Seven Stellar Ideas For Your Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen can be a lovely place for you and your friends to congregate and enjoy great food during the nice summer weather. Designing the perfect outdoor kitchen can be pretty enjoyable, too. Here are some ideas to inspire you. Draw on them as you discuss your options with your kitchen building team, and before long, you'll have a beautiful outdoor space to cook and dine.

Copper Counters

You've may have been to a bar with exposed copper pipes and admired the way they gleam in the dim light. Imagine that same gleam in your counter tops when the sun shines down. Copper counters are very durable, and you can set your hot trays and pans from the grill directly onto them. Just make sure you have the copper treated with a lacquer so that it does not develop a green patina as it ages.

Terracotta Pizza Oven

If you want the ability to branch out beyond traditional grilled foods, consider having a terracotta pizza oven installed as a part of your outdoor kitchen. The rust-red color will add a bit of natural appeal to the space, and you'll love being able to create custom wood-fired pizzas for your guests and family members.

Salvaged Wood Island

For backyards with a more rustic look, a kitchen islands made form salvaged wood can be the perfect nod to sustainability and natural style. You can have the wood coated in a special polymer coating so it does not absorb water. Pair the table with a few bar stools made from the same salvaged wood, and your guests will have an attractive place to perch.

Stone Walls

You have to set your outdoor kitchen apart from the rest of your yard or patio in some way. Consider having your builder construct three walls from stone to surround the kitchen space. They can use a combination of large and stone walls, pieced together carefully, to create a strong and natural-looking barrier. Top the walls with some smooth stone counters for a uniform look.

A Matching Bar Cart on Wheels

There are sure to be times when you want to serve cocktails, but moving all of your supplies outside, one by one, can be a burden. And you don't want to store liquor outside. A good solution is to include a matching bar cart on wheels in your kitchen design. You can wheel it inside for storage, and wheel it back outside when you're ready to mix drinks.

Built-In Burners

If you want the ability to make boiled and sauteed dishes, then consider having two or more burners incorporated into your outdoor kitchen's cooktop. You can place them right next to grill top to keep everything organized. Another nice feature is to mount a few hooks on the overhang over the burner area. You can use these hooks to hold your extra pots, pans, and cooking utensils when they're not in use.

Seating Against the Prep Counter

Instead of having guests sit at a table or an island, you can build a lower bar-seating type area onto the backside of your prep and cooking counter. Pull a few stools up against it, and your guests will have front row seats to a cooking show. This design option also works well when you have a long, narrow space to work with. 

As you consider these design ideas, also be sure to browse plenty of pictures of other outdoor kitchens online. Make note of what you do and do not like about each one. When you have a list of options you definitely want, bring them to the attention of your builder.