen Designs – Your Planning Guide for a Perfect Entertaining Space

As night falls and the sun stops beating down on your outdoor living space, spending time preparing food in your outdoor kitchen is the perfect way to spend your Kansas City summer. From special weeknights to weekend get-togethers, cooking in an outdoor kitchen is a great way to enjoy the season and avoid heating up your house when cooking. There are many outdoor kitchen designs out there and choosing one depends on how you will use the kitchen and what your entertaining space looks like.

outdoor kitchen designs

Personalize the Kitchen for Your Needs

Looking at outdoor kitchen designs is fun inspiration for your space, but getting a kitchen that works best for your needs requires some thought and planning. To personalize it, think about how often you are going to cook outside, how many people will be acting as a chef, and how many people will be dining outside. These are fundamental questions that will help you decide how large your outdoor kitchen should be versus the dining space.

After deciding the size of your outdoor kitchen, you next need to think about how you are going to use that space. Will it be used for grilling and other basic cooking? Or do you want to take advantage of the outdoor air ventilation to cook some items you can’t in the house, such as deep fried foods or whole birds? This will dictate what types of appliances and construction you will need for the kitchen.

Lastly, consider the storage and cleaning capabilities you want your in your outdoor kitchen designs. If you want to be able to store plates, cups, and utensils, the kitchen will need to have storage options that protect the dishware from the elements. If you want to be able to clean your dishes and other parts of your meal prep outside, then you will need to think about plumbing and washing capabilities.

Decide on Placement

Another fundamental part of choosing between outdoor kitchen designs is the placement of your kitchen space. This is a crucial point in the decision making process that requires a professional. Your kitchen cannot be too close to the house or you risk damage to the siding over time as well as smells and smoke ventilating into your home. Likewise your kitchen will need some shelter from the elements outside. Depending on the appliances you chose to include, the outdoor kitchen will also need certain support elements in the construction to prevent risk of fire or malfunction.

All of these decisions about placement will make a difference in the success and functionality of your outdoor kitchen. Where you place your outdoor kitchen can also change how much your kitchen costs. For instance, if you are placing your kitchen far from your house, you will have to run wires and piping which can be add up.

Pick A Layout From Outdoor Kitchen Designs

You know what you will have in your kitchen. You know the size it will be. And you know where you are going to put it. Now you get to decide on the fun design details, starting with the layout. For outdoor kitchen designs, there are three main types of layouts:

  • Straight. A straight outdoor kitchen is like a small kitchenette for your outdoor living space. This will usually be places unobtrusively against a retaining wall or deck. If there will only be one chef operating in the kitchen, the straight layout is a great option.
  • U-Shape. For those who are going all out on their outdoor kitchen, the u-shape layout is perfect to mimic the space of your indoor kitchen. This gives you plenty of room for all your appliances as well as availability for multiple chefs to move around in the space.
  • Islands. If entertaining and food prep go hand-in-hand for you, an outdoor kitchen island is the best option. This allows you to host a Mongolian BBQ style space where the food preparation happens in the same place where guests are seated.

Now that you have all your pieces put together, it is time to start creating! Get your outdoor kitchen constructed as early in the season as you can so you are able to enjoy throughout the rest of summer and into fall weather.