22 Ways to Create the Outdoor Kitchen of Your Dreams

Best Of Hometalk
by Best Of Hometalk

The kitchen is often referred to as “the heart of the home,” but what happens when the weather gets nice and nobody wants to be inside anymore? Enter the outdoor kitchen. It’s the perfect place to relax with friends and enjoy the backyard. Today we’re sharing tons of outdoor kitchen inspiration, ranging in scale from giant outdoor kitchen kits to simple grilling areas made with reclaimed materials.

Outdoor kitchen (pixabay)

1. Add Function With an Outdoor Sink

Make your outdoor kitchen especially functional by starting with an outdoor sink so you can wash your dishes outside instead of having to lug them all inside encrusted with food. This Hometalker shares the simple instructions for how to connect your plumbing to your existing outdoor water spigot. Spoiler alert – it’s easier than you might think! 

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas (Cher @ Designs By Studio C)

See post: Cher @ Designs By Studio C|Build an Outdoor Sink and Connect It to the Outdoor Spigot

2. How to Create a DIY Outdoor Kitchen

Building an outdoor kitchen may sound daunting, but this beautiful space was created by simply adding on to an existing deck and gazebo. A grill, prep area, and granite countertop make up the major elements, while pops of red give the space a visually cohesive feel. Sticking with a simple color scheme such as this one is a good rule of thumb if you’re not sure where to start. This shows that it pays to work with what you have!

DIY Outdoor Kitchen (Bridget)

See post: Bridget|Outdoor Kitchen & Entertaining Area

3. Match Your Kitchen to Its Surroundings

Rustic outdoor kitchen cabinets and stone countertops look right at home on this backwoods deck, thanks to the expert use of natural materials and unique accents. If you have building skills and a large amount of reclaimed wood on hand, you might try tackling a similar project at your home. And don’t forget to use the raw materials at your disposal to adorn your kitchen, like the wooden handles seen here. 

Outdoor Kitchen Designs (Steven Kurgan)

See post: Steven Kurgan|Rustic Outdoor Kitchen

4. Make Your Own Outdoor Pizza Oven

Pizza lovers rejoice! This Hometalker has created her own wood-fired pizza oven in her backyard, despite having no masonry experience – and she’s sharing the complete tutorial with you. Start with a solid concrete block foundation, and then create the igloo-shaped oven on top using fire bricks. The end result is nothing short of incredible!

Outdoor Kitchen with Pizza Oven (Nikki Wills)

See post: Nikki Wills|How To Build a Wood Fired Pizza Oven in Your Backyard

5. Make Your Outdoor Kitchen Look Like It Belongs Indoors!

This backyard kitchen could be mistaken for a full-fledged indoor one, thanks to the stunning wood-wrapped cabinets and bold outdoor kitchen countertops. It was built with the outdoors in mind though, with special consideration given to the wood choice – they chose Ipe, which is a less expensive (yet still durable) alternative to teak.

Building an Outdoor Kitchen (Anna M)

See post: Anna M|Outdoor Kitchen Reveal

6. Let Your Creativity Run Wild

Just like indoor spaces, outdoor kitchens are ripe with possibility when it comes to decorating style. This is one of the more unique outdoor kitchen designs, with its whimsical vintage pump, lard pail, and Blue Willow china. It could be argued that outdoor living spaces are the best place to get creative when it comes to decorating!

Outdoor Kitchen Designs Plans (Organized Clutter)

See post: Organized Clutter|A Whimsical Outdoor Kitchen

7. Transform an Unused Space Into an Outdoor Kitchen

This couple had a hot tub that was eating up a lot of money each month, so they decided to cut their losses and sell it to create room for a relaxing outdoor kitchen retreat. They were extremely resourceful, working with as many leftover materials as possible to create a unique and affordable outdoor lounge and cooking area.

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Small Spaces (Diane Forte Barfield)

See post: Diane Forte Barfield|From Hot Tub To Outdoor Kitchen

8. Add Tropical Charm With Stucco

To achieve a more tropical feel, follow this Hometalker’s lead and create a stucco bar with a mosaic tile countertop. The outdoor kitchen cabinets were made by creating a base out of metal studs, then covered in cement board and finally stucco. The bright yellow umbrella and two-tone bar stools are the perfect finishing touch.

Cheap Outdoor Kitchen (Jze 1040510)

See post: Jze 1040510|Outdoor Kitchen/Bar

9. How to Add an Outdoor Kitchen to an Existing Deck

This reader built a full-fledged outdoor kitchen to add to their beautiful handmade deck, and the results are impressive! A textured stone veneer creates a finished look, and a gas log fireplace lends both warmth and ambiance to your outdoor space. And since she lives in southern California, she and her family use the space year round.

Outdoor Kitchen on Deck (Organizing Made Fun - Becky Barnfather)

See post: Organizing Made Fun - Becky Barnfather|Installing a Deck and Outdoor Kitchen

10. Outdoor Kitchen Island Style Bar

No outdoor kitchen would be complete without a place for people to congregate, making this clever party bar an essential part of this space. The top is adorned with a built-in ice bucket to keep beverages cold, and the inside of the island is open storage space. To top it off, colorful lighting adds a unique touch to the top surface.

Outdoor Kitchen and Bar (Pete Sveen)

See post: Pete Sveen|How To Make A Patio Party Bar - DIY

11. Consider Your Project Parameters Ahead of Time

Thinking about building your own outdoor kitchen? Make sure you take a peek at this post first… outdoor kitchen building experts share a handful of thought-provoking questions that will help you thoroughly think through your project before you even begin. Because a poorly-designed space will not get as much use as a well-thought-out one!

Brick Outdoor Kitchen (Larry Riley)

See post: Larry Riley|How To Create The Ideal Outdoor Kitchen

12. Upcycle an Indoor Kitchen

Do you know someone who’s renovating their kitchen? Offer to take their old cabinets off their hands and transform them into the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Here, a family has worked together to upcycle cabinets and create an attractive, functional outdoor kitchen with a gas grill, pizza oven, bar, and even a small freezer to hold frozen snacks during the summer.  

Outdoor Kitchen Grill (Deanne L)

See post: Deanne L|Outdoor Kitchen

13. What a Difference a New Facade Makes!

This poolside kitchen makeover shows how effective simple cosmetic changes can be. It began as a dilapidated outdoor kitchen island but was quickly transformed by removing the crumbling tile countertop and replacing it with a smooth stone top and adding bricks to the facade to give it a more permanent look. A diamond-shaped decorative medallion adds the perfect finishing touch.

Outdoor Kitchen Plans (South County Landscaping)

See post: South County Landscaping|Crown Point Outdoor Kitchen

14. A Clean Slate Outdoor Kitchen

A concrete slab provided the base for this Hometalker’s DIY outdoor kitchen, giving her complete creative license over the whole design. She used bricks to form the foundation for the grill, counters and a small seating area. She also shares lots of great tips on how to save money throughout the process, from taking advantage of rebates to avoiding multiple delivery fees.

Building an Outdoor Kitchen (Elisa)

See post: Elisa|Outdoor Kitchen

15. Build Your Own Custom Bar

A functional beverage center is a must for any outdoor kitchen; the most effective ones will have a place for glassware, booze, ice and a work surface on which to mix up your cocktails. This one fits the bill, and it even has a removable ice bucket that can be easily refreshed throughout the party on those hot summer days. And here’s the best part – it’s easier to make than it looks! 

Building an Outdoor Kitchen and Bar (Creek Line House)

See post: Creek Line House|The Perfect DIY Beverage Center For Any Deck!

16. An Outdoor Sink Is a Gardener’s Delight

Not everybody has the desire to eat outside, sometimes the outdoor sink is the most important part – especially if you’re a gardener. In this case, a family wanted to be able to easily wash the vegetables they purchased on a regular basis from nearby farms… and on a budget. So they compiled all the necessary components from trash piles and thrift stores and then assembled them into a functional outdoor sink with a drying rack.

Outdoor Kitchen Sink (Cmoonlitwolf)

See post: Cmoonlitwolf|Outdoor Sink For Washing Garden Veggies


17. Dress Up Your Concrete Countertops

Make your own custom countertops for your outdoor kitchen using an acid etch finish. Acid etching is a process in which the top layer of the concrete is etched away to reveal the color and texture of the layer below. The finish complements the nearby stone and brick on this family’s new outdoor kitchen, adding a unique element to their space. 

Outdoor Kitchen Countertops (Cherie Aldridge Vickers)

See post: Cherie Aldridge Vickers|Concrete Bar Acid Etch Finish

18. Upcycle Your Way to an Outdoor Bar

While pallets are handy to create furniture for any part of the house, they look especially at home in outdoor spaces. This small DIY bar would be the perfect addition to any outdoor kitchen, and all it takes is a pair of wooden pallets and a few pavers to create this unique (and oh-so-affordable) backyard bar. 

Custom Outdoor Kitchen (Nicki Parrish @ Sweet Parrish Place)

See post: Nicki Parrish @ Sweet Parrish Place|DIY Wood Pallet Outdoor Bar

19. Get Inspired by This Backyard Transformation

Watch as this entire backyard transforms in front of your eyes as you scroll down the page! A unique outdoor kitchen is the piece de resistance, but many changes had to happen to accommodate for this part of the entertaining space. Get inspired by the creative layout of this showstopper of a backyard!  

Simple Outdoor Kitchen (Cepontzsons)

See post: Cepontzsons|Complete Backyard Renovation

20. Reed Fencing for the Win!

When these Hometalkers stumbled upon a handmade wooden bar at a yard sale, they knew they had to have it – but they wanted to take it a step further, giving it a tiki-tastic makeover. So they bought a package of reed fencing at their local home improvement store and attached it to the outside of the bar using a staple gun. This technique could easily be translated into other projects as well! 

How to build an outdoor kitchen (ConcordCottage.com with Lisa Walsh Huff Kroll)

See post: ConcordCottage.com with Lisa Walsh Huff Kroll|Tiki Bar Makeover

21. Make Your Own Cooler and Grill Cart in One

A full outdoor kitchen may not be in the cards for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t entertain in style! This clever DIY cart is made with the backyard entertainer in mind, with a built-in cooler to keep beverages cold and hooks to keep grill tools handy while you’re cooking. And it even has an extra shelf to store snacks and additional drinks.

Outdoor Kitchen Cart (FixThisBuildThat)

See post: FixThisBuildThat|Entertain and Cook In Style With a Patio Cooler & Grill Cart Combo

22. Turn a Jeep Grill into a Grill Stand

What’s better than a backyard BBQ grill? One that has its own custom stand made out of old Jeep parts! This creative Hometalker burned pallet wood to create a base for the grill and then added the grill from the Jeep to the front of the stand along with a few other pieces. Talk about a conversation starter!

Custom Outdoor Kitchen Designs (Dianna Henshaw)

See post: Dianna Henshaw|Turning Old Jeep Parts Into a BBQ Grill Stand

Whether you live in a hot climate or not, odds are you’ll use your outdoor kitchen every chance you get… because there’s nothing better than preparing a meal al fresco (except maybe eating one al fresco!). And while there are limitless designs and layouts, it’s important to choose one that fits your space and needs. Hopefully, these ideas have given you the inspiration to create the backyard kitchen of your dreams.

Do you have an outdoor kitchen in your yard? If so, please share the elements that you appreciate the most… you never know, it might help someone else create an outdoor kitchen of their very own. And don’t forget to share your favorites on Pinterest! 

Written for the Hometalk community by: Faith Provencher | Design Fixation

Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation